The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Outdoors

January 15, 2014

Hough chosen to lead Pa. Game Commission

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Game Commission named former Johnstown resident Matt Hough as its new executive director on Wednesday.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Hough, who had been the agency’s deputy executive director.

“I’m very happy that the commissioners had the confidence in me to put me in there. That’s pretty big to me,” said Hough, whose family resided in Westmont from 1999 to 2010.

“You’ve got eight individuals that are willing to put their support behind you.”

Hough, who has 33 years of service with the Game Commission, officially will assume his duties as executive director on Friday as he succeeds retiring Executive Director Carl Roe.

“No. 1, I want to keep the agency moving in the right direction,” Hough said. “I think under Carl Roe the agency has been moving along. Carl made tremendous strides with the agency and I want to keep moving in that direction. We probably have the best employees in the Commonwealth.

“Everybody is really super dedicated. That’s for every employee. It’s nice to work in an organization like that. I want to make sure we keep everybody moving in the right direction for the wildlife resources.”

Pennsylvania Game Commissioner Timothy Layton of Windber said Hough’s decades of experience and role as a deputy executive director made him a solid fit for the post.

“Matt has been with the Commission for a long time,” Layton said. “He came up through the Southwest Region. We have a lot of confidence that Matt is going to take us into the future until we can find the executive director that’s going to take over in a full-time position. We like Matt. We like what he’s done in the Commission in the past. We look forward to working with him during the January meeting and into the future.”

Hough, 56, said he will retire in “the not-too-distant future,” and the Board of Game Commissioners will be prepared to fill the position at that time.

Until then, Hough has set his goals.

“In the short-term the first thing I want to do is get really caught up on the agency’s financial situation,” he said.

Among his plans are to conduct a full review of the agency’s finances and to strive to maintain the agency’s workforce at a full complement.

Maintaining stability is a priority, he said.

“Matt is a good communicator,” Layton said. “He’s got a very good pulse on the people in the field. He’s got a good vision of what the Board of Commissioners is looking to do in the future. He’s got all the tools that are necessary to work well with all the directors that are part of the commission and to step up and guide them in the right direction.”

Hough said he was drawn to the outdoors at an early age.

“When I was about 12 years old I knew that I wanted to work for the environmental resources,” Hough said. “I was very interested in the outdoors. I wanted to spend my career working with the outdoors, wildlife and plant resources.”

He grew up in Washington County and graduated from Trinity High School in 1975.

After earning a degree at West Virginia University in 1980, Hough entered the Ross Leffler School of Conservation in June 1981 and was part of the program’s 18th graduating class.

He served as a wildlife conservation officer in Washington and Westmoreland counties, and in 1992 began working out of the Game Commission’s Southwest Region office, serving in several positions such as federal aid supervisor, information and education supervisor, law-enforcement supervisor and, eventually, regional director.

“That was a dream come true to have that opportunity,” Hough said. “All 33 years I’ve enjoyed – I won’t say every moment – but I’ll say almost every moment. It’s been a great career. It’s not over yet but it’s been a super career. It’s amazing 33 years have already transpired. They basically flew by.

“I’m anxious to get started,” he added. “I will have a learning curve even though I’ve been down here with Carl for just about four years. I’m looking forward to working with the commissioners and the sportsmen and everybody in the public who enjoys our wildlife resources.”

Hough and his wife, Jodi, reside in Adams County. They have four children: Nathan, Mackenzie, Whitney and Tanner.

Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/masty81.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Outdoors
  • Local sports in brief 2/11/2014

    February 10, 2014

  • Pa. game commission asked to expand deer hunting

    Members of the Pennsylvania Game Commission are being urged to expand deer hunting opportunities in the commonwealth.

    January 27, 2014

  • Hough, Matt Hough chosen to lead Pa. Game Commission

    The Pennsylvania Game Commission named former Johnstown resident Matt Hough as its new executive director on Wednesday.
    The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Hough, who had been the agency’s deputy executive director.

    January 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • CWD found in deer killed on Bedford County highway

    The Pennsylvania Game Commission has reported that a white-tailed deer that was killed by a vehicle in Bedford County last fall has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).
    The 1½–year-old buck was hit on Interstate 99 in November and sent for testing as part of Pennsylvania’s ongoing effort to monitor the disease, which is fatal to members of the deer family, but is not known to be transmitted to humans.

    January 2, 2014

  • 18-year-old girl attacked by bear while deer hunting

    A black bear attacked a teenager in central Pennsylvania as she hunted deer on a family farm, state police said Tuesday.

    December 10, 2013

  • Allegheny forest snowmobile trails to open Dec. 21

    The first day of winter will also mark the first day for snowmobiles in northwestern Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest.

    December 5, 2013

  • 750,000 hunters open 2-week rifle deer season

    Warmer than average temperatures and mostly clear weather was expected as an estimated 750,000 hunters take to the woods as deer rifle hunting season opens in Pennsylvania.

    December 2, 2013

  • 2 deer rescued after falling down NE Pa. well

    Game commission officials say two 8-point bucks were rescued after falling down an abandoned well in northeastern Pennsylvania.

    November 14, 2013

  • Russia Eagle Attack1.jpg Stunning images of eagle killing deer in Russia

    Remote cameras intended to monitor Siberian tigers in Russia instead caught a golden eagle’s fatal attack on a deer, snapping three photos as the massive bird dug its talons into the distressed animal’s back.

    September 26, 2013 3 Photos

  • Agency offering tour of Game Lands 108

    As part of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s efforts to highlight its ongoing habitat improvement initiatives, the public has invited to take part in free tours of several state game lands.
    Among them is Game Lands 108 in northern Cambria County, which will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 6.

    September 18, 2013

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads