By Rob Potter
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS March 28, 2003 After spending more than three decades in the same occupation, many people would be anxiously counting the months, weeks, days, hours and seconds until they could retire.
But Carl Lindsley is not one of those people.
Today marks the final day on the job for Lindsley, a New York State Department of Conservation Region 3 Senior Wildlife Technician. He began working for the DEC in January 1969 and has really enjoyed his 34-year career.
Its been a wonderful career, a dream really, Lindsley said. It was incredible to be able to work outside where I was free to make my own decisions. I didnt have to go to an office, I basically worked out of my house. Its been like a big ride and I got paid for it.
After graduating from Liberty Central School, Lindsley, who grew up in White Sulphur Springs, served in the U.S. Army for four years. Upon returning home in 1968, he decided to apply for a job with the DEC.
His father, Graydon, worked for the DEC, and took Lindsley to the regional office in New Paltz to fill out an application. He was hired and began his career on January 13, 1969.
From 1969 to 1979, my father and I did a lot of work together, Lindsley said.
Part of that work included the trapping and ear tagging of deer and trapping and transfering wild turkeys to other parts of New York State as well as other states.
Over the years, Lindsley has been integral in the implementation of a number of DEC programs. Among them were live trapping, tagging and relocation of nuisance bears; trapping and relocation of live beaver and other furbearer programs, including pelt sealing; and iniatiating a bald eagle trap and tag program in Sullivan County.
One program that is particularly close to Lindsleys heart is the deer donation program.
About 10 years ago, we started the deer donation program here in Sullivan County, he said. We had a surplus of venison from the hunting season and decided to help out the needy people in the community. So we called Linda Cellini of The United Way of Sullivan County and the program took off from there.
Lindsley also worked closely with the Sullivan County Trappers Association and the Federation of Sportsmens Clubs of Sullivan County. He noted that he especially enjoyed participating in the federations youth-oriented programs such as the youth expo held each autumn at the Grahamsville Fairgrounds and the ice fishing derby held each winter.
I like kids and I like those youth days, he said. Its great to get kids involved in the outdoors.
When talking with Lindsley, its clear that he really loved his job and would probably keep doing it if the matter were entirely up to him. But he explained that in the proposed New York State budget for the next fiscal year, his position was eliminated. However, the state took into account Lindsleys 34 years of service, his four years in the military and credited him for another three-and-a-half years so that his retirement benefit package would be based on 41 1/2 years.
And the 57-year-old Lindsley said that was an offer he just couldnt pass up.
Because there wont be anyone replacing Lindsley, there will now only be two field technicians to cover Region 3, which includes Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester Counties.
He noted that there is a possiblility he may be hired by the DEC for some part-time seasonal projects in the future.
Among the immediate plans for Lindsley, who is a member of the White Sulphur Springs Fire Department and White Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church, is to attend a retirement party that his wife, Patty, organized. Scores of family members, friends and neighbors are expected to attend the party, which begins at 4 p.m. tomorrow at the White Sulphur Springs Fire Department.
He and Patty are taking a trip to Texas next week. Lindsley noted that although it is a vacation, it is also a hunting trip as he will be hunting Rio Grande turkeys.
After that, Lindsley isnt quite sure what he will be doing. He has thought about getting a part-time job. And he noted that one area farmer told him that he might need help bailing hay this summer.
Its pretty safe to say that Lindsley wont be spending hours upon hours sitting quietly in a rocking chair.
I like to stay active, he said. I dont do well just being idle. Some people go on vacation and spend every day lying on the beach. About one day on the beach is all I can handle.