Steven T. Callan is the award-winning author of The Game Warden’s Son, named the “Best Outdoor Book of 2016” by the Outdoor Writers Association of California and published by Coffeetown Press of Seattle. His debut book, Badges, Bears, and Eagles—The True-Life Adventures of a California Fish and Game Warden, was a 2013 “Book of the Year” award finalist (ForeWord Reviews). Steve is the recipient of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 “Best Outdoor Magazine Column” awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of California.
Steve was born in San Diego, California, where he spent his early childhood. It was there that he first developed his love of nature, spending much of his spare time exploring the undeveloped canyons behind his house and learning to skin-dive in the nearby ocean. In 1960, Callan’s family moved to the small Northern California farm town of Orland. Steve spent his high school years playing baseball, basketball, hunting and fishing. With an insatiable interest in wildlife, particularly waterfowl, he never missed an opportunity to ride along on patrol with his father, a California Fish and Game warden.
Callan graduated from California State University, Chico, in 1970, and continued with graduate work at California State University, Sacramento. While studying at Sacramento State, he worked as a paid intern for the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors—using this golden opportunity to lobby for protected wildlife corridors in the county’s general plan.
Hired by the California Department of Fish and Game in 1974, Warden Steve Callan’s first assignment was the Earp Patrol District on the Colorado River. He was promoted to patrol lieutenant in January of 1978, leaving the desert and moving to the metropolitan area of Riverside/San Bernardino. While stationed in Riverside, Callan organized and led a successful effort to ban the sale of native reptiles in California. He also organized and led a successful campaign to stop a planned recreational development at Lake Mathews—establishing the lake and its surrounding wildlands as an ecological reserve for thousands of waterfowl and Southern California’s largest population of wintering bald eagles.
Transferring north to Shasta County in 1981, Lieutenant Callan spent the remainder of his thirty-year enforcement career in Redding. While supervising the warden force in Shasta County, Callan created and coordinated the Streamside Corridor Protection Plan—working with city and county planners to establish development-free setbacks along the Sacramento River and its Redding area tributaries.
In 1995, Lieutenant Steve Callan and Warden Dave Szody conducted a three-year undercover investigation into the unlawful killing of California black bears for their gallbladders, possibly the most successful wildlife-related criminal investigation in California history. Callan and Szody received the distinguished Frank James Memorial Award for their accomplishment.
Steve and his wife, Kathleen, a retired science teacher, are passionate about the environment. They are avid bird-watchers, kayakers, anglers, and scuba divers. Steve is a wildlife artist, using photographs he takes while scuba diving for inspiration. Callan has played competitive softball throughout the United States since his college days and in 2004 was inducted into the National Senior Softball Hall of Fame.