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Wildlife chief's resignation resonates with Alaska biologists

Rick Sinnott | Jan 12, 2012


Alaska wildlife conservation director charged with helping illegally kill bears


Less than two years after his appointment as director of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Wildlife Conservation, Corey Rossi has resigned, effective immediately. Dale Rabe, deputy director, has been appointed acting director.

An email from Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell cited “personal reasons” for Rossi’s resignation. However, he was recently charged with 12 counts of illegal bear hunting as a licensed assistant guide in 2008.

State wildlife biologists who couldn’t wait to share the news with their peers were calling one another Thursday evening, shortly after Commissioner Campbell’s email announcing Rossi’s resignation was sent to state offices.

Rossi was arguably the least popular director since statehood, both publicly and internally. He had been appointed to Fish and Game in December 2008 by then-Gov. Sarah Palin, a high-level position specifically created for Rossi, a proponent of “intensive management,” better known as predator control. Rossi listed Palin’s parents as references in his application for assistant commissioner.


In March 2010 Gov. Sean Parnell asked the director of wildlife conservation, Doug Larsen, to step down and Rossi was appointed in his stead, a move that delighted some pro-hunting organizations. Under Rossi, the department proposed new areas for aerial wolf control and also advocated bear control, using controversial methods such as snaring, to increase numbers of moose and caribou for human consumption.

Wildlife biologists working under Rossi have been reluctant to criticize him or his pet projects publicly because retribution was swift and harsh. This reticence didn’t muzzle wildlife biologists formerly employed by Fish and Game, however, who sent a letter in March 2010 to then-Commissioner Denby Lloyd asking him to reconsider Rossi’s appointment. That letter and a follow-up letter were signed by 53 former wildlife biologists whose careers totaled 1,007 years of experience with the Department of Fish and Game stretching back, in several instances, to the late 1950s. The former biologists cited Rossi’s lack of education or experience in wildlife management and research, calling him a “single issue advocate who lacks the educational background necessary for an entry-level biologist position.”

Rick Sinnott is a former Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist. The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch. Contact Rick Sinnott at rick(at)alaskadispatch.com
 

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"This reticence didn’t muzzle wildlife biologists formerly employed by Fish and Game, however, who sent a letter in March 2010 to then-Commissioner Denby Lloyd asking him to reconsider Rossi’s appointment. That letter and a follow-up letter were signed by 53 former wildlife biologists"
And just why would anyone value their opinions?????

Oh heck only.... "careers totaled 1,007 years of experience"

Now if one wildlife agency/overseers relies on experience and expertise, next thing ya know, another might try the new trend......!
 

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I guess Mike Hanna and Sara Palin have the same ideas, despite being in different political parties?
 

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Party affiliation mean less and less as time rolls along. It means even less in matters of wildlife management or the protection of our wild spaces.

It is important to look at the proposal on merit, need, and overall plan rather than who is proposing it. Good is good -bad is bad regardless of what letter follows the sponsors name.

We all lose by using an artificial filter in deciding what has merit - or not. That filter is party affiliation. No one in either party has all the answers or the lock on ideas. No one party is pure of heart or purpose in what is proposed. Less so when individual members champion any idea.

In the end, it is up to each of us to judge and lend support or not based on our values and knowledge.
 

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Thanks for the very serious answer.
I was poking fun at both of them, as they both have proven over and over again to be fools, despite their political affiliation.
These are the kind of people we have in political power. A frightening thought for our future!
See ya. Taking the flintlock for a 20/20 walk. That is, 20 degrees out with 20 mph winds. Gotta love winter now that it finally is here!
 

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TusseyMtMan said:
Thanks for the very serious answer.
I was poking fun at both of them, as they both have proven over and over again to be fools, despite their political affiliation.
These are the kind of people we have in political power. A frightening thought for our future!
See ya. Taking the flintlock for a 20/20 walk. That is, 20 degrees out with 20 mph winds. Gotta love winter now that it finally is here!

Palin was proven to be a fool? When? To whose satisfaction, you and the liberal media?
 

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To mine she is far from politically savvy. She bailed out in the middle of a term for what? She has no credibilty as far as I am concerned and I am far from liberal.
 

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She looked foolish every time she opened her mouth an no one can call me a liberal.
 

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There are many here who would like every predator in the state killed to protect the deer because that is all that matters to them. I didn't say it, they did. They would welcome someone who would kill predators so hunters would have more deer.
 

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They should have fired all the biologists for not keeping it "in-house".
 

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*Moose said:
TusseyMtMan said:
Thanks for the very serious answer.
I was poking fun at both of them, as they both have proven over and over again to be fools, despite their political affiliation.
These are the kind of people we have in political power. A frightening thought for our future!
See ya. Taking the flintlock for a 20/20 walk. That is, 20 degrees out with 20 mph winds. Gotta love winter now that it finally is here!

Palin was proven to be a fool? When? To whose satisfaction, you and the liberal media?
Cut to the chase. Would you want her leading this country?
 

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Really, you think it is possible to keep agency people flying around in an aircraft shooting wolves inhouse! Of course you don't, thinking is not part of your process.
 

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Palin is your typical hot blooded woman going through the change of life.She dosn't know what's going on.
 

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They been aerial blasting predators for years in some states....nothing new.
 

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Mainly for livestock protection from what i read about it, not wildlife pop enhancement, although that would be a side benefit I guess!
 
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