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  • Biologists seek ouster of new wildlife conservation chief: Wildlife News | adn.com

    http://www.adn.com/2010/03/22/1194356/biologists-call-for-ouster-of.html[3/23/2010 9:07:35 AM]

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    Biologists seek ouster ofnew wildlife conservationchiefLETTER TO PARNELL: Signers say Corey Rossilacks the credentials of even an entry-levelbiologist.By MARY PEMBERTONThe Associated Press

    Published: March 22nd, 2010 10:25 PMLast Modified: March 22nd, 2010 10:26 PM

    Dozens of former state employees are seeking to oust Alaska'snew wildlife director, saying in a letter sent Monday to thegovernor that the man who listed Sarah Palin's parents asreferences lacks the education and scientific training for thejob.

    Corey Rossi, formerly the state'sassistant commissioner forabundance management, took overthe post at the Division of WildlifeConservation last week. In the lettersent to Commissioner Denby Lloydlate Sunday and Gov. Sean Parnellon Monday, dozens of former AlaskaDepartment of Fish and Gameworkers said Rossi lacks thecredentials to get even an entry-level job as a biologist.

    "We believe this appointment willerode staff morale, result inresignations, reduce broad publicsupport for state wildlife management, and potentially jeopardize somewildlife resources that the division manages for all citizens of the state,"the letter said.

    The signers, 39 former biologists and supervisors at the agency,represent more than 760 years of department experience.

    Rossi and Lloyd did not immediately return calls for comment Monday.Parnell spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said Monday that thecommissioner would review the letter.

    RESUME, REFERENCES

    Lloyd's office has refused to provide The Associated Press with a copyof Rossi's resume, citing state confidentiality laws. A copy of the resumeobtained by the AP does not list a college degree but says Rossi has 30

    semester hours in zoology, botany and biology from a half-dozen universities.

    Chuck and Sally Heath, the parents of former Gov. Sarah Palin and the 2008 GOP vice presidentialcandidate, top the list of references.

    Sally Heath told the AP that Rossi was "a wonderful, ethical, honest person that we have workedwith for many years."

    Heath said she and her husband worked for

    Click to enlargeCorey Rossi

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  • Biologists seek ouster of new wildlife conservation chief: Wildlife News | adn.com

    http://www.adn.com/2010/03/22/1194356/biologists-call-for-ouster-of.html[3/23/2010 9:07:35 AM]

    ADVERTISEMENTRossi for 14 years trapping nuisance animalswhen he was employed by the federalgovernment. The jobs, which includedcontrolling birds at airports and trappingfoxes and rats, paid $11 to $13 an hour, shesaid, and ended when Rossi got his state job.

    Rossi's resume lists work from 1995 to 2009as a supervisory wildlife biologist with theU.S. Department of Agriculture, where heassisted "programs designed to prevent oralleviate wildlife damage in Alaska." It saidthat from 1989 to 1995, he worked for thesame federal agency in Washington statewhere he was responsible for "stopping orcurtailing wildlife caused resource lossesand/or minimizing hazards associated withnuisance wildlife."

    PROGRAM UNDER FIRE

    Critics have said Palin created the abundance management job for Rossi in late 2008 and that hisclose association with her family got him the top job in the wildlife conservation agency. Theabundance-management job was created to steer the state's predator-control program in whichwolves and bears are killed to boost moose and caribou numbers.

    The predator-control program came under fire last week after the state resumed its effort to killwolves from helicopters and shot four Interior wolves, including two collared for research by theNational Park Service.

    Separately, a state biologist shot two wolves believed to have attacked and killed a joggingteacher near Chignik Lake.

    The signers of the letter see Rossi as a "single issue advocate" who lacks academic andprofessional experience to be a division director. Rossi's selection indicates that professionalwildlife management in Alaska is being replaced by a model to maximize production of wild gamemeat, the letter said.

    "Science, rather than politics, should be the guiding philosophy of professional leadership whichshould also include appropriate academic training and professional experience," the letter said."This appointment marks a departure from the standard of science-based management for whichthe Department has always been recognized."

    QUESTION OF EXPERIENCE

    John Schoen, Audubon Alaska's senior scientist and one of the letter's organizers, said Rossi lacksthe education and experience needed to be a division director.

    Schoen, who worked as a wildlife biologist for the Fish and Game Department for 20 years andholds a doctorate in wildlife ecology from the University of Washington, said Rossi's simplistic,single-minded mission will not serve all Alaskans, particularly the wildlife viewers, birders andtourism operators.

    "Alaska is a big state. There is room for sport hunters, there is room for other subsistence huntersand there is room for other wildlife enthusiasts," Schoen said.

    The 39 signers of the letter included three former regional supervisors and research biologists forthe Fish and Game Department: John Coady, Grant Hilderbrand and Jeff Hughes. Schoen said twoother signers who have worked for Fish and Game -- David Klein, professor emeritus at theUniversity of Alaska Fairbanks, and Bob Weeden -- are considered the state's elder statesmen inwildlife management.

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  • Biologists seek ouster of new wildlife conservation chief: Wildlife News | adn.com

    http://www.adn.com/2010/03/22/1194356/biologists-call-for-ouster-of.html[3/23/2010 9:07:35 AM]

    Comments: 136

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    alaskanfirst wrote on 03/23/2010 08:59:38 AM:

    As someone in the know, people need to give Mr. Rossi a chance. Lets see what hecan do. All of this controversy is causing more moral problems within ADF&G thenRossis appointment. Some of the best and worst scientists inside the Departmenthave PhDs. Ill take a person with years of field experience, pragmatic thinking anda can do attitude, any day, over a person who has studied one species during theirentire profession and cant manage their peers. Mr. Rossi has been a top levelmanager most of his career for federal agencies. Time will tell.

    Recommend (1)

    NewWave wrote on 03/23/2010 08:56:56 AM:

    Corey Rossi, Denby Lloyd, Patrick Valkenberg and Fish and Game Board memberswere hired and appointed by Sarah Palin, to manage the wildlife according to theirconvenience and purposes, and they are Sarah Palin cover up and work for specialinterests for inside and outside hunting groups, and militians of Safari ClubInternational. They are extremists on wildlife for profits and also introducedproposals like 190 to allow state personnel of use carbon monoxide to kill wolf pupsin their dens. Proposal 170 by Ralph Seekins to allow snaring bears, but especiallyblack bears including sows and cubs.Its time to tear apart Sarah Palin, and Parnellcartel's on wildlife. Corey Rossi is cold blooded on wildlife for profits, now they wantto eradicated wolves and bears and only want to preserve moose and caribou whichonly enrich temselves. The state,Fish and Game Board are the ones who are runningthe hunting industry. Its time to stop this corruption of Sarah Palin and Parnell.

    Recommend (2)

    ak_lights wrote on 03/23/2010 08:54:51 AM:

    If you are a technician, you are not a biologist. Realistically, Rossi couldn't evencompete for a Tech III job in wildlife division at ADF&G.

    Recommend (3)

    largo wrote on 03/23/2010 08:46:29 AM:

    NEW WAVE--- Idol threats don't work as well in Alaska , as they did in California !Game management is for ALL Alaskans, not just the Bunny hugers !

    Recommend (1)

    Jester wrote on 03/23/2010 08:38:28 AM:

    jaeldid66 - There are some biologist jobs that don't require a college degree. Theseare usually what are considered Tech position. A person really doesn't need to havea college degree to do point surveys for birds, they just have to know birds. Theperson that uses that data, extrapolates it into density models, likely needs a collegedegree to understand the statistics and the theories behind the model he chooses.Next up is the wildlife manager who uses that data to make generalized policiesabout wildlife. This requires a lot more education because the person making theeducation needs a strong background to understand the intersection between whatthe numbers represent and how to apply those numbers to manage a population.These guys usually have PhDs where they have shown through doing a thesis thatthey can handle large amounts of data to produce a defensible theory.

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  • Biologists seek ouster of new wildlife conservation chief: Wildlife News | adn.com

    http://www.adn.com/2010/03/22/1194356/biologists-call-for-ouster-of.html[3/23/2010 9:07:35 AM]

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    Recommend (1)

    kaigun2 wrote on 03/23/2010 08:22:33 AM:

    "We believe this appointment will erode staff morale [and] result in resignations..."

    ---------------------------------------------

    I applaud those bureaucrats principled enough to resign rather than stay in a jobunder a boss they don't respect and actively sabotage him like most most careerbureaucrats would do in that position. Too bad there aren't more like them. Nowdon't the door hit you on the way out.

    Recommend (3)

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