Biologists seek ouster of new Alaska wildlife conservation chief

They say that the director doesn’t even have the background for an entry-level position.

In February, Corey Rossi, the Alaska Division of Wildlife, Wildlife Director, wrote an opinion piece for the Anchorage Daily News which opined that wildlife should be managed under the abundance-based management model which “requires man to work with the land to produce the maximum sustainable yield”. In other words a model which essentially treats wildlife as an agricultural crop to be “harvested” at maximum capacity.

In response, several former Alaska Division of Wildlife biologists have called for the removal of Corey Rossi as the Department’s Wildlife Director. They state that “Mr. Rossi appears to be a single issue advocate who lacks the education background necessary for an entry-level biologist position with the Division.”

The kind of management style which treats wildlife in this fashion ignores the necessity to manage wildlife with an understanding of simple ecological concepts. It also ignores the welfare of sensitive species and ecological systems which are vitally important to the welfare of wildlife and humans alike.

Biologists seek ouster of new wildlife conservation chief
Anchorage Daily News







  1. jon Avatar

    Corey Rossi also has close ties to Sarah Palin and her family.

  2. Leonard Schultz Avatar
    Leonard Schultz

    This is a great first step for Alaska to begin cleaning house and getting rid of the incestuous predator killing mentality that has infected the state so badly. If only the biologists had the same commitment to finding ways to clean out the other vermin on the game boards and the political hacks. While Alaska argues that they have a lot of wolves, that is an unintelligent analysis of why they are slaughtering wolves. A live wolf is a creature of beauty and I would much prefer one gazing back at me than hanging from the wing strut of an airplane with its eyes glazed over, tongue protruding and blood soaking its fur. One live wolf can provide joy to hundreds of people but a dead wolf is gone forever, nothing gained but the hollow satisfaction inside the wolf killer and few moments of adrenaline when he gets his/her picture taken. Then it’s over except the remorse they will feel when nobody else cares about their selfishness and what they have robbed from others who could enjoy the wolf, over and over, alive.

  3. RLMiller Avatar

    NPS seeks emergency closure of all sport wolf hunting in Yukon-Charley Rivers Preserve, apparently partly due to the killing of two radio collared wolves.

  4. SEAK Mossback Avatar
    SEAK Mossback

    I’m often amazed how ignorant the vast majority of hunters are of basic population theory and ecology, despite their many hours in the field over a lifetime. That’s probably true for the general public, but more critical for hunters because we (or our more active representatives) tend to have more influence in wildlife management (as currently evident in Alaska).

    There are numerous examples where we’ve been able to effectively hold science at bay for decades at major cost to ourselves and the general public. One of the premier examples is deer management in California. As a young child in northern California, I remember seeing fields full of dozens to hundreds of deer but wondered why there were almost never any bucks. The answer of course, was that there was a 2 buck limit, a fairly long season and an awful lot of hunters. With few natural predators, does simply increased in number until they consumed all the browse that the non-existent bucks could have eaten. The population remained very large and nutritionally stressed, resulting in a high rate of highway collisions and crop damage, and adverse ecological effects on the range and to other species, while hunters had to hunt hard for a small fraction of the biologically feasible harvest in numbers of deer and lbs. of venison (not to mention trophy value?) that could have been possible if the population had been managed at a lower, more productive level (and as if the two sexes were actually of the same species).

    OK, that was 45-50 years ago. I recently took a peek at the California deer regulations – and absolutely nothing has changed!!! The county commissioners still set the deer seasons in each county. The professional biologist in attendance still occasionally suggests holding a doe season, knowing it will prompt strong negative reaction from hunters and that the commissioners will react obediently to the hunters. In fact, I even found a statement in CDF&G literature that basically said, “Just because you don’t hear us say it at every meeting any more doesn’t mean we believe it any less.” The California public has suffered and is willing to continue suffering huge negative effects and foregone benefits for its beliefs and ignorance. A recent wildlife director who transferred to Nevada said his biggest disappointment was being unable to have an impact on California’s single sex deer management.

    OK, there’s a reason to protect California cougars – they’re the only hunters legally allowed to exploit deer populations in a biologically rational manner.

    I have a dear old friend in his mid-80s, who grew up in the woods and hunted much of his life on the island where I now live and hunt Sitka blacktails under a 5 month season and a bag limit of 4 deer of either sex. In most of his day, it was 3 months and a bag limit of 2 bucks, and he never misses a chance to tell me how allowing the killing of does and hunting through December is just plain disastrous and irresponsible (although he doesn’t kick much when I bring him a nice fat doe). I’ve found the hunting generally excellent and the deer population healthy and relatively stable, despite decades of such “irresponsible” management and a larger local human population. But just like the California deer biologists, I’d don’t even try to argue any more.

    I haven’t even touched on the main underlying issue in this thread, predators and predator control. But that’s just another area, and a particularly complex one at that, where we hunters tend to be woefully ignorant but generally unwilling to admit it. I hear from other hunters about getting all the studies and academic crap out of the equation and just relying on common sense – just look around and see what’s eating what.

    Well . . . California deer hunters and county commissioners have always thought they had common sense in abundance.

    1. Robert Hoskins Avatar
      Robert Hoskins


      You describe a problem for which there is no solution. I was surprised after a career in the military and moving to Wyoming to find that most hunters here didn’t even understand game management, which is relatively simple. It’s a long way from there to population ecology.

      I am surprised to hear that California still allows county commissioners to set seasons. Wyoming abandoned that process in 1947.


  5. william huard Avatar
    william huard

    Unfortunately Gov Parnell is complicit with others in turning Alaska into a vast game park with their abundance management program. People should be outraged at this special interest process which favors the distinct minority of trappers and sport hunters. In alaska 95 percent of the state is open to hunting and trapping, and their board of Game just voted with the 7th and deciding vote a guy that has a trapping business to close the buffer zone around Denali which has been home to the Toklat Pack, a pack that has decendents going back almost 60 years. Thousands of tourists visit Alaska to see these wolves. This heavy handed anti predator mentality is a disgrace to Alaskans who have absolutely no say in this process.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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