Posted by: shannynmoore | March 23, 2010

“…Don’t Know Much About Biology…”

39 former Alaska State Wildlife Biologists representing 760 years of experience between them, signed onto a letter to Commissioner Denby Lloyd and Governor Sean Parnell, protesting the appointment of Palin-crony Corey Rossi to the Director of Wildlife Conservation at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Rossi not only does not have an advanced degree, he doesn’t have a biology degree.  In fact, Corey Rossi doesn’t have a degree at all…His experience?  GOPHER CHOKING!

Here is the  letter:

March 20, 2010

Denby Lloyd, Commissioner

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

P.O. Box 25526

Juneau, Alaska 99802-5526

Dear Commissioner Lloyd:

We the undersigned are all former biologists or supervisors for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Wildlife Conservation, and we have a life-long commitment to Alaska and its wildlife. Collectively, our service on behalf of the state of Alaska represents more than 760 years of department experience.

We are deeply concerned about the direction the Division is heading in managing Alaska’s wildlife resources. Those concerns have been heightened by the recent appointment of Mr. Corey Rossi as Director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation.  Mr. Rossi appears to be a single issue advocate who lacks the education background necessary for an entry-level biologist position with the Division.  A background with federal animal control does not qualify Mr. Rossi to lead an organization of professional wildlife biologists, research scientists, biometricians, and other wildlife professionals.  An effective director must have sufficient background and scientific training to command the respect of these staff and to ensure that wildlife management is based on a foundation of sound science.

We are concerned that this high-profile leadership change is a signal that professional management will be replaced by a simplistic abundance management model where maximum production of wild game meat is the State of Alaska’s single, overriding objective (as articulated in Mr. Rossi’s Compass article in the Anchorage Daily News on Feb. 21st, 2009).  Science, rather than politics, should be the guiding philosophy of professional leadership which should also include appropriate academic training and professional experience.  Intensive management is only part of the responsibility of the Division of Wildlife Conservation, and an effective Director must also be able to lead the Division in other matters such as habitat protection, biodiversity conservation, endangered species management, and watchable wildlife.

This appointment marks a departure from the standard of science-based management for which the Department has always been recognized.  We believe this appointment will erode staff morale, result in resignations, reduce broad public support for state wildlife management, and potentially jeopardize some wildlife resources that the division manages for all citizens of the state.  We urge you to keep the science of wildlife management separate from the politics of wildlife management.  The science should be reserved to a professional staff with appropriate technical training, and the latter reserved to a politically appointed Game Board.

In summary, we do not have confidence in the new leadership of the Division of Wildlife Conservation and urge you to reconsider this decision.  We would appreciate a written response to our concerns.


Warren Ballard, Research Biologist 17 years * Pam Bruce,  Wildlife Biologist & Refuge Manager 10 years *  Don Calkins,  Marine Mammal Research Biologist 25 years * John Coady, Research Biologist & Regional Supervisor 32 years  * Jim Faro,Area Biologist & Management Coordinator 33 years * Kathy Frost, Marine Mammal Research Biologist 25 years * John Hechtel, Management Biologist 23 years * Grant Hilderbrand, Research Biologist & Regional Supervisor 10 years * Jeff Hughes,Nongame Biologist & Regional Supervisor 20 years * Loyal Johnson, Area Biologist 23 years * Mark Kirchhoff, Wildlife Biologist 10 years * Matt Kirchhoff, Research Biologist 23 years * David Klein,Research Biologist 4years (5 years w/ Alaska Game Commission) * Jack Lentfer, Research Biologist & Regional Supervisor 13 years * Lloyd Lowry, State Marine Mammals Coordinator 25 years * Colleen Matt, Land and & Information Coordinator 16 years * Herb Melchior, Management Biologist & Refuge Manager 20 years * Sterling Miller, Research Biologist 21 years * SuzAnne Miller, Biometrician 20 years * Bob Nelson, Area Biologist 20 years * Tom Paul, Federal Aid Coordinator 20 years * Harry Reynolds, Research Biologist 33 years * John Schoen, Research Biologist & Research Coordinator 20 years * Karl Schneider, Research Coordinator 25+ years * Chuck Schwartz, Research Biologist & Research Coordinator 21 years * Dick Sellers, Area Biologist 25 years * Roger Smith,Area Biologist 26 years * Walt Smith, Research & Management Biologist 25 years * Derek Stonorov, Refuge Technician 10 years * Nancy Tankersley, Nongame Biologist 20 years * Ward Testa, Research Biologist 8 years * Dan Timm,Management Biologist, Management Coordinator, Regional Supervisor 20 years * Jay Ver Hoef, Biometrician, 14 years * Vic Van Ballenberghe, Research Biologist & State Furbearer Biologist 5 years * Bob Weeden, Research Biologist 10 years * Jack Whitman,Area Biologist, Nongame Biologist 26 years * Ken Whitten, Research Biologist & Research Coordinator 24 years * John Wright, Management & Research Biologist 24 years * E. L. “Butch” Young, Area Biologist 13 years


READ Commissioner Denby Lloyd’s response to 760 collective years of wildlife biology field experience:

Schoen_WC biologists 3-23-10_denby

Time to contact Commissioner Denby Lloyd and tell him how you feel!

Here is Commissioner Lloyd’s State website

Commissioner Lloyd’s office  number: 907.465.4100

email Commissioner Lloyd:

email Corey “CAN-DO-Get ‘Er Done” Rossi:

Here is Governor Parnell’s State website.

Contact Governor Sean Parnell

Governor Parnell’s office number: 907.465.3500

email Governor Parnell:



  1. that’s fantastic! thanks for posting this, shannyn.

  2. Thanks Shannyn. This is much like how Palin got her job on the Oil and Gas Commission. Hopefully this joker will find that he’s out of his league before causing too much harm.

  3. Shannyn, didn’t a team of scientist write to Palin along these very same lines? I hope Parnell is getting bombarded from all the tourism board regarding the money they are losing. And I think slaughtering an entire wolf pack constitutes a lot of harm.

  4. And didn’t I see somewhere that Rossi listed Palin’s parents as references?

  5. SoCalWolfGal: I think I read that Sarah’s parents were at the top of his list of references.

  6. “[Rossi already] commands the respect of his staffers…”

    Well sure because he’s the one holding the gun 😛

  7. Lloyd’s response is embarrassing and a slap in the face of all the concerned professional scientists. Who bought him off?

    Rossi a Director? Talk about unqualified!

    Comprehensive wildlife management includes much more than slaughtering animals.

    Inhumane killing of predators for trophy game farm hunting is not wildlife management.

    Negative interference with delicate ecosystems and natural balance for greed is not wildlife management.

    His mentality on wildlife is not into the unbiased methodical data collection or analysis needed for sound science based wildlife management.

    In the long term he will be detrimental in this position for all Alaskan users, including hunters, subsistence users and naturalists.

    Short term and long term Rossi will be detrimental to all wildlife and Alaska as we know and love it.

    Thanks to the concerned scientists for standing up for the wildlife and for all Alaskan users.

    All hunting and trapping of fur bearing animals should end!

    Mother Nature is the ultimate wildlife manager. Honor her.

  8. I want to be an astronaut because of my love of stars. In a Palin, Parnell and Lloyd world, it can be done.

    Joe-Six-Pack Real Americans for the Alaskan Space Program!

  9. You can be sure they will get an ear full of my understanding of their %#@@*())^%$%&**&%$#@crap. I worked with F&G a few years and know how much research goes into evaluating any species. These folks think a &#*$$(_**&^homey is ok to steer the game plan. They got a *$@#!(&+% thing comin. Now where the hell is the rest of my Damital?

  10. This isn’t surprising, Parnell’s speeches on wildlife management always drive at the point of “packing more meat in peoples’ freezers” and in my limited experience with ADF&G it was pretty apparent that only programs that were geared towards making money were of any “real” value to Denby and his subordinates. Palin used her time in office to load the Board of Wildlife with harvest happy members who had no appreciation for balance or science based management, and those biologists who spoke out on the behalf of science and reason found their careers in the cross hairs from Denby himself. The legislature is as much to blame here as anyone, they rolled over and unanimously supported Denby’s appointment and have failed to take seriously their deliberative role in approving member of the Board of Wildlife.

  11. As someone from the lower 48 – it looks to me like Sarah is still running things….from beyond the grave….so to speak….

  12. Lloyd is a boil on Alaska’s behind.
    Time to get rid of him.
    Remember Governor Parnell added him to useless Rural Subcabinet board… this guy is gonna help solve issues in the bush?

    Wanna-be-next-governor types need to be evaluated for the company they keep -starting now.
    Governor Parnell’s acceptance of Denby Lloyd in a position so very important to the whole state has cemented MY opposition to Parnell.

  13. I wish them the best of luck with this endeavor. Here in Wisconsin we have totally gone to chosing the leaders of the various State Agencies based on who they know, not WHAT they may know. As a 20 year State Employee it is very frustrating watching the natural resources of our state be ignored due to politicians and lawyers crying the loudest and thus getting their way over what is actually in codes and statutes.
    I hope Alaska can nip this issue in the bud now instead of letting it slowly destroy all their state agencies.
    Love the blog Shannyn!!

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