by Lorien Nettleton ~ January 13th, 2012
The director of Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Wildlife Conservation, Corey Rossi has resigned, effective immediately. Rossi was recently charged with 12 counts of illegal bear hunting from an event in 2008, when Rossi was a licensed guide. A report from the Alaska State Wildlife Troopers says Rossi aided two non-residents in the killing of three black bears in the Susitna Valley, and then lied on reports to the state, claiming that he had killed the bears and that the non-residents had been unsuccessful.
Rossi was appointed to Fish and Game by Sarah Palin shortly after the hunt in question. In December 2008 Rossi was hired as Assistance Commissioner of Abundance Management, a newly created position. In 2010 Rossi was promoted to Director of Wildlife Conservation and drew criticism from former wildlife biologists. According to the Alaska Dispatch, 53 retired wildlife biologists signed a letter calling for a reconsideration of the appointment in 2010.
Under Rossi’s direction, Fish and Game expanded predator control measures including aerial wolf hunting and controlling bear populations using controversial methods such as snaring.
Dale Rabe, deputy director, has been appointed acting director.