January 03, 2009
The two new team members have significant wildlife management expertise and reflect a renewed emphasis for the department on fulfilling their mission of conserving and enhancing Alaska,s wildlife and habitat. Increased funding in the Governor,s fiscal year 2009 budget allowed the department to begin an effort to better inventory and manage key populations, especially those that are important for human use. Subsistence and recreational hunters and wildlife viewers rely heavily on healthy wildlife populations and ADF&G provides research and management to sustain and rebuild these populations to robust levels.
Valkenburg began his career with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in 1977 as a wildlife research and management biologist. He later served as Research Coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Conservation in the Interior Region until his retirement in 2003. Since then, he has been a partner and pilot in a wildlife consulting business, specializing in wildlife survey flying and wildlife research and management projects. He earned his bachelor,s degree in wildlife science from University of Maine in 1972 and his master,s degree in wildlife management from University of Alaska in 1976. He is also an experienced trapper, a hunter education instructor, and a certified range safety officer. Much of his professional work has been in wildlife surveys, population estimates, and carrying capacity analysis for key wildlife populations.
Rossi has over nineteen years of experience in professional wildlife management and currently serves as district supervisor for U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. In this role, he is responsible for planning and developing operational and technical assistance programs, developing and delivering training and outreach programs to help other agencies and the public resolve difficult wildlife issues, and maintaining cooperative relationships with businesses, other agencies, and the general public. He also serves as an assistant big game guide. He is a certified shooting instructor and the recipient of over a dozen local, state, and national awards for outstanding wildlife management accomplishments.
As Deputy Commissioner, Valkenburg will oversee the department,s functions related to wildlife, habitat, subsistence, and a variety of issues that require state and federal coordination.
As Assistant Commissioner, Rossi will be focusing upon abundance-based and active management planning and implementation for game as well as predator control activities to enhance sport fish populations.
Valkenburg replaces former Deputy Commissioner Ken Taylor, who retired in July. He will begin his service as Deputy Commissioner January 5, 2009. Rossi will be filling the assistant commissioner position beginning January 20, 2009.
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