Wolf Song of Alaska News

“The Cora and Corey Show“ --- The Unqualified Leading the Untrained in Alaska Fish and Game

Rudy Wittshirk / AK Voices / Anchorage Daily News / March 23, 2011

Rudy Wittshirk

Reader Comments:  http://community.adn.com/?q=adn/node/156366

Craig Medred has written a well-researched column in which he questions the qualifications and claims made for young Cora Campbell and outlines her lack of education, training and experience for the job of heading of up the Alaska Department of Fish and Game---“Resume Inflation Won't Help Acting Fish and Game Commissioner” - Craig Medred / Alaska Dispatch / December 28, 2010.

Wayne Heimer’s rebuttal to the Medred article, “Parnell’s Choice Threatens Anti-Management Legacy” (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - January 1, 2011) apparently outlines the thinking of the “regressives” currently running Fish and Game---as interpreted by this former employee.

Don’t trust “unreliable sources” like “ex-Wildlife Division progressives defending their legacy,” says Fish and Game apologist, Wayne Heimer---an apparent reference to the 30 or more real wildlife biologists who opposed the appointment of Corey “Pest Control“ Rossi to his post as “Wildlife Division Director.” Mr. Heimer also refers to “Audubon…progressives”---apparently meaning any current or former Fish and Game employees who even bother to question uncontrolled predator control in any way, shape or form.

According to Mr. Heimer, “Ms. Campbell appears to be a competent administrator with competent assistants in Deputy Commissioner for Wildlife Craig Fleener and Wildlife Division Director Corey Rossi. These guys are having a tough time dealing with leftover, contract-protected progressives recruited by commissioners and directors who didn’t respect their constitutional mission. Ms. Campbell and her staff deserve a chance to fix it. Gov. Parnell deserves the appreciation and respect of those who revere the Alaska Constitution. Others can join Audubon or The Center for Biological Diversity and hope for a less-assertive administration next time.”

To fully comprehend Mr. Heimer’s utterances you will need the codes to decode all his coded references:
For instance, “anti-management” apparently refers to those game stewards who would actually apply science before they start shooting, snaring, strangling and gassing every wild predator in sight---and also who would apply scientific methods in order properly evaluate the results.

“Management,” of course, means killing wolves and bears in mass numbers without actually having to bother with biology at any point in the process.

“Constitutional mission” and the self-righteous phrase, “revere the Alaska Constitution,” simply refer to the incorrect interpretation that “consumption” (code for killing wildlife) is the only valid “common use” of wildlife---despite the fact that so-called “consumption” is not even a Constitutional mandate at all! [“Consumptive priority” is a contrivance of the Alaska State Legislature---it’s not in the Alaska Constitution.]

Note that Mr. Heimer does not suggest that either Cora Campbell or Corey Rossi are actually qualified in wildlife biology. Mr. Heimer’s ideological rant cannot obscure the fact that an unqualified Cora Campbell and an untrained Corey Rossi, both put together, do not equal one competent wildlife biologist. In fact, both Cora and Corey were appointed/chosen precisely because they are uniquely unqualified as wildlife biologists---their only “qualification” being their willingness to slaughter wolves and bears along with everything else. It’s the “Cora and Corey Show.” [see my archived blog - “Wildlife And Wildlands In Alaska (part 5) - The War On Wildlife: Killing With The Palin Pest Control Posse” May 5, 2010.]

So now we have the unqualified Cora Campbell supervising the untrained Corey Rossi---but the Legislature loves them because they both shoot right straight with that snappy-sounding “abundance” slogan. Furthermore, Ms. Campbell will be distracted by the only thing she knows anything about---commercial fisheries---while the good ol’ boys keep on keepin’ on with the wolf and bear slaughter.

With their typical, dimbulb logic, members of the Alaska State Legislature---initially skeptical---have rationalized their approval thus far of this unfit Parnell/Palin appointee with the thinking that Cora Campbell’s youth will bring fresh thinking to all those middle-aged trophy hunting big game guides now inhabiting Fish and Game.

Only in the Alaska State Legislature could young and unqualified translate as “fresh thinking!“ In fact, Ms. Campbell’s youth and gender is precisely calculated to render her subordinate to, not in charge of, all those good ol’ boys who were themselves chosen to reflect the one and only ideology now prevalent in Fish and Game---killing wolves, killing bears…killing wolves and bears.

If a similar young woman were elected to the Alaska State Legislature, would those same old legislative fogies welcome her “fresh-thinking?“ I think not. All they have done is give a fake reason to appoint a Fish and Game commissioner who is simply willing to go along with the current madness of mass predator killings in order to sustain the madness of recreational overhunting in order to satisfy the commercial wildlife-killing industry which now runs Fish and Game.

Cora Campbell is a wildlife “management” true believer, which means she will bring nothing new or fresh to a thoroughly corrupted agency. In fact, this is precisely why she was chosen---to make sure nothing new ever happens except more ongoing wildlife killings. Don’t forget, the unqualified Cora Campbell is just another pick of the Palin litter---just like Governor Parnell who appointed her and the unqualified Corey Rossi---another Palin family friend.

According to her testimony in a hearing before the Alaska State Legislature, Ms. Campbell thinks there has been some success with predator control but we are not at the “abundance levels” we want to be. Which, translated, means she has no qualms about further expanding the current rage of killing wildlife in order to return the State to some prehistoric level of abundance that will never happen even if we kill every wolf and bear in Alaska. Obviously, she would never have been appointed unless she had already signed on to the true-believer, predator-killing ideology.

Cora Campbell was specifically chosen for one reason and one reason only---because she will not interfere with the trophy-guiding and other commercial interests now using State money and Alaska’s wildlife populations to subsidize the recreational hunting industry. Period! This is not at all unusual in Alaska politics, where department heads are often chosen simply for their willingness not to interfere with the political true believers and the private business and special interests already entrenched in the system.

The good ol’ boys of the Alaska State Legislature now claim that Ms. Campbell would make a swell director for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game---despite her obvious lack of qualifications---because she will bring new ideas. Why, those old phonies! They must know that political appointees as department heads are almost never intended to actually shake things up, interfere with the status quo or incite any new controversy whatsoever---much less provide “fresh thinking.” The very last thing the Governor, the Legislature and especially the trophy hunting guides who run Fish and Game want right now is “fresh thinking.” Besides, Fish and Game already claims to have all the answers. That’s what the decoded code words are saying---kill wolves, kill bears, call it “management,” mutter something about “subsistence,” promise “abundance,” declare “success” and make sure there are no uniform animal population baseline counts for comparison when they claim it is “working.”

Alaska Fish and Game is uniquely corrupted---even when compared to other State agencies---because actual members of the wildlife-killing and wildlife parts trafficking industry are directly in charge of that agency. It would be the same as if we had put Veco’s Bill Allen in charge of Alaska’s oil fields---instead of just having him hand out bribes to Alaskan politicians.

It remains to be seen if, under the direction of Cora Campbell, the Fish and Game management system can cut its ties with the commercial wildlife-killing interests; end its feuds with the feds; tell us what they actually mean by "subsistence;" curb its antipathy to compromise; and include all Alaskans in the wildlife management process without trying to jigger wildlife board and committee elections based on the single qualification of indiscriminately killing wildlife.

Cora Campbell was chosen specifically because she is young, a woman and unqualified in wildlife biology. Just like the wolf chokers and wildlife traffickers now running Fish and Game, Ms. Campbell’s appointment is designed to bring nothing but more misery to the wildlife she is supposed to be managing. And I use “managing” in the most literal and honest sense of that word.
- Rudy Wittshirk


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