Wolf Song of Alaska News

Vitamin Democracy!  Board of Game, Act II

The Mudflats / April 23, 2010

It’s time for some Vitamin Democracy – your regular dose of that which you must do, and will pay off big in the end in keeping our state healthy.

We all recall Sean Parnell’s last nomination to the Alaska Board of Game. The wolf skinning, trap company owning, commerical tanner who thinks that the sin of Adam and Even and their clothing choices gives humans divine cover when we eliminate predators went down in a giant ball of flame and was rejected by the Legislature.  Kudos to all legislators who took a stand on this nomination that was controversial even to those who favor active predator control.

So, what now?
Governor Parnell must now appoint another candidate.  In the coming days or weeks, the governor will make an announcement.  There are many candidates, but one of them stands out as a shining star – Vic Van Ballenberghe.
Van Ballenberghe’s nomination would put an incredibly qualified candidate on the Board who would provide balance and diversity on the Board of Game.  His resume is impressive to say the least.
He holds a B.S., M.S. and PhD degrees in biology and wildlife management.

He has lived in Alaska since 1974 and worked five years for the Department of Fish and Game as a research wildlife biologist and statewide furbearer biologist.  He then worked twenty years as a research wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service.  In these jobs he conducted field studies on moose and wolves in the Glennallen, Cordova and Denali National Park areas.  He has published over 100 technical papers on the results of these studies, and wrote popular articles in journals such as National Geographic.

He retired from government service in 2000 and has been self-employed as a wildlife biologist since then.  He has continued his long-term studies of moose in Denali National Park from 2000 to the present.  He published a book on moose in 2004 and have written many articles on wildlife management issues.

He previously served on the Board of Game three times, 1985-1988, 1996 and 2002.  In the interim, he attended many Game Board meetings and provided written and oral testimony on various proposals before the Board.

He is a lifelong hunter and has held hunting licenses in various states every year since 1959.  During that time he has hunted game every year up to and including 2009.  He currently holds an Alaska permanent lifetime hunting, fishing and trapping license issued to seniors.

Van Ballenberghe says:
“With a PhD. in wildlife management and extensive work experience in that field, I have always supported management based on sound science and established conservation principles. My early research on predator-prey relationships among wolves, bears, moose and caribou formed part of the foundation for many of the management programs implemented in Alaska since the late 1970s.  My service on the Game Board and input to the Board after my terms expired contributed to application of sound science and drew attention to the need to base management decisions on research results.
I believe I can fairly represent a wide diversity of interests on the Board ranging from those who hunt and trap to those who value wildlife viewing.  As a resident of Anchorage, I can represent others who live here by being available to them and receptive to their concerns.  Anchorage, Alaska’s largest population center, currently has no one on the Game Board.”

Now that’s a candidate.
What is needed now are your phone calls and emails of support for Vic.  Remember that these appointments are for those who will represent all the people of Alaska.

Will Governor Parnell listen to the Legislature’s call for a qualified, non-extremist candidate?  Or will he continue to “pull a Palin” and present another controversial appointment?

Your voices made a difference in keeping the wrong man out. Now raise them again to get the right one in.

Tell the powers that be how you feel:
jason.hooley@alaska.gov – The Director of Boards and Commissions
governor@alaska.gov; – Governor Sean Parnell
susan.bell@alaska.gov; – Special Assistant, State of Alaska
craig.campbell@alaska.gov – Lt. Governor Craig Campbell


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