A former wildlife biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will apply his 34 years of ADF & G knowledge to a seat on the Board of Game. Kodiak’s Larry Van Daele recently accepted Governor Bill Walker’s appointment to the seven-member committee.
He says he once gave recommendations to the Board of Game as an ADF & G employee and now he’ll be “on the other side of the table.”
He says, during his time with the department, he’d mostly been based out of Kodiak, but had also been in Dillingham for eight years and spent some time in Anchorage as a regional supervisor for the southern part of the state.
“So, having the experience with the bureaucracy, having the experience of working with most of the animals in the state either through research or surveys, and having the experience both in rural and urban parts of Alaska, I think that’s probably what helped me in getting this position.”
Van Daele says the Board of Game has three often-controversial responsibilities. Mainly: predator control, balancing state and federal claims on land and resources, and allocating those resources between residents and non-residents. He says he sees his new role almost as an obligation.
“I feel that the state has been fantastic to me and my family and the career that I’ve had and the experiences I’ve had, and now that I’m retired, I’d like to give back with some of those. The other thing that motivates me is here in Kodiak we try really hard to get along with each other, it’s kind of that island mentality of sharing, and I’d like to export that to the other parts of the state so that they can see that compromise is not a bad word, sharing is not a bad word.”
Van Daele replaces Kip Fanning from Yakutat, who stepped down from the position before the end of his term, which means Van Daele will sit on the board for roughly a year and a half instead of the usual three years.
Van Daele’s first commitment as a Board of Game member is a 10 day meeting in Fairbanks on the Interior/Northeast Arctic Region. He says in preparation he’s read 800 pages of comments on the various proposals the board will hear through Saturday.