ALSO, BEN MULLIGAN, EDDIE GRASSER TAPPED FOR KEY POSITIONS
Popular talk show host Rick Rydell, whose legal surname is Green, is joining the Department of Fish and Game as a special assistant to Commissioner Douglas Vincent-Lang.
Green is part of a trio of top appointments announced today that include Ben Mulligan as deputy commissioner, and Eddie Grasser as Director of the Division of Wildlife.
“These are talented individuals who will play integral roles as the department renews its focus on putting food on the plates of Alaskans, protecting and maintaining the state’s management authority, building dialogue and trust, and ensuring that the department is contributing to the economy and well-being of our citizens,” said Vincent-Lang.
Green ended his long talk show career this morning, signing off for the last time from his drive-time slot on Anchorage station 650 KENI. He began his radio career at age 16 in Billings, Montana, changing his last name to Rydell to avoid confusion with his father, who also was also a radio personality. Green is an avid outdoorsman, hunter, fisherman, and author of books and articles. Since his teenage years, he has almost never been without a radio show somewhere in the Northwest.
Green will be charged with outreach to user groups and will work closely with the state’s hunters and fishers to improve communication and build trust.
He is a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, a member of the Alaska Outdoor Council and a former hunting and fishing guide. He served on the Fish and Game Advisory Council for three years.
“Fish and Game in Alaska has always been my passion,” said Green. “I’m thrilled to work under Gov. Dunleavy and Commissioner Vincent-Lang to work to restore trust in the department, build communication and serve the public.”
Ben Mulligan is the new deputy commissioner of Fish and Game, effective Jan. 3.
Mulligan was a legislative liaison for Fish and Game during the Parnell Administration. He ran his own consultancy and is leaving the Alaska Chamber of Commerce this month, where he serves as vice president.
As deputy commissioner, Mulligan will oversee statewide fisheries and wildlife regulatory and management issues. He will also act as chief of staff to the commissioner.
Mulligan brings to his new role a long, successful history in the business community, working closely with lawmakers and on fisheries-related issues. Prior to his five years at the department, he worked for then-Rep. Bill Stoltze in a variety of positions including chief of staff. He earned his B.S. in biology with a fisheries emphasis from the University of Wyoming.
“I have appreciated the complexity and importance of fish and wildlife issues in Alaska since I started work at my first fisheries technician job in Bristol Bay,” said Mulligan. “The department is full of Alaskans who love their jobs and the resource they help manage. I look forward to working on those issues with them once again on behalf of the commissioner and all Alaskans.”
Eddie Grasser is the new director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation effective Dec. 26. He’s returning to the department after more than 12 years away.
Grasser has worked on issues and activities related to wildlife and wildlife conservation for more than 50 years. He spent five years as chief of staff for the Alaska State Legislature House Resources Committee before opening Grassroots Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in natural resources advocacy work. Grasser has been vice-president of Safari Club International since 2013.
He has played active roles with the Alaska Outdoor Council, the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Federation and other outdoor groups. In addition to his long history advocating for wildlife conservation, Grasser acted as special assistant to the commissioner of ADF&G from 2005 to 2006.
“I look forward to working with everyone and helping the division provide stronger conservation measures that will benefit all Alaskans,” said Grasser.