Dunleavy names new Alaska Fish and Game chief

There’s a new person in charge of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The governor has tapped Doug Vincent-Lang to be the acting head of Fish and Game. The announcement came Monday afternoon just hours after Mike Dunleavy was sworn in.

Vincent-Lang is a former state fisheries biologist who rose to be the state’s environmental species coordinator during the Parnell administration. More recently he served as director for the Division of Wildlife Conservation. In that job, he urged the federal government to remove both the Steller sea lion and humpback whale from the endangered species list.

He replaces Sam Cotten, a former state House speaker, who was appointed by Gov. Bill Walker in 2014.

The agency’s deputy commissioner and several division directors were also dismissed Monday by the new administration. Successors haven’t been named.

As recently as last year, Vincent-Lang was a director on the Resource Development Council.

Vincent-Lang will service as acting commissioner. The Board of Fisheries and Board of Game will nominate candidates for a permanent appointment during its joint meeting in March.

The Legislature must ratify commissioner-level appointments.