Daniel W. Richards was appointed to the California Fish and Game Commission in 2008. His term is supposed to run until January 2013, however, a number of people are calling for his resignation.
Recently a hunting blog called Western Outdoor News published a photo of Richards holding a mountain lion he hunted and killed. He did so in Idaho, where mountain lion hunting is legal. It has been illegal in California since 1990. The website quoted him as saying “I’m glad its legal in Idaho.” (Source: Western Outdoor News) If you visit the blog, you have to scroll about half way down the page to see the photo of Richards with the mountain lion.
His actions were clearly a ‘sport’ kill, meaning it was done for recreation, though there isn’t anything sporting about taking down an animal that can’t shoot back. In his hunt he was also aided by local guides.
Understandably, a number of organizations have protested, and they seem to have very good ground to stand on, as an enthusiastic hunter wouldn’t be someone who would have the best interests of wildlife at heart.
Forty Democratic state Assembly members sent a letter to Richards calling for his resignation. Also, the Sierra Club issued a statement regarding the Assembly members letter saying they support removal, “We do not have any confidence in Mr. Richards’ ability to be involved in setting policy or making decisions regarding the management of California’s fish and wildlife resources or protecting California’s endangered species. We thank Assemblymember Ben Hueso for his leadership and for calling other legislators’ attention to Mr. Richards’ actions.” (Source: Sierra Club California)
An online petition to remove Richards is available on Care2.
Mr. Richards is a hunter, member of the National Rifle Association and Republican. He was appointed by former Governor Schwarzenegger.
Image Credit: Public Domain, PD-USGov-USDA