Southern California environment news and trends

California official who killed mountain lion fires back at critics, refuses to step down

Mercer 8266

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Calif. Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom has publicly asked Richards to step down.

The growing controversy around California Fish and Game Commission president Daniel Richards killing (and reportedly eating) a mountain lion in Idaho is reaching fever pitch. With even more politicians joining the chorus for him to step down from his post, Daniels has fired back at his critics in an unapologetic letter sent to a wide range of recipients including every member of the state legislature, Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Secretary of Natural Resources.

“Do you really think a California Commissioner is actually obligated to follow California laws across these United States? Really?” So begins the letter, which is excerpted in the Huffington Post. “While I respect our Fish and Game rules and regulation, my 100 percent legal activity outside of California, or anyone else's for that matter, is none of your business. … Under your standards all Californians who enjoy gaming in Nevada are somehow ethically challenged as true Californians and should be removed from any official position.” He goes on to say that “there is ZERO chance” he would consider relinquishing his post, despite politicians and the thousands of names signed to various petitions asking him to do so.


The heat is on California official who killed cougar to step down

Robert King/Newsmakers

It was just over a week ago when we reported on the controversy swirling around Dan Richards, the president of California’s Fish And Game Commission, after he posed with a cougar he’d just killed in Idaho. The initial outrage of animal activists, environmentalists and the U.S. Humane Society is now growing in political circles.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom has officially asked Richards to resign from his post in a letter.

“While not in California at the time, your actions call into question whether you can live up to the calling of your office. I do appreciate that you did nothing illegal in Idaho, but it is clear that your actions do not reflect the values of the people of California,” Newsom said in the letter to Richards. “Your continued presence on the Commission is a distraction from those important issues. As such, I am prevailing on your sense of civic service to respectfully request you resign, effective immediately, so we can move on to the pressing issues facing our great state.”


Controversy: California FGC President kills mountain lion in Idaho

Mountain lion head shot

ltshears and julielangford/Wikimedia Commons

A photograph of an adult mountain lion.

Dan Richards, the current president of California’s Fish and Game Commission president, is in a whirlwind of controversy after a photo was released showing him posing with a dead mountain lion he killed in Idaho. While hunting mountain lions is illegal here in California, hunting the big cats is allowed in Idaho.

Even though the hunt was perfectly legal in Idaho, it has still generated plenty of outrage here in California with the picture, which Richards shared with the Western Outdoor News, who originally published the photo, according to The California Majority Report. They've released a scathing editorial (along with the offending photo, so please proceed with caution) calling for California Governor Jerry Brown to replace Richards, also stating that he’s opposed the Marine Life Protection Act in the past. The U.S. Humane Society has posted the picture to their Facebook page, suggesting that users "drop a (polite) email to the folks at the Fish and Game Commission and ask for a new president."