UPDATE: We have some great news! Global Animal readers have helped us spread the word about California’s irresponsible Fish and Game Commission President Dan Richards, and your strong voices of opposition have yielded results. Senator Fran Pavley sent out an announcement yesterday in which she states that she decided to sign a letter asking for the resignation of Mr. Richards.
The Senator wrote, “Although Mr. Richards’s hunting activity took place in Idaho, where the hunting of mountain lion is legal, I feel strongly that Mr. Richards showed bad judgment in this situation. I chose to sign on to and circulate a letter, along with a group of other legislators, asking for Mr. Richards resignation because I not only think he displayed poor judgment in shooting a mountain lion in Idaho, but I am also concerned with his commitment to managing the state’s resources in a way that protects wildlife. Since his appointment, Richards has consistently voted against some important policies and regulations, including: opposing the regional plans for the implementation of the Marine Life Protection Act, and his opposition to broadening the ban on the use of nontoxic ammunition – designed to protect the endangered California condor.”
The announcement also mentions that if Dan Richards still refuses to resign, another letter has been sent to Governor Brown, by speaker John Perez and Assembly member Hueso, 79th District, asking that Richards not be reappointed to his post. We thank all Global Animals for your work and commitment to this issue.
Sonia Horon, Global Animal
Many media outlets exposed the cougar incident, resulting in a wave of criticism. An official complaint was sent to the state’s ethics commission on the amount of money Richards paid to hunt and kill the mountain lion. In a letter published in Mercury News, Richards fired back to state lawmakers who asked for his dismissal, writing, [quote]”While I respect our Fish and Game rules and regulations, my 100 percent legal activity outside of California, or anyone else’s for that matter, is none of your business.”[/quote]
So let’s try to wrap our head around this. Richards, a government-appointed civil servant whose salary Californians pay, and whose job it is to be a responsible steward of wildlife, believes that him killing a mountain lion is none of our business. Clearly, we have a problem.
Richards’ escapade might not have been as legal as he would like us to believe. While the hunting of cougars is permitted in the state of Idaho, accepting any gift exceeding the value of $420 dollars as a state employee is not. And it seems that Richards may have done just that when he allegedly accepted a guided hunting tour, which runs at the price of $6,800, for free. There’s a developing pattern here for blatant disregard of California and its laws.
Richards, who seems to enjoy media attention almost as much as slaughtering wildlife, stated on a radio show that there is “zero” chance of him stepping down from his appointed post. Therefore we must take it in our hands and remove this out-of-touch-with-California man. Please continue your inspirational activism by contacting California legislators until this guy is no longer in office.
Contact Jared Huffman – Chairman of Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee
P.O. Box 942849, Room 3120
Sacramento, CA 94249-0006