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Fish and Game panel chief under fire for killing mountain lion

February 28, 2012 | 10:19 am

Photo: California Lt. governor Gavin Newsom. Credit: Chris Carlson/Associated Press. For Dan Richards, president of the California Fish and Game Commission, the photo on an outdoor blog was evidence of a successful hunt. It shows Richards beaming as he holds on tight to a mountain lion, its head hanging and massive paws limp.

He killed the big cat in Idaho; in California, it would have been illegal. And now, many animal advocates and political leaders -- including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom -- are saying the photo is proof that Richards needs to resign.

"While not in California at the time, your actions call into question whether you can live up to the calling of your office," Newsom wrote to Richards, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "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."

Now there is blowback to the blowback, with bloggers for Western Outdoor News, the publication that originally wrote about Richards' hunt, challenging those pushing for Richard's ouster.

Western Outdoor News first reported on Richards' hunt earlier this month, saying he traveled "deep into the wicked terrain of Idaho’s Flying B Ranch to fulfill a long-held goal."

“It was the most physically exhausting hunt of my lifetime," Richards told the publication.
"Eight hours of cold weather hiking in very difficult terrain. I told the guides I appreciated the hard work. They were unbelievably professional, first class all the way."

He was asked about the moratorium, and Richards replied without hesitation: “I’m glad it’s legal in Idaho.”


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-- Rick Rojas

Photo: California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press