by Randy King
It's legal to hunt a lot of game in Idaho, so when people from out of state decide they want to come to Idaho and hunt, it is not normally an issue. People from around the world come to hunt elk, deer, moose, bear, wolf and mountain lions. However, it is not legal to hunt mountain lions in California. And that has gotten California Fish and Game director Dan Richards into a lot of hot water back home, where California Dems are calling for his resignation as wildlife chief of the Golden State.
Senior advocate Jim Metropulos published the following reaction regarding Richards' take in Idaho:
“We believe that Mr. Richards’ actions have shown that he cannot effectively serve, especially as president, on the Commission. His actions, while legal in Idaho, show utter contempt for Californians that he has sworn to serve. Should Mr. Richards fail to heed the Assembly’s request to resign, Sierra Club California urges the Legislature to remove him by passing a resolution dismissing him. While the governor appoints the members of Commission, only the Legislature may remove them. 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 Assembly member Ben Hueso for his leadership and for calling other legislators’ attention to Mr. Richards’ actions.”
Richards has not been taking the criticism lightly. He wrote a letter to the Sierra Club of California in which he said: “My 100-percent legal activity outside of California, or anyone else's for that matter, is none of your business.” He went on to say: “And so we're perfectly clear, this hunt was not a high-fence hunt, we didn't use 4-wheel drive trucks, snow machines or ATVs to chase the cat, I did not use a high-powered rifle with a scope at 300 yards and we did dine on mountain lion for dinner, all contrary to so many erroneous reports.”
He wrapped up his letter with a final jab at the legislators: "In the meantime, I will continue to hunt and fish wherever I please."