Bad Politics: President of California Fish and Game Removed Because of Mountain Lion Controversy

Dan Richards has been removed as president of the California Fish and Game Commission.

Richards started receiving flack back in February, stemming from his out of state hunting trip in Idaho, where he legally took a mountain lion. Fellow commission members and animal activists felt Richards' trip was unethical, and a slap in the face to Californians that voted to ban mountain lion hunting (in California) in 1990. He was voted out by the five-member commission yesterday.

What followed was a long and bitter public condemning. Animal welfare groups, assembly members, and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom called on Richards to resign, but Richards said he never had any intention of doing so. He explained his point of view to the Mercury News.

"This originates from the enviro-terrorists being threatened by me," Richards said. "They see a guy who is paying attention to the issues, and who calls them out on the crap they throw out. Their involvement is important but by and large it's a farce, and I'm not afraid to call it that."

Considering that Richards broke absolutely no laws whatsoever, he may have a point. Mike Sutton of Audubon California disagrees. He stated, "The president of the commission should be someone who has the confidence of a majority of his peers."

Hey Mike, did you know Audubon was a hunter?

Jennifer Fearing, state director of the Humane Society of the United States, is also happy to see Richards go. She said, "I hope that it is the beginning of a new chapter for the Fish and Game Commission, one in which we might anticipate a commission that is reflective of all the values of Californians."

Of course not all Californians believe the way Ms. Fearing feels they should. Bill Gaines, president of the California Outdoor Heritage Alliance, is one such Californian. He said, "I think he's done a good job as president. What he did in Idaho was legal. It's unfortunate the reason why he's being removed, but it's nothing more than just symbolism by a majority of the members of the commission. At least he'll still have one of the five votes."

What's your take? Comment below.