Legislators Demand Resignation of California Fish & Game Warden Who Killed Lion
The President of the California Fish and Game Commission, Dan Richards, whose mandate it is to protect native species, killed a mountain lion in Idaho and posed grinning with the carcass. It has been against the law in California to hunt mountain lions since 1990 so Richards is reported to have paid about $7000 to hunt this cat.
Today, outraged by this behavior, 40 members of the California State Assembly, led by Assembly-member Ben Hueso, called for Richards' resignation in a letter. In addition to expressing their outrage in his exercise judgment and resultant behavior, the lawmakers went on to say
"Your actions have raised serious questions about whether you respect the laws of the people of California and whether you are fit to adequately enforce those laws. Without the proper credibility to hold such an important representative position as the one you hold, you can only succeed at one outcome, eroding the public's confidence and trust in their government."
The question as to why, knowing how provocative this would be in a state where voters passed such protections, Richards would publicize his actions and flaunt his "trophy" remains unanswered. The question as to whether he can remain the symbolic guardian of California's wildlife should be answered soon by the California legislature.
"I'm glad it's legal in Idaho," said Richards.