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Fish and Game Commission President Shoots Mountain Lion

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The current article you are reading does not reflect the views of the current editors and contributors of the new Ecorazzi

We don’t want you to start your weekend feeling outrage, but unfortunately, that’s most likely what’s going to happen after you read this story.

The California division of the Humane Society of the United States just posted a picture of the golden state’s new Fish and Game commission president Dan Richards holding up a dead mountain lion. Since it’s illegal to shoot mountain lions in California, Richards traveled to Idaho to fulfill his blood thirst.

dan richards poses with dead mountain lion that he hunted and killed in idaho

As HSUS California points out, a mountain lion isn’t killed for food, but instead for sport.

So, how did the media get a hold of this smoking gun picture that will likely infuriate animal lovers everywhere? Richards gave it to them. The California Majority report says he sent it to the Western Outdoor News. The caption read, “Asked about California’s mountain lion moratorium, Richards didn’t hesitate. ‘I’m glad it’s legal in Idaho.'”

Richards doesn’t just stop at hunting mountain lions. He also attempts to derail efforts to protect animals. He opposed the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) and called Schwarzenegger “a forked-tongue devil” for supporting the law.

Perhaps since Richards so unabashedly opposes animal protection efforts, and takes pleasure in killing animals for sport, activists should do as HSUS suggests and unabashedly contact the California Fish and Game Commission and demand (politely) that Richards gets ousted from his position.

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  • Leticiae20

    Richard, you are going down.

  • Mark M

    Since the appointments of Commissioners are made by governor and confirmed by the legislature. And removal would be through the legislature. Why are we contacting the commission office?

  • Murderer – this man should not be in charge of any organization that involves animals!

    • MountainMan

      Get a life and stay the hell out of other peoples business. What the man did was perfectly legal. Mountain lions have to be controlled just like coyotes who kill ranchers cattle and sheep. Mountain lions prefer humans over beef. If one of those Mountain lines got a hold of your as you wouldn’t be so critical.

  • Heather

    I wonder how many predator hunters even bother to check for dens or cubs after they claim their “prize”? This is so wasteful and arrogant and utterly pointless that I can’t understand how the hell it’s still legal in 2012.

    • Crwler

      Mountain lions have their cubs in late spring or early summer. Not in the middle of the winter. That is one of the reasons hunting seasons are set for the fall and winter months.

    • Blackdogd

      Heather, first of all this is a picture of Tom, yes, a male lion. Males do not raise cubs as you suggest above. Rather, they routinely kill them in an effort to force the female lion back into heat, yes, a “wasteful and arrogant and utterly poinless” killing on behalf of the Tom. The harvest of a Tom, in many cases, actually prevents the killing of innocent cubs. As it turns out, you owe the man a beer! He’s saving lives.

  • Blandcromwell

    This is so ridiculous, hunting mountain lions where it is legal is legal for a reason. The population needs to be reduced. Leave this good hunter alone. He loves and supports wildlife!

    • vomhit


  • CAROLCgabor

    Wait, I thought this was a free country with free speach.

  • Eric Mills

    I truly don’t understand the near mass hysteria over this issue. I deplore “trophy hunting” as much as the next guy. Indeed, my team and I collected over 5,000 signatures on petitions for Prop. 17, banning mountain lion hunting in California.

    BUT WHAT COMMISSIONER RICHARDS DID WAS PERFECTLY LEGAL IN IDAHO. Nor was it a “canned hunt,” as some have stated. Not a smart political move, obviously. And yes, I think it was a deplorable thing to do. But again: IT WAS PERFECTLY LEGAL.

    The five commissioners are all appointed by the Governor. Mr. Richards was confirmed by the State Legislature. He cannot be “fired.” And we could do much worse. I’ve been attending these meetings for 20+ years. Richards is thoughtful, honest, articulate and speaks his mind, unlike some. I certainly do not always agree with his opinions or votes, but I’ve never had reason to question his integrity.

    You want worse? Outgoing commission president Jim Kellogg remains convinced that leadshot in the environment is not a problem for either condors or other wildlife, and refused to let the issue be agendized. Two weeks ago he declared the non-native and invasive striped bass a “California native species.” Say what? This exotic is a major predator of our threatened salmon and the endangered Delta smelt. Go figure.

    Some 1700 black bears are killed annually for trophies in California. And 10-20 mountain lions were slaughtered recently at the Tejon Ranch in Southern California (a DFG operation) to protect game animals such as deer and elk. Where’s the comparable outrage over THAT, pray?

    We need to get our priorities in order. Attend the commission meetings (see their website), write your legislators, get the laws changed. Mere name-calling accomplishes nothing.


    Eric Mills, coordinator

  • Jwurm

    Doesn’t the Fish and Game Commission involve hunting and fishing? Why wouldn’t a hunter be on the commission?

  • Get Real

    Sorry; how many times you city folks have seen the predation these cats do on a sheep herd in Modoc County, California. Great job Commisioner. And plus this was done in Idaho!

  • Ladydoc17

    This story is so repulsive

  • Justin

    Look I have been an animal lover for ever. But the guy went to a state that allowes hunting of mountain lions with the purchase of a tag. I am also a hunter and have hunted in Idaho, they do a hell of a job with all of their game management! Here in California, the state I love and was born in, we pay more in tags and licenses to hunt as residents than any other state and have the least amount of management and knowledge than any other state. Why is it that everyone does not understand that man has allready interupted mother nature and unless we get on the same page and manage our resources it will all go to hell. The guy played by the book. I have seen 8 lions in my life in california and have never shot a single one. They have their place, but I also know that their impact on deer and elk heards is growing. I think that all these people that spend less than 30 days a year in the woods dont get it! It will be unfortunate when the balence is broken and or some high up official’s kid is killed or hurt by a lion while hiking or camping, but that will change the minds about game management in my state.

  • Hannah

    People who are sitting there saying that he’s ‘saving lives’ I have never heard so much bull in my life, I’m sorry but if these animals are such a threat to your livestock and community, you’re government should do something to control it that doesn’t involve the slaughter of innocent animals. Conservation parks are established for a reason. The stupidity of some Americans ceases to amaze me. Poaching is wrong on every level and trying to justify it is the honestly, shocking.

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