Because I took up this banner, I feel like I ought to follow it through. The furor over Fish and Game Commissioner, Dan Richards, hunting and killing an Idaho mountain lion seems to be settling a little bit. Folks are moving on to other things, although I can assure you that the forces aligned against Mr. Richards (and against hunting) are not dropping the issue just yet. I’ll ask any concerned California sportsmen to keep an eye on this, and keep voicing your support for Richards in this issue.
Meanwhile, Mr. Richards has issued his official response to the critics. In a letter penned on Tuesday, Richards addressed the CA General Assembly… specifically Assemblyman Ben Hueso (D – San Diego) who has taken the lead in the calls for his resignation. Along with Lt. Governor Gavin Newsome, 40 of the 80 members of the assembly called for Richards to resign, under the really whacked-out argument that his legal hunt in Idaho showed a lack of respect for California law. Huh? Is it any wonder that California has such a screwed up public image with folks from other states?
In short, Richards tells the Assembly and his other critics to go pound sand. Here’s the last part of his letter.
I would suggest the Legislature stop cutting the Fish and Game Departments budget every year while increasing the demands upon it. This lack of concern for the resources we manage, the Wardens who are put in harm’s way daily, and Department and Commission employees who are over-burdened and under-funded is shameful.
In the meantime, I will continue to hunt and fish wherever I please, as I have always done, ethically, licensed and proudly associating with the true conservationists who daily fund, protect, enjoy and enhance our bountiful resources while not trying to limit others enjoyment of same.
There is ZERO chance I would consider resigning my position as President of the California Fish and Game Commission and it is my sincere hope that you and your colleagues reassess your request and instead work positively with our Commission and Department for the betterment of the resources we’re entrusted to manage.
I’ll lift a glass to that!
Here’s a link to the entirety of Mr. Richards’s letter. It’s worth a read: Richards-Letter