It took four months after we initially reported it, but the California Fish and Game Commission removed its president yesterday after he was widely criticized for killing a mountain lion in Idaho.
The Associated Press reports that Dan Richards was stripped of his title after the commission met in Ventura, California. Hunting mountain lions is banned in California, but it’s legal in Idaho and other states. Conservationists were appalled when photos of Richards holding a dead mountain lion surfaced this past April.
Richards, however, was not cowed by the commission’s decision.
“I was fully aware today would be my last day as the president, but it’s not my last day on God’s green earth,” Richards said to the AP after the unanimous vote to replace him with member Jim Kellogg.
“Californians have twice voted in a resounding fashion to protect mountain lions in our state, and his flagrant flaunting of his disagreement with the electorate put him out of sync with California,” said Jennifer Fearing to the AP, state director of the Humane Society of the United States. “We’re glad to see the commission take action.”
Richards had killed the mountain lion at the Flying B Ranch in Idaho. This typically costs $6,800 per hunter, but Richards hunting trip was free, thus violating California State law. He repaid the lodge after an ethics complaint was filed against him.
Thanks to Richards’s hubris, the commission has changed the rules that give the Fish and Game presidency to the most senior member of the commission. From now on, the president will be selected by a majority vote.