Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

The heat is on California official who killed cougar to step down

Robert King/Newsmakers

It was just over a week ago when we reported on the controversy swirling around Dan Richards, the president of California’s Fish And Game Commission, after he posed with a cougar he’d just killed in Idaho. The initial outrage of animal activists, environmentalists and the U.S. Humane Society is now growing in political circles.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, California’s Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom has officially asked Richards to resign from his post in a letter.

“While not in California at the time, your actions call into question whether you can live up to the calling of your office. I do appreciate that you did nothing illegal in Idaho, but it is clear that your actions do not reflect the values of the people of California,” Newsom said in the letter to Richards. “Your continued presence on the Commission is a distraction from those important issues. As such, I am prevailing on your sense of civic service to respectfully request you resign, effective immediately, so we can move on to the pressing issues facing our great state.”

Newsom is not alone. As reported in the Mercury News, 40 Democratic State Assembly sent Richards a letter of their own asking for his resignation. A similar letter is now circulating around the state Senate.

Still, Richards has found support from hunting advocacy groups. According to the Mercury News story, some hunting and fishing groups “are urging their members to turn out en masse at the next Fish and Game Commission meeting, which will be held March 7 in Riverside.”