Calif. Wildlife Official: ‘Zero Chance’ I’ll Resign

Feb 29, 2012 3:44pm
abc dan richard hunting lion thg 120222 wblog Calif. Wildlife Official: Zero Chance Ill Resign

                                                                                                                                    (Image Credit: ABC)

The California Fish and Wildlife Commission president fired back at critics who demanded his resignation after a photo surfaced of him posing with a dead mountain lion.

Hunting the creatures has been against the law in California since 1990. Dan Richards, however, shot the animal in Idaho, where hunting the cats is legal.

“Do you really think a California commissioner is actually obligated to follow California laws across these United States? Really?” Richards wrote to Assemblyman Ben Hueso in a letter posted on the Sierra Club’s website.

At least 40 legislators and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco, have called on Richards to resign.

“Your actions raise serious questions about whether you respect the laws of the people of California and whether you are fit to adequately enforce those laws,” the Assembly Democrats wrote to Richards in a Feb. 24 letter, the Mercury News reported.

Prop. 117, which banned the hunting of mountain lions, also made it illegal for residents to bring dead mountain lions into the state.

In the letter, Richards also tried to correct “erroneous reports” about his Idaho hunting excursion.

“We didn’t use 4 wheel drive trucks, snow machines or ATVs to chase the cat, [and] I did not use a high powered rifle with a scope at 300 yards,” he said.

But he did admit to dining on mountain lion meat for dinner.

The California legislature has the power to remove Richards with a majority vote.

Richards did not respond to ABCNews.com’s request for an interview.

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