State Fish & Game Commission Chief Under Fire For Mountain Lion Killing

SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has urged the president of the state’s Fish and Game Commission to resign in a flap over the killing of a mountain lion.

Commission president Daniel Richards shot the cougar during an Idaho hunting expedition and a photograph of him grinning and lifting the bloody carcass has been circulating on the Internet.

>>Letter From Richards On Mountain Lion Hunting (.pdf)

Conservationists and animal lovers are outraged.

Newsom on Monday joined 40 Democratic Assembly members calling for the Republican official to resign.

While legal in Idaho, hunting mountain lions has been illegal in California since voters approved Prop 117 in 1990.

The lieutenant governor wrote to Richards, saying the killing of a cougar doesn’t reflect California values and the incident is a distraction that interferes with commission issues.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Jman

    This article is missing one important item: Is hunting mountain lions legal or illegal in Idaho?

    • Stephen Williams

      It’s LEGAL in Idaho.

    • D Brumfield

      The hunting of Mountain Lions is legal in Idaho Montana , you know the right thinking states

    • carloscbs5

      You are correct and thank you for the heads up. The article has been updated. – Ed.

    • cooldude

      “While legal in Idaho, hunting mountain lions has been illegal in California since voters approved Prop 117 in 1990.”

      • C

        And now you are seeing mountain lions moving into the cities because there are so many of them in CA.

    • Mike

      While legal in Idaho, hunting mountain lions has been illegal in California since voters approved Prop 117 in 1990.

  • Joe Klein

    This is typical Ca BS. Hunting mtn lions is not only legal but sometimes necessary. The Ca notion that they are somehow sacred creatures is goofy and one of the many things that drove me out of Ca to a saner place.

    • elizabeth wagner

      glad your gone and please stay gone this is so not cool i think richards should resign if he has that much fun killing mountain lions he well shot them here and then say I was doing my job. how well we the people of ca. know the truth about that. and i think he should move out of cal. too.

    • D Brumfield

      California is being run into the ground by a bunch of libs. I can’t wait till it crashes and burns

    • Matthew

      Joe Klein: If you already left California, than why are you worried about what’s going on here ? Tell you what: you worry about your own state – and let us worry about California.

      • C

        And why are you worried about what happened Idaho?

    • Ringtail

      Glad you left CA. Good riddance.

    • joe

      hey klein glad you left ca it just of may of saved your life moron

  • Jasper Guy

    Give me a break, the very person who’s sole responsibilty is to PROTECT our resources exploits a wild animal.Question is what happened to the animal after the photo shoot?Time for Mr. Richards to consider being more responsible for
    the office and the officers that he represents.SAD…

    • AZLady

      He ate him! just sick!!!!

    • mk65

      Yes , he should be working towards managing our wildlife by biology, not politics and unfounded emotions. Great cat by the way.

      • Jasper Guy


        Your missing the point, this guy pays a bunch of money to tree a cat then shots it, how’s this a sport? He coudn’t bring bac to California so where’s it at and more importantly it’s not about hunting.

    • jclark927

      Jasper: This is the mission of the DFG copied from their website:

      “The Mission of the Department of Fish and Game is to manage California’s diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.”

      CA human population has gone from 1.5 million to 38 million since 1900. Science based, active management, including hunting to reduce and balance animal populations, is the only approach proven to work. That is “caring” for wild places and things.

  • Ken Boettcher

    Looks like you had a great hunt, in the snow is even better. I wish I knew more about how you bagged that cat. He looks like a big one. The folks in California slobbering all over themselves to force thier idea of political correctness on the rest of us have no credibility. Don’t give it a thought. I wonder if they have any idea how many lions are killed in California each year both legally with depredation permits and illegally by folks that don’t bother with a permit.
    That number is very high as the population of mountain lions has been steadily increasing as are the deer herds in the component of the predator-prey relatiionship. Good job!

  • Jake

    Sit down Gavin, and do your own job. Commish did nothing illegal, stop catering to the enviromental extremists who have no common sense, or understanding od wildlife mamgement. Why do you think we have cougars in our backyards here in the bay area? No population control measures in place with human intrusion on their teritory.

    • Matthew

      Newsom is doing his job. Calling this turkey out for who he is is a part of his job.

      • roger

        Matt, you have it backwards Newson is the turkey for trying to make this an issue which it isn’t.

  • Sean

    There is a BIG difference between hunters and Trophy hunters. The latter get’s no respect in my book.

    • heriloom apple

      Sean, is on target….I think that’s my problem with this…although I see Newsome as “trophy hunting” right now also….He has his eye on the prize (presidency) and it’s hard to get press as a Lt. Gov. Yep, if this guy went out to hunt Elk where it was legal and had a grinning picture, I wouldn’t care….because you know it would go in someone’s freezer.

  • jclark927

    This article propagates one of the more recent insults to the intelligence among those focused on natural resources: There are NO conservationists outraged at the notion of a hunter legally killing an animal and smiling in the ensuing photo. Conservationists/hunters/animal welfare groups have always been on the “wise use and management” of natural resources under credible science side of issues. Environmentalists/preservationists/animal rights groups have been on the “non-use, non-management” side of issues. The post-70’s (they did good things for a while in 70’s and prior) environmental/preservation side has lost credibility as the passage time repeatedly disproved their positions (and caught them with their hand in the cookie jar of bought science). Over the last few years, they have dealt with their credibility problem like the clever marketeers they are: started calling themselves conservationist. Conservationists see an issue and ask, “how can we help solve this?” Environmentalists, and politicians, see an issue and ask, “how can we use this?”

    All of that said this call for resignation is not about a 1990 initiative that narrowly passed in a primary with 40% voter turnout. It is about new-era fascists abuse of power to suppress opposing views — and likely to trade our natural resources to special interests. Register unaffiliated — break the one-party system in CA.

  • Sean

    He paid almost $7000 to hunt this Cat on a ranch with dogs as well- quite a “Sportsman”. I also read he was a Fly Fisherman, I’d hate to see what he’s like on the river.

    • Fred

      He probably uses a bazooka!

  • greg

    CA values??? only pseudo-intellectuals could describe a non-human entity as haveing values. These Left leaning (rooted) liberals should be more accurately described as Controlists as this Gavin led position demonstrates. Engaging in a perfectly legal activity (hunting) is no basis for resignation unless, of course, one who does not value hunting wants to try and use it as a way of eliminating someone who does value it. The Controlist position is to impose their selected values on everyone. As deaths/maulings from lions increase in CA perhaps a well regulated hunting option should be reconsidered in the near future.

    • Matthew

      greg: you say “The Controlist position is to impose their selected values on everyone”.

      Isn’t that what The Political Right does all the time ?? Like — Prop 8, Prop 209, Prop 187, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, prayers at town meetings, and so on.

      People in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones.
      Sincerely, One Proud Liberal

  • D

    for Pity Sakes people, he was legally hunting in Idaho, when he got the cougar.. He wasn’t in CA where he works….. who are we to tell him what to do on his off time! grow up

    • Matthew

      D: Wrong !!

      If you are a public official in any capacity – what you do on your personal time reflects on the office you are holding. This guy needs to go.

      • C

        He didn’t do it in CA. He didnt brake any laws I think he did it the right way. It wasn’t just a trophy hunt. He and others ate the meeat

      • D Brumfield

        He did not break any laws and if he wants to hunt out of state for mountain lion or any other big game animal, thats his right to do so. Who the f are you to tell any one what to do. This is a free country so you do your thing and we will do ours

  • Ringtail

    It’s a pity the cougar didn’t get him FIRST.

    • LOL

      It’s too bad it did not get you 1st.

      • Matthew

        LOL: Maybe we ought to hunt you, and see how you like it..

    • A democrat.

      that cat could easily take livestock. It was huge. It was legal. He was on vacation. They ate the meat. Big deal.

  • C

    What does legal hunting in Idaho have do do with his job in Ca? Give the guy a brake. I can’t suction dredge in CA because of CA laws right now but can in Oregon. Does that make me a bad person if I go to Oregon and look for gold?

    • elizabeth wagner

      gold is not a living thing. mountain lions are alive big diffrents and stay in oragon if you don’t like ca. laws

    • Matthew

      What you do in Oregon is their concern… What you do in California is ours..

      • C

        So why the concern for what he did legally in Idaho? He didn’t do it in CA.

      • Eric

        Then, by your own so-called logic, what he did in IDAHO is none of YOUR concern, is it?


  • Matthew

    a: Go back to Rush Limbaugh — this is a blue state remember ?

    • roger

      We are working on bringing sanity back to this state. Blue state values has this state red with debt.

  • Matthew

    This guy needs to resign. If he doesn’t, he should be fired.

    • C

      Why? He did nothing wrong of Illegal. It wasn’t even a trophy hunt He and others ate the meat from the cat.

      • lmao

        He and others ate the meat from the cat…. yeah, sure.

      • RT

        I’ve heard and read that mountain lion tastes good. In his book, River Horse, William Least Heat-Moon mentions eating it and liking it.


    Gavin Newsom should consider resigning because Daniel Richards didn’t do anything that is illegal and Shakespeare said it best in Macbeth, “it’s sound and fury signifying nothing as a tale told by an idiot.” Gavin Newsom recently said his job had no responsibilities and should be eliminated; thus, we should allow Mr Newsom to have his wish and let him resign now.

  • CJ

    The San Jose cops can tree a Mountain Lion and shot it dead but this guy cant go out of state and do it without someone crying about it. Sounds like a double standard to me. And for anyone who is about to say the one the cops shot in SJ was a threat to the people in the area I say bull, it was not going anywhere with the dogs they had waiting around under it they could have waited for fish and game to show up and do thier job.

  • Common Sense

    Hunting mountain lions in Idaho by anyone, resident or nonresident, is legal as long as you have the appropriate license and permit. Do individuals who work for the Fish and Game Commission have fewer rights than other individuals? Let’s not get to the point where we start pre qualifing individuals upon their application to hunt.COMMISSIONER RICHARDS HAD EVERY RIGHT TO HUNT ANYWHERE, AS LONG AS IT IS LEGAL. Thank you, Dana King, for your common sense comment at the end of the 6:00 pm newscast.

  • ptown

    Nice to see our elected officials are finally doing some serious work.

  • Terri

    Funny, he thinks he’s the big man! Let him find a new job, cleaning cages.

  • David

    Pure hypocrisy. Of all those politicians who asked for Richards’ to step down, how many of them will tender their own resignation if they ever went gambling in Reno or Las Vegas? Idaho choses to manage its wildlife differently than California and Richards also owns a cabin in Idaho where he spends a fair amount of time fishing and hunting LEGALLY, according to Idaho Fish and Game rules. It is absurd to try to condemn Richards for participating in a 100% legal activity in another state just because California has a different set of rules.

  • Marilyn

    Do you have any idea how many mountain lions have been killed by the DFG in El Dorado County this past year?- they have been killing livestock
    Gavin and CBS do your homework- its at least 5

    • D Brumfield

      How about the mountain lion in Redwood City in 2011 that had to be killed by a DFG Officer for being in the back yard of residence. As we keep building homes in the area the habitat keeps getting smaller for the lions. What will it take for these tree huggers to see that the mountain lions are incressing in population and becomming more of a danger to the public. I guess when one of the tree huggers gets eaten by a lion then they will do something about the problem.

      • elizabeth wagner

        if you live in the lions back yard you should take some precaustions and be looking for them and don’t mess with them if you get to see a wild lion alive your lucky and yes i live in there back yard

  • BB (California Bay Area)

    Fire Daniel Richards’ butt. We don’t need no grinnin’ cat killers on California’s Fish and Game Commission. If he likes hugging bloody cats so much, we don’t want to pay his salary. Out! Get him out!

    • elizabeth wagner

      he wanted the plublicty and he enjoyed the killing of the mountain lion. thats the problem he enjoys the blood and the killing. if he has a cabin in idaho he should stay there

    • AZLady

      No kidding, Get rid of him!!!

  • Bonnie

    This murderer didn’t even catch the cat, his dog did and then he shot it! I think hunting is disgusting anyway, but to leave the the California and pay to “hunt” larger endangered species in other areas and pose with them once they’re dead like trophies is just sick! Celebrating their death is just a horrible thing in general, and the fact that he takes pleasure in causing that is revolting!!!

    • Stephen Williams

      Murderer? Little strong language there. Hunting is disgusting? Sure, I suppose you’re a vegan with “California Values”.

    • Sam

      Oh my Lord, get over yourself! A murderer? Someone who legally hunts and eats the meat of the animal that was harvested? Do you eat chicken or pork or beef?? How do you think that meat gets to your table, the cows commit suicide? Even the high ‘n mighty vegans are responsible for more ‘deaths’ than us carnivores, ever read this article about “The Myth of the Ethical Vegan”:

      Our neighboring state of Nevada allows the hunting of swans (which btw are very tasty!) and California Fish and Game regulations do not allow the hunting of swans. So if somebody goes to Nevada to legally hunt swans, does that make them a ‘murderer’ and unfit to hold office in California? Fish and Game vary from state to state and every one of them makes decisions about hunting that are appropriate for their particular state.

      For thousands of thousands of year, mankind had to hunt to put meat on the table. A few wealthier ones had domesticated animals, but those have to also be slaughtered in order to put meat on the table. These days, we are getting more and more ‘removed’ from the process of putting food on the table and whether you are a meat eater or a vegeterian, animals must die so you can live. Welcome to the top of the food chain!

    • C

      Nothing wrong with going out and getting your own meat to put on the table. In fact It’s better then going to the store and buying meet from the slaughter house that someone else had to kill for you so you don’t get your hands dirty

  • bigdipper_94112

    The LT Gov has no room to talk. He should have resigned when he took another man’s wifeto bed. No morales…

  • Stephen Williams

    “California Values”??? By any twosome Newsome, I almost vomited into my cornflakes. If this guy hunted legally in another state, so what? I’m fed up with the State of Commiefornia and all of its garbage.

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