Daniel W. Richards, President of the California Fish and Game Commission Shows His Ignorance

by Larry on February 22, 2012

Dan Richards Posing with Dead Mountain Lion in Idaho

Daniel W. Richards, President of the California Fish and Game Commission, thought it was a good idea to book himself a hunt on Idaho’s Flying B Ranch to kill a Mountain Lion (illegal to hunt in California). For a mere $6,800 you too can bag one of these beautiful lions. Here is the ranch’s spiel:

“The sound a hound dog makes when running on the scent of a Lion is an experience that cannot be put into words. For those who desire a unique and fun-filled hunting experience, we offer fully-guided (2 guides per hunter) Mountain Lion hunts out of our luxurious 14,000 sq ft lodge during the months of December through March.”

“Nothing in the outdoors compares to the superior disdain in the eyes of a Mountain Lion as his gaze catches yours. Every discerning outdoorsman should meet that look, and we are the best in the business at providing you with that opportunity. Using hound dogs, snowmobiles and snowshoes, we guide you into elk and deer wintering grounds in search of a fresh kill or lion track. From here is when the chase begins and we all hope it ends at the tree!”

“The superior disdain in the eyes of a Mountain Lion!” Are you kidding me?? This is something to strive for?

This is the guy in charge of the Fish and Game Commission in our state? As president, Richards can set the commission’s agenda on a range of issues including endangered species protections, ocean fishing rules and all types of hunting regulations from rabbits to black bears. If he were to bring the dead mountain lion back to California from Idaho, he would be in violation of state law. I hope someone is checking his trophy room!

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, Richards has been hostile to protecting endangered species and has opposed marine reserves in California.

From the California Fish and Game Commission web page on Daniel Richards:

“President Daniel W. Richards, of Upland, was appointed to the Fish and Game Commission on February 14, 2008. Daniel is a graduate of West Virginia University. For the past 30 years, he has dealt in commercial real estate and real estate development. Currently he owns Coldwell Banker Commercial Inland Empire and has been one of the top 50 Coldwell Banker Commercial Brokers, worldwide.”

From the story in the Silicon Valley Mercury News:

“Meanwhile, Richards is facing more political fallout. In 2010, his former business partner was indicted, along with three other men, on charges of bribery, conflict of interest, tax fraud, tax evasion, perjury and forgery. San Bernardino County prosecutors said the indicted men worked to corrupt public officials in connection with a $102 million settlement in a land development deal.”

Why do we have a big land developer and lifelong member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in charge of managing our wildlife resources?

The Center for Biological Diversity is asking our help in getting Daniel Richards off our Fish and Game Commission.  This incident simply shows him for what he is, a wealthy land developer who enjoys killing wildlife and has very poor judgement. Is that who we want managing California’s wildlife resources?

The governor cannot remove any member of the Fish and Game Commission. However, the state Legislature can, with a simple majority vote. If this concerns you, please urge your state representative to remove Daniel W. Richards from this important post and replace him with someone who more appropriately represents the people of this state.

You can address your letter to your state representative right here. Please pass this on to anyone you know living in California that is concerned with sustaining our wildlife populations before March 1st. This commissioner does not represent my views! I hope he doesn’t represent yours!

You can read more about the California Fish and Game Commission here.

UPDATE: 3/5/2012

This is the letter from the California State Assembly members to Daniel Richards (click on photo for full sized images of these documents);


And this is Dan’s response to that letter:

Thanks Ingrid for the heads up on the letters and Mia for the link to the latest info on Richard’s “gift” of the hunt which he didn’t pay for.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Ingrid February 22, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Larry, thanks so much for drawing attention to this story and its ostensible conflict of interest. I’d heard the Mountain Lion story, but didn’t know about the real estate development connections. Nice double whammy.

I wish I could say ranches like these are rarities, but that’s slightly off topic. As you write, this issue transcends the circumstances by virtue of what it suggests for wildlife and habitat in California, under Richards’ presidency.

(This is the second DFG controversy in the past few months. In a different context, I don’t know if you read about the recent uproar among sportsmen’s groups over Jennifer Fearing’s election to the DFG CalTip board. Jennifer’s association with the Humane Society caused, as I heard it, seven of the nine board members to resign over the appointment because they saw it as an assault on hunting to have Fearing on the board. )
Ingrid´s last post ..When the Crane Calls

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Larry February 23, 2012 at 6:13 am

@Ingrid thank you for your comment and additional information. I hadn’t heard of the uproar over the Humane Society supposedly “influencing” the DFG. They had a story in our local paper’s website on Jennifer’s appointment to the CalTip board back in December that I just read.

For those who don’t know what CalTip is, the acronym stands for “Californians Turn In Poachers and Polluters.” It is a confidential secret witness program that encourages the public to provide Fish and Game with factual information leading to the arrest of poachers and polluters. It would be wise for legal hunters to applaud this program putting themselves in a better light.

Here is a quote from the article:
“Judd Hanna, a rancher in Mill Creek in eastern Tehama County, is the vice president of the Cal-Tip Foundation board. Hanna said he supports the society’s anti-poaching efforts, and he has been hunting and fishing since he was a boy.

He said those who are worried about the influence of the Humane Society have misplaced their concern.

Irresponsible hunters who poach and violate fish and game laws make the news and give hunters an image at least as bad as one the Humane Society could conjure, he said.”

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Mia McPherson February 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Game Farms make me ill. They are all about egos. How much of a fair chase is it when animals are enclosed behind a 10 foot fence?
Mia McPherson´s last post ..Common Raven in flight

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Larry February 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm

@Mia I concur. How much of a fair chase is it when the hounds do all the work and tree the cat so a “hunter” can shoot it out of the tree. Does the phrase shooting fish in a barrel come to mind?

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Ken Billington February 24, 2012 at 3:58 am

Incredible that it’s legal to hunt such a beautiful creature. Legislation to protect wildlife and biodiversity in all forms must be introduced.

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Larry February 27, 2012 at 6:58 pm

@Ken thanks for your support. I know how hard it must be for some people to understand the killing of these incredible animals. I certainly don’t understand it.

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Ingrid March 1, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Larry, did you happen to see Dan Richards’ recent letter to the Assembly where he says there is ZERO (his caps) chance he will resign and that he will …”hunt and fish wherever [he pleases]”?
Ingrid´s last post ..The Origins of Avian Blue

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Mia McPherson March 3, 2012 at 6:41 am

Larry, I saw this article this morning and wanted you to have the link to it. I hope they force him to step down because of the “gift” he took from the canned hunt ranch owner.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/03/calif-wildlife-official-under-fire-for-puma-hunt/
Mia McPherson´s last post ..Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow

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Larry March 5, 2012 at 10:52 pm

@Ingrid thanks for the update. Outrageous!

@Mia thank you for the link to the latest on this fiasco. It sure looks like an illegal gift to me from the ranch owner.

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