California Fish & Game Commissioner Bags a Big Cat In Idaho; Californians Trying To Bag Him

A "trophy shot" of the Golden State's top Fish and Game Commission official hugging the carcass of a mountain lion he'd just treed and shot has Californians steaming. Closer to home, there have been two recent reports of mountain lions in the area.

There have been two reprted sightings of mountain lions recently.  One sighting was by a resident on and the other by a resident who may have spotted a mountain lion in the open space near .

While the big cats are protected in California, they are fair game in other western states.

For decades hunters have posed for pictures with their kill -- proof of the culmination of a successful hunt.

California Fish and Game Commission president Dan Richards' trophy shot shows him happily hugging the lifeless carcass of a magnificent mountain lion, treed by dogs and shot by Richards during an expedition on an Idaho hunting ranch.

“I’m glad it’s legal in Idaho," Richards was quoted as saying when asked about the moratorium banning the hunting of big cats in California. But the echoes of his Idaho killshot are not dying away, and instead are rippling throughout his home state as public officials and citizens alike demand his ouster.

Supporters say Richards' position with the California Fish and Game Commission (not to be confused with the state Department of Fish and Game) has no bearing on his private desire to trek into Idaho back country with professional guides and stalk, tree and shoot a mountain lion.

Others, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and a growing number of state officials, maintain that Richards' actions "do not reflect the values of the people of California" and are calling on him to resign.

A description of the commission's responsibilities on its website included this description of their role: "The Commissioners' ultimate decisions must reflect not only the biological needs of our fish and wildlife, but also the wishes, needs and desires of all those who enjoy these resources. This is not an easy course to follow, and frequently it leads to conflicts between various interest groups. However, with the interest, understanding and involvement of everyone who appreciates our magnificent fish and wildlife resources, the California Fish and Game Commission will continue along the path of sound and enlightened resource management."

We'll leave it to you. What do you think?

spearing.fish March 02, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Amen! It's ridiculous that California's top predator in the food chain (excluding us) is not managed by Fish and Game, like all of the other animals. How can an organization possibly be successful, when it doesn't have complete control?
Craig March 03, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Reducing risk to life and property is a function of good government. You're suggesting that the loss of human life to mountain lion attacks is outweighed by some non-interference in nature principle? I hope that no one in your family becomes a victim. The irony would be overwhelming.
T. Gunter March 03, 2012 at 05:26 PM
The chances of a family member being attacked by a mountain lion is the same as a family member being attacked by a great white, or hit by lighting. What do you propose we do about the latter two? When was the last mountain lion attack on a human in a suburban setting. Your solution to reduce risk in nature seems rather extreme. You also seem to be suggesting that taxpayer money be used to fund a natural risk reduction program.
Craig March 03, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Here's a link to all recorded mountain lion attacks from 2001 to 2010 - http://www.cougarinfo.org/attacks3.htm They're about evenly split between California, British Columbia and elsewhere. More attacks per year as time goes on. More than half took place in public parks. Many attacks were on the victim's own property. Many are children or small stature women. The most famous California attack was in 1994 when Barbara Barsalou was killed while jogging in Auburn State Recreation Area. After DF&G tracked down & killed the offending puma they discovered she had two cubs. People like you contributed over $150K to take care of these cubs. Ms. Barsalou's own two orphaned children had no fund started for them. Also in 1994 Iris M. Kenna was fatally attacked at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park east of San Diego. In 2004 Mark Jeffrey Reynolds was killed while mountain biking in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Orange County. The list of victims permanently disfigured, blinded (it is typical of cougar attacks to slash at the prey's eyes) or otherwise disabled is much, much longer. Yes, as I stated previously, it is a function of good government to spend tax dollars to minimize risk to life and property. Time will tell whether a moratorium on all mountain lion hunting is a good idea, especially in light of their burgeoning population.
T. Gunter March 03, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Then I'm sorry to say we'll just have to disagree. Folk should take responsibility for themselves. "Cougar attacks are relatively rare. Just 20 people have died due to cougar attacks since 1890, and the majority of these were children and young teenagers. By contrast, 18 people died as a result of dog bites in the U.S. in 2002 alone, and 48,366 suffered fatal transportation-related accidents. There have been 5 fatal cougar attacks in British Columbia over the past 100 years (4 of which took place on Vancouver Island), compared to approximately 3 Canadians killed by bees each year. There have also been 29 non-fatal attacks in the province, two-thirds of which occurred on Vancouver Island. As with fatal attacks, most of the victims were children and teenagers." Further Reading: How to Reduce the Risk of Cougar Attacks: Safety Tips for Coexisting with Mountain Lions | Suite101.com http://jennifercopley.suite101.com/how-to-reduce-the-risk-of-cougar-attacks-a92523#ixzz1o5A4xql8


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