It Just Gets Weirder… or… Sometimes It May Be Best To Keep Your Mouth Shut

March 2, 2012

It’s no secret that I totally support Dan Richards in the hullaballoo over his mountain lion hunt.  The stupidity and irrelevance of the “charges” against him leave me, in a word, flabbergasted.  This is what our state legislators have to bicker about?

Anyway, earlier this week, Dan Richards fired off an angry and defensive letter to the General Assembly (specifically assemblyman Ben Hueso).  It made his case, more or less, but it also didn’t come off as a very mature response.  He obviously allowed his emotions to overrule his logic there, and you can bet some folks are going to use this against him.

Personally, I think it would be a great time for Richards to hush for a second, and maybe work with the hunting and fishing community to campaign in his behalf.  But he isn’t.  Instead he went on radio, making some strong accusations (which may be accurate), and came across sounding bitter and a little juvenile.  Again, at this point it probably doesn’t matter so much whether he’s right (for the most part, he is).  It’s more about winning over the undecided, and he may not be helping his case much at all.

He did raise a couple of salient points… namely that the Humane Society of the US is at the root of this donnybrook, and that Gavin Newsom’s motivation for being involved may have more to do with placing his father (William Newsom, former President of the Mountain Lion Foundation) on the Fish and Game Commission.  He also verified the important fact, that even though he refuses to resign his position voluntarily, the General Assembly can remove him by a simple majority vote… an action that is very likely at this point.

If you’ve got a couple of minutes, listen to the radio interview (embedded at the bottom of this linked article), and see what you think.

Regardless, I strongly urge all CA hunters and fishermen to get involved in this discussion, and to contact Governor Brown and your state representatives to show support for Richards and oppose his removal from the Commission.  His loss would be a serious blow to hunting and fishing in this state.

Hat tip to Jesse at Jesse’s Hunting and Outdoors for bringing this radio interview to my attention.


8 Responses to “It Just Gets Weirder… or… Sometimes It May Be Best To Keep Your Mouth Shut”

  1. Kat on March 2nd, 2012 10:04

    It is time for hunters to speak up. Call your congress person and let them know you support this Richards and you want HUNTERS on the fish and game commission.

    I think that if the HSUS succeeds in removing Richards from his post, all hunters should boycott every hunt this year. Do not buy licenses or stamps for CA. Time to go hunt in another state. That may be the only way these legislators will hear you is when it hits their budget. Let them see how much we really do contribute to the care of the wild areas of our state. Let HSUS come up with some money for the animals for once.

  2. JAC on March 2nd, 2012 10:55

    Hi Phillip: I feel for the guy, and if you support him that’s good enough for me. But, safe to say that his radio appearance was an epic blunder. Somewhere between “enviroterrorist” and suggesting HSUS misrepresents itself, he lost the high ground and provided an actual rationale for his removal.

  3. Phillip on March 2nd, 2012 11:20

    I couldn’t agree more, John. He’s really not helping himself out AT ALL. I have a pretty sure feeling where this is going to end. It already looks like the Assembly is gathering for a vote in the next couple of weeks. This will be over soon, and it’s not going to end well for CA hunters.

  4. NorCal Cazadora on March 2nd, 2012 12:01

    Phillip: Yup, yup and yup. Sigh.

  5. Tony on March 2nd, 2012 13:43

    Dear Phillip,
    I would not count Richards out just yet, despite the prognostications that seem to imply he is “doomed”.

    After all, certain pundits said the same thing about the lead shot ban in 2009….

  6. Phillip on March 3rd, 2012 11:43

    Tony, I hope you’re right. Given the current makeup of Sacramento right now, the odds are stacked against him and he’s really shooting himself in the foot with the inflammatory language. He needs to hush, and maybe let a publicist of lawyer start speaking for him.

  7. Neil on March 3rd, 2012 14:12

    Tony: I wish you were right. But considering my State Senator ran unopposed last election, what exactly does she have to lose?

    Phillip, you’re right about the temperament. The fact is this isn’t a political job precisely for that reason, to keep the pandering of politics out of wildlife policy along with the type of people that excel at that.

    My grandfather was a fish and game commissioner many years ago. He was a tough, hard-edged man who wouldn’t fold even when everyone told him to ignore the toxic sludge dumped at night into the river by the local mill. A month later, he found himself a member of “an advisory board” instead of having real authority, courtesy of Sacramento. He probably wouldn’t have won any PR contests either. This might not be about an ethical call like that, but it’s the same principal.

  8. Tony on March 4th, 2012 14:44

    Dear Phillip and Neil,
    Perhaps not. It’s an election year, and their will be a political price of going after Richards over the issue of hunting mountain lions in Idaho. This will be regardless of any outcome of any resolutions in the Legislature.