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?