SOURCE: Last Chance for Animals

Last Chance for Animals

March 05, 2012 21:53 ET

Last Chance for Animals Demands Resignation of California Fish & Game Commission President Daniel W. Richards

Supports Legislature in Resolution to Remove Richards Should He Continue to Refuse to Leave Office

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Mar 5, 2012) - Last Chance for Animals (LCA), a national, non-profit animal rights organization with over 100,000 supporters, has demanded the resignation of California Fish & Game Commission President, Daniel W. Richards.

Richards, who is responsible for making decisions on the management and wise-use of California's fish and wildlife resources, shot and then publicized his killing of a mountain lion while on a hunting trip in Idaho. Although not illegal in Idaho, killing mountain lions is illegal in California.

LCA President and Founder Chris DeRose wrote a personal letter to Richards stating, "I know that you and I will never see eye-to-eye. You are a hunter and I am an animal rights activist. However, your position as President of the California Fish & Game Commission demands that you respect the values of the people of the state regardless of where your hunting trips take place."

DeRose, an avid outdoorsman, trap, skeet and target shooter, questioned where the sport was in using dogs to track an animal for 15 hours, driving the animal into a tree, and then shooting him from near point blank range. Richards stated that it was a "long-held goal" of his to kill a mountain lion.

"This is an act of pure violence toward a living, breathing, sentient being. A living being the voters of California, people Richards supposedly serves, banned by law in 1990 and re-endorsed again in 1996," says DeRose.

DeRose has also written letters in support of Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and the 40 Assembly members who are asking Richards to step down. LCA, its supporters, and an overwhelming number of California voters are supporting Assemblyman Ben Hueso who initiated the Assembly request. Hueso promised that if Richards would not step down he would introduce a resolution to remove Richards from office.

"As the President of the California Fish & Game Commission Richards has a duty to act in a manner that truly reflects the wishes and needs of the people of California. He knew killing a mountain lion would cause trouble and yet, as the President of the Commission responsible for making decisions on behalf of and in harmony with the wishes of Californians, Richards still took the shot," said DeRose.

Richards was appointed by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2008 and his term does not end until January 2013. The sitting Governor cannot remove Richards, however the Legislature could demand his resignation by resolution passed by a simple majority vote. Forty of the 80 members of the Assembly have signed the letter organized by Assemblyman Hueso.

"Richards is not a private citizen; he is a representative of the people of the State of California," adds DeRose. "His actions and statements have proved he is not an impartial, sensible or levelheaded member of the Commission responsible for sound, science-based natural resource and wildlife management in California.

"He is a disgrace to the Commission and a disgrace to the people of California. He must step down and allow the Governor to appoint a Commission member who will put the spirit of the office before his own misguided desires," concludes DeRose.

LCA will attend the Commission meeting scheduled for March 7, 2012 in Riverside, California to demand that Richards explain how the people of California can trust his decision-making ability and explain how his actions are not going to negatively affect each and every decision the Commission makes under his leadership.

About Last Chance for Animals (LCA)
LCA, a national animal rights organization based in Los Angeles, has been active for nearly three decades. Founded and led by animal expert, author, and actor, Chris DeRose, LCA fights for the rights of animals by conducting investigations that expose animal cruelty, launching public awareness campaigns, pushing animal friendly legislation and helping prosecute animal abusers.