California Fish and Game Commission President Dan Richards’ job is safe, thanks to an intense lobbying campaign coordinated by the California Outdoor Heritage Alliance.

Assemblymember Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) has dropped his effort to remove Richards from his seat on the Commission.

The campaign in support of Richards included a grassroots barrage of letters from concerned outdoorsmen sent to state assembly representatives.

It appears the assembly’s attempt to unjustly remove Richards from office was met with far more public resistance than the original incident that brought him under scrutiny in the first place!

This “incident” was a legal hunt in Idaho on which Richards successfully bagged a mountain lion. Mountain lions are a protected species in California.

Richards’ six-year term on the Commission ends in January 2013. However, even though his job is safe for now, Assemblymember Hueso and Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) have changed tactics to instead work on introducing legislation which would “improve the standards and practices of the California Fish and Game Commission.”

Among other things, the bill will reportedly include a revised conflict-of-interest code for commissioners.

COHA will be watching this legislation carefully to insure it doesn’t unfairly target future commission candidates who may hunt and fish.



“Wild Justice” returns

“Wild Justice,” the popular television reality series that showcases wildlife crime fighting in California, began its second season last week and continues this Sunday night. The next episode of the season will air at 9 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.

Department of Fish and Game wardens worked with National Geographic video crews throughout the year to produce one of the network’s highest-rated shows ever. Each week, camera crews accompany California game wardens on patrol, working everything from poaching investigations involving deer, wild pigs and abalone to illegal drug use/possession, stolen vehicles and illegal marijuana cultivation.

The vast majority of California hunters and anglers are engaged in lawful, ethical outdoor recreation. Legitimate hunters and anglers have contributed to the majority of the fish and wildlife conservation efforts in California for more than 100 years.

Although the show focuses on the very small percentage who break the law, the series also recognizes hunters and anglers who practice responsible conservation of the fish and wildlife populations, and their habitats.

The producers of the show, Original Productions, also produce the hit series “Deadliest Catch,” “Ice Road Truckers” and “Axemen,” among others.

Their intensive style of production puts the viewer in the middle of the action as wardens conduct investigations of every sort. They even attached cameras to the collars of warden K9s to get a viewpoint unlike any other.

For more information, see the National Geographic Channel’s “Wild Justice” website,

Guy Carl is a CPA and partner with BDCo Accountants and Advisors in St. Helena ( Contact Guy at

(9) comments


rocketman - surely, you meant to say "When the Mountain lion becomes problematic in this state we will be hunting them...." but, only when it's legal. After all, you said it best: "Legal is the only issue here."


When the Mountain lion becomes problematic in this state we will be hunting them....


Richards will get swept out in time, his co-commissioners have quietly started the process to do that by late spring. Richards doesn't realize - or won't admit - that the majority of Californians have changed their attitude about hunting, hence the cougar protection laws as voted in by the majority electorate. The Department of Fish and Game is at a pivotal time, as it must continue to make the transition away from an agency that primarily serves hunters, to one that broadly serves the people of California and all of those interested in wildlife.

Unfortunately for Richards, he not only refuses to admit reality, he let his ego get the better of him by posting an childish, s****-you-California picture on the web, unintentionally stirring up more anti-hunting sentiment among Californians, swelling the majority even further. It all could have been avoided if he hadn't acted so childishly by brandishing his contempt for Californians like a weapon.

rocketman would hope that Mr. Richards, as the President of the Fish and Game Commission and self-declared conservationist, possessed the common sense and forethought to see the potential ramifications of his actions and act accordingly.

Mr. Richards was practicing sound conservation practices in the State of Idaho. He should be applauded not ridiculed. If he was hunting deer there would never have been an issue because deer hunting is legal in the State of California. A hunting conservationist practicing hunting conservation in another state that is legal, is a conservationist in both states. He understands that mountain lion hunting (right now) is illegal. Sorry I lumped you in with the politicians that wanted him removed, but your point is essentially the same as theirs. There is no lacking of common sense with this issue. It is Richard's right to do legal hunting in another state. Legal is the only issue here.


Please explain where I advocated for Mr. Richard's termination ? Nowhere that I can recall because there is no point to terminating him. My point is this, rather than trying to rectify this particular situation(because as we both said, he broke no Fish and Game laws), maybe the system of how the DFG Commission elects it's officials should be examined. Is a real estate broker who clearly has no understanding of his constituency's sentiments toward wildlife the best choice for Commission President ? Probably not. If nothing else, hopefully this helps reform the way officials are chosen.


The fact of the matter is, that Idaho allows Mountain Lion hunting as part of their conservation efforts for THAT state. It is within the law and appropriate. Mr. Richards protects the laws in the State of California as his job dictates. This is about hunting legally and not about moral values. If we catch Mr. Richards violating fish and game laws in California, we will deal with it. There are many rules and regulations regarding the taking of game and fish in our state, so if Mr. Richards takes more game or fish in Idaho than is allowed in California, he should be fired? My point is that he was involved in a legal hunt where there is a legal difference in conservation of game. It's like telling a highway patrolman you can't use your cell phone while driving in another state that allows it, because California doesn't. It's none of the highway patrol's business.


[quote]rocketman said: "We are now going to dictate what a person working in California can do legally in another statement."[/quote]

I am an avid outdoorsman, conservationist, and supporter of hunting and fishing rights. I also appreciate the rich, long-standing heritage of those activities in California. That being said, Mr.Richards is not just a man working IN California, he is a man who is working FOR the State of California. He should represent the sentiments of his constituency with his actions both within the state and outside of it. Leaving the obvious ethics violations aside, you would hope that Mr. Richards, as the President of the Fish and Game Commission and self-declared conservationist, possessed the common sense and forethought to see the potential ramifications of his actions and act accordingly. But as you said, typical government ...


Typical government intrusion. We are now going to dictate what a person working in California can do legally in another statement. Where the H__L is this country going?


Great reporting Guy. Keep up the good work. Good for Dan!

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