Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom Calls for Resignation of California Fish and Game Commission President Daniel Richards


Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom today sent the following letter to California Fish and Game Commission President Daniel Richards, requesting his resignation:

Full text of the letter is below:

February 27, 2012

Mr. Daniel W. Richards
President, California Fish and Game Commission
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1320
Sacramento, CA 95814

President Richards,

Thank you for more than 4 years of service to the people of California as a member of the California Fish and Game Commission. Unfortunately, recent events make it clear that you cannot continue in any capacity on the Commission. (California wildlife official in hot water over mountain lion hunt, San Jose Mercury News, February 17, 2012) I must confess to a personal interest in this issue above those of my current office. As you may know, my father, Judge William Newsom is a long-time mountain lion protection advocate and past president of the Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation. Additionally, I have personally worked for the protection of these majestic animals and their habitat.

While not in California at the time, your actions call into question whether you can live up to the calling of your office. Since 1870 the Commission has worked to manage the wildlife resources of our state. As president of the commission, I am sure you understand that merely complying with the conservation laws of California is not the standard by which the Commission or its members are measured. As is stated on the Commission's website, your actions should be in the "best interest of the resource and truly reflect(s) the wishes and needs of the people."

I do appreciate that you did nothing illegal in Idaho, but it is clear that your actions do not reflect the values of the people of California. In 1972, Governor Ronald Reagan signed legislation banning the sport hunting of mountain lions in California for 5 years. That ban was twice renewed before the voters of California passed Proposition 117 in June 1990.

I'm sure I needn't remind you of the many challenges facing California and the important work ahead for the Commission. Your continued presence on the Commission is a distraction from those important issues.

As such, I am prevailing on your sense of civic service to respectfully request you resign, effective immediately, so we can move on to the pressing issues facing our great state.


Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom