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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thumbs up for the California Fish & Game Commission for putting into practice "truth, justice and the American way" in removing Daniel Richardsfrom his perch as President of the California Fish & Game Commission.......You cannot "go off the reservation" and brag about shooting a Puma in Idaho when the Agency you head up has a policy of not allowing the hunting of Pumas in your home state...............Infantile and juvenile behavior has negative consequences when you run a company, or sit in a high visible public position..............While my State is "whacked" and upside down on many issues, it is the valedictorian amongst the 50 states in its forward thinking and execution of its coexistance with wildlife policy..............California has few negative Puma/human encounters as it allows Pumas to live out their lives naturally and therefore not encouraging male juvenile Pumas from taking over territory near human habitation where their lack of experience often gets them into trouble

Shoot a cougar, lose your presidency 
A wild cougar sighted in Michigan in June. California Fish and Game Commisision member Daniel Richards bagged his mountain lion in Idaho. (Michigan Wildlife Conservancy / Associated Press / June 1, 2012)

By Carla Hall ; associated press

Although it's too late for the cougar Daniel Richards killed in Idaho to get any vindication, the people of California should feel relieved that the real estate developer and avid hunter is no longer president of the California Fish and Game Commission. Richards caused an uproar early this year when a photo of him proudly hoisting the body of a dead mountain lion -- which he shot legally in Idaho -- was made public.

Daniel Richards with the Puma he killed in Idaho

He survived calls for his resignation, but there were rumblings among the commissioners themselves that he should not remain president for a variety of reasons. So it came as no surprise to anyone -- including Richards -- that he was voted out of the position Wednesday at the commission's meeting in Ventura. Appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008, Richards still has a seat on the five-member panel until his term ends in January.
The commissioners did the right thing in removing Richards from the presidency. Although it's a largely symbolic position, whoever holds it wields some control over commission meeting agendas. And precisely because of its symbolism, in a state where aggressive wildlife protection is valued and voters resoundingly outlawed mountain lion hunting, that position should not be occupied by an obstructionist on conservation legislation and an unapologetic cougar hunter -- and he is both.

Puma at watering hole in California

When Richards' term on the commission expires, Gov. Jerry Brown could reappoint him.  Word to the governor: Don't.Most, if not all, of the commissioners have hunted or still hunt. But much of what they go after are game birds that can be eaten. Most do not hunt mountain lions or bears, both of which are generally considered trophy animals even though some hunters say they eat bear, and Richards infamously told radio interviewers that he ate some of the lion he killed. (Seems hard to believe.)

shaded areas where Pumas are found in California(wherever deer roam)

The Fish and Game Commission is charged with stewarding the state's wildlife for both hunters and observers of it. But over the years, the number of people who hunt in California has fallen and more people are concerned about guarding wildlife. Gone are the years when hunters' license fees made up a chunk of the Department of Fish and Game's budget.

Hunting and caring about wildlife do not have to be mutually exclusive pursuits, but there's no question that there has been a shift in sensibility in this state toward protecting, not killing wildlife. The commission should reflect that.

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