Following a week's worth of controversy over whether California's top wildlife official should resign for killing a mountain lion in Idaho, the San Jose Mercury News reports that the issue has broadened to a discussion of the environmental cultural shift in California.
Last month, Dan Richards, president of the California Fish and Game Commission, shot a cougar in Idaho while on a pheasant hunting trip on a ranch in Idaho, where such a killing is legal.
Hunting mountain lions in California was outlawed 22 years ago. A photo of Richards holding the dead cat set off a storm of controversy.
According report, there is a steady decline in the traditional political power of California's hunters and fishermen, while environmentalists and animal rights groups are becoming more influential.
Even as California's population has doubled since 1970, the number of people with hunting licenses has fallen by 65 percent.
Richards has not given interviews to mainstream media, but during an interview on a conservative radio talk show in Los Angeles, he said he didn't think the cougar killing would lead to such a public outcry.