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Horseriding accident prompts Fish and Game lobbyist to step down

Bob Orange, a Fish and Game warden from Plumas County who heads the wardens' union and has been lobbying the Capitol for money to hire more wardens and pay them higher salaries, says he's stepping down because his wife, Susan, was seriously injured in a horse riding mishap.

"Last Tuesday," my wife was thrown from her horse," Orange said in an e-mail to The Bee. "Her back was broken in several places and she is paralyzed."

Orange said he is taking an indefinite leave from the Department of Fish and Game to care for his wife and will step down as president of the California Fish and Game Wardens Association "as soon as someone steps forward."

Susan Orange's accident happened in the same week that the two-house conference committee writing a final version of the state budget agreed to add $3 million to enhance recruitment, training and retention of wardens. It did not, however, approve the salary increase that Orange had been seeking to close what he says is a wide gap between wardens and both prison guards and Highway Patrol officers.