For anyone who would like to sign up you con go to Petitions.Whitehouse.Gov/petition/officially-recognize-sasquatch
And this is all simply my opinion, but I hope it is not terribly uninformed, or ill conceived. Despite the fact that I contribute to a blog based in treating many issues of the unexplained with healthy skepticism (and at times outright cynicism) I personally choose to believe in Bigfoot for logical as well as irrational reasons. Logically, there is a preponderance of evidence that does not require wild assumptions, as is the case of UFOs. Irrationally, Bigfoot is cool! I also recognize that my belief is a choice and not to be taken as evidence, so I demand that evidence be presented for me to make the leap from belief to knowledge, to know that Bigfoot exists and dwells in an environment.
My belief is not what I am here to debate.
There is a new petition being circulated to give official protected status to the creature variously called: Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Yerren, Yowie, Skunk Ape, and there are others, but variances in description prevent me from including them on this list. Sign that petition if you like, it is linked above. But whatever choice you make, read this also.
Let us take a look at what protecting species is about:
The Endangered Species Act from the National Wildlife Foundation website
The Endangered Species Act (ESA for short) was enacted by Congress in 1973. Under the ESA, the federal government has the responsibility to protect:
Endangered Species – species that are likely to become extinct throughout all or a large portion of their range.
Threatened Species – species that are likely to become endangered in the near future.
Critical habitat – vital to the survival of endangered or threatened species.
A protected species is any plant or animal a government declares by law to warrant protection. Most protected species are considered either threatened or endangered. In these cases, a government establishes certain rules regarding the species, that if violated, can result in fines or criminal prosecution. Protected species laws differ from government to government. In the US, state laws may declare a species protected, while federal laws do not. In most cases a federally declared protected species must be respected by the state.
The impetus behind protected species laws is risk of species extinction. Ecologists have demonstrated that losing even the smallest of species can have a direct effect on the rest of the plant and animal population. For example, a grass eaten by a specific animal becomes extinct due to habitat destruction. The animal may die off as a result of not finding its food source available, causing further disruptions in the food chain.
While some animals adapt by finding new food sources, other animals do not. Destruction of the bamboo forests for example, in China, greatly reduced the panda population. Scientists discovered that pandas ate different types of bamboo at different times of the year. Even a small loss of bamboo was significant to the panda which is now on the verge of extinction.
So at first glance there appears a discrepancy, that being the Petition refers to giving protection to Bigfoot, et al, and I am posting quotes referring to Endangered Species. Well, do a search for Protected Species, and see what you find. You will find reference after reference on Endangered species. So that is the issue that will have to be dealt with in order to attain that protection. Proof that Bigfoot is endangered. So lets set aside the argument over whether or not Bigfoot and its numerous cousins exist for the moment and assume for the sake of argument that they do. The very fact that this creature is recognized in so many different regions, by so many different cultures, under so many different names goes to it not being particularly in danger of extinction. They are almost everywhere from the Florida swamps to the Himalayas; and so not in danger of losing a habitat to which they can readily adapt. That there are so many reported sightings of the creature on a yearly basis in the US alone (the heart of the evidence that people claim its existence) and that those sightings are just on the edges of the broad expanses of wilderness that still exist around the world further supports its lack of endangerment.
Todd Standing, for all his showboating has offered that he has succeeded in attaining protected status for Bigfoot from the Canadian Government. There are conditions upon that protection, primarily, Proof.
On March 5/ 2007 Alberta native Todd Standing and his team received confirmation from Danielle Lessard of the Clerk of Petitions for Canada (613-992-9511), that our second submission to get protection for the species commonly referred to as Bigfoot was certified. Mike Lake had the petition Tabled before the House of Commons. We received a response on May 12, 2007 from the House of Commons as to their decision on protection of the illusive species.
They responded by giving us the name of a department and a list of scientists employed by the Canadian government that decides whether a species becomes a protected one. This department said, “Show us a body and we will give you your species protection”. Not hair, blood or feces, or even a finger or leg, but a fully intact and recently deceased body.
Our goal now is to find this body, have them examine it and be granted species protection by the House of Commons. Furthermore, we have a plan of action (that will need to implemented across the continent) that will ensure this species habitat is no longer encroached upon. We will be carrying out these same endeavours in the United States.
So while the promise of protection is in place in Canada, proof is still essential and what will be accepted as proof is a body. In my opinion this dangling offer of protection based upon a body only serves to further endanger that some publicity seeker will be out there hunting to kill. That is not to say that Todd Standing is hunting to kill, I believe he is genuine in his desire to see the creature he believes in protected. But someone will be so long as the issue of proof is in the minds of the public and promoting the issue of protection naturally raises the question of proof and at least one government considers proof to equal a body.
The recent petition is not directly related to Standing’s efforts in the Canada or the US, and was started on Friday, January 11th of 2013 by a Linda S. If this current effort is related to any of the many stories surrounding the search for Bigfoot that made the news in the past two years, or is simply one person’s momentary whim I cannot say, and find one case or the other to be irrelevant because this petition will be taken in the context of its time, and that context includes the Sierra Kills event, announcement and repeated delays of the Ketchum DNA results, and the “Daisy is in the box” fiasco. That correlation is unavoidable.
So what I see as the heart of the matter is that a petition to protect the creature based upon human affiliation to it which, (sorry to say, I am as anxious to examine that evidence as anyone) has yet to be demonstrated to the scientific community as a whole and will not be accepted until that happens. As we have seen one government put in place the requirement of a literal body as proof rather than a figurative body of evidence, there is no basis whatsoever to believe protection will be put in place because supposing the creature is proven to exist, the next logical step for protection is to prove that it is in danger of extinction and what I derive from the number of sightings, and broad range of habitat, neither its breeding population or habitat are at risk. Now that may or may not be the case, or the end of the story. hould the DNA results we are all waiting for prove to be exactly what they are rumored to be, and shown to be accurate, it seems likely an excellent case can be made for protection, at least in North America.
I have addressed this issue before and will keep it short this time. What laws we pass in the US have no bearing on the world. Endangered whales, intelligent creatures are on the endangered species lists yet they are hunted by internationally acknowledged treaties in other countries for “scientific” and “cultural” purposes, yet somehow the products of these killings end up on restaurant menus and apothecary shelves for sale to the public. Rhinos have been hunted to near extinction for the reported apothecary uses of their horns alone, and are still being poached because the profit from their horn outweighs the punishment for getting caught. The same case is true of many varieties of tiger and great apes. Governments who promise protection on paper are unable at best or unmotivated at worst to provide that protection in fact. And when, not if, it happens it will make headlines for a month if the creatures are lucky before being supplanted by the next Kardasian crisis.
So by all means, lets prove an undiscovered intelligent primate is out there, because once the United States scientific community acknowledges its existence so will every other nation, and get its potential uses to “modern” cultures who yet practice primitive totemic medicine categorized so the hunting process can begin in full. Think I am exaggerating? Current practices around the world and in the US are on my side.
According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service website
Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act is designed to regulate a wide range of activities affecting plants and animals designated as endangered or threatened, and the habitats upon which they depend. With some exceptions, the ESA prohibits activities affecting these protected species and their habitats unless authorized by a permit from the Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Fisheries. Permitted activities are designed to be consistent with the conservation of the species.
What are the different types of permits?
The FWS Endangered Species program, located in each of our Regional offices, issues permits for native endangered and threatened species, except for import or export permits, which are issued by the Division of Management Authority. NMFS also issues permits involving certain aquatic species. Permits issued by the Endangered Species program are of three basic types:
Incidental take permits are required when non-Federal activities will result in take of threatened or endangered species. A habitat conservation plan or “HCP” must accompany an application for an incidental take permit. The habitat conservation plan associated with the permit ensures that the effects of the authorized incidental take are adequately minimized and mitigated.
Enhancement of survival permits are issued to non-Federal landowners participating in Safe Harbor Agreements or Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances. These agreements encourage landowners to take actions to benefit species while also providing assurances that they will not be subject to additional regulatory restrictions as a result of their conservation actions.
Recovery and interstate commerce permits are issued to allow for take as part of activities intended to foster the recovery of listed species. A typical use of a recovery permit is to allow for scientific research on a listed species in order to understand better the species’ long-term survival needs. Interstate commerce permits also allow transport and sale of listed species across State lines (e.g., for purposes such as a breeding program).
This petition is no more valuable than peeing into the wind at this point, and that is just a fact of the bureaucracy that WE have created. Bigfoot and its cousins, should they exist can only be harmed by our knowledge of them and our ham-handed and half-assed attempts to protect them. I for one will not be signing the petition, not because I do not believe in the cause it proposes, but because experience tells me the result will be quite the opposite of intent.