Noted: state's official position on Bigfoot

DEC bigfoot letterWe were forwarded this letter Tuesday by Peter Wiemer, director of the Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo. It's correspondence from the state Department of Environmental Conservation regarding Wiemer's concerns that bigfoots* currently don't have strong enough protections from hunting, especially considering a recent $10 million bounty on sasquatch:

Dear Mr. Wiemer,
Commissioner Martens asked me to reply to your letter concerning the protection of an animal known to some as "Bigfoot" or "Sasquatch."
This mythical animal does not exist in nature or otherwise. I understand, however, that some well organized hoaxes or pranks have occurred, leading some people to believe that such an animal does live.
However, the simple truth of the matter is that there is no such animal anywhere in the World.
I am sorry to disappoint you. However, no program or action in relation to mythical animals is warranted.
On the other hand, New York State has a great richness of naturally occurring wildlife, and we work hard to ensure that these species are managed appropriately, including highly regulated hunting and trapping opportunities. We also work hard to restore and protect rare species. I wish you the best as you enjoy New York's abundant wildlife resources.
Thank you for writing us.
Sincerely,
Gordon R. Batcheller
Chief Wildlife Biologist

We contacted DEC about the letter and agency spokesman Rick Georgeson confirmed it's real. Also: "We have no further comment on this issue."

Earlier correspondence between Mr. Wiemer and DEC indicated that if sasquatch were real, they would be protected by state law. Good to know.

From Mr. Weimer's press release this week: "We have had nine eyewitnesses to date, of Bigfoot sightings in Chautauqua County come forward resolving themselves of the burden of knowing what they saw and were afraid of or not willing to tell because of fear of ridicule. All but one wished to remain anonymous."

Update: The TU's Casey Seiler talked with Wiemer about his concerns.

By the way: The second Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Weekend & Expo is scheduled for for April 26, 27, and 28. Well played, Mr. Wiemer.

Earlier: Wanted: bigfoot researcher in Whitehall, New York

Comments

I wonder what Ward Stone's position on Bigfoot is...

You know, I never believed in Bigfoot before (or never really thought about it too much one way or the other), but surprisingly enough, I do now. Over the past few years, I've heard three convincing accounts of sasquatch sightings (two second-hand, one third-hand), all of them in New York State. Occam's Razor suggests to me that these people aren't delusional or dissembling or participating in some sort of complex hoax. Rather, I think they simply saw what they say they saw. Snarky sarcasm is no substitute for a genuinely open mind. Check out the BFRO website for some interesting browsing. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy!

As a biologist, I find the position and claims made by Mr. Batcheller to be incredibly ignorant. Most taxonomists agree that only an incredibly small percentage of extant species have been documented to date. It is nieve to propose that no such creature exists in nature anywhere in the world. There are claims of physical evidence, yes, the origin of which is debatable in favor of either side of the argument. However, a lack of photographic, video, or clearly contrasting (with other primates) genetic evidence for a large, hairy biped does not necessarily mean that it is simply a hoax in every case reported. One of the strongest arguments used by "bigfoot" researchers is that a large portion of this planet's forested areas have yet to be fully canvassed. Thus, it is possible that these bipeds—reported to inhabit such environments—may simply dwell (or escape to) forested areas not commonly disturbed by humans. Personally, I find that to be a reasonable hypothesis as to why sasquatches are to date impossible to find. Why? Because everyday in the news newly discovered marine species are being reported—found in locations in earth's oceans that had yet to be explored, or locations that had not been explored or examined thoroughly enough to have identified them previously. Now, as a scientist, I am also highly skeptical that such a beast exists, especially considering that it is easily faked—if it can be, it will be, and has been, and thus reduces the credence of peoples' claims. However, I would be a very lousy scientist if I said outright that it does not exist. A better thing to have said (though I doubt that it would have been said in any other fashion than in ignorance) is that there is a lack of convincing evidence to support the hypothesis that such an animal exists. And so on.

You know who does believe in Bigfoot? Jane Goodall.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6469070

Am I the only one starting a letter writing campaign to get the state biologist on record that we don't need to protect the Easter Rabbit or Tooth Fairy? Or the Adirondack Flying Spaghetti Monster?

I do not believe in Bigfoot. Nor do I believe in people who believe in Bigfoot.

@Code Monkey - As for FSM, send your letters to Ag&Market, not DEC.

cryptozoology really should be state sponsored. i cannot think of a better thing to spend taxpayer dollars on?

I'm afraid Mr. Batchellor's ignorance is showing. To make a blanket statement such as he did concerning "Bigfoot" not existing anywhere in the world is the height of arrogance. The Mountain Gorilla was considered a myth until the end of the 19th century. Apelike hominids have been reported from every corner of the world, including Australia, South America, Canada, Tibet, Nepal...the list goes on. As someone whose own family had encounters with these creatures in the 1980s, I tend to have an open mind. Feel free to check out my two books on the subject, MONSTERS OF THE NORTHWOODS (with Paul and Robert Bartholomew and William Brann) and MONSTERS OF NEW JERSEY, co-written with famed cryptozoologist Loren Coleman. There are DNA tests going on right now. Jane Goodall thinks they very likely exist, as does anthopologist David Attenborough. Open your eyes and open your mind.

I agree with that hallenbeck guy.

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