Sunday, May 27, 2007
Endangered Species Protection Sought for Bigfoot
The following excerpt is from a LiveScience.com opinion piece about a proposal to make Bigfoot a legally protected endangered species. See how much sense this makes to you:
Recently, Mike Lake, a Canadian member of parliament from Edmonton, Alberta, agreed to introduce a petition that called for Bigfoot to be protected under the Canadian version of the endangered species act.
Lake presented to the House of Commons a petition that stated, “The debate over (Bigfoot’s) existence is moot in the circumstance of their tenuous hold on merely existing. Therefore, the petitioners request the House of Commons to establish immediate, comprehensive legislation to affect immediate protection of Bigfoot.”
The man behind the petition was a Bigfoot enthusiast named Todd Standing, who claims to have definitive proof of Bigfoot but is withholding it until protection for the alleged animals is in place. “When I get species protection for them nationwide, I will make my findings public and I will take this out of the realm of mythology. Bigfoot is real,” Standing said.
The petition soon became an embarrassment for Lake, who later issued a press release stating that the proposal had been tabled. “I take seriously my responsibility to represent all of my constituents, regardless of whether or not I agree with their views. If a legitimate petition is brought forward by one of my constituents and deemed to be in order, I feel it is my duty to table it in the House,” Lake wrote.
There is some precedent for the proposal: Similar quasi-legal measures protecting unknown creatures have been suggested or passed, for example protecting the Canadian monsters “Memphre” (of Quebec’s Lake Memphremagog) and “Caddy” (of British Columbia’s Cadboro Bay). “Champ,” the lake monster said to inhabit Lake Champlain, is “officially” protected by both the New York State Assembly and the Vermont Legislature.
A few years ago I dated a girl who lived in South Burlington, Vermont, not far from where "Champ" is a local celebrity. The impression I got from her, and from most of her friends, was that they didn't necessarily "believe" in the existence of Champ, but rather that they didn't see why there was so much interest in the alleged creature.
The area around Lake Champlain has dealt with researchers aplenty, some of whom want to prove the existence of the beast, and others who not only want to disprove its existence, but who also want to portray those residents who do believe the creature swims in those waters as deluded nutcases. As such, it becomes increasingly difficult to hold intelligent discussions about such matters.
As far as Bigfoot goes, the cause is still going strong in the Pacific Northwest, despite recent revelations that the most famous footage of the beast has been proven to be a fake. Is it possible that an undetected hominid lives in seclusion tantalizingly close to the cities of this area? Maybe, maybe not. It seems to me that if people like Mr. Standing really have the evidence that they say they have, then why not show it now? What difference could it possibly make to wait for a piece of legislation to be enacted into law to reveal what they know? Will the fate of the measure change their results? Besides, it also seems to me that such a measure is almost surely never going to be needed, given the lack of Bigfoot remains on record, and hurts the cause of legitimate research in this area.