Friday, December 16, 2005

Is Our Government Prepared for a Bigfoot Discovery?

Brian
In 1977, the Fish and Wildlife service asked what our government would do if suddenly Bigfoot or someother famous cryptid were found to exist:
Undisputed proof of a Bigfoot might cause an immediate, short-term problem no law could handle. Word of its discovery would be flashed around the world within hours, Hysteria, fear, or panic might accompany the news in the area where the creature was located. The throngs of curiosity seekers, would-be captors, and others wishing to find Bigfoot would not only create a serious threat to the animal itself, but to public safety as well. Some officials doubt whether any State or Federal action short of calling out the National Guard could keep order in the area within the first few hours or days of the creature’s discovery. This could be essential until a team of scientists could do the necessary things to ensure the creature’s survival.

The key law in preservation of a species is the Endangered Species Act, which pledges the United States to conserve species of plants and animals facing extinction. This broad, complex law protects endangered species from killing, harassment, and other forms of exploitation. The Act prohibits the import and export of, and interstate commerce in, endangered species. American citizens cannot engage in commercial traffic in endangered species between nations, even when the United States is not involved. Scientists wishing to study endangered species are required to have a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

But before a creature can receive protection under the Endangered Species Act, a number of actions normally must occur which involve recommendations from the public, scientists, and State and foreign governments where the species exists.
Link to Cryptomundo post, link to GPO pdf. Essentially, the ESA would allow the Secretary of the Interior to immediately list Bigfoot as endangered and give it Fish and Wildlife Service protection pending further information. Phew.

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