|Is Bigfoot protected by the shield of the |
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation?
In a press release yesterday (10-22-2012) Peter Wiemer, of the Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo, announced, "Bigfoots / Sasquatches are a Protected Species per the New York State DEC..."
This is based on a letter to Peter Wiemer signed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC). Huffington Post ran an article disputing the claim, we received a copy of the letter written from the NYDEC to Peter Wiemer today. Please read below.
I am responding for Commissioner Martens to your recent e-mail requesting protection for "Big Foot" or "Sasquatch". This is also a follow up to our recent phone conversation regarding the same. As discussed on the phone, the DEC does not recognize the occurrence of Big Foot in the state, therefore it is not addressed directly in our hunting regulations. Because it is not addressed there is no open season on Big Foot and they may not be taken. We are confident that the current laws and regulations afford adequate protect for Big Foot if one were to be found in NY.
Under the current laws and regulations you and others are free to pursue Big Foot for the purpose of documenting their existence provided none are harmed and you abide by the laws and regulations pertaining to trespass on private property and use of public lands. For information on the use of DEC managed lands see our website, www.dec.ny.gov.
I hope this response addresses your concern. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.
Regional Wildlife Manager
NYSDEC - Region 9
182 East Union Street
Allegany, NY 14706
Phone (716) 372-0645
FAX (716) 372-2113
Protected species? Maybe not, but depending how you look at it, Bigfoot does seem to be protected by default because the NYDEC does not recognize Bigfoot as occurring in the state. Even if they do not recognize the occurrence Bigfoot, the dept. does seem to acknowledge that Bigfoot do occur, especially when they give permission to "...pursue Big Foot for the purpose of documenting their existence provided none are harmed..." You could argue that the letter proactively forbids any harm coming to Bigfoot.
Below is the full Press Release provided to us from Peter Wiemer:
For immediate release:
October 22, 2012
New York State Hunters – Bigfoots / Sasquatches are a Protected Species per the New York State DEC…
Peter Wiemer, of the Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo, requested in a letter dated July 29, 2012 to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Martens to enact a non hunting regulation of Bigfoots in New York State.
The NYS DEC official response made by Mark Kandel on the Commissioner’s behalf, stated, “the DEC does not recognize the occurrence of Big Foot in the state, therefore it is not addressed directly in our hunting regulations. Because it is not addressed there is no open season on Big Foot and they may not be taken.” By not being listed in the hunting syllabus of NYS, any non-listed species then becomes a Protected Species per my phone conversation with Mark Kandel said Peter Wiemer.
Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, are large human like beings covered in hair and standing upwards of eight to ten feet tall. Steve Kulls, a Bigfoot researcher from the Adirondacks, NY reported at the Expo that the first documented sighting of a Bigfoot in the USA was in Sackets Harbor, NY in 1818. This, along with many other documented sightings in NYS over the years, has raised the interest level in Bigfoot as well as in protecting these beings from being mistakenly hunted for sport or food as being allowed in the State of Texas.
“With Deer season opening in NYS as well as from the point of tourism and the Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo, we wanted to find out for sure if Bigfoots could be hunted and killed in NYS. With the DEC’s reply, we wanted to inform the hunters from or visiting New York State in leaving no doubt as to the killing of a Bigfoot is illegal according to the NYS DEC’s current hunting laws. Accordingly, the same goes for other species like Panthers, Mountain Lions and more, which are also not listed for hunt thus being a protected species in NYS, said Peter.”
Peter Wiemer, an award winning special events director, created the Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo because of his genuine belief in Bigfoots as well as the popularity of Bigfoot inspired TV shows. The Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo was written up in the August 2013 issue of Convene Magazine, and is currently the only Bigfoot convention in New York State.
On Friday, October 12th, 2012, “Finding Bigfoot”, Animal Planet’s number one rated TV show held a Town Hall Meeting in Lafayette, PA, one county South and East of Chautauqua county for a show in their upcoming season looking in the area of The Allegheny National Forest. “There were seven eyewitnesses to Bigfoot sightings from Chautauqua County who came forward to me in the months prior to our first Expo on May 6th, so it stands to reason that Bigfoots are also in the counties to the South of Chautauqua in Pennsylvania as well as to the North and East in New York State as being reported by eyewitnesses over the past two centuries.”
The 2nd annual Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Weekend & Expo is planned for April 26th, 27th & 28th, 2013. More information along with pictures and videos can be found at the Expos website.
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Below is the excerpt from the Huffington Post article from the NYSEC perspective, although as you can see from the information above, it is not the full story.
In an email to The Huffington Post, Kandel denied that his department took any such action.
"New York State has taken no action with regard to listing or protecting Bigfoot," he said.
But sasquatches aren't without some legal protections, according to a previous email from Kandel to Wiemer which stated that, "there is no open season on Bigfoot and they may not be taken."