If New York businessman Peter Wiemer has his way, Chautauqua County could become the first to declare Bigfoot as an endangered species. That’s not as strange as it may sound. An “endangered species” is one that is likely to become extinct. Bigfoot sightings have been rare and there are groups of people intent on killing the first one they see, even if it may the last one any of us see. Dodo birds and passenger pigeons, if they were still around, would probably agree with Wiemer’s response to skeptics:
You should err on the side of caution.
New York State has long been a place for Bigfoot sightings, dating back to the 1800s. Weimer, who owns motels on Chautauqua Lake, says there have been 18 sightings in the county since 2011. He should know – he’s the creator of the annual Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot (CLBF) Weekend & Expo and keeps track of reported sightings. Wiemer pleaded his case to Chautauqua County recently with those reports and plaster casts of Bigfoot footprints.
What would being declared an endangered species in Chautauqua County mean for Bigfoot? Under the Endangered Species Act, Chautauqua County would be declared a critical habitat for Bigfoot and a recovery plan and habitat conservation plan would be developed. These would ban the destruction of Bigfoot living areas and, of course, hunting.
Bigfoots in Chautauqua County would obviously benefit from this designation, but so would the county itself, which depends on tourism. While it may sound self-serving for a motel owner and convention promoter to propose this legislation, Wiemer insists he’s sincere.
Chautauqua County tourism would be thankful, but the bottom line is it is the right thing to do – protecting a species that is rare, possibly part human and document first here in New York State. Bigfoots are not a paranormal, not scary or troublesome, and are living among us in peace and harmony in Chautauqua County.
Bigfoot promoting peace and harmony in New York. That alone would make passing the act worthwhile.