We have state snacks (Utah: Jell-O), state toys (Mississippi: Teddy Bear), state carnivorous plants (North Carolina: Venus Flytrap) and even a state cryptid (New Jersey: Jersey Devil). Now, Washington State wants to become the second with an honored cryptid by selecting the Bigfoot before some other less worthy state grabs it.
Washington state senator Ann Rivers, who represents the 18th District in Clark County, introduced Senate Bill 5816 in Olympic this week to designate Bigfoot – aka Sasquatch or Forest Yeti – as the state’s official cryptid as a way to recognize the “immeasurable contributions to Washington state’s cultural heritage and ecosystem” it has made.
While, like all politicians, Senator Rivers would prefer to take credit for this landmark bill, the authorship actually goes to a third-grader in the Battle Ground school district who wrote her a letter.
He very clearly outlined his ideas why Bigfoot should be the state cryptid and why we need to act on this before Oregon does. It was delightful.
Sounds like a politician-in-the-making. Actually, that’s part of Rivers’ plan. She’d like to see more students take an interest in government and Bigfoot could be the key.
Does Washington deserve to have Bigfoot as its state cryptid? It depends on who's counting. While the entire Pacific Northwest is prime Bigfoot territory, Washington could stake a claim as the epicenter, at least in the U.S. section. The site mynorthwest.com lists the areas of the state with the most Bigfoot sightings. Mount Rainier leads the way with 69 (at last count), followed by Skamania County (54), Snohomish County (54) and King County.(45). There’s also 14-foot-tall Bigfoot statue at Espresso Chalet in Index where the most famous Bigfoot movie (outside of the Patterson–Gimlin one) Harry and the Hendersons was filmed in 1986.
Does Washington need to hurry up before Oregon gets wind of this plan? It might be a good idea. The site oregonbigfoot.com lists 910 Bigfoot sightings in Oregon and only 155 in Washington.
Sure, it’s a publicity stunt, but isn’t that what most state symbols are? Besides, Oregon already has one unusual symbol. In 2013, the Oregon Legislature named brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as the official state microbe, making it the only state with such a designation.
Let Washington have Bigfoot, Oregon. But just to be safe, you Washington kids need to write to your state representatives to support Senate Bill 5816. Go Bigfoot!