Last year, the Obama administration signed into law the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. With the swipe of his pen, President Obama designated 86 new Wild and Scenic Rivers, totaling over 1,100 miles in Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, California, and Massachusetts. In addition, the legislation included protections for 350,000 acres of land along rivers and also contains new Wilderness designations for over two million acres of public land.
How many sasquatches did that protect?
Probably quite a few.
While I do not think Mr. Obama did this for the ‘squatch, I do think he has affected things in a very positive way. How could this be a bad thing?
My friends Kathy Moskowitz-Strain and her husband Bob Strain suggested to me many years ago that the best sasquatch habitat would be the wilderness areas. To me that makes sense. These protected areas would offer some isolation from humans. This combined with the healthy forest and natural food supply would point to more offspring. The younger bigfoots (offspring) would be pushed out as they mature, as Dr. Grover Krantz suggested in his excellent book, Bigfoot/Sasquatch Evidence. These young ones would wander about looking for a slice of land to call their own. Dr. Krantz called them “rogue males,” though perhaps they are not all males. These wilderness areas would basically function as the place where bigfoots are “made,” like popping pop corn on a campfire (analogous to the wilderness area) and having kernels pop out in random directions (bigfoots maturing and wandering off in search of their own slice of heaven).
The Roaring River is one such area that was set aside as a protected Wilderness area by this law. My attention was drawn to the Roaring River by Thom Powell a year or two ago. He mapped the many sasquatch encounters that had been reported from the area, and noticed that there was a huge roadless area smack dab in the middle of them all. There were no reported encounters from this area.
Of course there are no reports from there. Almost nobody goes in there. To have a sasquatch encounter, you not only need a sasquatch, but a witness too.
Thom and I did a trek to the bottom of this area in late summer of 2008. We walked about 1.5 miles on the map, but it was a 1400 foot elevation loss/gain. The incline was terrible on the way down, but even worse on the way up. There is a scene in my “Squatching With Cliff” video I submitted for Columbia’s Pioneer of the Outdoors video contest (I was runner up!) when I’m whining about being too tired to say something witty. That was filmed on the way up the hill. I wasn’t acting. The walk out sucked.
Thom Powell on our trip to the bottom of the Roaring River
Being on the bottom of the Roaring River chasm reminded me of something out of Jurassic Park. It is honestly the only place I’ve ever been where I saw absolutely no signs whatsoever of humans for the entire time I was there. No trails, no litter, nothing. Pristine wilderness at its best. Simply the biggest douglas firs I’ve ever seen. A sylvan wonderland.
And yes, there are bigfoots there. I’m not saying we definitely had an encounter, but some large animal came and woke us up with one of those super deep “motor boat” growls on the last morning. We never saw the animal, and my recorder was no longer running. Just another story (the kind I’m discouraging: the ones without data to back them up).
Anyways, I have an idea. I call it “Conservation Before Discovery“.
No matter what walk of life you we come from, we all love the ‘squatch. So why not do something for them? After all, they’ve already given us so much.
I am suggesting that whenever possible, we should support the passage of environmental laws that set aside land that would be prime sasquatch habitat. I would also encourage the bigfooting community to support legislation that would directly benefit sasquatches, such as the elimination of contaminants and pollutions from water supplies.
My agenda is not political, but ecological. Unfortunately, at this time, I don’t think we (my bigfooting brothers and sisters) have the numbers required to create legislation. But when we see it, we can support existing endeavors that further protect or increase existing sanctuaries.
I’m not suggesting that we stop any of the many things we do outdoors and end up drastically affecting jobs, recreation, or resources.
I think in a lot of ways logging, for example, actually helps the sasquatch population. It increases the amount of sunlight that reaches the forest floor, which increases the amount of food for deer. (Elk, however, do not require the nutritious food that deer do, and can in fact forage in the shade of the forest eating food with a much lower nutritional value.)
The logging roads give easy navigation routes directly to these deer feeding grounds, and most of these roads do not record footprints. I’m sure the sasquatches utilize these highways we’ve made for them, though I know they are not dependent on them.
Of course, on the other side of the coin is the fact that logging hurts salmon runs. To what extent do sasquatches depend on the salmon runs? I don’t know. A thorough ecological study would have to be done, but in the meantime: “Conservation before discovery.”
I do know one thing that would surely benefit the sasquatch population: leaving big chunks wild land alone.
We can take steps now to ensure a healthy sasquatch population for our future. A future where sasquatches are a recognized member of the great ape family, along with gorillas, orangutans, chimps, bonobos, gibbons, and humans. A future when we will know that sasquatches are not endangered because of the thorough ecological studies that have been done to prove it.
Is this an idea you can get behind? Can you do it for bigfoot?
Do you respect the ‘squatch?