As early as the fourth grade I was intrigued by everything Bigfoot. The Yeti, the Abominal Snowman, Sasquatch and of course the main guy… Bigfoot. So much that, back then, I wanted to be a Bigfoot researcher. Well, you probably guessed it but that never happened. Since I do live in the Pacific Northwest, home of the ever elusive Bigfoot, while I can’t be a Bigfoot researcher (i doubt the pay is that great unless you get a show on the History Channel) I’ve decided to write a Bigfoot-themed post in honor of the hairy cryptid.
I hope I do you justice, Bigfoot.
Who you Gonna Call? BIG-FOOT!
Proof that Portland, Oregon has always been weird…
Weird but true, in Portland, Oregon back in 1972, you could dial BIG-FOOT (244-3668) to report sightings of the intrepid hairy beast. I have no ideas how many sightings were reported to the hotline but I’m betting it was a lot, and there’s probably no way to find out. Nowadays, however, if you call 503-244-3668 you get the voicemail for Charlie at Mr. Big Foot Inc. So far Charlie hasn’t returned my calls.
Skamania County’s Bigfoot Law
Skamania County, Washington may be just as weird as Portland, or at least give Portland a run for it’s money.
Back in 1969, when Bigfoot fever was at its height and there were a lot of sightings in Skamania County, the Skamania County Commissioners passed ordinance 69-01 protecting Bigfoot and making killing one a felony and punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and/or 5 years in jail. Although I saw a lot of blogs and articles mentioning Skamania County’s Bigfoot ordinance I still found it hard to believe. Especially since the original ordinance was passed on April 1, 1969. Could this be just a hoax to get more attention for the county? I really couldn’t tell.
So I reached out to the Skamania County Clerk and spoke to Grace Cross. She said it was true and got me in contact with Debbie Slack, Clerk of the Commissioners Board. She maintains a copy of the county ordinances. The next day Debbie sent me an email with both the original ordinance and the updated one which proves that this is weird but true!
Skamania County Ordinance
Tuesday, April 01, 1969
Ordinance No. 69-01
Be it hereby ordained by the Board of County Commissioners of Skamania County:
Whereas, there is evidence to indicate the possible existence in Skamania County of a nocturnal primate mammal variously described as an ape-like creature or a sub-species of Homo Sapiens; and
Whereas, both legend and purported recent sightings and spoor support this possibility, and
Whereas, this creature is generally and commonly known as a “Sasquatch”, “Yeti”, “Bigfoot”, or\”Giant Hairy ape”, and has resulted in an influx of scientific investigators as well as casual hunters, many armed with lethal weapons, and
Whereas, the absence of specific laws covering the taking of specimens encourages laxity in the use of firearms and other deadly devices and poses a clear and present threat to the safety and well-being of persons living or traveling within the boundaries of Skamania County as well as to the creatures themselves,
Therefore be it resolved that any premeditated, willful and wanton slaying of such creature shall be deemed a felony punishable by a fine not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) and/or imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed Five (5) years. Be it further resolved that the situation existing constitutes an emergency and as such this ordinance is effective immediately.
Years later in 1984, under Skamania County ordinance 1984-02, the County Commisioners updated the original Bigfoot ordinance. The County replaced the part about killing Bigfoot being punishable by a fine or 5 years in jail. In it’s place, Skamania County commissioners made Skamania County a Bigfoot refuge, protecting Bigfoot from potential hunters, and declared Bigfoot an endangered species. Anyone violating the updated ordinance may be punished with a gross misdemeanor or a misdemeanor and may be fined with a year in jail for up to one year or a fine up to $1,000.
Skamania County Ordinace
Ordinance No. 1984-02
Partially Repealing and Amending Ordinance No 1969-01.
WHEREAS, evidence continues to accumulate indicating the possible existence within Skamania County of a nocturnal primate mammal variously described as an ape-like creature or a sub-species of Homosapiens; and
WHEREAS, legend, purported recent findings, and spoor support this possibility; and
WHEREAS, this creature is generally and commonly known as “Sasquatch, “Yeti”, “Bigfoot”, or “Giant Hairy Ape”, all of which terms may hereinafter be used interchangeably; and
WHEREAS, publicity attendant upon such real or imagined findings and other evidence have resulted in an influx of scientific investigators as well as casual hunters, most of which are armed with lethal weapons; and
WHEREAS, the absence of specific national and state laws restricting the taking of specimens has created a dangerous state of affairs within this county with regard to firearms and other deadly devices used to hunt the Yeti and poses a clear and present danger to the safety and well-being of persons living or traveling within the boundaries of this county as well as to the Giant Hairy Apes themselves; and
WHEREAS, previous County Ordinance No. 1969-01 deemed the slaying of such a creature to be a felony (punishable by 5 years in prison) and may have exceeded the jurisdictional authority of that Board of County Commissioners; now, therefore
BE IT HEREBY ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF SKAMANIA COUNTY that that portion of Ordinance No. 1969-01, deeming the slaying of Bigfoot to be a felony and punishable by 5 years in prison, is hereby repealed and in its stead the following sections are enacted:
SECTION 1. Sasquatch Refuge. The Sasquatch, Yeti, Bigfoot, or Giant Hairy Ape are declared to be endangered species of Skamania County and there is hereby created a Sasquatch Refuge, the boundaries of which shall be co-extensive with the boundaries of Skamania County.
Not to be outdone by Skamania County…
In June of 1991, not to be outdone by Skamania County, Whatcom County officials passsed a bill declaring all of Whatcom County a “Sasquatch Protection and Refuge Area”. The officials figured that if Sasquatch does exist, it would be an endangered species and therefore would need protection. I tried contacting Whatcom County to verify that this ordinance actually existed but no-one returned my calls. I do believe this to be true and not just some April Fools joke but I haven’t proven it yet.
So, what do you think? Do you believe in Bigfoot or do you think it’s all just a big, perpetuating hoax? For me, I want to believe. Leave your opinion in the Comments below.