Could a 'Bigfoot Hunting Season' Promote Tourism and Wildlife Protection?
Deep in the woods, a hairy, ape-like man is said to be living a quiet and secluded life. While some deny the creature's existence, others spend their lives trying to prove it.
A recent Oklahoma bill may require those hoping to prove it to buy a permit first.
On Wednesday, one Oklahoma State Representative filed a bill to create a Bigfoot hunting season, KOCO News reported. If passed, State Rep. Justin Humphrey's bill will go into effect on Nov. 1., calling for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to set rules for the season, annual dates and hunting license and fees, according to KOCO News.
The legend has been around for decades. Best seen after sunset, Bigfoot benefits from the solitude of rural living, according to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. But don't let his large stature fool you – bigfoot's impact on the land is known to be so subtle only a trained eye can spot its tracks.
Bigfoot endures generations of folklore in Humphrey's part of Oklahoma, too, StateImpact Oklahoma noted. While some, like D.W. Lee of the Mid-America Bigfoot Research Center dedicate decades to studying and hunting the creature, KOCO News reported, others resist the rumors.
"We use science-driven research, and we don't recognize Bigfoot in the state of Oklahoma," Micah Holmes of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation told KOCO News.
But what's State Rep. Humphrey's take?
"I have been in the woods all my life and I have not ever seen any sign of Bigfoot," he told The Oklahoman. Humphrey's intent is to encourage tourism in the state, according to The Oklahoman. Establishing an actual hunting season, where enthusiasts can purchase a physical license, could draw more people into "our already beautiful part of the state," he noted in a release, according to KOCO News.
While a hunting license for an Oklahoman resident is $101 for a bear and $20 for an antlered deer, according to ODWC, Humphrey's bill does not state how much a bigfoot license would cost.
"This actually could possibly be a clever move, a way to provide more funding for the Wildlife department," one commenter wrote, according to ABC 13.
The majority of Oklahoma's Wildlife Conservation Department's income comes from licenses and fees, according to the ODWC. Yet, over the past 50 years, the popularity of hunting and fishing in the United States has rapidly declined, decreasing by 50 percent, a survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found, according to NPR. Today, only about 5 percent of Americans, 16 years old and older, actually hunt. This number is expected to keep dropping, potentially causing a serious decline in funding for state wildlife agencies, NPR reported.
In the southeastern town of Hochatown, Bigfoot merchandise is easily found and a Bigfoot festival is held every year nearby in Honobia each October, according to The Oklahoman.
Humphrey says the bill is meant as a complement to southeastern Oklahoma's tourism.
"They want to buy a license because they want to frame it on the wall," Humphrey told The Oklahoman. "Anything that could be a revenue creator is something we ought to look at and definitely entertain."
But Humphrey's bill faces criticism.
"I've had 26 encounters that I can say was actually a Bigfoot," D.W. Lee told KOCO News when he heard of Humphrey's bill. "The efforts of the people out there actually being serious about this – it really hampers us."
Objection to the bill may also stem from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization's intention to never harm the creature physically, but only study it.
Others reject the basis for the bill entirely.
"I had one lady just scream at me that she is going to make sure I will get beat because of this and told me I've lost my mind," Humphrey told The Oklahoman. "I don't think they (critics) understand what we are trying to do to promote our area."
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Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Hui Hu
Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.
Comparing rime ice and glaze ice shows how each changes the texture of the blade. Gao, Liu and Hu, 2021, CC BY-ND
Ice buildup changes air flow around the turbine blade, which can slow it down. The top photos show ice forming after 10 minutes at different temperatures in the Wind Research Tunnel. The lower measurements show airflow separation as ice accumulates. Icing Research Tunnel of Iowa State University, CC BY-ND
While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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