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An illustrated photo of sasquatch and the title Mythical Wildlife Division. The wildlife habitats of America’s greatest legends maybe at risk. Discover what you can do. Logo art for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. #KeepItGreen #OpenSpace © istockphoto

An illustrated photo of sasquatch and the title Mythical Wildlife Division. The wildlife habitats of America’s greatest legends maybe at risk. Discover what you can do. Logo art for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. #KeepItGreen #OpenSpace © istockphoto.com

Rare Bigfoot sighting in New York City

Posted by: Mike Illenberg, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Communication, on 4/1/2016 at 8:00am

What was that on the New York Highline this morning?

In one of Manhattan’s most visited green spaces New Yorkers and tourists encountered an unusual sight that they may well never forget.

Photos/Illustrations by Mary Horning, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Communication

Photos/Illustrations by Mary Horning, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Communication

“At first I thought it was a dirty stray sheepdog peeing [sic] on the path” said Manhattan resident and self-identified hipster Braden O’Brien. “But then he stood up and I knew I’d better watch my step. I’ve seen pictures of Bigfoot, but I just can’t believe he’s for real.”

Thaddeus Guttenberg was cautious to not discount the sighting’s legitimacy. A researcher with the U.S. Forest Service’s Mythical Wildlife Division, Dr. Guttenberg had, not too long ago, encountered something similar in the Cleveland National Forest in California.

“With more development occurring in the wildland-urban interface, and the growing trend of creating green spaces in metropolitan environments, there is an increase in sightings of animals you wouldn’t traditionally see in cities,” said Guttenberg referring to a recent news story about several lions that were recently wandering the neighborhoods of Nairobi, Kenya. He added, “Who hasn’t seen a fox, an opossum, or a coyote in their city?”

Most New Yorkers walked by without even noticing, but the tourists were thrilled. Mary Smith, who is visiting from Texas, tried to take a selfie with what she thought was the popular Star Wars character “Chewbacca” on his way to work in Times Square. Her cackled laughter rose above the din of a gathering crowd when the unidentified creature ran from her and hid behind one of the small trees recently planted with help from the US Forest Service’s Urban Forestry program.

Others were not so enamored by the pungent musk their nostrils encountered.  “Wash that suit!” was a common utterance from parents trying to deter their kids from getting too close to the “strange man” in the “ape suit.”

Photos/Illustrations by Mary Horning, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Communication

Photos/Illustrations by Mary Horning, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Communication

In addition to recreation, and attracting mythical creatures, green spaces like the New York Highline help offset carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. They provide habitat for native fish, bird, mammal, plant and insect species that had been absent from metro areas for much of the last century. 

After Smith’s intrusion, the creature stood still and didn’t move. A child whispered, “He’s a Sasquatch.”

Reports of North American Sasquatch or Bigfoot sightings are relatively rare when you consider the growth of the wildland-urban interface known as the WUI (pronounced woo-ee), and that 3 in 10 Americans believe Bigfoot is real.  

But this is New York.

Within seconds the crowd had lost interest in the mystery animal and moved on with their daily schedules.

As cities expand and rebound, the number of urban forests will multiply and become vital to sustaining environmental quality and well-being in metropolitan areas. The U.S. Forest Service estimates tree cover in urban areas of the conterminous United States at 35.1 percent (20.9 million acres).

If you’d like to encourage a North American Sasquatch to visit your city, try planting a few trees in your backyard or create your own greenspace or even a mini-yard grassland. You never know what might show up.

Photos/Illustrations by Mary Horning, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Communication

Photos/Illustrations by Mary Horning, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Communication

Loss of space threatening North American Sasquatch

Posted by: Tiffany Holloway, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Communication, on 4/1/2015 at 8:30am

There are many reasons the U.S. Forest Service conserves open space. It allows us to deliver clean water, provide space for recreation activities and maintain wildlife habitat for a variety of creatures – most notably the North American Sasquatch.

Photos/Illustrations by Mary Horning, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Communication

Photos/Illustrations by Mary Horning, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Communication

While most people believe this Ape Man to be a thing of folklore and urban legend, researcher Thaddeus Guttenberg, with the U.S. Forest Service Mythical Wildlife Division, recently confirmed that Bigfoot is as real as he is.

“We’ve been keeping its existence under wraps for years to protect its privacy,” said Guttenberg. “But because the country is losing more and more open space each day, we wanted to make it known that the habitat to one of America’s greatest legends may be at risk.”

Most people only know Bigfoot from the 1987 family classic, Harry and the Hendersons, and his recent work appearing in more than 40 beef jerky commercials. But what most people don’t know is that wasn’t just a guy in a suit – it was the actual hominid-like creature. But despite his brushes with Hollywood fame, the tall, dark and hairy creature has remained elusive.

Throughout the years he has been spotted more than 400 times just in and around California. Since reports of his actual existence were confirmed by the Forest Service, many recreationists have spotted the ape-like creature.

The first sighting March 26 at 7:31 a.m. was by a group of teenage hikers in the Cleveland National Forest in California. They captured several great photos of the beast … but like most evidence over the years … the images mysteriously vanished.

The second sighting was at the Okanogan- Wenatchee National Forest in Oregon March 31 at 10:31 p.m.

The anonymous eyewitness said that he was capturing fireflies with his two kids when he heard a loud rustling sound. Then he noticed a hairy figure step out of the trees. He frantically searched for his night vision binoculars and saw that it was no bear.

“That thing, Bigfoot or Sasquatch, whatever you want to call it, was huge and scary,” said the witness. “I always thought Bigfoot was a myth. Too bad I didn’t have my video camera.”

Not known to many, the Forest Service has invested in high-tech cameras that only report credible Bigfoot images and sounds. 

So, the next time you’re viewing one of our “animal cams” streaming live on YouTube, pay close attention, because you may see a glimpse of the giant creature.

The last sighting this week (that we know of) was by a camper at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in California near Mount St. Helens Ranger District April 1 at 8:31 a.m. The eyewitness was collecting wood for a campfire when she noticed a huge structure that was shaped like a nest.

“There were several limbs woven together creating some type of dome,” said Mary Contrary. “I didn’t know what it was until I saw a few very large footprints by the structure. That’s when I knew it was a Sasquatch.”

With the confirmed existence of Bigfoot, the Forest Service has put together a few outdoor and recreation safety tips:

Photos/Illustrations by Mary Horning, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Communication

Photos/Illustrations by Mary Horning, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Communication

For more information please visit, www.ThisWasAnAprilFoolsDayJoke.fs.fed.us.

The part of the story that’s no joking matter:

An estimated 6,000 acres of open space are lost each day, a rate of 4 acres per minute. Looking ahead, the Forests on the Edge project estimates that 57 million acres of private forest lands could experience sizeable increases in housing density by 2030.

Public forests are also affected -- the National Forests on the Edge publication estimates that 21 million acres of private rural lands near national forests and grasslands will experience substantial housing density increases by 2030.

 

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