Thanks Uncle Sam

John Fleckenstein john.fleckenstein at
Fri Jan 4 12:11:54 EST 2002

There's more to the story that what's in the article.

The biologists were each concerned that the DNA lab might not accurately identify lynx hair.  They submitted lynx and bobcat hair from captive or dead animals to test the lab's procedure.  Source of the hair was recorded as being outside the normal survey procedure.  The procedure they followed is that used to officially test the accuracy of the lab work.  Their actions were not, however, approved by their supervisors nor were they part of an approved test of the lab's work.  

None of the false samples were included in the lynx survey reports.  No land management actions were taken based on the false samples.  

I think if these biologists had been working with non-listed species like white-tailed and mule deer or insignificant invertebrates like mardon and woodland skippers, there would have been no problems.  But they were working with a politically charged species, and the press talked to the folks who would be adversely affected if lynx were found in the area.  People in the affected agencies are hoping these actions don't start a trail of reactions.

There's probably more to the story than this, but it doesn't appear to be part of the black helicopter/blue helmet conspiracy.

John Fleckenstein
Olympia, WA


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