Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Hunting

House Resource Committee Probes Contaminated Lynx Study

Friday, March 22, 2002

On March 6, the House Resources Committee, Chaired by U.S. Representative James Hansen (R-Utah), heard testimony on the scandal surrounding the National Lynx Study—a study tainted by officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and Washington State`s Department of Fish & Wildlife when they were reported to have planted evidence. The study—which could impact 15 states and 57 national parks—seeks to determine whether there are populations of Canada Lynx living in the United States and whether they should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The controversy centers around three hair samples clipped from a captured lynx that were planted in three separate areas of the study area within Washington State. Two of the areas had never been known to have a lynx population. These samples were then submitted to the lab at the University of Montana as study data for DNA testing. When questioned as to why they planted these illegitimate samples, the biologists involved claimed that they did not trust the lab, and that they were simply "testing" the facility. The University`s lab director indicated that there was no justification for the biologists to "test" his lab or his methodology.

But while federal studies often have protocols that allow for blind testing of labs, the researchers did not follow what the National Lynx Study had proscribed for testing lab methodology. Furthermore, while the researchers claimed they intended to tell the lab of the false samples, the lab was never notified, and the study did not provide a vehicle or opportunity for such notification. Once the false samples were delivered to the lab and confirmed to be lynx hairs, those samples would become a part of the survey. We may never know the true motivation of the researchers, or their true intentions, but we do know their questionable actions were not brought to light until one scientist involved reported this information to a superior the day before his retirement.

U.S. Representative Scott McInnis (R-Colo.) was the standard-bearer for scientific integrity during the hearings, but several lawmakers weighed in to try to determine what may have led researchers to act so outrageously. U.S. Representative Greg Waldon (R-Ore.) likened the actions of the biologists to that of a U.S. Congressman who, after being caught accepting bribes from undercover FBI agents during the ABSCAM investigation begun in the late 70s, claimed he was conducting his own private "study." Rep. McInnis was just as harsh, comparing what the researchers did to a corrupt police officer who plants evidence in order to secure a conviction.

While the study will continue, and has been adjusted to account for the fraudulent samples, the reckless and possibly criminal actions of these scientists could have jeopardized the public use of millions of acres of land in the northern United States. NRA applauds the actions of the Resource Committee thus far, and NRA-ILA Executive Director James Jay Baker sent a letter of thanks to Reps. Hansen and McInnis for leading this effort. Baker also expressed NRA`s support for punishing those involved with creating this controversy, writing, "We...support you in your efforts to ensure that punishment of the researchers is commensurate with their actions. Appropriate punishment of those involved will send a clear message that the federal government cannot and will not tolerate irresponsible behavior, especially when the public use of our nation`s natural resources hangs in the balance." We will be sure to report any additional developments on this front, and we anticipate that there could be additional hearings still to come.

TRENDING NOW
NRA-Backed Resolution to Stop Obama Attack on State Wildlife Management Passes House

News  

Hunting  

Friday, February 17, 2017

NRA-Backed Resolution to Stop Obama Attack on State Wildlife Management Passes House

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.J. Res. 69, a measure that would use the Congressional Review Act to repeal an Obama-era rule passed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to preempt ...

North Dakota: Important Self-Defense Bills Pass House

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

North Dakota: Important Self-Defense Bills Pass House

Today, February 21, two important pro-gun bills passed the House of Representatives.  House Bill 1169, the constitutional/permitless carry bill, passed the House with a 83-9 vote and House Bill 1310, the school carry bill, passed ...

California DOJ Withdraws “Assault Weapon” Regulations

Monday, February 13, 2017

California DOJ Withdraws “Assault Weapon” Regulations

As previously reported, after the California Department of Justice submitted regulations regarding newly classified “assault weapons” to the Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) for publication in the California Code of Regulations (CCR), NRA and California ...

Kentucky: House Introduces Constitutional/Permitless Carry Legislation

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kentucky: House Introduces Constitutional/Permitless Carry Legislation

The Kentucky House of Representatives introduced their own constitutional/permitless carry bill. House Bill 316, sponsored by Representative C. Wesley Morgan (R-81), recognizes Kentuckians’ freedom to legally carry a concealed firearm without the burdensome requirement of acquiring ...

Senate Votes to Block Obama Social Security Administration Gun Ban; Legislation Heads to President Trump

News  

Friday, February 17, 2017

Senate Votes to Block Obama Social Security Administration Gun Ban; Legislation Heads to President Trump

On Wednesday morning, the U.S. Senate voted 57-43 in favor of H.J.Res.40, which would block the implementation of an Obama-era rule under which the Social Security Administration (SSA) would report the names of tens of ...

New Mexico: Beware of "Fake News" Regarding HB 50!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

New Mexico: Beware of "Fake News" Regarding HB 50!

Late last week, instead of voting on House Bill 50, the New Mexico House referred the bill back to the House Judiciary Committee.

Massachusetts: Legislation Introduced to Challenge AG Healey’s Gun Ban

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Massachusetts: Legislation Introduced to Challenge AG Healey’s Gun Ban

The Massachusetts General Court’s 2017 legislative session is in full swing with the introduction of numerous pro- and anti-gun bills.  Among the pro-gun bills are Senate Docket 1157 and Senate Docket 1889.  Both SD 1157 ...

Washington: One Anti-Gun Substitute Dies in Committee, Another is Headed to the House Floor

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Washington: One Anti-Gun Substitute Dies in Committee, Another is Headed to the House Floor

Today, the House Judiciary Committee considered substitute bills for House Bill 1387 and House Bill 1122. 

South Dakota: Bill Introduced to Silence NRA Communications

Friday, February 17, 2017

South Dakota: Bill Introduced to Silence NRA Communications

Recently introduced in the House of Representatives is House Bill 1200, legislation that would severely limit your NRA-ILA’s ability to communicate with its membership in South Dakota.

Connecticut Governor Covers for Failed Policies by Increasing Fees on Gun Owners

News  

Friday, February 17, 2017

Connecticut Governor Covers for Failed Policies by Increasing Fees on Gun Owners

Times are tough in the Constitution State, where Democrat governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut, despite governing the fifth wealthiest state in the nation, where 25% of households earn more than $100,000 and 10% earn more ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.