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
Anti-gun Propaganda Infiltrates History Channel’s Navy SEAL Drama “Six”

News  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Anti-gun Propaganda Infiltrates History Channel’s Navy SEAL Drama “Six”

With shows like “Tales of the Gun” and “Mail Call” with R. Lee Ermey, the History Channel has often served as a place where gun owners can enjoy entertainment free from the anti-gun political messaging ...

Federal Appellate Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Surrender Requirement

News  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Federal Appellate Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Surrender Requirement

Last summer, we reported on the welcome news that a federal court had blocked California’s plan to require owners of “large capacity” magazines to surrender or otherwise rid themselves of their formerly-lawful property. As the judge in ...

Gallup: Gun Control Not High on List of Problems

News  

Gun Laws  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Gallup: Gun Control Not High on List of Problems

Gallup’s July survey found that the number of Americans who cited guns or gun control as the most important problem facing America had returned to levels similar to before the shooting in Parkland, Fla. This month, ...

Moms Demand Action Reportedly Told Candidate Not to Talk about Support for Gun Ban

News  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Moms Demand Action Reportedly Told Candidate Not to Talk about Support for Gun Ban

Another chapter in the lengthy tale of gun control duplicity was written last week. On July 10, The Washington Free Beacon published a report of a video of Democratic nominee for New York’s rural upstate 21st congressional district Tedra ...

News  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Duncan v. Becerra on Tuesday upholding a lower court’s decision to suspend enforcement of California’s restriction on the possession of magazines ...

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Monday, July 16, 2018

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

On July 9th, the Seattle City Council passed a mandatory firearm storage ordinance to restrict the self-defense rights of Seattle residents.  The ordinance, if signed by Mayor Jenny Durkan, will impose a one-size-fits-all method of storing firearms as ...

Israel Set to Further Embrace Armed Citizenry to Promote Public Safety

News  

Gun Laws  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Israel Set to Further Embrace Armed Citizenry to Promote Public Safety

After a spate of terror attacks in 2015, Israel opted to loosen its firearms restrictions so that more citizens could help to defend themselves and their communities. According to a recent report from Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the Ministry ...

Washington: NRA and SAF File Lawsuit Against City of Seattle

Friday, July 20, 2018

Washington: NRA and SAF File Lawsuit Against City of Seattle

On Friday, July 20th, the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan, and others, to invalidate the mandatory firearm storage ordinance that was recently passed by ...

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

On July 17th, Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 2354 and Senate Bill 3256 into law.

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

Shortly before 4:00am last Saturday morning, the two week long Third Review Conference (RevCon3) on the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.