CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY, New York (CBS SF) – A New York State motel operator is demanding to see Sasquatch on the local endangered species list.

The Buffalo News reports that Peter Wiemer, who owns the We Wan Chu Cottages, spoke publicly before asking the Chatauqua County legislators to become the first governmental body to recognize Bigfoot in such a way.

“You should err on the side of caution,” Wiemer as lawmakers muffled laughs and rolled eyes, according to the website.

Wiemer showed off a plaster cast of what he claimed was made from Bigfoot’s footprint and claimed that there have been 17 sightings in recent years. The demand was timed just ahead of the “the third annual Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo,” which – as chance would have it – is run by Wiemer.

Wiemer insisted that, while the designation would be a boon for tourism, it was “the right thing to do” to protect the “species.”

There no indication that lawmakers planned to act on the request.

The modern origin of the bigfoot legend is more closely tied to the Northern California, where a recording known as the “Patterson Film” taken in Del Norte County in the late 1960s. The story eventually reached international fame when it was picked up by the Associated Press. The claims have since been widely discredited.

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