If the FS people's story is true, this was a pigheaded, unauthorized action by the field biologists who simply wanted to show up the lab.
Stories have mentioned an investigation. Do you know if it's available online somewhere?
The goal of validating the lab is to verify accurate identification at the time the accuracy of the analytical data must be unquestionable. The usual procedure would be to combine actual samples from the forest along with the "controls." Instead they chose to proceed in this ad hoc manner that leaves them the option to claim that the samples were found in situ (if they don't get caught by the lab). If the lab does detect the discrepancy, our USFS deep ecologists can claim that they were being really "diligent" by "testing" the lab. Yet to so proceed without a write-up casts doubt on the entire study. Why would they risk that if they were so determined to be "careful"?
Unfortunately, there are more problems with these claims as I suggested earlier. How did they obtain the "dummy" samples of known lynx hair from so far away without records of the request? If they submitted the samples as controls, where is the documentation of that fact? Something, anything... Nubers on the vials? Notes in a lab notebook? A PO?
As I understand it, some of the individuals involved in this case were also involved in the corrupt farce that is the "science" underlying a clear taking of private property in the Klamath Basin. If that is true, there are motive, means, opportunity, and a pattern of behavior that would be concurrent with fraudulent act. Such would benefit an economic interest on the part of (surprise!) the timber industry (such as International Paper, Georgia Pacific, and Weyerhauser). These companies do not want timber from National Forests depressing the prices from their private forests, which is one reason that they have been so generous to environmental NGOs. Has there been a grant from the foundations of any major stockholders in these companies for this study or to "volunteer" advocates of the lynx?