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Feds Grant Arapaho Tribe Permission to Kill 2 Bald Eagles in WY

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March 14, 2012

Feds Grant Arapaho Tribe Permission to Kill 2 Bald Eagles in WY

By Chad Love

The US Fish & Wildlife Service has granted a Wyoming American Indian tribe permission to kill two bald eagles for religious purposes.

From this story on foxnews.com:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken the unusual step of issuing a permit allowing an American Indian tribe in Wyoming to kill two bald eagles for religious purposes. The agency's decision comes after the Northern Arapaho Tribe filed a federal lawsuit last year contending the refusal to issue such permits violates tribal members' religious freedom. Although thousands of American Indians apply for eagle feathers and carcasses from a federal repository, permits allowing the killing of bald eagles are exceedingly rare, according to both tribal and legal experts on the matter.

"I've not heard of a take permit for a bald eagle," Steve Moore, lawyer with the Native American Rights Fund, or NARF, in Boulder, Colo., said Tuesday. "I see it and NARF would see it as a legitimate expression of sovereignty by the tribe, and respect for that sovereignty by the Fish and Wildlife Service."

Federal law prohibits the killing of bald eagles in almost all cases. The government keeps eagle feathers and body parts in a federal repository and tribal members can apply for them for use in religious ceremonies. The bald eagle was removed from the federal list of threatened species in 2007, following its reclassification in 1995 from endangered to threatened. However, the species has remained protected under the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Thoughts? Reaction?

Comments (24)

Top Rated
All Comments
from fezzant wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

It's 2 animals from a non-threatened, non-endangered species. Let them have it. I don't believe continuous hunting any of top level predator is sustainable, but that's not what we're talking about here.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

I guess I agree with fezzant's comment, but it still feels a little wrong to me since this bird represents so much to this country.

That being said, historically speaking and outside of the American Buffalo, haven't Native Americans generally been respectful conversationalist-types?

I'm also trying to relate this to something a Catholic or Jew or even Muslim might do that could offend another party, but I'm drawing a blank...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dialysis33 wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

I'll refer you two an article in Wisconsin about the wolf hunt the Native Americans want to carry out. Anyway I agree the indians have always been respectful to the enviornment and the animals. More so than our own history dictates. The whole sale slaughter of the Bison on our own plains in the 1800's demonstrates this. A federal repository does exist and the indians do apply for permits to obtain feathers and body parts. I know the taking of two bald eagles with will done humanely and in accordance with federal laws, I just hope that we are not seeing the beginning of a trend here. I am concerned that with the granting of a single permit we are not going to be baring witness to a trend. I too am disconcerted by the notion and the idea but also remaining respectful and open minded.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hil wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Can of worms. I'm all for allowing people the freedom to practice their religion and uphold their beliefs and traditions, but when you start allowing exceptions to federal law for it, you leave the door open for all sorts of slippery-slope-style trouble.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wvboy1022 wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Their people have been here longer than our gov't and laws. Not saying they should just kill whatever, but so long as it is regulated I see no problem.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Kunkle wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

There should be no exceptions to the Federal Law protecting the American Bald Eagle! No one, not even the Indians should be allowed to kill them, for whatever reason!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Kunkle wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

There should be no exceptions to the Federal Law protecting the American Bald Eagle! No one, not even the Indians should be allowed to kill them, for whatever reason!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Too bad, I guess. My faith doesn't include animal sacrifice...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

This showed up in the Answers section so I'll just post my comment there here:

I recall a big flap about this a few years back when an Indian tribe petitioned the government to let them remove a couple of bald eagle chicks for ceremonial sacrifices. The worst that came out of it is a couple of rather modest folks in the Park Service managed to ride the wave of publicity into positions way beyond their capabilities. I'm afraid they join quite a large fraternity/sorority of similar government potentates whose only genuine qualifications are their lack of aversion to cleaning their faces with toilet paper rather than a washcloth like those few remaining souls who respect themselves and their duty to the public more than a paycheck.

The bald eagle, regardless if it is a "national symbol," has recovered way beyond anyone's expectations. They need to be culled in many places. And, no, they are never going to fully recover their range thanks to recreational and suburban development of their habitat. Indians can have a few if they figure they need it to salvage some remnant of their culture.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

CL3, there is still a lot of raging debate among historians and anthropologists on the Native Americans as traditional conservationists. See Calvin Martin's "Keepers of the Game" for a very thorough discussion of this thesis.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Anyone who thinks that the United States Government has never been guilty of infringement of religious rights to the extent of seizure of property and imprisonment doesn't know their history. If federal laws are going to be relaxed for one religious party then other laws restricting religious practice should also be relaxed. Giant Can of Worms.

A system already exists whereby they can get eagle feathers and parts, the possesion of which is a federal crime for anyone who isn't an Indian.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mibasshunter wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

So some of you said that the Native Americans were here before our government, but weren't we here before our government too? Also 2 bald eagles! Couldn't they just keep getting feathers instead of killing these majestic animals.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Let's set this precedent.
To experience my religion I must kill deer and turkeys culminating in the partaking of of their flesh on a yearly basis. So if the anti-hunting nut jobs ever succeed in ending hunting as we know it I'll need this religious exemption.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

charlie elk: There ya go! And on that note, aren't there "religions" that have marijuana as their religious sacrament?! I think you just need to be able to make any sort of claim like that "officially" and you're all set.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Today I find out the the President signed a law that allows the secret service to restrict your freedom of speech at any location where an elected official may be present at their discretion. To put this in F&S terms, lets hypothesize that President Obama wanted to stop the sale of all firearms, drain all the swamps for McMansions and end all water pollution regulations in the US so the 1%'er could pollute all they wanted and cut down all the forests and sell it to China and he was coming to your town for a 1% fund raising dinner. You and your sportsman buddies wanted to protest at the airport, with signs and noise. Now Federal law prevents you from protesting or petitioning (thats the first amendment this time, just as important) your Government, because the secret service doesn't like where you are doing it. So lets put this in perspective; This administration had claimed the right to kill an American citizen with out due process ( 5 amendment) and suspend habeas corpus (article 1) when the president feels like it and force standards on a religion that are clearly unconstitutional (first again). The core of our Government is rotting. And we are worried about 2 Bald Eagles? Did I get that right?

I have seen bald eagles flying over a parking lot in a metropolitan area in the east just last year. They are no longer anywhere near in danger. Beautiful birds, great symbols; This is a non issue.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

The story is not quite as noble as some would like to think. Yes, the tribe is asking permission ... this time. One of their guys already surepticiously killed a bald eagle to make a point in court. His case was initially dismissed but then overturned on appeal. The Supreme Court elected not to hear it so the guy plead guilty.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Stanley Sigstad wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

The Native Americans do not hunt any species to extinction but lovingly select a few to hunt thus protecting the species. If they hunt two Eagles you can bet they will use every part of the eagle and with their respect for that animal will say a prayer thanking the animal for giving its life for them. Let's not forget about the white man who hunted the buffalo to extinction letting the animal to rot simple for the hides. They hunt what they need and not for monetary gain. If everyone had the same respect for life that the Native Americans did we'd still have many species, now extinct, still alive to enjoy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Stanely, not to nitpick here but the "White Man" didn't hunt buffalo to extinction.

We all here can be thankful Benjamin Franklin didn't get his way!

Allowing them to take two Bald Eagles isn't going to cause any major disaster, and I see no problem in allowing them to do so. I understand the symbolism of the Bald Eagle and the different side of the issue, but I will refer you to Charlie Elks post. Finally Ontario Honker they may not totally recover to prior levels, but they are doing very well even with development. We have four or five breeding pairs in surrounding counties in my area that all have nest within developed areas.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oregon Jim wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

I just wonder why any act of religion would require killing one of God's creatures, whether it be eagles in Indian ceremonies, or chickens in some voodoo ceremony. Killing for food makes sense. Killing to please the Almighty is just wierd.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Captjim wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Hill has it right about the slippery slope. I would like to add that this is the perfect opportunity for Obama to yet again piss on the America he hates so badly and if he can open this door then there are many more to follow. Doesn't it seem strange that he makes life miserable for all the religions (Catholic's at the moment) except Islam but now all the sudden the Indians get the green light as long as it's pissing on America with him like some sort of tag team. He just couldn't resist this one. Washington already lets the indians kill the whales for religion but letting them kill our national bird is a disgrace to all of us and that's what he wants. He does not give a rats ass about the indians. This man grew up in Indonesia in an environment that hates America and what it stands for and he is thrilled to let the Indians do this.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob81 wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Captjim,

"Doesn't it seem strange that he makes life miserable for all the religions (Catholic's at the moment) except Islam"

Ummm... maybe you haven't heard, but there is this war-thing happening over in Afghanistan that Obama has been all about.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

CaptainJim, gets two thumbs up on his assesment!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Captjim wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Hey Bob, I was referring to religions in the United States. You know the gun and bible clingers. Mandating birth control on the Catholics, the looney toon Mormans. if a muslim kills us at Fort Hood it's workplace violence, if a mentally ill soldier kills a muslim it's murder and they will call for a quick trial and execution. It's been 3 years since Fort Hood and nobodies in any hurry to serve justice. They are dragging their feet on the 911 terrorists. I can go on and on. About that war thing, Let me tell you who the real Obama is. Imagine Obama is walking down the street and sees a parade going buy. He jumps up on the first float and waves to the crowd claiming credit for the parade. If you can't see what he is doing to this country ie deficit spending, dividing the country using unions, destroying business, a disgraceful energy policy, and many more things then I suggest you take a trip to Cuba to see where we are headed. Obama's plan for everybody being equal is everybody suffering the same. But I have have good news for Bob. There is going to be a day when the takers will outvote the makers. When that happens the US will cease to be the great country it once was and everything will be down hill from there. When that happens the Government will run out of other peoples money and there will be bad things happening. Obama can't wait, finally the US gets what it deserves. Maybe the vacation queen Michelle will be proud of her country then.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Louzianajones wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

You would get less jail time in this country for killing a person than for killing an eagle!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from charlie elk wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Let's set this precedent.
To experience my religion I must kill deer and turkeys culminating in the partaking of of their flesh on a yearly basis. So if the anti-hunting nut jobs ever succeed in ending hunting as we know it I'll need this religious exemption.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

This showed up in the Answers section so I'll just post my comment there here:

I recall a big flap about this a few years back when an Indian tribe petitioned the government to let them remove a couple of bald eagle chicks for ceremonial sacrifices. The worst that came out of it is a couple of rather modest folks in the Park Service managed to ride the wave of publicity into positions way beyond their capabilities. I'm afraid they join quite a large fraternity/sorority of similar government potentates whose only genuine qualifications are their lack of aversion to cleaning their faces with toilet paper rather than a washcloth like those few remaining souls who respect themselves and their duty to the public more than a paycheck.

The bald eagle, regardless if it is a "national symbol," has recovered way beyond anyone's expectations. They need to be culled in many places. And, no, they are never going to fully recover their range thanks to recreational and suburban development of their habitat. Indians can have a few if they figure they need it to salvage some remnant of their culture.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from fezzant wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

It's 2 animals from a non-threatened, non-endangered species. Let them have it. I don't believe continuous hunting any of top level predator is sustainable, but that's not what we're talking about here.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hil wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Can of worms. I'm all for allowing people the freedom to practice their religion and uphold their beliefs and traditions, but when you start allowing exceptions to federal law for it, you leave the door open for all sorts of slippery-slope-style trouble.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wvboy1022 wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Their people have been here longer than our gov't and laws. Not saying they should just kill whatever, but so long as it is regulated I see no problem.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

CL3, there is still a lot of raging debate among historians and anthropologists on the Native Americans as traditional conservationists. See Calvin Martin's "Keepers of the Game" for a very thorough discussion of this thesis.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Anyone who thinks that the United States Government has never been guilty of infringement of religious rights to the extent of seizure of property and imprisonment doesn't know their history. If federal laws are going to be relaxed for one religious party then other laws restricting religious practice should also be relaxed. Giant Can of Worms.

A system already exists whereby they can get eagle feathers and parts, the possesion of which is a federal crime for anyone who isn't an Indian.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Stanley Sigstad wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

The Native Americans do not hunt any species to extinction but lovingly select a few to hunt thus protecting the species. If they hunt two Eagles you can bet they will use every part of the eagle and with their respect for that animal will say a prayer thanking the animal for giving its life for them. Let's not forget about the white man who hunted the buffalo to extinction letting the animal to rot simple for the hides. They hunt what they need and not for monetary gain. If everyone had the same respect for life that the Native Americans did we'd still have many species, now extinct, still alive to enjoy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Stanely, not to nitpick here but the "White Man" didn't hunt buffalo to extinction.

We all here can be thankful Benjamin Franklin didn't get his way!

Allowing them to take two Bald Eagles isn't going to cause any major disaster, and I see no problem in allowing them to do so. I understand the symbolism of the Bald Eagle and the different side of the issue, but I will refer you to Charlie Elks post. Finally Ontario Honker they may not totally recover to prior levels, but they are doing very well even with development. We have four or five breeding pairs in surrounding counties in my area that all have nest within developed areas.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

CaptainJim, gets two thumbs up on his assesment!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Captjim wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Hey Bob, I was referring to religions in the United States. You know the gun and bible clingers. Mandating birth control on the Catholics, the looney toon Mormans. if a muslim kills us at Fort Hood it's workplace violence, if a mentally ill soldier kills a muslim it's murder and they will call for a quick trial and execution. It's been 3 years since Fort Hood and nobodies in any hurry to serve justice. They are dragging their feet on the 911 terrorists. I can go on and on. About that war thing, Let me tell you who the real Obama is. Imagine Obama is walking down the street and sees a parade going buy. He jumps up on the first float and waves to the crowd claiming credit for the parade. If you can't see what he is doing to this country ie deficit spending, dividing the country using unions, destroying business, a disgraceful energy policy, and many more things then I suggest you take a trip to Cuba to see where we are headed. Obama's plan for everybody being equal is everybody suffering the same. But I have have good news for Bob. There is going to be a day when the takers will outvote the makers. When that happens the US will cease to be the great country it once was and everything will be down hill from there. When that happens the Government will run out of other peoples money and there will be bad things happening. Obama can't wait, finally the US gets what it deserves. Maybe the vacation queen Michelle will be proud of her country then.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Louzianajones wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

You would get less jail time in this country for killing a person than for killing an eagle!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

I guess I agree with fezzant's comment, but it still feels a little wrong to me since this bird represents so much to this country.

That being said, historically speaking and outside of the American Buffalo, haven't Native Americans generally been respectful conversationalist-types?

I'm also trying to relate this to something a Catholic or Jew or even Muslim might do that could offend another party, but I'm drawing a blank...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dialysis33 wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

I'll refer you two an article in Wisconsin about the wolf hunt the Native Americans want to carry out. Anyway I agree the indians have always been respectful to the enviornment and the animals. More so than our own history dictates. The whole sale slaughter of the Bison on our own plains in the 1800's demonstrates this. A federal repository does exist and the indians do apply for permits to obtain feathers and body parts. I know the taking of two bald eagles with will done humanely and in accordance with federal laws, I just hope that we are not seeing the beginning of a trend here. I am concerned that with the granting of a single permit we are not going to be baring witness to a trend. I too am disconcerted by the notion and the idea but also remaining respectful and open minded.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Kunkle wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

There should be no exceptions to the Federal Law protecting the American Bald Eagle! No one, not even the Indians should be allowed to kill them, for whatever reason!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carl Kunkle wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

There should be no exceptions to the Federal Law protecting the American Bald Eagle! No one, not even the Indians should be allowed to kill them, for whatever reason!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steward wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Too bad, I guess. My faith doesn't include animal sacrifice...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

charlie elk: There ya go! And on that note, aren't there "religions" that have marijuana as their religious sacrament?! I think you just need to be able to make any sort of claim like that "officially" and you're all set.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Today I find out the the President signed a law that allows the secret service to restrict your freedom of speech at any location where an elected official may be present at their discretion. To put this in F&S terms, lets hypothesize that President Obama wanted to stop the sale of all firearms, drain all the swamps for McMansions and end all water pollution regulations in the US so the 1%'er could pollute all they wanted and cut down all the forests and sell it to China and he was coming to your town for a 1% fund raising dinner. You and your sportsman buddies wanted to protest at the airport, with signs and noise. Now Federal law prevents you from protesting or petitioning (thats the first amendment this time, just as important) your Government, because the secret service doesn't like where you are doing it. So lets put this in perspective; This administration had claimed the right to kill an American citizen with out due process ( 5 amendment) and suspend habeas corpus (article 1) when the president feels like it and force standards on a religion that are clearly unconstitutional (first again). The core of our Government is rotting. And we are worried about 2 Bald Eagles? Did I get that right?

I have seen bald eagles flying over a parking lot in a metropolitan area in the east just last year. They are no longer anywhere near in danger. Beautiful birds, great symbols; This is a non issue.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

The story is not quite as noble as some would like to think. Yes, the tribe is asking permission ... this time. One of their guys already surepticiously killed a bald eagle to make a point in court. His case was initially dismissed but then overturned on appeal. The Supreme Court elected not to hear it so the guy plead guilty.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Oregon Jim wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

I just wonder why any act of religion would require killing one of God's creatures, whether it be eagles in Indian ceremonies, or chickens in some voodoo ceremony. Killing for food makes sense. Killing to please the Almighty is just wierd.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob81 wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

Captjim,

"Doesn't it seem strange that he makes life miserable for all the religions (Catholic's at the moment) except Islam"

Ummm... maybe you haven't heard, but there is this war-thing happening over in Afghanistan that Obama has been all about.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mibasshunter wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

So some of you said that the Native Americans were here before our government, but weren't we here before our government too? Also 2 bald eagles! Couldn't they just keep getting feathers instead of killing these majestic animals.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Captjim wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

Hill has it right about the slippery slope. I would like to add that this is the perfect opportunity for Obama to yet again piss on the America he hates so badly and if he can open this door then there are many more to follow. Doesn't it seem strange that he makes life miserable for all the religions (Catholic's at the moment) except Islam but now all the sudden the Indians get the green light as long as it's pissing on America with him like some sort of tag team. He just couldn't resist this one. Washington already lets the indians kill the whales for religion but letting them kill our national bird is a disgrace to all of us and that's what he wants. He does not give a rats ass about the indians. This man grew up in Indonesia in an environment that hates America and what it stands for and he is thrilled to let the Indians do this.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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