quote:[Peg] Bargon pleaded guilty in August 1995 to two misdemeanor counts of violating the Lacey Act and the Bald Eagle Protection Act. She was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Urbana to two years of probation and fined $1,200. The Monticello woman was pardoned Saturday by President Clinton, who pardoned or gave clemency to 140 people in the final hours of his presidency. Her troubles began when she gave first lady (now Sen.) Hillary Rodham ClintonCQ a dream-catcher made with eagle feathers at a University of Illinois ceremony in May 1994. According to American Indian lore, dream-catchers, which are made of string, stones and feathers attached to a hoop, are supposed to bring good dreams to the owner. But it has brought nothing but nightmares to Bargon. Bargon said she had no idea that it was illegal just to possess the feathers. Possession of such a feather is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of as much as $56,000. Possession with intent to sell the feathers could bring up to a year in federal prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Kathy "matter of a pinion" B.
-------------------- The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."
First off, I have to correct one thing from the article.
quote: According to American Indian lore, dream-catchers, which are made of string, stones and feathers attached to a hoop, are supposed to bring good dreams to the owner.
This is incorrect. Dream catchers where usually placed over the beds of children to capture any bad dreams they might have. That way they would only have good dreams. (Sorry, pet peve )
I used to live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, and there are quite a few birds that are on the "endangered" list in the area. I remember about 6 years ago or so, a boy in our school district had a feather collection that he brought in for show-n-tell. I don't know exactly how the authorities got involved, but since the collection contained feathers from rare and endangered birds, it was taken away from the boy, and he was threatened with a rather hefty fine. They dropped it after he explained they were all feathers he had found on the ground, and he collected them becuase they were pretty; nothing more. However, he still lost the collection.
I think people over react sometimes. There is a huge difference between using a feather you find on the ground, and shooting or capturing a bird for the feathers. Heck, my mom and I collect all kinds of feathers that we find. Just don't report us.
Lizzy "squaking birds" Bean
-------------------- Come on, come on, we were once upon a time in love If the only prayer you say in your life is thank you, that would suffice. - Meister Eckhart My Blog
quote:Originally posted by LizzyBean: This is incorrect. Dream catchers where usually placed over the beds of children to capture any bad dreams they might have. That way they would only have good dreams. (Sorry, pet peve )
Completely OT, my husband has a dream catcher in his car. He also has a nasty habit of falling asleep behind the wheel (although he hasn't done so since before I met him). I'm hoping it catches the bad going-off-the-road-into-a-ditch dreams.
The Cat In "guess who drives on long trips?" The Hat
According to one NPR report, an artist got in trouble simply for using feathers found on the ground. Feathers are simply not legal in artworks. I've had a go-around with that with the San Diego Comic Con, where the art show sometimes will receive submissions that involve feathers. We pretend not to notice, but that isn't going to protect anyone if the Fish and Wildlife guys see it.
Silas (buy the darn feathers legally) Sparkhammer
-------------------- When on music's mighty pinion, souls of men to heaven rise, Then both vanish earth's dominion, man is native to the skies.
quote:Originally posted by Chava: As far as I know the only feathers that are not legal to possess are eagle feathers, and if you are a Native American who uses them for ritual purposes you can get an exemption.
From US Fish & Wildlife Service
quote:For hundreds of years, Native Americans have used eagle feathers for religious and cultural purposes, including healing, marriage, and naming ceremonies. As a result of years of habitat loss from urbanization, exposure to chemicals used in agriculture and animal husbandry, and poaching, the populations of eagles declined by an alarming rate. In order to protect these birds, the United States Congress passed the Bald Eagle Protection Act in 1940. The Act was amended in 1962 to include protection for golden eagles. The Bald Eagle Protection Act prohibits the take, transport, sale, barter, trade, import and export, and possession of eagles, making it illegal for anyone to collect eagles and eagle parts without a permit.
In recognition of the significance of eagle feathers to Native Americans, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established the National Eagle Repository in the early 1970's to provide Native Americans with the feathers of golden and bald eagles needed for ceremonial purposes. The National Eagle Repository is located at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Denver, Colorado.
The Repository serves as a collection point for dead eagles. Most of the dead golden and bald eagles received have been salvaged by State and Federal wildlife personnel. Many of these birds have died as a result of electrocution, vehicle collisions, unlawful shooting and trapping, or from natural causes. When eagles are received at the Repository, the condition of each eagle and its feathers is noted, and the species and age is recorded. If part of the bird is missing, damaged or broken, FWS staff may add replacement parts from another bird to make it complete. The bird is then stored in a freezer until it is ready to be shipped to the recipient, usually within 3-5 days.
Permits to obtain eagles or eagle parts are issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Only enrolled members of a Federally recognized tribe can obtain a permit. The permit authorizes the recipient to receive and possess eagle feathers from the Repository for religious purposes. The following must be presented when applying for an eagle possession permit: * A completed application obtained from your nearest FWS Regional Office
* Certification of tribal enrollment from the Bureau of Indian Affairs
On the application, you must specify whether you want a golden or bald eagle, a mature or immature bird, a whole bird or specific parts, or have no preference. You must provide a current telephone number so the Repository staff can contact you by telephone when your order is ready to ship. Any changes to your address and/or telephone number must be submitted to your local FWS Regional Office to keep your file updated.
Because of the large demand and limited supply, each applicant can apply for only one whole eagle or specific parts equivalent to one bird (i.e., two wings, one tail, two talons) at a time. Once your request has been filled, you may reapply to receive another eagle. Orders are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Currently, there are over 4,000 people on the waiting list for approximately 900 eagles the Repository receives each year. Applicants can expect to wait approximately 2 and one half years for an order to be filled.
Feathers or parts of bald or golden eagles and other migratory birds may NOT be sold, purchased, bartered or traded. They may, however, be handed down to family members from generation to generation, or from one Native American to another for religious purposes. Native Americans may NOT give eagle feathers or parts to non-Native Americans as a gift.
Federal laws prohibit the import and export of eagle feathers. Enrolled members of federally recognized tribes, however, may obtain eagle transport permits that authorize them to travel outside of the United States with eagle items used for religious purposes.
To apply for eagles or eagle parts, or for further information, please contact your nearest FWS Regional Office.
I think the restriction against possessing feathers makes more sense if you consider the historical background of the laws. At the turn of the century, feathers of many species, particularly egrets, were popular decorations on women's hats, clothing, and so forth. Some species, such as the Great Egret and the Snowy Egret, were almost hunted to extinction. Finally, the "feather trade" was banned, and they have recovered somewhat.
The current restriction against owning feathers is a reflection of those times. If killing birds was prohibited, but owning the feathers was not, you would still have a demand, and all that would happen is that the hunt would go on illegally. There are still too many idiots out there who would happily blow away a California Condor to provide feathers to a collector willing to pay top prices, on the grounds that "one less buzzard doesn't matter, does it?"
quote:Originally posted by phildonnia: Note to craftspeople out there:
Unless you think there's something special about eagle feathers, you can use white turkey feathers and paint them with iodine to look like eagle feathers.
Can the Fish and Wildlife people tell the difference between a genuine eagle feather and a dyed turkey feather? I'm not being smartass - I really don't know anything about feathers. Is there some kind of structural difference?
The Cat In "can I use feathers from all those 'rock doves' at the birdfeeder?" The Hat
I buy simulated eagle feathers for the dream catchers and wall hangings I make. I get them at places like Hobby Lobby. The quill (is that the right word?) is plastic and is easy to tell from the real thing. One question, are Red Tail Hawks endangered? We had one fly into a window also. It did not survive. I did not know I was supposed to call DOW to come pick it up. Is this true for all states where these hawks live? skrap
-------------------- The Quiet One Posts: 928 | From: Colorado | Registered: Oct 2000
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The Red and the Green Stamps
This is the same rationale behind the ivory ban, and it makes a certain amount of sense, though there are dangers with any sort of law that makes a commodity contraband.
The ivory ban seems to be working fairly well. By effectively banning ALL ivory traffic, those industries which depended on ivory are forced to find alternatives, as the relatively small supply of smuggled ivory simply isn't enough. Once those alternatives are developed, the market for real ivory shrinks. With luck, someday it will be possible to ease the ban somewhat to allow the use of ivory from the many elephants who die of natural causes (or are culled legally because they're paradoxically OVERpopulating some of the reserves where they're protected).
I think the law against possessing feathers is actually rather sensible viewed from this perspective. If it were legal to own feathers that were simply found on the ground, it's conceivable that a market for such feathers might develop, and it would only be a matter of time before the demand grew to the point where poaching became economically worthwhile. Preventing that demand from getting off the ground seems prudent, though there are dangers.
First, there's the obvious injustice of punishing people for the relatively innocent act of just finding a feather on the ground and keeping it. This is mitigated somewhat if (a) the law is well publicised and people are well educated about it, and (b) intrusive and draconian detection methods such as those used in the war on drugs are avoided. The true goal of the law should be kept in mind throughout, and enforcement in individual cases should be proportionate. The goal is the protection eagles from poaching by prevent the creation of a market for their parts. Someone who finds a feather, thinks it's pretty and keeps it contributes virtually nothing to the creation of a market, and at worst should face a warning and confiscation of the feather; NO effort should be wasted trying to detect such infractions.
The other danger of such laws is that they may on occasion simply drive up the price of the commodity, thus increasing the incentive to do what the law was meant to prevent. This is more a problem with things like rhino horn or other animal products that are seen as consumables rather than decorative materials, the whole point of which is to display (and thus risk detection and prosecution). If some crackpot decides that smoking eagle feathers is a substitute for Viagra, the birds are as good as extinct.