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  • FAQ: laws about eagle feathers

    Office of Law Enforcement

    National Eagle Repository
    Denver Colorado

    Questions and Answers About the National Eagle Repository
    For hundreds of years, Native Americans have used eagle feathers for
    religious and cultural purposes, including healing, marriage, and naming ceremonies.
    In recognition of the significance of these 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 religious purposes.
    Denver Museum of Natural History Photo Archives: Shannon Garcia

    Can Native Americans collect their own eagle feathers?
    No. As a result of years of habitat loss from urbanization, exposure to
    chemicals used in agriculture and animal husbandry, and poaching, populations of
    bald eagles, the national symbol, and golden eagles have been reduced in
    numbers. In an effort to protect these birds, the United States Congress passed
    the Bald Eagle Protection Act in 1940, and later amended the Act in 1962 to
    include protection for golden eagles. This Act prohibits 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.

    When eagles are received at the National Eagle Repository, condition of each
    eagle and their feathers is noted, and the species and age is recorded.

    How does the National Eagle Repository get the eagles?
    The National Eagle Repository serves as a collection point for dead eagles.
    Most of the dead golden and bald eagles received by the U.S. Fish and
    Wildlife Service (FWS) 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.
    The eagles are shipped to the National Eagle Repository at the Rocky
    Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Denver, Colorado. Each bird is
    assigned a number for tracking and accountability purposes, and information about
    each bird is entered into a database. The condition of each eagle and their
    feathers is noted, and the species and age is recorded. If part of the bird
    or its feathers are missing, damaged, or broken, FWS staff may add replacement
    parts from another bird to make it complete. (The recipient is notified
    when this is the case prior to shipping). The bird is then stored in a freezer
    until it is ready to ship, usually within 3-5 days.
    Who can obtain an eagle from the Repository?
    Only enrolled members of a Federally recognized tribe can obtain a permit
    from the FWS, authorizing them to receive and possess eagle feathers from the
    Repository for religious purposes.
    How can I obtain an eagle?
    The following must be presented when applying for an eagle possession permit:
    • A completed application obtained from your nearest FWS Regional
    Migratory Bird Permit Office.
    • Certification of tribal enrollment from the Bureau of Indian Affairs
    or Tribal Enrollment Office.

    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 in your
    address and/or telephone number must be submitted by you to your local FWS
    Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office to keep your file updated.

    Eagles are shipped to applicants within 3-5 days after the eagles are
    received at the National Eagle Repository.

    How long is the wait to obtain an eagle?
    Requests for eagles are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Eagles
    are typically kept at the Repository just long enough to allow FWS personnel
    to contact the next applicant on the waiting list, usually 3-5 days. Because
    of the large demand and the limited supply, applicants can expect to wait
    about 3 and one half years for a whole Bird order to be filled. Approximately
    95% of the orders are for whole eagles. Currently, there are over 5000
    people on the waiting list for approximately 1000 eagles the Repository receives
    each year.
    May I apply for more than one eagle?
    Again, due to the large demand and the 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.
    May I sell objects made from the eagles feathers?
    No. 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 CAN NOT give eagle
    feathers or parts to non-Native Americans as a gift.

    Immature golden eagle tail feathers

    Can eagle feathers and parts be imported or exported?
    Yes. The 50 Code of Federal Regulations, part 22, has been amended to
    provide for the issuance of a permit to import/export eagle feathers for religious
    and cultural purposes. Contact your FWS Regional Migratory Bird Permit
    Office for application procedures.
    How does the National Eagle Repository benefit wildlife?
    The salvage efforts of the FWS provides a legal means for Native Americans
    to acquire eagle feathers for religious purposes. By providing feathers to
    Native Americans, the pressure to take birds from the wild is reduced, thereby
    protecting eagle populations.

    US Fish and Wildlife Service
    Migratory Bird Permit Offices jim

    For more information or to obtain an application, contact the nearest U.S.
    Fish and Wildlife Service, Migratory Bird Permit Office listed below:
    Region 1
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    Migratory Bird Permit Office/ARW
    Eastside Federal Complex
    911 N.E. 11th Avenue
    Portland, Oregon 97232
    (503) 872-2715
    Region 2
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    Migratory Bird Permit Office
    Room 5504
    P.O. Box 1306
    Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103
    (505) 248-7882
    Region 3
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    Migratory Bird Permit Office
    1 Federal Drive, Box 45
    Ft. Snelling, Minnesota 55111
    (612) 713-5436
    Region 4
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    Permit Section
    1875 Century Boulevard
    Atlanta, Georgia 30345
    (404) 679-7051
    Region 5
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    Migratory Bird Permit Office
    300 Westgate Center Drive
    Hadley, Massachusetts 01035
    (413) 253-8641
    Region 6
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    Migratory Bird Permit Office
    P.O. Box 25486, DFC (60130)
    Denver, Colorado 80225
    (303) 236-8145
    Region 7
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    Migratory Bird Permit Office
    1011 E. Tutor Road, Room 155
    Anchorage, Alaska 99501
    (907) 786-3693

    Contact us:_ [email protected]_ (mailto:[email protected])
    _FWS Mountain-Prairie Region Law Enforcement Website_
    (http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/law/le1.html)
    _FWS Division of Law Enforcement's National Headquarters_
    (http://www.le.fws.gov/)

    _FWS Mountain-Prairie Region_ (http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/)
    _National Fish and Wildlife Service Website_
    (http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/)
    _Privacy_ (http://www.fws.gov/help/policies.html) •_ Department of the
    Interior_ (http://www.doi.gov/) •_ FirstGov_ (http://firstgov.gov/) •
    _Freedom of Information Act_ (http://foia.fws.gov/) (FOIA)
    _Who We Are_ (http://www.fws.gov/who/index.html) •_ Questions/Contact Us_
    (http://faq.fws.gov/)
    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

  • #2
    Additional Information on Eagle Feathers

    It took 4 years for my eagle to arrive. Part of the information you state did not include the penalty that goes with the application. At a recent pow wow, I informed several individuals that if they are not enrolled and are caught with Eagle Feathers in their possession that they could be fined from 50 - 50,000 dollars or 6 months to 5 years of prison time. I got told that no government or agency can tell them wheither they have feather or not. I am very proud of my possession of Eagle Feathers and I honor them every day of my life by praying with them and constantly blessing them when I use them. Please be careful and donot dishonor the feathers, because it affects how the enrolled Native Americans are allowed to use them

    Beware of Sleeping Wolf

    Comment


    • #3
      I wish there was a Canadian eagle repositary

      I have heard of this repositiry and I think its great.. for americans but i wish there was such a place for canadian indians what are the canadian laws on feathers and body parts ?????? it s hard for me to collect feathers
      [FONT=Arial Black]FONT]

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      • #4
        B4 I went to a zoo and asked the 3birds of prey keeper if i could have some feathers that had fallin off the eagles and the gave them to me when i showed them my indian status card but it was olny a few of them i was surrly thankfull for what i had gotten but to make an tire regalia i would have to go there a million time s ..
        Last edited by ..AmuneOne..; 02-02-2007, 12:41 PM.
        [FONT=Arial Black]FONT]

        Comment


        • #5
          Ok here's laws about traveling from Canada to the US with eagle items.




          Traveling to the United States with Eagle Items:
          Guidelines for Indian People of Canada

          May Indian people of Canada travel to and from the Unites States with eagle parts and eagle feathers?

          As of February 1, 2003, Indian people of Canada who meet certain requirements may legally travel to and from the United States with lawfully possessed, personally owned eagle items for religious and cultural use.

          What requirements must I meet?

          You must:

          Possess and carry with you a "Certificate of Indian Status" card issued by the Federal Government of Canada. You will be asked to show this card when you enter the United States.
          Declare your eagle items to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) or the U.S. Customs Service when you enter or leave the United States at any border crossing or U.S. airport. To do this, you must complete and file an FWS Form 3-177 (Declaration for Importation or Exportation of Fish or Wildlife).
          Limit your eagle items to those that will be used for religious and cultural practices.
          Will U.S. officers ask to see my eagle items?

          You may be asked to present your items for inspection. If you have concerns about the sacred or ceremonial nature of the items you are transporting, discuss them with the inspecting officer. Although you may still be asked to show the items, inspecting officers will avoid handling the articles and make every effort to show respect for your religious or cultural traditions.

          What type of information do I need to complete a Form 3-177 for my eagle items?

          An FWS or U.S. Customs officer will be available to help you complete your declaration form. To fill out this form, you must provide the following information:

          Date of "import/export," i.e., the date you enter or leave the United States (block 1).
          The name of the U.S. port of entry where you are declaring your eagle items (block 4).
          Your name, address, and phone number (block 13).
          Species, type, country of origin, and number of eagle items (blocks 16a, 18a, 19a, 20). For example, if you are bringing in three golden eagle feathers from Canada, you would write “golden eagle” in block 16a, “feathers” in block 18a, “3” in block 19a, and “CA” in block 20.
          You must also sign and date the form in Block 21. U.S. officers may ask you for additional information, such as the license plate number of your vehicle or your airline flight number.

          Must I take all of my eagle items back to Canada with me?

          Yes. The items listed on the declaration you file when you enter the United States should match the items you declare when you return to Canada.

          May I transport eagle items that belong to another person?

          No. You must own the eagle items that you bring into the United States.

          May I bring live eagles into the United States?

          No. You may not bring live bald or golden eagles or live eagle eggs into or out of the United States. You may transport lawfully possessed dead bald and golden eagles; eagle mounts, parts, feathers, and nests; dead eagle eggs; and items made from or containing these materials.

          May I sell or buy eagle items in the United States?

          No. U.S. laws prohibit the sale or purchase of bald and golden eagles, their parts and feathers, nests, eggs, and products made from them.

          Why is the United States introducing requirements for Indian people of Canada who visit with eagle items?

          Under the U.S. Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, no one may legally enter or leave the United States with items made from bald or golden eagles. For years, this prohibition applied even to U.S. Native Americans who wanted to travel outside of the United States with personally owned eagle items for religious or cultural use.

          FWS regulations and enforcement policies, which were implemented a few years ago, provide a legal mechanism authorizing enrolled members of U.S. federally recognized tribes to travel internationally with eagle items. Those rules, however, did not apply to Indian people from Canada. Many of these individuals routinely travel to the United States to participate in religious and cultural ceremonies involving the use of eagle items. The new policy that went into effect on February 1, 2003, makes it possible for Indian people of Canada to legally visit the United States with personally owned eagle items for religious and cultural use.

          How did the Fish and Wildlife Service develop this new policy?

          We worked with officials from the Canadian Wildlife Service and other authorities from Canada to find a way to accommodate Indian people in Canada who want to travel to the United States with eagle items.

          How does this new policy affect U.S. Native Americans?

          It does not apply to U.S. tribal members. FWS policies that already allow members of U.S. federally recognized tribes to travel in North America with eagle items remain in effect. U.S. tribal members should contact the FWS or check the guidelines on our web site to obtain detailed information about traveling overseas or to Canada and Mexico with eagle items.

          How are eagles protected in the United States?

          The United States generally prohibits the take, sale, purchase, possession, import, or export of bald and golden eagles and their parts, feathers, eggs, and nests. Special rules, however, accommodate traditional Native American religious and cultural practices that require the possession and transport of eagles or eagle parts and feathers.

          Who may I contact if I have additional questions about bringing eagle items into the United States from Canada?

          You may call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement at (703) 358-1949 or e-mail us at [email protected]. You may also check with any of our wildlife inspection offices . Questions may also be addressed to Patricia M. Dwyer, Chief, Aboriginal Affairs and Transboundary Wildlife, Canadian Wildlife Service, at (819) 953-0289, e-mail [email protected].

          Modified on February 8, 2005

          • Privacy/Disclaimer Statement • FOIA
          Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) is dedicated to the study of bird life in Ontario.

            Endangered Species Act (Ontario)
            Ontario's Endangered Species Act (ESA) currently protects 11 species of birds and their habitats in Ontario: American White Pelican, Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, King Rail, Piping Plover, Eskimo Curlew, Loggerhead Shrike, Kirtland's Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler and Henslow's Sparrow. Under the ESA, it is prohibited to wilfully kill, injure or interfere with an endangered species, or to interfere with or destroy the habitat of an endangered species. Note that the habitat of an endangered species is also protected! The key word in this Act is "wilfully". Therefore to obtain a conviction, the Crown must prove that the defendant acted intentionally.

            Conservation Officers with the MNR are chiefly responsible for enforcement. A person convicted under the ESA "is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more that two years, or to both". There is no federal Endangered Species Act in Canada, but one is under consideration.

            In addition, the national Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Candada (Cosewic) lists Northern Bobwhite, Barn Owl, and Acadian Flycather as endangered in Ontario but this gives them no extra protection.



            Under both U.S. and Canadian law, a permit is required from official governmental conservation authorities of anyone to possess an Eagle feather legally. Native American Indians acquiring Bald and Golden Eagle feathers must use them for traditional ceremonies or teaching purposes.

            Now this I'm not sure is exactly true.... But it's the MOST I could find on canadian eagle possession laws. Unlike the US though, I believe that you don't have to be native to possess eagle feathers. Until I can find canada's eagle feather laws, I would suggest maybe calling the fish and game in Canada to find out what the exact laws are.
            Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks alot that information is greatly apreciated .you have to be status indian im sure of it you ll get in bit trouble cough twith them if you rnot status thanks again
              [FONT=Arial Black]FONT]

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              • #8
                meegwitch blackbear....

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                • #9
                  nice to know

                  Well now I wish that there were some kind of info when I was in high school about all of this. I did an amount of traveling before I met my husband and well canada was a place we traveled kind of frequently.

                  I think in 2000 word around was that if we crossed into canada with our feathers they would take it away regardless if we were native. I was so worried, I have a white tail fan my uncle gave to me for my 16 birthday and I didn't want to lose it. Greatfully nothing happened but we got word fast that some boarder crossings did that to some dancers and singers.

                  This is real nice to know. Thanks for the info. I feel a bit more safe and educated a bit more on the handling of feathers for natives. HR
                  Ms. Blackbird-Reeder

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Blackbear,
                    I spent some time over the summer trying to figure out the Canadian laws on feathers, and no luck on finding anything more specific than you have.
                    I think they can still bust you if you don't have a card, but if so enforcement is a real low priority.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      please help

                      This is all great information but it didint really help me in my qwest for information on some kind of canadian repository for me to get eagle feathers and parts i was born and raised in canada and finding it hard to get a hold of feathers for my regalia it must be nice to be able to put you r self on a wait list a recieve a full bird when you live in the u.s i dont understand why canadian s are not as equal to u.s peoples eagle privileges we should be intiltled to ealge s just the same.. Can any one help me .. Thank you and I hope to hear from some one who may be able to help..
                      [FONT=Arial Black]FONT]

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by ..AmuneOne.. View Post
                        This is all great information but it didint really help me in my qwest for information on some kind of canadian repository for me to get eagle feathers and parts i was born and raised in canada and finding it hard to get a hold of feathers for my regalia it must be nice to be able to put you r self on a wait list a recieve a full bird when you live in the u.s i dont understand why canadian s are not as equal to u.s peoples eagle privileges we should be intiltled to ealge s just the same.. Can any one help me .. Thank you and I hope to hear from some one who may be able to help..
                        Try this Website: CITES - Canadian Wildlife Service - Environment Canada
                        ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ - Anigiduwagi
                        Till I Die!

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by ..AmuneOne.. View Post
                          This is all great information but it didint really help me in my qwest for information on some kind of canadian repository for me to get eagle feathers and parts i was born and raised in canada and finding it hard to get a hold of feathers for my regalia it must be nice to be able to put you r self on a wait list a recieve a full bird when you live in the u.s i dont understand why canadian s are not as equal to u.s peoples eagle privileges we should be intiltled to ealge s just the same.. Can any one help me .. Thank you and I hope to hear from some one who may be able to help..
                          Thanks for the link Josiah,

                          One thing to remember about the repository, redistribution is one of its purposes, but it is also like a morgue/CSI for eagle deaths- That's why they won't guarantee what kind of shape things will be in because if they are suspicious they will do autopsies, and they usually do at least some bloodwork (test for west nile and what not).
                          The eagle is the symbol of the united states (the turkey would've been better in my opinion or how 'bout the prairie chicken?) so the government is hypersensitive about threats and dangers to eagles.

                          Also as an update on the U.S. side of things, the Supreme Court turned down review of the Vasquez-Ramos case- two non-indians who were supposedly NAC members and had feathers for religious purposes- so the law is clear now that only tribal members can possess eagle feathers.
                          There is one case the Supreme Court may still take up, although it is unlikely; U.S. v Friday- which involves an Arapaho who shot an eagle to use in a ceremony without a permit. I will post if a decision is made on that case.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by legalstraight View Post
                            Thanks for the link Josiah,

                            One thing to remember about the repository, redistribution is one of its purposes, but it is also like a morgue/CSI for eagle deaths- That's why they won't guarantee what kind of shape things will be in because if they are suspicious they will do autopsies, and they usually do at least some bloodwork (test for west nile and what not).
                            The eagle is the symbol of the united states (the turkey would've been better in my opinion or how 'bout the prairie chicken?) so the government is hypersensitive about threats and dangers to eagles.

                            Also as an update on the U.S. side of things, the Supreme Court turned down review of the Vasquez-Ramos case- two non-indians who were supposedly NAC members and had feathers for religious purposes- so the law is clear now that only tribal members can possess eagle feathers.
                            There is one case the Supreme Court may still take up, although it is unlikely; U.S. v Friday- which involves an Arapaho who shot an eagle to use in a ceremony without a permit. I will post if a decision is made on that case.
                            Another update here in the US they now issue "permanent" Eagle permits. The thing is they list all the types of feathers that have been issue to you through the repository. Even more important they have cut out the middle man you deal directly with the repository. But this is only if you have already been issued a permit. The FWS people only had one person for this area that encompases AZ NM OK CO TX
                            That is alot for one person!!!
                            ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ - Anigiduwagi
                            Till I Die!

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