PropertyProf Blog

Editor: Stephen Clowney
Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Contested Ownership of Eagle Feathers

The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act provides criminal penalties for anyone who possesses the feathers of the Bald Eagle.  Nonetheless, the Justice Department has recently decided that it will allow members of federally recognized Indian tribes to own eagle feathers.  The Washington Post reports:

This is a significant religious and cultural issue for many tribes, who were consulted in advance about the policy the department announced Friday.[...]

Under the new Justice Department policy, tribal members will not be prosecuted for wearing or carrying federally protected birds, bird feathers or parts. They also may pick up feathers found in the wild as long as they do not disturb federally protected birds or nests. Giving, lending or trading feathers or bird parts among tribe members, without any other compensation, also will be allowed.

Steve Clowney

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