December 28, 2007

Debating eagle permits

Federal appeals court hears bald eagle caseThe government had the burden to show that the FWS permit system was the least restrictive way of meeting the competing interests, Carlson said.

Because of increased numbers, the bald eagle has been removed from protection under the Endangered Species Act, although it remains listed under other federal laws. Its removal from ESA status, taken together with the mass occurrence of eagles electrocuted yearly on non-raptorproof power lines, indicates that American Indians should not have to go through the cumbersome or little-known provisions of the FWS permit process, he said.

Kathryn Kovacs, an assistant U.S. attorney, said the system of permits is "burdensome" and inconvenient, making the religious use of eagles more difficult, but not "impossible."

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