Photo Caption: Mature bald eagle at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Credit: Rich Keen / DPRA, Inc.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to the conservation of bald eagles throughout all regions of the country, consistent with the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
It is almost always illegal to kill bald eagles, and our efforts are squarely focused on preventing the deaths of the birds. The Service also must comply with other laws and obligations, including the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, the Free Exercise Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and the Federal government's trust responsibilities to Native American tribes.
Photo Caption: Bald eagle in flight. Credit: George Gentry / USFWS
In recent decades, the Service has issued a very modest number of permits for the take of bald or golden eagles to Native Americans for use as part of religious ceremonies, but only when the religious needs cannot be met by the National Eagle Repository.
In this instance, after careful consideration, the Service has issued a permit, pursuant to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, to the Northern Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming for the one-time take of up to two bald eagles.