Judge hears arguments in Wyoming bald eagle case

Sep 28, 2012

A federal judge must decide a dispute between two Wyoming Indian tribes ... over whether eagles may be killed on the Wind River Reservation for religious purposes.

Judge Alan Johnson of Cheyenne heard arguments Friday in a lawsuit the Northern Arapaho Tribe is pressing against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The federal agency issued a permit to the Northern Arapaho this spring specifying the tribe could kill two bald eagles for its annual Sun Dance. It was the nation's first bald eagle permit for religious purposes.

However, the permit says the Northern Arapaho can't kill eagles on the Wind River Indian Reservation and the state of Wyoming prohibits killing eagles off the reservation.

The Eastern Shoshone Tribe intervened in the suit and opposes killing eagles on reservation.