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GLIN==> New Eagle Transport Rule Meets Religious, Educational Needs

--------------- cc:Mail Forwarded ---------------
From:     NEWS@fws.gov AT FWS
Date:     09/20/99 08:30 AM
To:       fws-news@www.fws.gov AT FWS
Subject:  New Eagle Transport Rule Meets Religious, Educational Needs

September 17, 1999
                                     Sandy Cleva 703-358-1949 Patricia
                                 Fisher 202-208-5634


Native Americans and public institutions are now able to obtain permits
from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowing them to temporarily take
legally possessed bald or golden eagle parts, items, and mounts out of the
country for religious purposes, scientific research, or public education
under a new rule published in the September 17, 1999 Federal Register.

"This new rule addresses the religious needs of Native Americans and makes
it easier for scientists to share information, while keeping eagles safe,"
Acting Service Director John Rogers said. "This new process will allow
Native Americans, scientists, and educators to meet all the permitting
requirements with one simple

Since 1940, the United States has prohibited bald eagles and bald eagle
parts from being taken out of the country for any
reason. Similar restrictions have applied to golden eagles
and their parts since 1962.  The prohibitions, intended to guard against
any international trade in eagles, eagle
feathers, and parts, were designed to protect these birds
from unlawful commercial exploitation.  However, they made
no allowances for the export of eagle items for
noncommercial purposes, such as personal religious use or public display.

Under the new rule, Native Americans who legally own dead bald or golden
eagles or eagle parts and wish to use these items for religious purposes
abroad now can apply to the Service for a transportation permit allowing
them to take eagle parts into or out of the United States.  Native
Americans must show that they are enrolled members of federally recognized
tribes and must indicate that their requests relate to religious use.

Eagle permits authorizing international transport are also available to
public museums, public scientific societies, and public zoological parks
that want to export dead eagle specimens or parts  for scientific or
exhibition purposes.  The new rule makes it possible for these institutions
to send exhibits overseas for public display and to lend or borrow eagle
specimens or parts within the worldwide scientific community.

Any individual or institution issued an eagle transportation permit must
retain possession of the eagle parts.  The parts cannot be sold or given to
anyone else, and they must be returned to the United States (or other
country of origin) within the time period authorized by the permit.  The
Service may ask permit applicants to provide reports, inventories, or
photographs of the items transported out of this country to enable the
agency to verify their return.

Under the new rule, the Service will issue transportation permits only for
the international transport of dead specimens or eagle parts.  Eagle
transportation permits can be used for multiple trips into or out of the
United States, but no trip can last longer than 180 days.  Additionally,
all permits will have an expiration date, with none valid for more than
three years. The rule does not apply to live eagles or live eggs.

International trade in bald and golden eagles is also regulated under the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species(CITES).  In the
United States, the Service typically addresses all of the requirements of
CITES and U.S. laws in a single permit.  Separate CITES documents will
continue to be needed from other countries for certain shipments.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife and
plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
people.  The Service manages the 93- million-acre National Wildlife Refuge
System comprised of more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of
small wetlands, and other special management areas.  It also operates 66
national fish hatcheries, 64 fish and wildlife management assistance
offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces
Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages
migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries,
conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign
governments with their conservation efforts.  It also oversees the Federal
Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise
taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


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