Andrew Cuomo broke federal regulation taking eagle feather from Saranac Lake πŸ—žπŸ‘

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ALBANY, N.Y. β€” At an occasion within the Adirondacks final week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo recounted a treasured reminiscence of the time his household retrieved an eagle feather from Saranac Lake and saved it after one of many lovely birds swooped close to his canoe.

In telling the story, the New York Democrat was unknowingly confessing a criminal offense.

A federal regulation prohibits non-Native Americans from possessing bald eagle components, together with feathers. The regulation has been on the books for practically 80 years, however most Americans, Cuomo included, most likely don’t find out about it.

Cuomo, a lawyer and former federal official, revealed his authorized fake pas Tuesday whereas asserting an financial improvement grant for the village of Saranac Lake.

After The Associated Press in Albany inquired concerning the situation, Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi stated the household was unaware of the federal regulation after they took the feather from the water.

β€œWe have two options, put it back in the river or donate it to a US Fish and Wildlife repository,” Azzopardi wrote in an e-mail. β€œWe’ll ?do one or the other.”

The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, amended a number of occasions since its passage in 1940, prohibits anybody with no federal allow from disturbing, taking or possessing eagle components, eggs or nests. Violating the act can lead to a positive of as much as $100,000, imprisonment for one 12 months, or each, for a primary offense, in keeping with the Fish and Wildlife Service’s web site.

Under the regulation, solely permitted members of federally acknowledged American Indian tribes can possess eagle feathers, that are utilized in tribal ceremonies and rituals.

Giving up the feather would undoubtedly be a disappointment for Cuomo, who had pleasure on his face as he informed an viewers on the Hotel Saranac on Tuesday how a lot he has loved visiting the area through the years.

β€œAnd one of the highlight moments was on Saranac Lake when we were in a canoe and we were taking a canoe trip and out of nowhere, from one of the islands, an eagle came out and, like, swooped down right next to us with this beautiful, graceful glide,” Cuomo, head of federal Housing and Urban Development throughout President Bill Clinton’s administration.

β€œAnd when the eagle was just about at front of the canoe, one feather fell out,” he stated. β€œAnd we picked up that feather and I have it on my fireplace to this day.”

Officials on the Fish and Wildlife Service declined to touch upon Cuomo possessing an eagle feather and referred inquiries to the U.S. Department of Justice. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albany didn’t reply to a request for remark.

When the federal regulation was handed, bald eagles had practically vanished from the decrease 48 states. Use of the insecticide DDT additional decimated eagle populations and by 1963 fewer than 500 nesting pairs remained, in keeping with the federal company. The newly fashioned U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT in 1972, a transfer that helped begin the restoration of bald eagles.

When the variety of nesting eagles approached 10,000 in 2007, eagles had been faraway from the listing of threatened and endangered species.

In New York state, efforts to revive the bald eagle inhabitants from only a handful in 1960 resulted in a dramatic turnaround.

Nestling eagles had been introduced from Alaska beginning in 1976. Today greater than 170 pairs of nesting eagles might be discovered within the Adirondacks, Hudson Valley and different components of the state, in keeping with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Copyright Β© 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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