Skip to comments.Sigh: Indiana man faces possible jail time for nursing bald eagle back to health
Posted on 06/20/2013 8:14:17 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Fighting to save Freedom can be fraught with danger, and not just from the IRS:
Local officers seized a bald eagle from the home of Greencastle, Indiana man, Jeffrey Henry and charged him with unlawful possession of the bird. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received an anonymous tip that Henry was keeping the eagle in his apartment, an action punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Bald eagles have been federally protected since 1940 when Congress recognized the need to guard the species diminishing population. The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act prohibits hunting, possession and sale of the birds along with their nests and eggs.
As reported by WISH News 8, Henry had the bird in his home for 11 hours after several weeks of caring for the sick animal in the wild. The outdoorsman told the station that he noticed the bird a few weeks ago when he was hunting for mushrooms in Putnam County. The eagle was unable to fly, stuck in mud, and hungry, so he fed it fish eventually two times a day. When campers on four-wheelers arrived in the area, Henry suspected the grounded eagle would be in danger. He said, “I took him a fish out there and as we was leaving, the bird starting following me, and continued to follow me, there’s no way to actually chase him off because he’d turn around and run right back to me. So I put the bird up on my arm and we got in the truck and took him to the house. Having previously worked for the DNR, Henry knew he was breaking the law saying, “I’m probably going to be in a little bit of trouble, which I understand. Though Henry believes he made the right choice adding, I chose to take the punishment over the welfare of the bird.
Let’s hope, unlike say public school officials, whoever adjudicates Henry’s case can take his motives and treatment of the bird into consideration. He sounds like someone who’d take the $500 fine for the team (Team America) to have successfully kept the eagle alive. Sometimes well-meaning citizens don’t operate in exactly the way whatever bureaucratic wildlife organization would recommend in the same situation, but they should not automatically be in danger of jail time. It’s not like owning a bald eagle is a great boon to one’s finances. In fact, even if it was dead and stuffed long before doing so was illegal, it might cost you $11 million in a fight with the IRS.
This reminds me of a 2011 story in which an 11-year-old Virginia girl rescued a woodpecker from the family cat only to be approached by a Fish & Wildlife agent flanked by an armed state trooper informing them of a court date and a $500 fee:
[The] Capo family stopped at a Lowes in Fredericksburg and they brought the bird inside because of the heat. That’s when they were confronted by a fellow shopper who said she worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“She was really nervous. She was shaking. Then she pulled out a badge,” said Capo.
The problem was that the woodpecker is a protected species under the Federal Migratory Bird Act. Therefore, it is illegal to take or transport a baby woodpecker. The Capo family says they had no idea.
“I was a little bit upset because I didn’t want my mom to get in trouble,” said Skylar.
So as soon as the Capo family returned home, they say they opened the cage, the bird flew away, and they reported it to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“They said that’s great, that’s exactly what we want to see,” said Capo. “We thought that we had done everything that we could possibly do.”
But roughly two weeks later, that same woman from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service showed up at Capo’s front door. This time, Capo says the woman was accompanied by a state trooper. Capo refused to accept a citation, but was later mailed a notice to appear in U.S. District Court for unlawfully taking a migratory bird. She’s also been slapped with a $535 fine.
Good stuff. That same year, Fish & Wildlife went after an Idaho man who shot a grizzly bear in his yard because he was unsure of the location of all of his children at the time, some of which had been playing outside. Jeremy Hill, then 33, immediately notified state authorities of his actions, but was nonetheless slapped with federal charges. The charges were later dropped after public uproar, but the feds extracted $1,000 from Hill, informing him that it was a violation of the Endangered Species Act to have shot the bear a final time once he knew his children were inside the house. I suppose leaving the bear to suffer would have been the path they prescribed?
The United States Attorneys Office for the District of Idaho announces that it is dismissing the pending misdemeanor criminal charge against Jeremy Hill for the killing of a grizzly bear on Mr. Hills property on May 8, 2011.
Mr. Hill has agreed that, under the applicable provisions of the Endangered Species Act and related Regulations, his actions on May 8, 2011 constituted a violation of one of regulations authorized by the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1538(a)(1)(G) (stemming from his violation of 50 CFR §§17.40(b)(1)(i)(C)(1) and (2)). These mplementing regulations of the Endangered Species Act prohibit removing nuisance bears, except authhorized by government uthorities. Mr. Hill has been issued a notice of violation and paid a $1,000 fine.
During the course of their investigation, state and federal wildlife officials were unable to establish the location of Mr. Hills children when the three grizzly bears were first sighted in the yard, about forty yards from the Hill home. Mr. Hill informed law enforcement that he last saw his children outside playing basketball in front of their home, but that he did not know where his children were when he saw the three grizzly bears near his pig pen. He stated that he was concerned for his childrens welfare. By the time Mr. Hill fired the final shot, he was aware that all of his children and his wife were inside of their house.
On the bright side, if any one of these Americans can somehow argue they are proprietors of a windmill farm, they can pretty much kill all the endangered species they want without consequence.
...an anonymous tip...
One thing I love about where I love is that if I were keeping a bald eagle and my neighbors found out, the only question would be BBQ or broiled.
No good deed goes unpunished.......
Oh, wait....no they want multiple agencies sucking in more of our $ as they penalize anyone who violates any one of their absurd laws.
Ultimate control - when every action is potentially criminal.
Jeremy Hill, then 33, immediately notified state authorities of his actions...
We learned that regarding the police and trying to teach an 11 year old a harmless lesson, except the police took it seriously and really ramped it up. This kid (now over 30) has hated the cops ever since. I don’t blame him.
People in these organization are thugs - at least the risk is too great that they are. You never, EVER cooperate with these hoodlums if you can help it.
This is what happens when you have TONS of bureaucrats sitting around with NOTHING IMPORTANT TO DO WITH THEIR TIME
Never underestimate the tyrant in ever LEO.
asshole feds. This guy should be rewarded.
As in all such measure of the government, the title of and purpose of the act are "protection" but control is the meaning of that word and it is not synonymous with the word "protection" as used by normal English speaking human beings.
So who’s the snitch? Was a bounty paid to “concerned citizen”?
The touching part of the story is how the eagle knew the human was trying to help it and befriended him. Nice to know that behind the beak & talons there was gratitude & love.
Only in America.....
ya mean who was the canary that sang? Concerned about his pockets.
Something that you won't find in most bureaucrats. Sadly, I'll give you at least 2-1 odds that the DNR will euthanize the eagle on the grounds that it isn't a good candidate to make it in the wild.
you shouldn’t want to eat your neighbors. think about where they’ve been.
And who is going to do all that? More accurately, who has the authority to do all that?
My brother-in-law is Australian and when we were watching a bald eagles in northern Minnesota one of the eagles shed a feather which floated to the ground near us. My brother-in-law wanted to pick up the feather to take back to Australia. I warned him that he would likely be jailed and deported for so much as possessing an eagle feather he found in the forest. It is my understanding that only Native Americans are allowed to have eagle feathers and only for ceremonial use.
The Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, is fast tracking “kill permits” that allow operators of wind generators to kill a certain number of eagles each year without any penalty.
A proposed wind farm in Osage County, Oklahoma has put forth a plan to kill three eagles per year for 30 years.
Time for vigilante groups to take over.
In 2009 a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) scientist estimated that wind turbines kill 440,000 birds per year in the U.S., with future mortality expected to increase significantly as wind power generation expands by 2030 to levels about 12 times higher than 2009 levels.
This estimate was disputed by several organizations, with the USFWS later pointing out that it was only an ‘estimate’ by one of many scientists and was not officially supported by the agency.
By comparison approximately 80,000 birds are killed by aircraft in the U.S., and a 2013 report by scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that cats kill as many as 3.7 billion birds yearly in the same country.
An earlier report by the American Bird Conservancy had estimated bird predation by U.S. cats at 500 million yearly.
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