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Judge rebuffs Arapaho in eagle case

Feds denied tribe right to kill for religious reasons

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acted properly in prohibiting the Northern Arapaho Tribe from killing bald eagles for religious purposes on its central Wyoming reservation.

The federal wildlife agency earlier this year granted the Northern Arapaho the nation’s first permit allowing it to kill up to two bald eagles a year for religious purposes. But the Arapaho challenged the agency’s requirement that the eagles couldn’t be killed on the Wind River Indian Reservation because of objections from the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, which shares the reservation.

U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson of Cheyenne entered his ruling against the Northern Arapaho Tribe on Monday. The judge said the Northern Arapaho could pursue further legal action against the federal government claiming that restrictions against killing eagles on the reservation violates the tribe’s religious rights.

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