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"Unprecedented" decision by Sams to allow Tribe to kill eagle in Valles Caldera NPres draws concern

In a move viewed as unprecedented and apparently against agency regulations, National Park Service Director Chuck Sams signed off on a request to allow the Jemez Pueblo in New Mexico to kill either a bald or golden eagle in Valles Caldera National Preserve for cultural purposes.

The director's decision, made October 18, just five weeks after the pueblo made the request, appears to conflict with National Park Service regulations that prohibit the taking of wildlife. They specifically block the "use, or possession of fish, wildlife, or plants for ceremonial or religious purposes, except for the gathering and removal of plants or plant parts by enrolled members of an Indian tribe in accordance with 36 CfR § 2.6, or where specifically authorized by federal statutory law, treaty..."

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