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CSKT statement regarding illegal taking of eagles

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PABLO — The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) of the Flathead Reservation are aware of the recent indictment of two individuals for federal crimes related to illegal taking of eagles on the Flathead Reservation. 

CSKT Fish and Game Conservation officers initiated the investigation, then continued to work cooperatively with their federal and state counterparts on the multi-year investigation that ultimately resulted in the charges that were filed Thursday, Dec. 7. 

Because bald and golden eagles are federally protected species, the CSKT relied on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conclude the investigation and process the crimes through the federal judicial system.

“Such a massive toll on the Flathead Reservation’s raptor population is hard to quantify,” said CSKT Tribal Council Chairman Tom McDonald. “These are magnificent birds of prey that are of such tremendous significance to our Tribes. Eagles are not only a treasured and important part of the Reservation’s ecosystem, they have a profound place in CSKT cultural and spiritual practices.”

The CSKT hopes the seriousness of the charges and significant imprisonment and fines the two individuals are facing sends a clear message that such illegal activities will not be tolerated within the Flathead Reservation.

“It is good to finally see federal charges,” said McDonald. “The CSKT will continue to monitor this case, and we remain ready to provide support to the federal agents and prosecutors where needed.”

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