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Energy

Osage Nation Critical Of Federal Rule Allowing Eagle Kills

A wind farm in Ellis County in western Oklahoma.
Logan Layden
/
StateImpact Oklahoma

Leaders in the Osage Nation are criticizing an Obama administration decision to allow companies to seek the authorization to kill and harm golden and bald eagles without penalty.

The wind energy industry requested the change, and the federal government announced its decision last week. The announcement drew sharp criticism from the Osage Nation, which says eagles should be protected because of their religious and ceremonial significance to Native Americans.

The Oklahoma-based tribe says it's concerned that the rule change could make it difficult for future generations to access eagle feathers, which have a deep significance to members.

A spokesman with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services tells The Journal Record that 15 companies have applied for permits allowing the eagles' deaths, but no permits have been issued yet.

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