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Stillaguamish Tribe adds $10,000 to reward for info on eagle shootings

By KIRK BOXLEITNER
Arlington Times Reporter
January 17, 2013 · 7:25 PM
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ARLINGTON — The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians has lent its support to the Department of Fish and Wildlife's investigation of four bald eagles found dead east of Granite Falls on Jan. 9, after having been shot with what appears to have been a small-caliber rifle.

Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Jennifer Maurstad explained that her department, along with the Humane Society and Conservation Northwest, were able to raise funds for a reward of $3,750 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter of the eagles.

"I've worked with the Stillaguamish Tribal Police before, so I contacted [Stillaguamish Tribal Chair] Shawn Yanity, who's helped us out in the past," Maurstad said. "I asked him if the Tribe could put up any money for the reward, and he came back to me with $10,000."

"Eagles are an integral part of our Tribal culture and have spiritual meaning to Indian culture as a whole," Yanity said on Jan. 17. "I went to our Tribal Council this morning, and they agreed to this sum. We're committed to protecting not only an aspect of our culture, but also a vital part of our natural resources."

Yanity encouraged the public to report any violations of Fish and Wildlife regulations that they witness, while Maurstad expressed dismay that someone could commit such an act.

"Eagles are the symbol of our nation, so for someone to just kill four of them and leave them for dead is brazen," Maurstad said. "It's a shock to the senses."

In addition to being a misdemeanor under federal law, killing an eagle is also a state crime, with a maximum penalty of $1,000 and 90 days in jail, as well as a $2,000 fine per eagle.

To report any information related to the deaths of these eagles, call 1-877-933-9847 or email reportpoaching@dfw.wa.gov.

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