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Camp Staffers Fired for Trying to Rescue Bald Eagle

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Seriously?  Helping a bird in distress?  Kudos to the twins, shame on the camp.  There is nothing wrong with what the kids did.  The camp showed extreme un-scoutlike behavior in addressing the issue and was more worried about their own butts than in doing what is right.  Getting fired from that camp is a gold star on their resumes in my book!

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Seriously?  Helping a bird in distress?  Kudos to the twins, shame on the camp.  There is nothing wrong with what the kids did.  The camp showed extreme un-scoutlike behavior in addressing the issue and was more worried about their own butts than in doing what is right.  Getting fired from that camp is a gold star on their resumes in my book!

 

Stosh, I agree 100 percent.

 

You can imagine what "management" consists of at that camp, day to day, hurt eagles aside.

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There are some holes in the story and probably lots of poor communication.  It sounds like the camp was getting advice from one set of experts and the staffers were getting conflicting advice from another:

 

 "Bourgeois said Jolly contacted him about the injured bird - specifically, asking Bourgeois to identify the animal. Bourgeois also said Jolly had contacted the game warden to ask what should be done about the injured eagle."

 

If the Camp was being told in no uncertain terms not to touch the bird it's hard to fault them for wanting to follow that directive; it seems like a more difficult call than the headline would lead you to believe.

 

From the Camp's perspective, if they were told by a game warden to do nothing, than the staffers' actions look a lot like the idiots who "rescued" a baby bison earlier this year.

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Although the Bald Eagle is no longer on the endangered species listing, it is by Federal law protected as our national symbol.  Unless one has written permission, even possessing so much as a single Eagle feather is a federal crime.  Having a whole bird is totally illegal.  The only people who are allowed possession of anything Eagle are indigenous natives for religious and ceremonial reasons and those with permits.

 

Now, that being said, the two could have been been arrested on federal charges, which in federal law, considering the circumstances would have been overlooked in that the intent was not to possess the bird or to harm it, but to rescue it.  Even CNN would have had a hay day with that one.

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As with most of these kinds of stories, I have to wonder whether we are getting the entire story.

 

Although in this case, it is difficult to imagine what facts would justify the firing of these staff members. They tried to save the eagle and did not succeed, but there is no doubt at all about what would have happened if they had done nothing, or even waited for the camp administration to decide what to do.

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Sometimes bald eagles are the predators.  Sometimes they're the prey.  This is how nature works.

Edited by David CO

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There are some holes in the story and probably lots of poor communication.  It sounds like the camp was getting advice from one set of experts and the staffers were getting conflicting advice from another:

 

 "Bourgeois said Jolly contacted him about the injured bird - specifically, asking Bourgeois to identify the animal. Bourgeois also said Jolly had contacted the game warden to ask what should be done about the injured eagle."

 

If the Camp was being told in no uncertain terms not to touch the bird it's hard to fault them for wanting to follow that directive; it seems like a more difficult call than the headline would lead you to believe.

 

From the Camp's perspective, if they were told by a game warden to do nothing, than the staffers' actions look a lot like the idiots who "rescued" a baby bison earlier this year.

 

I didn't get the above from the article posted at all. Please point out where the game warden says he told them to  do nothing?  I'm with the kids on this one. The Camp director was making things up to justify his actions.  The district biologist said they did the right thing. 

 

Also, this isn't like the baby bison story. They talked to wildlife rehabilitation specialists before doing anything. The only thing they did wrong was to not obey their boss, who gave a questionable order.

Edited by perdidochas

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Although the Bald Eagle is no longer on the endangered species listing, it is by Federal law protected as our national symbol.  Unless one has written permission, even possessing so much as a single Eagle feather is a federal crime.  Having a whole bird is totally illegal.  The only people who are allowed possession of anything Eagle are indigenous natives for religious and ceremonial reasons and those with permits.

 

Now, that being said, the two could have been been arrested on federal charges, which in federal law, considering the circumstances would have been overlooked in that the intent was not to possess the bird or to harm it, but to rescue it.  Even CNN would have had a hay day with that one.

The district biologist couldn't think of any crime they may have committed. 

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My Great-great Grandfather was a member of Company C, 8th Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War.  Their mascot was Old Abe, the War Eagle.  The reeacting group that portrays the 8th has a mounted Bald Eagle.  The hoops they had to jump through to keep possession of the bird when the law changed was pretty heavy duty.  I also have friends who are full blooded Indigenous also have and continue to make full traditional clothing with the Federal Government's blessing.

 

I do know that if one is to find a carcass of a Bald Eagle, one must not touch it, but report it immediately to the DNR or other agency to deal with it. 

 

I don't know what it specifically says about rescuing a live bird, but I'm thinking it may have a bit of slack for good intentions built in.

 

https://www.fws.gov/eaglerepository/factsheets/PossessionOfEagleFeathersFactSheet.pdf

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Event if what they did was wrong (and I am not sure it was) their intent was good and they should have gotten a pass. To be fired shows the Director to be a Martinet PLUS bad PR for the Camp and BSA to boot.

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Wouldn't be the first time some BSA folks got bad press for acting in haste.   I would be interested in where these young Scouters call home.   NCAC camp, 

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I am on the fence.  As a manager and supervisor, if I tell an employee NOT to do something and they do it anyway, I am not doing my job if I let it pass.  On the other hand, it is my responsibility to know or find out what the right thing to do is.  It is NOT appropriate for a staff member to "jump the chain" and contact authorities directly if they don't like the answer I gave them.  At the very least, this scout reservation now has the opportunity to clarify in no uncertain terms what the policy is.

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