Update in Northern Arapaho Suit re: Eagle Act and RFRA

Northern Arapaho has moved for judgment on the pleadings in its suit challenging the Fish and Wildlife Service’s administration of the Eagle Acts:

Northern Arapaho Motion for Judgment on Pleadings

Their complaint is here.

Eastern Shoshone Moves to Enter N. Arapaho Eagle Suit against FWS as Amicus in Opposition


Eastern Shoshone Motion for Amicus Status

Northern Arapaho Tribe’s Amended Complaint Regarding Eagle Permit

This Amended Complaint (from March 30th) is related to the previous post here. An excerpt from the complaint’s Preliminary Statement reads:

This action seeks to protect the traditional religious rights and freedoms of the Tribe and its members. Those rights include the limited taking of an eagle for traditional religious purposes of the Tribe. For two and a half years, Defendants failed or refused to issue a federal permit to allow the taking of an eagle by members of the Northern Arapaho Tribe for traditional Native American religious purposes. The denial placed members of the Tribe at risk of criminal prosecution for the taking of an eagle pursuant to their rights under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”), other federal laws, and the laws of the Tribe.

Northern Arapaho Code Title 13 Freedom of Religion can be found here.

As of last week, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department was reviewing whether or not the Northern Arapaho Tribe would require state permission under the permit. That article is here.

Water Contamination and Fracking in Wyoming

Tonight’s CBS Evening News included a story on fracking in Pavillion, Wyoming that can be found here.

The NPR story on the subject can be found here. An excerpt:

People in Pavillion, located on the Wind River Indian Reservation, contacted the EPA three years ago, complaining that their water smelled and tasted bad.

The agency started sampling drinking water wells in 2009 and found low levels of methane and other hydrocarbons in most of those wells. Although the levels did not exceed drinking water standards in most cases, the agency recommended that people get other sources of water for drinking and cooking, Encana, the company which drilled the wells, started providing water. The company says it provides drinking water to 21 households at a cost of about $1,500 per month.

The agency was concerned that higher concentrations of some of the chemicals might be lurking elsewhere in the aquifer.

So EPA researchers drilled two wells and found lots of chemicals, which could be tied to drilling. For example, they found levels of benzene, which is known to cause cancer and other health effects, far higher than safe drinking water standards. The presence of other chemicals — like synthetic glycols and alcohols — persuaded them that the contamination was likely coming from fracking.

Finally, a recent post about fracking can be found here.

Eagle Repository Case: United States v. Friday (CA10) — Update!

Oral argument in this very interesting case is set for December 17, 2007 in Denver. The panel consists of Ebel, Kelly, and McConnell.

Our previous post with initial briefs and the lower court opinion is here. Friday retained counsel and that attorney was given leave by the Court to file a supplemental brief (see below the fold).

Continue reading