The bald eagle is an iconic American bird and is protected by the Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940. Utah is a very popular state for bald eagles, having hosted more than 1,000 of the large predatory birds in recent years.
It is illegal under federal law to “take” bald eagles, their parts, nests or eggs. It is also illegal to transport or sell bald or golden eagles, even if it the bird is dead. The prohibition extends to taking any part of an eaglephps nest or eggs.
The word “take” under the law encompasses a broad range of behaviors. The law defines “take” as “pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb.”
Disturbing a Bald Eagle in Utah
Federal law also makes it illegal to “disturb” bald and golden eagles. Disturbing a bald eagle means taking any action that injures the bird, substantially interferes with the eaglephps breeding, feeding or sheltering behavior, or results in nest abandonment.
The vast number of bald eagles in Utah makes it very easy for a park visitor to disturb one. Normal hiking activity, littering or loud music are all actions that could result in the disturbance of a bald eagle and result in federal charges.
A conviction under the Bald Eagle Act is a serious crime punishable by up to $100,000 in fines for individuals and a year prison term. A second violation of the act is a felony and carries significantly higher fines.
Contact Our Utah Wildlife Crimes Defense Lawyers
The wildlife crime defense attorneys at Greg Smith and Associates represent those who have been accused of disturbing bald eagles in all Utah parks and forests, including Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area and the Raft River Mountains.
Our attorneys are well-respected for their work in both federal and state court. We rigorously defend all of our clients against even the most complex federal wildlife charges.
Do not let federal crimes charges result in your financial ruin. Contact us online or call our office at 801-651-1512 to set up a free consultation. We represent individuals throughout Utah, from Jordan to St. George.