More than a year ago, Lawrence Small, the head of the Smithsonian Institution, quietly pled guilty in North Carolina to purchasing tribal art that contained the feathers of endangered birds, in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty and the Endangered Species Act. He was sentenced to 100 hours of community service. This was pretty ironic given that Small is also the man who ordered Subhanker Bannerjee's breathtaking exhibit on the beauty of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge moved into the Smithsonian basement during the 2002 legislative debate on drilling the Refuge, almost certainly in response to pressure from pro-oil politicians. Small has also attempted to reduce the Smithsonian's capacity to do basic science by trying to eliminate its field laboratories.
But I just learned that Small has never served his sentence -- because, it turns out, instead of, say, serving the community by picking up litter in Washington, DC, he wanted to do his service by reading about the Endangered Species Act so he could work to weaken it!. So the punishment for breaking the law would be getting to amend it. This rather privileged view of his obligation to society, however, has not passed muster with Frank Whitney, the US Attorney in North Carolina who prosecuted Small. Whitney wrote the Eastern District Court that "allowing the defendant to spend time learning about the Endangered Species Act so that he may change the law he violated fails to promote a respect for the ESA. ...To do so would minimize his criminal activities and remove an deterrent value of his sentence." The Court has refused to approve the proposal.
Happy Earth Day!
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I know Mr. Small and I hope he`s successful.He`s a big fan of taxidermy and he knows stupid laws when he sees them.
I guess because you personally know him the laws are stupid because he got caught.
Lawrence Small was charged with violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act because a collection of South American headdresses and masks he purchased before becoming Smithsonian secretary included feathers from endangered birds.
"I was unaware such conduct was prohibited," said Small, who purchased the collection for $400,000 from a woman in North Carolina in 1998. Investigators learned of the illegal feathers when someone complained.
Typically, museums and researchers are allowed to have items that include material from endangered species under special permits issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
"He did not make the connection that museums can do this, but individuals can't," defense lawyer Judah Best told U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle.
This guy is a prominent figure at the smithsonian and he claims he doesn't know the difference. The law is there so a market in these types of things is not created. When you have people paying $400,000 that creates a market.
Who know's perhaps Mr. Small could contribute to the efforts to change the laws. In any event, I see no rational reason for Mr. Small to be punished for possessing feathers of an animal he didn't even kill while at the same time these Hillbillies at the Unviversity of Georgia are killing, cooking and eating the eagles. And congressional bills are in fact pending to change the laws. I say let Mr. Small alone and pass the biscuits!
Senator McConnell's Carson and others at the University defend their research as "essential, cutting edge work." "We never intended to give the okay for people to start hunting and consuming eagles. The problem arose when people starting realizing that not only is the eagle a healthy source of nutrition, it is also quite delicious. The first time I tasted a baked Havarti bald eagle I couldn't believe my mouth. You have to taste it to believe it."
While legislation still remains barring the consumption of endangered animals, several congressional bills proposing a change in the Endagered Species Act have already been proposed. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) proposed one such bill that would both allow for consumption of bald eagles, and pour federal funding into a program to breed the eagles on farms like chickens and other poultry birds. "These birds are beautiful, majestic creatures whose image strikes awe into the hearts and minds of people around the globe. They eagle has served to represent America to the rest of the world, and now it's time for America to serve the bald eagle, with prosciutto and Brie."
We began the research into the nutritional qualities of the bald eagle to try and determine exactly what makes these birds such a target for other birds of prey" explains Rebecca Carson, a research assistant for the schools Forest & Agriculture School. "We never anticipated the discovery that these birds are a perfect source of nutrition. Whether you are a golden condor using your keen eyes and razor sharp claws to track and kill a young eaglet, or simply a hungry college student on a budget; few sources provide as many essential vitamins and nutrients as the bald eagle."
Cordon Bleu Bald Eagle Bundles
Submitted by: Senator Jim McConnell
"Easy to make, but fancy enough for a special occasion. A mild and tasty blend of bald eagle, spinach, prosciutto and Brie cheese. Excellent drizzled with bearnaise sauce. Serve with a tossed green salad."
Yields 4 servings.
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour
Avg. Member Rating:
• 21 Ratings
• 18 Reviews
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless bald eagle breast halves
1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated large crescent roll dough
8 ounces Brie cheese
1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed and stems removed
4 (1/2 ounce) slices prosciutto
1 Heat oil in a heavy skillet; or spray a nonstick frying pan with cooking spray. Saute eagle breasts until no longer pink, and juices run clear; set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.)
2 Unroll 4 large crescent rolls. Layer each with 3 thin slices brie, 3 leaves spinach and 1 slice prosciutto. Place eagle breast in the center of dough. Wrap and tuck dough around eagle until completely enclosed. Place seam side down on baking sheet.
3 Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Makes 4 servings
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 39.3g
Total Carbohydrates: 30.7g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3g
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