Let him keep the feather

It’s hard to see any harm in letting Gov. Andrew Cuomo keep the eagle feather recovered on a long-ago family outing on Saranac Lake. But how to get around the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act?

That obscure 1940s federal statute prohibits non-Native Americans from disturbing, taking or possessing eagle parts, eggs or nests — including feathers. Violations can bring a year in jail or a $100,000 fine.

Yet Cuomo plainly could’ve held on to it safely . if he hadn’t told the tale of recovering it in earshot of an enterprising Associated Press reporter.

The gov was announcing a grant for the Village of Saranac Lake when he harkened back to that canoe trip on the lake: “Out of nowhere, from one of the islands, an eagle came out and like swooped down right next to us with this beautiful, graceful glide.

“And when the eagle was just about at (the) front of the canoe, one feather fell out. And we picked up that feather, and I have it on my fireplace to this day. It’s moments like that that are just gifts forever.”

Alerted to the legal issue, Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi said the governor was (understandably) unaware of the law, and would return the feather to the lake or donate it to a US Fish and Wildlife repository.

Seriously, though, it’s a feather — and one of clear sentimental value to the Cuomo family. Can’t President Trump issue a pardon and let the gov keep his little memento?

The New York Post