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CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is dropping its appeal of a judge's decision to allow members of an American Indian tribe to kill bald eagles for religious purposes on its reservation in central Wyoming.
The federal agency on Friday filed notice with a federal appeals court in Denver that it won't continue its appeal of last year's decision by U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson of Cheyenne.
Johnson ruled the Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Northern Arapaho Tribe's religious freedoms by denying the tribe permission to kill bald eagles for its annual Sun Dance.
The Northern Arapaho share the Wind River Indian Reservation with the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, which opposes killing eagles there.
Attempts to reach Fish and Wildlife Service officials for comment weren't immediately successful Friday.