Tlingit artist told he’s violating federal law

A prize-winning Tlingit artist has been told he violated federal law by using feathers in his art work.

The Anchorage Daily News says Tlingit carver Archie Cavanaugh was surprised last month when he was told by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials that items he had advertised for sale violated federal law.

At issue is the use of raven feathers in a curved hat and a headdress topped with flicker feathers from a bird that is a relative of the woodpecker.

Cavanaugh says he was told he’s violating both the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Lacey Act, and could face tens of thousands of dollars in penalties and jail time. Cavanaugh paid a fine and Fish and Wildlife returned the items, minus the feathers.