Plenty of Central New York folks take hikes in the Adirondacks, and swim, fish or boat in our great lakes, but they may be unaware of some rules and laws in place to protect our natural ecosystems in New York State.

Even Governor Andrew Cuomo was not aware of the specifics of these laws, because he unwittingly violated one of them while canoeing years ago in the Adirondacks. Cuomo had an eagle swoop over the canoe and shed a single feather that fell right beside him in the water. The governor later discovered he'd broken a law.

Cuomo kept the feather and put it on the mantle above his fireplace at home. Finding and keeping such an artifact violates the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940 that prohibits people from having feathers or other parts of the animals. If you are convicted of violating this law, you can face a fine up to $100,000 and a year in jail.

The governor is returning the feather to a US Fish and Wildlife repository. Do you have anything similar that could get you in trouble?

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