Editorial: Makah whale hunters held accountable
"Five Makah whale hunters, the gang that could not shoot straight, finally ended up before a federal judge as stubborn as they were.

Two Makahs were sent to jail and three ended up on probation via a plea deal as a result of last September's botched, illegal whale hunt in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Even from a distance, the arrogance and frustration that fuel this case are evident. The Makah Tribe has a long-standing application for a waiver from the federal government to take whales. The tribe is unique in that it has a treaty right to hunt, which was last exercised in 1999. Since then, a foot-dragging environmental challenge — in essence an administrative stall — has been under way.

The five men who killed a gray whale last fall had run out of patience, and made a lot of bad choices. They were also stunningly inept on the water. What they lacked in skills they made up for with smug self-confidence.

They obviously assumed they would not be held accountable by tribal legal proceedings, and they were not."

Get the Story:
A whale of a conceit (The Seattle Times 7/2)

Relevant Documents:
Draft EIS on Makah Whale-Hunting Request | Q&A

9th Circuit Decision:
Anderson v. Evans (June 7, 2004)

Related Stories:
Makah men sentenced for illegal whale hunt (7/1)
Makah chair denies knowledge of rogue whale hunt (6/30)
Makah men face sentencing for illegal whale hunt (6/27)
Small crowd for public hearing on Makah whaling (6/3)
Second public hearing on Makah whaling plan (6/2)
First public meeting on Makah Nation whaling (5/28)
Column: Let Makah Nation decide on whaling (5/20)
Makah Nation disputes story about whaling jury (5/16)
Makah judge defers prosecution of whalers (5/15)
Makah Nation whale hunt up for public comment (5/12)
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Judge convicts two Makah whalers for illegal hunt (4/8)
Three Makah whalers plead guilty for illegal hunt (3/28)
Column: Respect Makah Nation's hunting rights (3/26)
Editorial: Put an end to Makah Nation whale hunts (3/26)
Makah whalers reject plea deal for illegal hunt (3/25)
Makah whaling case set for trial in two courts (03/17)
Judge reduces charges in Makah whaling case (2/20)
Federal court delays trial for unauthorized whalers (01/25)
Opinion: Makah Nation shouldn't hunt whales (1/22)
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Makah chairman confident of tribe's return to whaling (1/14)