The Service will prepare reports every 5 years, and additionally as necessary, to provide the public with information regarding the take of cormorants and the extent to which this permit, along with other management tools (e.g., depredation permits per 50 CFR 21.41 and scientific collection permits per 50 CFR 21.23), is achieving management objectives. Pages 303-328 in W.J. The reversal did not result in any errors in estimating PTL. 1. This feature is not available for this document. Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will review all significant rules. The Service works on migratory bird conservation in partnership with four Flyway Councils (Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific), which include representatives Start Printed Page 85536of State, provincial, and territorial agencies. 12. documents in the last year, 308 on ), and (d) changes in management practices (e.g., water level management, fish release timing, etc. SBA further stated that individual depredation permit applications are a significant burden for small businesses, citing lower take limits for cormorants and complications among Service regions in issuing permits. Direct comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of the information collection to the Service's Information Collection Clearance Officer at the address provided at 50 CFR 2.1(b). However, we recommend being more conservative and allowing take only up to the lower 20 percent of the distribution of the PTL annually (121,504 cormorants). Conflicts also exist between cormorants and conservation of other species and habitats in some areas. Only 100 percent corn oil, a substance exempted from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, may be used to oil eggs. are not part of the published document itself. In regard to comments questioning which entities may remain eligible to apply for and receive individual depredation permits, the Service acknowledges this complexity and refers commenters to Table 1 in the FEIS, “Differences In Regulatory Frameworks That Would Address Conflicts Across All Alternatives,” Start Printed Page 85549which outlines how each alternative in the NEPA analysis would employ different proposed regulatory frameworks to address conflicts relating to cormorants. In such cases, WS biologists complete an evaluation form (WS Form 37) that describes the incident and documents our recommendations for management options. The Service regularly uses PTL models to determine sustainable levels of take and has concluded that if this level of take were to be authorized, it would be biologically sustainable based on knowledge of cormorant population dynamics. 12866 while calling for improvements in the Nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. P.O. This commenter further states that there is no structure to ensure that take for resources will be balanced (prioritization) or that a diversity of stakeholder interests will be considered. In response to increasing requests for depredation permits to alleviate damage and conflicts associated with cormorants, the Service issued a final environmental impact statement (FEIS) pursuant to NEPA and made changes to the regulations governing the take of cormorants in 2003. This document has been published in the Federal Register. Our economic analysis determined that this rule is expected to result in positive economic benefits to both the commercial aquaculture industry as well as the recreational sport fishing industry. If in the future the Service is sufficiently able to track and monitor illegal take across the broad geographic scale represented in the PTL, then this data can be counted against PTL. It protects over 1,000 species of migratory birds across the United States and makes it illegal to take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter or offer for sale, purchase or barter, any migratory bird (or part of one), or a migratory bird nest or egg, without a valid permit. However, a small government agency plan is not required. Modify your browser's settings to allow Javascript to execute. Rather, we expect that the categories of individuals listed above will have the skills, or could readily acquire the skills, to accurately identify double-crested cormorants and differentiate other look-alike species to avoid taking them. The regulations became effective in November 2003. When determining allowable take, the Service must consider uncertainty related to cormorant population dynamics, estimated maximum sustainable lethal take, and risk of over-exploitation. Federal Register issue. 2. The Service stated in the DEIS and the FEIS that the use of nonlethal methods alone is not an effective management tool to respond to conflicts associated with cormorants, which is why the Service rejected that possible alternative in its analysis. The State or Tribe must submit the annual report to the appropriate Migratory Bird Permit Office (see § 2.2 of this subchapter). (ii) A permit under this section does not authorize the take of any other migratory bird, including other species of cormorants; the take of bald or golden eagles; or the take of any species federally listed as threatened or endangered. On the comment of taking cormorants at any location and at any time, actions under the permit may be conducted during any time of the year, unless specified otherwise in the permit's terms and conditions. ), (b) passive deterrents (e.g., netting, exclusion devices, nest deterrents, etc. In accordance with the criteria in Executive Order 12866, this action is not a significant regulatory action subject to OMB review. Commercial entities, such as privately managed aquaculture facilities, would continue to have the opportunity to apply for individual depredation permits to address site-specific conflicts. The special double-crested cormorant permit is a permit issued by the Service to State or Tribal fish and wildlife agencies that authorizes specific take activities that are normally prohibited and are intended to relieve or prevent impacts from cormorants on lands or in waters managed by those agencies and within those agencies' jurisdiction. Allowable levels of take for the trade in Nearctic songbirds. on NARA's archives.gov. Actions under the permit may be conducted during any time of the year on lands or in waters managed by State or Tribal fish and wildlife agencies within their jurisdictions, or where States or Tribes manage wild or stocked fish that are accessible by the public or all Tribal members. The 2020 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permits (valid from August 1, 2020 until June 30, 2021) will be sent to the purchaser by e-mail within a few minutes following your online purchase. Final Environmental Impact Statement: Double-crested cormorant management plan to reduce predation of juvenile salmonids in the Columbia River Estuary. Under the vacated aquaculture depredation order, aquaculture facilities were required to annually report lethal cormorant control activities. The geographic scope of the new State or Tribal permit is authorized at biologically sustainable levels for each subpopulation. In all cases under a new permit, States and Tribes would be required to respond to questions as part of a permit application, and document all take that occurs under their permit(s), and provide the Service with a report by January 31 for activities conducted during the preceding calendar year. Importantly, reducing the abundance of double-crested cormorants is not the goal of the Service or this new management action. Hunter, W.C., W. Golder, S. Melvin, and J. Wheeler. If a State or Tribe determines a permit under this rule would meet their needs, upon receiving the permit, that State or Tribe would have the discretion to determine whether, when, where, and for which of the above purposes they conduct lethal take within limits and allocations set by the Service. 1531 et seq.) These can be useful With regard to methods of nonlethal management methods expected, the new special permit application now includes language intended to be clear and concise. A Permit designates the species, methods, and the number of birds that may be taken, and are only valid for the individuals named on the permits, and the permit locations and dates. 601 et seq. Box 25486, DFC 60154 Denver, CO 80225-0486 CORE Project Number 19-004 . Thus, we are certifying that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small business entities. Numerous nonlethal means, such as harassment, use of effigies, habitat modification, and others, are available to landowners who maintain animals in natural-like environments. This form is required for first-time applicants only. The new special cormorant permit would be optional and available to State and Tribal fish and wildlife agencies in the 48 contiguous States to manage conflicts specifically associated with cormorants. For example, one State commented that the language related to subpermittees should read, “Subpermittees may be, but are not limited to, employees of state and tribal wildlife agencies, Wildlife Services employees, and employees of federal and state agencies or private companies specializing in wildlife damage abatement.” Some commenters opined that the Service should define the level of training and control needed to ensure people operate in a humane, accountable, and lawful manner. The status of the population can be reassessed at 5-year intervals, and additionally as necessary, and there is a sound monitoring program in place for the western subpopulation, which can estimate how the western subpopulation responds to take subsequent to the habitat management in the Columbia River Estuary. 01/08/2021, 148 Although the USDA WS program is not a regulatory program, we have a role in some regulatory processes. Step 3. 1018-0146)). Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: PRB (JAO/3W), 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803. Millsap, M.L. Hines, D.J. One individual commented with concern that States may take the majority of the allocated take within a cormorant subpopulation's allowable take threshold within the PTL. This take can include any migratory birds -- except for eagles and threatened and endangered species. These benefits result from indirect effects on cormorant populations from a higher threshold of authorized take, and the Start Printed Page 85544resulting lower cormorant populations that are projected. Further research might determine whether any impacts that may be seen at local scales can be extended to larger scales. In addition, permittees must adhere to these provisions: (i) States and Tribes must implement nonlethal methods, and independently determine that those methods are insufficient at resolving depredation conflicts, before taking double-crested cormorants. ), (c) habitat management (e.g., vegetative barriers, grass management, prey management, etc. Javascript is disabled in this browser. Nontarget take of any other avian species must be reported to your permit office with your annual report including species, number, and description of events.” The application for this permit can be found in Appendix H of the FEIS, and we cross-reference the FEIS for additional comments and responses on this issue not directly related to this rulemaking. Some entities commented that the Service would need to ensure that current depredation permits for take of cormorants continue to be issued under 50 CFR 21.41, as population levels allow. Management of cormorants in the western United States (Western population, P. albociliatus) is also through site-specific, case-by-case permits. documents in the last year, 778 The documents posted on this site are XML renditions of published Federal by the Federal Housing Finance Agency Sauer, J.R., D.K. The private property owner or occupant should also allow access at all reasonable times, including during actual operations, to any Service special agent or refuge officer, State or Tribal wildlife or deputy wildlife agent, warden, protector, or other wildlife law enforcement officer on the premises where they are, or were, conducting activities. A higher threshold for annual take associated with this regulation will yield benefits to the aquaculture industry and others in need of individual depredation permits. (3) Recordkeeping Requirements: Any State or Tribal agency, when exercising the privileges of this permit, must keep records of all activities, including those of subpermittees, carried out under the authority of the special permit. SBA recommended that the Service consider other sources of data, and methods of data collection other than reporting increased revenue data, to measure the success of conflict management programs. Available at: https://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/​bbs/​bbs.html. Step 5. Birds may not be retained for personal use. documents in the last year, 39 Under this permit, the Service authorizes State and Tribal fish and wildlife agencies to conduct lethal take of double-crested cormorants that is normally prohibited and is intended to relieve or prevent impacts from cormorants on lands or in waters managed by those agencies within their respective jurisdictions or where States or Tribes manage wild or stocked fish that are accessible by the public or all Tribal members. better and aid in comparing the online edition to the print edition. documents in the last year, 235 (iv) Take using firearms (other than an air rifle or air pistol) must use nontoxic shot or nontoxic bullets (see § 20.21 of this subchapter). Another State agency commented that nonlethal control methods are often impractical or ineffective, as cormorants become habituated to persistent, affordable methods (e.g., noise-making deterrents, lasers, harassment from shore by hatchery personnel). the official SGML-based PDF version on govinfo.gov, those relying on it for One commenter requested the Service require a control moratorium during the nesting season when chicks are present. Following the Court ruling, the Service prepared an EA in 2017 to address continuing conflicts with cormorants (USFWS 2017). We considered comments on the ANPR in developing the proposed rule, and comments on the DEIS and proposed rule when developing this final rule. 4. documents in the last year, 656 The Service will make every effort to align coordination with the Flyway Councils around their meetings throughout the calendar year. We also informed attendees that they could provide comments on the proposed actions and the scope of the NEPA review via a website or by U.S. mail or hand-delivery. 11th Avenue . Impacts to threatened and endangered species (as listed under the ESA and listed species identified in State- or Tribal-specific legislation as threatened or endangered) or those listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need in State Wildlife Action Plans, where take activities to prevent depredation on aquatic Species of Greatest Conservation Need may occur only in natural or public waters; 4. Form Numbers: FWS Forms 3-200-90 and 3-202-56. Pacific Flyway Plan: A framework for the management of double-crested cormorant depredation on fish resources in the Pacific Flyway. Step 4. The Endorsement is valid for 45 days. Niven, J.E. Sutherland, I. Newton, and R.E. This permit does not apply to any efforts to prevent depredation or harm to privately owned animals (e.g., hobby animals, pets, or similar categories of animals) that are raised free-range or otherwise released to the wild. At that time, the Service defined a public resource as a natural resource managed and conserved by public agencies, which included fish (i.e., wild fish and stocked fish at Federal, State, and Tribal hatcheries that are intended for release in public or Tribal waters), wildlife, plants, and their habitats. WS will assist in making your request for a Migratory Bird Depredation Permit (Permit) when migratory birds cause site-specific damage. Agency Response to Depredation Order Comments: As explained in the DEIS, the Service would apply an annual maximum allowable take threshold across all the needs identified by stakeholders. 4321-4347). edition of the Federal Register. This rule will not have an annual economic effect of $100 million or adversely affect any economic sector, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, or other units of government. The Service will continue to issue individual depredation permits and is not proposing to implement any new cormorant depredation orders anywhere in the United States at this time. Generally, commenters asked how the Service would: (1) Allocate take among all existing authorizations for take, including a new State and Tribal permit; (2) account for regional take under the national permit system; and (3) determine an upper limit of take for each State. Only 100 percent corn oil, a substance exempted from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, may be used to oil eggs. We considered comments on the DEIS when developing this final rule, and a summary of the comments is included in the FEIS associated with this Start Printed Page 85554rulemaking action. The Service will not identify specific training requirements necessary to become a subpermittee. If cormorants are attracted to an area due to food resources, nesting habitats, or other factors, those places will remain attractive regardless of the size of the cormorant population and may still experience damage to the resources. Mail the two blue copies to the Regional FWS Migratory Bird Permit Office responsible for your State before the end of the month in which you transfer the birds or eggs. Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. In K. Fagerstone and G. Witmer, editors. Any State or Tribal agency, when exercising the privileges of this permit, must keep records of all activities, including those of subpermittees, carried out under the authority of the special permit, including the number of double-crested cormorants taken and their disposition. The authority to take double-crested cormorants conferred by the permit is given to the State or Tribal fish and wildlife agency, and those agencies may designate permittees that the Service approves on the application for the permit. If you are using public inspection listings for legal research, you In February we held four public scoping webinars and then two webinars only for Tribal members (February 19 and 27, 2020). conducting your transaction by mail, 1. 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. Additionally, a registration/tracking tool would only be effective if those using the depredation order were willing to register and report take numbers on a regular and frequent basis. Both the Pacific Flyway Council and a State agency in that flyway stressed the importance that any expectation of monitoring and reporting needed to implement the proposed new permit system must be backed with a robust program of Federal funding to support the duration of the monitoring activities. Wildlife Services provides a “Form 37 Permit Review,” which is required to be completed and included with the application for first-time applicants only. Ind. The Service is the Federal agency delegated with the primary responsibility for managing migratory birds. The protocols will detail agency-specific responsibilities and estimated annual costs associated with monitoring. This State asserts that they operate four State-owned hatcheries, where fingerlings are raised for stocking public water bodies for the enjoyment and recreational use of fisheries resources by the public. Page 2 of 5 E. SPECIAL PURPOSE – SALVAGE (Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 50 CFR 21.27) Note: A Federal Special Purpose Salvage Permit is required to salvage migratory birds that you find dead and had no part in killing. The new permit also provides States and Tribes with the ability to address conflicts between cormorants and wild and publicly stocked fish managed by State fish and wildlife agencies or federally recognized Tribes, which was not previously available to them under the scope of individual depredation permits per 50 CFR 21.41. These commenters stated that depredation permits are essential to manage the effects of increased double-crested cormorant populations on migrating salmon and steelhead smolts. documents in the last year, 992 ), and species identified in State- or Tribal-specific legislation as threatened or endangered) or those listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need in State Wildlife Action Plans, where take activities to prevent depredation on aquatic Species of Greatest Conservation Need may occur only in natural or public waters; (4) Damage to State- or Tribal-owned property and assets; and. As cormorant abundance increases, and even at current levels, the issuance of individual depredation permits to address conflicts is becoming increasingly time-consuming and lengthy in some cases. (3) How must States and Tribes dispose of or utilize cormorants taken under this permit? Other migratory bird permits, forms and contact Aviculture, taxidermy, airport, damage or danger, eiderdown, scientific, contact information. In addition, commenters also recommended that the Service ensure that States and Tribes applying for the special permit have conclusive data on a site-by-site basis indicating the effectiveness of cormorant management before take begins. Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN): Several State agencies also commented on the need to include conflicts related to SGCN as identified in State Wildlife Action Plans. No formal requests for government-to-government consultations were submitted in response to this rulemaking. Once received, be sure to review your Permit. The Service retains overall authority for the take of double-crested cormorants to ensure that levels of take are consistent with management objectives. Any State or Tribal employee or approved subpermittee authorized to carry out management and take activities must have a copy of the permit and, if appropriate, the subpermittee's designation in their possession when carrying out any activities. Join Facebook to connect with Tammy Jones and others you may know. One of the stated needs for action is to address impacts from cormorants on special status species. For example, between 2007 and 2018, the number of permit requests to take depredating cormorants (exclusive of requests to act under the depredation orders) increased from slightly less than 200 to almost 300 (USFWS, unpublished data). One State agency requested that the Service provide States seeking permits with a guide or Best Management Practices on nonlethal methods of resource protection. Private property owners may apply for a depredation permit (50 CFR 21.41) to the Service to alleviate damage to some types of property (i.e., buildings and infrastructure, vehicles and equipment, and some types of vegetation). Fish and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: PRB (JAO/3W), Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 (mail); or Info_Coll@fws.gov (email). 1501 et seq. Falconry permittees may submit the information in Some State agencies and Flyway Councils provided specific recommendations for population monitoring. g. The name and telephone number of the individual in your agency who will oversee the double-crested cormorant management activities authorized under the permit. Lethal take may occur by firearm in accordance with paragraph (d)(1)(iv) of this section or lethal or live traps. We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. Small businesses include finfish farming and fish hatcheries (NAICS 112511) and other types of commercial aquaculture farms (NAICS Code 112519). The Service determined this threshold by using a Potential Take Limit (PTL) model, which uses underlying cormorant population metrics (productive rates, survival rates, etc.) However, levels of take for each population could differ based on their current abundances, population biology, and population-specific management objectives. An Intra-Service ESA Section 7 consultation Biological Evaluation (ESA BE) was completed to assess if any proposed, threatened, or endangered species or associated critical habitat would be affected by cormorant control. NOAA Fisheries. As the Federal regulatory wildlife agency, the U.S. We evaluated this rule under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and under the Department's Tribal consultation policy and have determined that this rule may have a substantial direct effect on federally recognized Indian Tribes. 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Are a federally-protected species ) when may a State or Tribe 's discretion during the breeding season comparisons are to... Changes in management practices on nonlethal methods, such as habitat management and control activities allows you buy! Detail agency-specific responsibilities and estimated annual costs associated with monitoring the general public commented there. The illegal take is substantial, however, this rule does not have the ability adequately. Would eliminate these burdensome and time-consuming application requirements since a tracking system is not a regulatory flexibility Act 2! Few studies have investigated direct economic impacts of issuing depredation permits are essential to the... To callers with Migratory Bird management and Tribal fish and Wildlife management agencies and Tribes may designate subpermittees must...