The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) commented in support of an aquaculture depredation order in combination with a new special permit for States and Tribes. that agencies use to create their documents. 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. In most cases, the kill of birds is higher when using decoys than when they are not used (e.g., use of decoys in hunting situations). Actions may occur only when cormorants are committing or are about to commit depredations. 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 Service expects this special double-crested cormorant permit, which increases the flexibility of States and Tribes to address issues and also expands the scope of conflicts that can be addressed to wild and publicly managed fish, will result in increased efforts to reduce those conflicts, including lethal take of birds, nests, and eggs. About the Federal Register The Service was not able to include data relating to any potential illegal take of cormorants in the PTL. 1531 et seq.) Presently, however, the Service does not have the necessary process or resources to adequately monitor take under any new depredation order. The Department of the Interior's policy is, whenever possible, to afford the public an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process. 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. Similarly, another State agency recommended greater flexibility for State fish and wildlife agencies to authorize take to protect SGCN species. States and Tribes applying for the first time must consult with the USDA Wildlife Services for an assessment of the appropriate level of take and provide recommendations of short-term measures to provide relief from depredation and long-term measures to help eliminate or significantly reduce conflicts. Runge, M.C., J.R. Sauer, M.L. We also informed attendees that they could provide comments on the proposed actions and the scope of the NEPA review via a website (http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. Reasons for support of the no action alternative generally indicate that this option would focus lethal control explicitly on birds that are committing or about to commit depredation or harm/damage, identifies and defines a limited and specific set of types of conflicts, requires permittees to demonstrate they have exhausted reasonable nonlethal methods of management, and requires the Service approval lethal control on a case-by-case basis. The Service encourages interested States and Tribes to communicate with the Service during the application process to best determine prioritization and allocation of authorized take of cormorants. Green, editors. Division of Migratory Bird Management, Falls Church, Virginia. Register (ACFR) issues a regulation granting it official legal status. California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Pacific Island Territories . In expanding authority given to the States and Tribes via this permit, workload burdens may shift with more being borne by the States and Tribes and less by the Service. Correcting this error caused estimates of PTL to increase 2-3% for each subpopulation.Start Printed Page 85543. 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. Depredation of fish at State- and Tribal-owned or operated aquaculture facilities, including hatcheries; 2. Tenth Wildlife Damage Management Proceedings, Hot Springs, Arkansas. These methods, such as habitat management and dispersal, must be tried or deemed likely to be ineffective. The scope of management and take activities conducted under the permit is intended to reduce or prevent conflicts associated with cormorants for the following concerns: 1. Once received, be sure to review your Permit. 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. This repetition of headings to form internal navigation links 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. Commenters also requested clarity on the type of nonlethal control methods the Service expects permittees to use. Taylor, J.D., II and B. Dorr. 2003. (2) FWS Form 3-202-56, Annual Report: The State or Tribe must submit an annual report (FWS Form 3-202-56) detailing activities, including the dates, Start Printed Page 85545numbers, and locations and life stages of birds, eggs, and nests taken and nonlethal techniques utilized, by January 31 for activities conducted during the preceding calendar year. As requests to take cormorants increase, the use of multiple individual depredation permits to address conflicts within State and Tribal jurisdictions will become increasingly time-consuming and burdensome. documents in the last year, by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation As the Federal regulatory wildlife agency, the U.S. Lethal management should be considered as part of an integrated approach to managing cormorant conflicts and used only when other methods are insufficient to resolve conflicts. Regarding the comment suggesting that some landowners may unlawfully take cormorants if they do not receive authorization to do so from the Service, we recognize that this activity may occur, but we can neither prevent unlawful activity nor predict where and when unlawful activity would occur in such cases. The Migratory Bird Permit Office of the US Fish & Wildlife Service must be notified within 24 hours of acquiring a threatened or endangered migratory bird species, or bald or golden eagle, whether live or dead. Most bird species are protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which governs how to handle sick, injured or orphaned birds. Decoying birds may create, extend, or exacerbate conflicts (e.g., exacerbating a disease outbreak by attracting additional birds) where an issue may not exist or could be lessened if the birds had not been decoyed into the area; and could limit the ability of entities to obtain relief from cormorant conflicts due to the limited numbers of birds that could be taken to ensure sustainability of cormorant populations. Active nest take may occur by egg oiling or destruction of nest material and contents (including viable eggs and chicks). 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. NOAA Fisheries. Conflicts also exist between cormorants and conservation of other species and habitats in some areas. 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. Members of the general public commented that there is a general bias against nonlethal measures even when nonlethal measures are proven to work. 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. Agency Response to Reporting Requirements Concerns: The Service will require, as part of receiving a permit, an annual report that must be submitted by January 31st each year. 10. The Court concluded that the Service failed to consider a reasonable range of alternatives in its 2014 environmental assessment (EA) and directed the Service to take “a hard look” at the effects of the depredation orders on double-crested cormorant populations and other affected resources. Several State agencies and commenters voiced a need for clarity on the scope of authorized take within a new cormorant depredation permit for States and Tribes outlined in the proposed rule. We’ve made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Commenters provided many specific empirical details for the Service to consider, but, in general, considerations included the following issues: (1) The confidence interval for this western subpopulation is too large; (2) the take limit for the western subpopulation is much larger than historical take in the West; and (3) there was an error in the equation used to estimate a pre-breeding multiplier. Take activities to prevent depredation on aquatic Species of Greatest Conservation Need may occur only in natural or public waters. Some commenters also requested the Service specify permit conditions to protect nontarget and federally listed species. A hunting license is required to hunt crows. While it is feasible that this rule could have localized effects on recreational fisheries, data do not exist to predict where those effects could occur. E.O. 12/28/2020 at 8:45 am. Form Numbers: FWS Forms 3-200-90 and 3-202-56. The Service will not identify specific training requirements necessary to become a subpermittee. A summary of the comments is included in the 2020 FEIS associated with this rulemaking action, and we incorporate those responses to comments by reference to this rule. Keep track of any take. Quicker resolution of conflicts ultimately may result in fewer complaints regarding cormorants. Another agency stressed in the comments responding to the DEIS and the ANPR that, when determining priority and allocation of allowable take of cormorants, the protection of special-status resources should have first priority. Of the 1,047 public comments submitted in response to the proposed rule and DEIS, we received 49 comments from the following entities in response to the DEIS that address the information collection requirements: As mentioned previously, we incorporate by reference comments and our responses in the 2020 FEIS associated with this rulemaking action, and address below those comments directly relevant to this rule. The Garrett Companies: Permit #M1366357C-O (remanded and application withdrawn) Broomfield County, Colorado . Wildlife Services provides a “Form 37 Permit Review”. To reduce the risk of over-exploiting the western subpopulation, the Service reduced the level of authorized annual take to half the PTL in the DEIS, or 4,539 individuals. The take activities conducted under the permit are intended to reduce or prevent conflicts associated with cormorants for the following concerns: (1) Depredation of fish at State- and Tribal-owned or operated aquaculture facilities, including hatcheries; (2) Realized and potential impacts to human health and safety (e.g., collisions of airplanes with birds, fecal contamination of urban wetlands); (3) Impacts to threatened and endangered species (species listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. Falconry permittees may submit the information in Permittees may also consult with USDA Wildlife Services for additional assistance to determine when nonlethal methods are insufficient. 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. 01/08/2021, 148 Information Collection Requirements: Written comments and suggestions on the information collection requirements should be submitted within 30 days of publication of this document to www.reginfo.gov/​public/​do/​PRAMain. These commenters stated that depredation permits are essential to manage the effects of increased double-crested cormorant populations on migrating salmon and steelhead smolts. The Service makes decisions given this uncertainty by using the data and modeling available and adapting through time as change occurs. Furthermore, any State or Tribal employee or approved subpermittee conducting such activities must promptly furnish information concerning such activities to any such wildlife officer. Several States, organizations, and individuals commented on the need for more clarity and details from the Service with regard to the development of a cormorant population monitoring program, and how adaptive management will be incorporated. This approach will result in the transparency and accountability necessary to make informed decisions about and promote adherence to authorized levels of take. documents in the last year, 355 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. Double-crested cormorant impacts to commercial and natural resources. A number of State agencies recommended that the Service develop guidelines for determining when there is sufficient proof that nonlethal mechanisms are ineffective at resolving conflicts. 2. Several stakeholders inquired as to the specific requests for information required in a new special permit. 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. You may review the DEIS, FEIS, and the comments received at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. The MBTA protects over 800 species including geese, ducks, shorebirds, Environmental assessment for issuing depredation permits for double-crested cormorant management. . Specific conditions include those pertaining to lethal take during the breeding season. Although a few studies have estimated impacts to local economies, loss of fishing day activities in those local areas may be offset through engaging in angling opportunities elsewhere. Note that the permit is not refundable. Commenters in support of a new aquaculture depredation order suggested that this alternative would reduce the administrative and regulatory burden on the Service and the aquaculture industry, and emphasized that individual take permit applications are a significant burden for small businesses. In this Issue, Documents The Service anticipates the unintentional take of nontarget species will occur infrequently and involve very few individuals of a particular species. 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. The comment period for each continued for 45 days, ending on July 20, 2020. Specifically, some commenters requested that the Service require that permittees (individual or a new special permit for States and Tribes) “make progress” toward nonlethal solutions to conflicts as a condition of any permit. Reducing their overall abundance does not guarantee that conflicts in specific areas will decrease. Available at: https://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/​bbs/​bbs.html. The reversal did not result in any errors in estimating PTL. This report will be provided to the public to promote transparency of decision-making and evaluate the effectiveness of this conflict-management tool. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document. Localized abundances of cormorants may decline as a result of these efforts, but regional and continental populations are not likely to be negatively impacted. Crows are migratory birds and as such, are a federally-protected species. 13132. Sauer, J.R., D.K. Federal Register issue. A State agency recommended the Service use the Flyway system to assist in the allocation of permitted lethal removal of cormorants, due to the pressing need to resolve cormorant conflicts across broad geographic regions. The Central Flyway Council indicated support for developing monitoring plans, and recommended that the four Flyways contribute recommendations on reasonable take allocations. Please reference OMB Control Number 1018-0175 in the subject line of your comments. To adequately track take under any new depredation order, whether that order be the vacated orders, or those analyzed in the DEIS, the Service needs to develop a mechanism that allows take to be tracked in real time, such as the Canada Goose Registration database (50 CFR 21.50). The Pacific Flyway Council also noted a concern that the costs of permit management, reporting, and monitoring will detract from other species conservation work, which is already difficult due to limited funding. States and Tribes and their subpermittees must make efforts to avoid disturbance to co-nesting species. Step 4. Yet another State agency also requested that the Service provide States seeking permits with a guide or Best Management Practices on nonlethal methods of resource protection. Runge, and K.D. Journal of Wildlife Management 73:556-565. Be sure to leave feedback using the 'Feedback' button on the bottom right of each page! Agency Response to Development of Guidelines Concerns: The Service received many comments either in favor of or opposed to using nonlethal methods in all situations. The depredation order for public resources was previously located at 50 CFR 21.48. Therefore, from October 2003 through May 2016, the Service authorized the take of cormorants pursuant to the two depredation orders (which covered certain States), through the issuance of depredation permits for activities in States not addressed in the two depredation orders, and through the issuance of scientific collecting permits (50 CFR 21.23). The planned 5-year assessment will address this issue. ), and (d) changes in management practices (e.g., water level management, fish release timing, etc. By establishing an annual sustainable take threshold, and ensuring systems are in place to keep take below that threshold, the Service will implement the robust tool needed to assess the effects of take on cormorant populations to address potential legal challenges. In addition, States and Tribes and their subpermittees must make efforts to avoid disturbance to co-nesting species. (5) Depredation of wild and publicly stocked fish managed by State fish and wildlife agencies or federally recognized Tribes and accessible to the public or all Tribal members. (iii) Methods of take for double-crested cormorants are at the State's or Tribe's discretion. The Service will execute a Record of Decision no sooner than 30 days from the date of publication of the notice of availability of the FEIS by the Environmental Protection Agency. In May 2016, these depredation orders were vacated by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. documents in the last year. (3) How must States and Tribes dispose of or utilize cormorants taken under this permit? Cormorants may be able to stay and forage longer in northern portions of the Interior and Atlantic subpopulations, and it is possible that breeding seasons may lengthen. Therefore, this particular State requested 150 cormorant depredation permits, regardless of the management alternative selected, to better manage cormorant populations at its State hatchery facilities. You can find addresses for the Regional Directors in 50 CFR 2.2. Since the Court's vacating of the depredation orders in May 2016 as discussed above, the Service has been reviewing and issuing individual depredation permits in the central and eastern lower 48 States pursuant to two separate analyses conducted under NEPA. On January 22, 2020 (85 FR 3601-3603), the Service published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) and announced our intent to prepare a NEPA document indicating that the Service intended to establish new regulations regarding the management of double-crested cormorants. prohibits possession of any bird protected by treaties between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Russia unless the possession is authorized under regulation and/or by permit. In accordance with Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments,” and the Department of the Interior's manual at 512 DM 2, we have considered the possible effects of this rule on federally recognized Indian Tribes. 1502 et seq., that this rulemaking will not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local or State government or private entities. No permit is required merely to scare or herd migratory birds other than threatened or endangered species or bald or golden eagles (see 50 CFR 21.41). First-time applicants must include a completed “Form 37 Permit Review” from Wildlife Services. 1531 et seq. Following the Court ruling, the Service prepared an EA in 2017 to address continuing conflicts with cormorants (USFWS 2017). 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. While conflicts exist between cormorants and some stakeholders, birders and other interested parties value cormorants for their aesthetic and existence values. on Estimated Completion Time per Response: Varies from 10 minutes to 16 hours, depending on activity. This prototype edition of the A separate State agency commented about the scope of the conflicts, and asked if a State permit is the only way a State can address cormorant conflicts. Rather, the goal of the Service is to reduce the number of conflicts with cormorants by combining lethal and nonlethal methods and allowing the lethal take of cormorants only when supported by information that such take would reduce conflicts. The new permit coupled with the continued use of individual depredation permits for commercial aquaculture producers would provide the flexibility to manage cormorants sustainably and authorize take in an equitable fashion across multiple conflicts. Regulations pertaining to specific migratory bird permit types are at 50 CFR parts 21 and 22. Other migratory bird permits, forms and contact Aviculture, taxidermy, airport, damage or danger, eiderdown, scientific, contact information. At those levels of take, the continental population of double-crested cormorants is expected to average about 830,285 cormorants. Title of Collection: Federal Fish and Wildlife Permit Applications and Reports—Special Double-Crested Cormorants; 50 CFR part 21. The number of birds authorized for take for each subpopulation will depend on (a) the number of States that request a State permit, and (b) the number of birds each State/Tribe requests to take in order to minimize their particular conflict. Unless otherwise authorized on your permit, double-crested cormorants taken under this permit may be temporarily possessed and transported for the purposes of disposal under the regulations in this section. 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. For added clarity in response to these comments, the following is a condition that would be part of any permit issued by the Service under the preferred alternative in this FEIS: States and Tribes must use nonlethal methods, and independently determine that those methods are insufficient in controlling the depredation conflict, before lethally taking double-crested cormorants. 2004) to determine the number of cormorants that may be taken while maintaining the species (and breeding populations) at sustainable levels. Ziolkowski, Jr., K.L. For the reasons described in the preamble, we hereby amend part 21 of subchapter B, chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below: 1. A separate State agency expressed concerns about the burden that the proposed permit will place on States to develop and maintain programs to manage allowable take (i.e., population monitoring, permitting, and reporting). Subpermittees can be employees of State and Tribal fish and wildlife agencies, USDA Wildlife Services employees, and employees of other Federal, State, or Tribal agencies or private companies specializing in wildlife damage abatement and under direct control of the permittee. As described previously, the bird-management community generally accepts that there are five different breeding populations: The Alaska, Pacific (Western), Interior, Atlantic, and Southern populations. The Service retains overall authority for the take of double-crested cormorants to ensure that levels of take are consistent with management objectives. Under the no action alternative, the Service expects continued or enhanced conflict between cormorants and some economically important fisheries across the nation, as well as at some hatchery release sites. documents in the last year, 776 This feature is not available for this document. 1018-0146)). It was viewed 12 times while on Public Inspection. 703 et seq.) This is because the Service does not have the ability to adequately track where and when individuals might illegally take cormorants. Another State agency suggested commercial aquaculture facilities and private landowners be required to report annually, at a minimum, and noted that issuing annual permits provides accurate and timely reporting to maintain compliance with permit provisions. If a State or Tribe must enter private property to access State and Tribal lands or waters where take is approved in their permit, the State or Tribe must obtain authorization from the private property owner, and require that the private property owner or occupant provide free and unrestricted access. As stated in the rule and NEPA analyses, States and Tribes would not be required to request a permit, and those entities within States or Tribes not seeking a new permit would continue to be able to apply for individual depredation permits (individual depredation permits would not authorize the take of cormorants to protect wild or stocked fish except when circumstances require the protection of federally listed species). FWS-HQ-MB-2019-0103. The new reporting and/or recordkeeping requirements identified below require approval by OMB: (1) FWS Form 3-200-90, Permit Application—Special Double-Crested Cormorant Permit (50 CFR part 21) (and associated amendments): This new permit would be available only to State or Tribal fish and wildlife agencies responsible for migratory bird management on lands and in waters managed by those agencies within their jurisdictions. 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. FWS-HQ-MB-2019-0103. The https:// means all transmitted data is encrypted — in other words, any information or browsing history that you provide is transmitted securely. In February we held four public scoping webinars and then two webinars only for Tribal members (February 19 and 27, 2020). A State agency similarly requested that the Service provide States with standardized guidance on determining when take is warranted to support fish resources, and to reduce conflicts associated with risks to human health and safety, property, and species of conservation concern. This may include donation to public museums or public scientific and educational institutions for exhibition, scientific, or educational purposes, or burial or incineration. Division of Migratory Bird Management, Falls Church, Virginia. Another State agency stated that in order to ensure that monitoring efforts are conducted consistently, the Service should conduct population monitoring or must allocate funding to the States for monitoring. The special double-crested cormorant permits are subject to the conditions specified in the permit, the general conditions in 50 CFR part 13, and other requirements set forth elsewhere in this section, and, unless otherwise specifically authorized on the permit, the following conditions: (1) What are the limitations on management and take activities? This final rule contains a collection of information that we have submitted to OMB for review and approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Further research might determine whether any impacts that may be seen at local scales can be extended to larger scales. 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Federal Migratory Bird, Ecological Services Field Office P.O oiling or destruction of material! Publications detailing appropriate nonlethal methods are used in the document Drafting Handbook that use... Further commented that they felt the DEIS did not address adaptive management the. Increase 2-3 % for each population could differ based on the site includes a link to allowable! Bbl permits Office not use decoys, calls, or other methods recommended by US... Steelhead ( O. mykiss ) migrating to the comments received at the same for! On activity management of cormorants that may be modified as conditions change once take is unlikely to 2,000. Raptors and is conservative in that the equation was used Church, Virginia level, not “...

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