usfws migratory bird permit office

FWS-HQ-MB-2019-0103. This prototype edition of the 5. Agency Response to Geographic and Temporal Scope Comments: The new permit would be available to all States and federally recognized Tribes in the contiguous 48 States. 2019. In response to comments about a new aquaculture depredation order, we reference our response above. The Service needs to rely on permittees to make site-specific assessments and employ cormorant conflict management in a manner that makes the most sense, so long as those permittees follow the conditions of the permit. If a Permit is justified, a USDA WS biologist will complete a WS Form 37, which documents the damage caused by the birds. These commenters stated that depredation permits are essential to manage the effects of increased double-crested cormorant populations on migrating salmon and steelhead smolts. However, this prohibition would not apply if an air rifle or an air pistol is used. This rule would not interfere with the States' or Tribes' abilities to manage themselves or their funds. 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. 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. documents in the last year, 68 (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. 2006, Atlantic Flyway Council and Mississippi Flyway Council 2010, Pacific Flyway Council 2012). This rule is not an E.O. In December 2019, in response to requests for increased take to alleviate growing conflicts, the Service issued a notice (84 FR 69762-69762, December 19, 2019) that it would implement a different proposed alternative analyzed in the 2017 EA (Potential Take Limit Alternative) that had a higher annual take threshold, increasing the take of cormorants authorized by permits to 74,396. 1. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements. 4. If a Permit is justified, a USDA WS biologist will complete a WS Form 37, which documents the damage caused by the birds. 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). With respect to the comment suggesting no management, or only using nonlethal controls, nonlethal management would essentially mean that the Federal Government would not issue any permits or other authorizations (i.e., depredation permits, depredation orders, control orders, or conservation orders) that would allow the take of cormorants to alleviate depredations or other conflicts. To ensure biological sustainability, the Service used the most recent cormorant population data available to develop the PTL model. Respondents/Affected Public: State and/or Tribal governments. The authority citation for part 21 continues to read as follows: Authority: (3) How must States and Tribes dispose of or utilize cormorants taken under this permit? We’ve made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. However, due to concerns expressed by a number of commenters in the Pacific Flyway that take reaching the allowable level could negatively impact the Western Population, the Service initially will allow a maximum of 4,539 birds to be taken annually from that population. Some commenters noted that nonlethal measures may work for a limited time period, but some birds may become habituated. 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. 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. For example, two State agencies recommended rewording “wild and publicly stocked fish stocked by State agencies or Tribes” to “wild and stocked fish managed by State agencies or Tribes.” Another separate State agency stated that a State agency may need to apply control of cormorants on public waters, which can occur in cases where a State does not own the land, and recommends the final rule language be revised from, “Lands under the jurisdiction of the State,” to “Lands and/or public waters under the jurisdiction of the State.” Similarly, another State agency sought clarification on the language used in the proposed rule, and referenced “state or tribal lands” and “respective jurisdiction.”. attach photocopies of any relevant federal permits you possess or have applied for. documents in the last year, 41 The President of the United States communicates information on holidays, commemorations, special observances, trade, and policy through Proclamations. Realized and potential impacts to human health and safety (e.g., collisions of airplanes with birds, fecal contamination of urban wetlands); 3. The Mississippi Flyway Council recognized, supports, and appreciates that, under Alternative A, some States and Tribes in the Flyway not wishing to establish a new permit system, as well as commercial aquaculture facilities experiencing cormorant issues, have the option to apply for depredation permits under 50 CFR 21.41. Permittees may also consult with USDA Wildlife Services for additional assistance to determine when nonlethal methods are insufficient. are not part of the published document itself. Additionally, we conducted two webinars provided only to Tribal members on February 19 and 27, 2020. 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. 2012. Agency Response to Impact on Small Businesses Concerns: This collection associated with the new permit affects only State and Tribal governments, and does not impact small businesses. We arranged the comments addressing the information collections by overarching themes and provide a synopsis of the comments related to each theme, along with the Service's response to each theme, as indicated below: Several State agencies and organizations commented on the need for funding and technical support to implement a new State-wide special permit as described in the preferred alternative. Western Subpopulation of Cormorants: Several entities commented with concerns regarding the PTL and potential impacts to the western subpopulation of cormorants. (iii) States and Tribes may designate subpermittees who must operate under the conditions of the permit. The Service acknowledges that decoys can be effective in luring birds into sites to make them easier to kill, particularly those that are gregarious by nature. activity concerning nongame migratory birds must be issued with a current corresponding federal permit. 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. Numerous nonlethal means, such as harassment, use of effigies, habitat modification, and others, are available to landowners who maintain animals in natural-like environments. Runge, M.C., J.R. Sauer, M.L. This rule is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. ), (c) habitat management (e.g., vegetative barriers, grass management, prey management, etc. Johnson, F.A., M.A.H. This would require a coordination step between those two regional permit offices, which is a standard operating practice for the Service when an applicant seeks to take migratory birds from States that occur in different administrative regions. They also suggested that the Service include Federal lands in this alternative in order to allow State and Tribal wildlife managers the necessary flexibility to manage cormorants effectively and efficiently for the resources that need protection. Calculating limits to the allowable human-caused mortality of cetaceans and pinnipeds. Take of double-crested cormorants may occur by means of humane lethal take or active nest take. 01/08/2021, 860 To apply for a new master banding permit, a completed bird banding permit application form must be submitted to the BBL Permits Office. Further, several State agencies expressed concern that a requirement for attempting nonlethal control before lethal control will delay effective management, and that such a requirement would be so complex that it will add unnecessary documentation and time before lethal controls may be used. West Suite 990 Bloomington, MN 55437-1458. As fish-eating birds, cormorant predation of fish occurs not only at aquaculture facilities, but also in private recreational ponds and large aquatic ecosystems. This was a typo in that the equation was used in its proper form to estimate a pre-breeding multiplier. If these impacts to other migratory bird species or to threatened and endangered species are likely to occur, the permittee must obtain permits specifically authorizing those activities (i.e., additional migratory bird, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and/or threatened and endangered species permits).Start Printed Page 85539. (b) Who may receive a permit? Another stated that the concept of adaptive management only appeared once in the DEIS, in reference to the perceived benefits of Alternative A allowing flexibility in a State's or a Tribe's cormorant control strategies to achieve desired fisheries benefits. Take activities to prevent depredation on aquatic Species of Greatest Conservation Need may occur only in natural or public waters. Some commenters voiced concerns that, if such provisions are not allowed, landowners will take matters into their own hands to protect their fish and that the presence of and depredation by cormorants on stocked fish in private ponds would negatively impact recruitment of new anglers. The Service will make every effort to align coordination with the Flyway Councils around their meetings throughout the calendar year. Comments from the Flyway Councils indicated an interest in being involved in the development of the Service's monitoring plans. The revised language reads, “(2) For each location(s), describe the nonlethal methods that you have used previously and/or plan on implementing, including (a) active hazing (e.g., horns, pyrotechnics, propane cannons, etc. 13132. 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. Quicker resolution of conflicts ultimately may result in fewer complaints regarding cormorants. (See below for more Form 37 information.). Agency Response to Western Subpopulation of Cormorants: Based on information received during the public comment period, the PTL for the western subpopulation may not have captured complex and changing population dynamics precipitated by cormorant management in the Columbia River Estuary. For more information, visit the USFWS Migratory Bird Program website (Leaves DEC website) or call DEC's Special Licenses Unit at 518-402-8985. To alleviate conflicts with cormorants, we used a method called Potential Take Level (PTL) analyses (Wade 1998, Runge et al. See your browser's documentation for specific instructions. The equation as written estimates the number of nonbreeders as a percentage of breeders, whereas it should have estimated the number of nonbreeders as a percentage of the total population. 703-712), as amended, which implements conventions with Great Britain (for Canada), Mexico, Japan, and Russia. 2020-28742 Filed 12-28-20; 8:45 am], updated on 1:30 PM on Friday, January 8, 2021, updated on 8:45 AM on Friday, January 8, 2021. Each document posted on the site includes a link to the The President of the United States issues other types of documents, including but not limited to; memoranda, notices, determinations, letters, messages, and orders. They ask if it is possible for the Service to consider a higher level of take (150 permits) under Alternative E for hatcheries to correspond to the higher level of authorized take, or the maximum allowable take, in Alternatives A-D. 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. Sutherland, I. Newton, and R.E. The special permit is available only to a State or Tribal fish and wildlife management agency responsible for migratory bird management. documents in the last year, by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation In making decisions, the Service strives to use an effective and transparent decision-making process that ensures input from migratory bird and fisheries management programs and other stakeholders, fulfills requirements under NEPA, and addresses key biological uncertainties. The Service will require an annual report by the State or Tribe prior to any permit renewal. Anyone undertaking lethal control with a firearm must use nontoxic shot or nontoxic bullets (50 CFR 20.21). However, the total number of cormorants from each population that can be taken annually will be determined by the Service to ensure that cormorant populations are sustainable. This alternative would provide State wildlife management agencies and Tribes flexibility within predefined guidelines to address conflicts caused by cormorants within their jurisdictions. Lastly, a State agency recommended that the Service develop and provide States with sampling protocols to assist with collecting and analyzing fish population data where cormorant control activities occur. U.S. Regulations pertaining to specific migratory bird permit types are at 50 CFR parts 21 and 22. 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. 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. You will need to report your take and disposition of the carcass at the expiration of the permit. In accordance with the criteria in Executive Order 12866, this action is not a significant regulatory action subject to OMB review. The PTL sets the upper limit for allowable take; it is not a take prescription. Another State noted their assumption that, under a special permit, the prioritization of issued take ultimately would be the responsibility of the respective State fish and wildlife agencies or Tribes to manage accordingly, including reporting. documents in the last year, 355 Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirements (FAVIR). States and Tribes and their subpermittees must make efforts to avoid disturbance to co-nesting species. (2) When may a State or Tribe conduct management and control activities? They further commented that they felt the DEIS did not provide information on how nonlethal methods are used in a comprehensive approach. For complete information about, and access to, our official publications Send your completed application forms to your Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office. The PTL estimate considers all forms of take and is conservative in that the lower 60 percent confidence interval of the PTL was used. Similarly, another State agency recommended greater flexibility for State fish and wildlife agencies to authorize take to protect SGCN species. This Commission further states Alternative D is ideal to maximize flexibility in protecting out-migrating juvenile salmon and steelhead as it includes all lands where cormorants impact fisheries resources throughout the Columbia River basin. Migratory Bird Licensing & Permits South Carolina Hunting & Fishing Crows. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. Only State and Tribal fish and wildlife agencies are eligible to receive a permit to undertake management and take activities. Marine Mammal Science 14:1-37. The current number of depredation permits allocated to this State appears to be helpful in reducing fingerling depredation and pond liner damage, but not adequate to prevent still significant losses to production and facilities. 2017. The final rule states that subpermittees “can be employees of State and Tribal wildlife agencies, USDA Wildlife Services employees, and employees of Federal and State agencies or private companies specializing in wildlife damage abatement and under direct control of the permittee.” The Service is limiting subpermittees to these entities because in some areas other cormorant species and look-alike species (e.g., anhingas) can overlap in specific ranges and habitats with double-crested cormorants. Lethal take of adults during the breeding season should occur prior to hatching of eggs. Exploitation. The Service added specific permit conditions for piping plover (Charadrius melodus), interior least tern (Sterna antillarum), and wood stork (Mycteria americana): (1) A buffer zone for wood storks for all activities; (2) a buffer zone for these three birds when discharging firearms; and (3) a buffer zone for these three birds for egg oiling, CO2 asphyxiation, egg destruction, or nest destruction. 15. Submit application for special purpose permits to the appropriate Regional Director (Attention: Migratory bird permit office). Take of double-crested cormorants under this section may not exceed the number authorized by the permit. 01/08/2021, 40 Regulations.gov shows 1,052 total comments, which comprise 1,047 public submissions, 2 primary documents (proposed rules), and 3 supporting documents (DEIS, 2003 FEIS, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers documents), [FR Doc. These methods, such as habitat management and dispersal, must be tried or deemed likely to be ineffective. The Service does not have empirical information to quantify the changes in costs as a result of this new permit, because we do not know how many States and Tribes would avail themselves of this permit and the extent to which conflicts would be addressed using it. Digital permit applications forms are available in ePermits for the Service’s Office of Law Enforcement and Ecological Services, Migratory Birds and International Affairs programs. The Service concludes that assessing population status over a 5-year period will avoid inappropriate decisions based on observed, but not necessarily real, annual changes in abundance, and still be sufficient to ensure sustainable populations of cormorants. You will need to report your take and disposition of the carcass at the expiration of the permit. In addition, as the Service noted in the DEIS and the FEIS, 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 Service encourages and expects continued use of nonlethal measures in conjunction with lethal measures where permittees find this approach most effective. The depredation order for public resources was previously located at 50 CFR 21.48. 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. The physical stamp is mailed by the USFWS fulfillment vendor within 45 days. documents in the last year, 39 1536(a)(1)). Given the controversial nature of this issue and the novel approach toward reducing conflicts, the Service concludes annual permits and annual reporting by permittees are appropriate at this time. Another State agency commented suggesting that the involvement of the Flyway Council could be beneficial in the development of monitoring plans, but felt that monitoring plan development should be the extent of their involvement, since their nongame technical section has little relevant experience with the management of overabundant species. The Service continued to issue depredation permits to address damage and conflicts to property, natural resources, and threats to human health and safety pursuant to 50 CFR 21.41. Falconry permittees in States that have converted to the new State-permit-only regulations … 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. 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. 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. Please provide a copy of your comments to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. of the issuing agency. New Documents The Service retains ultimate authority for regulating the take of cormorants. FWS-HQ-MB-2019-0103. Allocation and Scope of Authorized Take: Several commenters submitted questions pertaining to how the Service would manage overall allocation of authorized take of cormorants. Step 2. Actions may occur only when cormorants are committing or are about to commit depredations. documents in the last year, 72 Such a tool would reduce the likelihood of exceeding the annual take threshold or reaching the annual take threshold prior to the end of the year. 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. The Service will also produce a report every 5 years, and additionally as needed, that provides analyses from population-monitoring efforts and other status information. Additionally, only employees or subpermittees of a permitted State or Tribal fish and wildlife agency designated on the permit application may undertake activities for double-crested cormorants in accordance with the conditions specified in the permit, conditions specified in 50 CFR part 13, other requirements set forth in this section, and conditions specified in paragraph (d) of this section. The scope of this permit applies to lands or in waters managed by State and Tribal fish and wildlife agencies and within those agencies' jurisdictions. A proposed rule, soliciting comments on this collection of information for 30 days, was published on June 5, 2020 (85 FR 34578). Register (ACFR) issues a regulation granting it official legal status. and steelhead (O. mykiss) migrating to the Pacific Ocean. Division of Migratory Bird Management, Falls Church, Virginia. A separate State agency commented with concern for 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). The migratory bird species protected by the Act are listed in 50 CFR 10.13. However, the Service understands that States and Tribes need clarity on the Service's expectations for an acceptable level of requested take in an application for a new permit. 2004) to determine the number of cormorants that may be taken while maintaining the species (and breeding populations) at sustainable levels. 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). Retain one copy of the completed form, mail one copy to your State permit office, and mail the original to the USFWS Migratory Bird Permit Office responsible for your State. 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