Migratory Bird Hunting; Early Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits for Certain Migratory Game Birds in the Contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, 51946-51981 [05-17238]

Download as PDF 51946 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 20 RIN 1018–AT76 Migratory Bird Hunting; Early Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits for Certain Migratory Game Birds in the Contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This rule prescribes the hunting seasons, hours, areas, and daily bag and possession limits of mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves; band-tailed pigeons; rails; moorhens and gallinules; woodcock; common snipe; sandhill cranes; sea ducks; early (September) waterfowl seasons; migratory game birds in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; and some extended falconry seasons. Taking of migratory birds is prohibited unless specifically provided for by annual regulations. This rule permits taking of designated species during the 2005–06 season. This rule is effective on September 1, 2005. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Millsap, Chief, or Ron W. Kokel, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (703) 358–1714. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations Schedule for 2005 On April 6, 2005, we published in the Federal Register (70 FR 17574) a proposal to amend 50 CFR part 20. The proposal provided a background and overview of the migratory bird hunting regulations process, and dealt with the establishment of seasons, limits, the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2005–06 duck hunting season, and other regulations for migratory game birds under §§ 20.101 through 20.107, 20.109, and 20.110 of subpart K. On June 24, 2005, we published in the Federal Register (70 FR 36794) a second document providing supplemental proposals for early- and late-season migratory bird hunting regulations frameworks and the regulatory alternatives for the 2005–06 duck hunting season. The June 24 supplement also provided detailed information on the 2005–06 regulatory schedule and announced the Service VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 Migratory Bird Regulations Committee (SRC) and Flyway Council meetings. On June 22 and 23, we held open meetings with the Flyway Council Consultants at which the participants reviewed information on the current status of migratory shore and upland game birds and developed recommendations for the 2005–06 regulations for these species plus regulations for migratory game birds in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, special September waterfowl seasons in designated States, special sea duck seasons in the Atlantic Flyway, and extended falconry seasons. In addition, we reviewed and discussed preliminary information on the status of waterfowl as it relates to the development and selection of the regulatory packages for the 2005–06 regular waterfowl seasons. On August 1, we published in the Federal Register (70 FR 44200) a third document specifically dealing with the proposed frameworks for early-season regulations. On July 27–28, 2005, we held open meetings with the Flyway Council Consultants at which the participants reviewed the status of waterfowl and developed recommendations for the 2005–06 regulations for these species. Proposed hunting regulations were discussed for late seasons. We published proposed frameworks for the 2005–06 late-season migratory bird hunting regulations on August 22, 2005, in the Federal Register (70 FR 49068). On August 30, 2005, we published a fifth document in the Federal Register which contained final frameworks for early migratory bird hunting seasons from which wildlife conservation agency officials from the States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands selected early-season hunting dates, hours, areas, and limits. The final rule described here is the sixth in the series of proposed, supplemental, and final rulemaking documents for migratory game bird hunting regulations and deals specifically with amending subpart K of 50 CFR part 20. It sets hunting seasons, hours, areas, and limits for mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves; band-tailed pigeons; rails; moorhens and gallinules; woodcock; common snipe; sandhill cranes; sea ducks; early (September) waterfowl seasons; mourning doves in Hawaii; migratory game birds in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; youth waterfowl hunting day; and some extended falconry seasons. NEPA Consideration NEPA considerations are covered by the programmatic document ‘‘Final PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement: Issuance of Annual Regulations Permitting the Sport Hunting of Migratory Birds (FSES 88– 14),’’ filed with the Environmental Protection Agency on June 9, 1988. We published a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register on June 16, 1988 (53 FR 22582) and our Record of Decision on August 18, 1988 (53 FR 31341). Copies are available from the address indicated under ADDRESSES. Additionally, in a proposed rule published in the April 30, 2001, Federal Register (66 FR 21298), we expressed our intent to begin the process of developing a new EIS for the migratory bird hunting program. We plan to begin the public scoping process this year. Endangered Species Act Consideration Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531–1543; 87 Stat. 884), provides that, ‘‘The Secretary shall review other programs administered by him and utilize such programs in furtherance of the purposes of this Act’’ (and) shall ‘‘insure that any action authorized, funded or carried out * * * is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of [critical] habitat * * *’’ Consequently, we conducted formal consultations to ensure that actions resulting from these regulations would not likely jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of their critical habitat. Findings from these consultations are included in a biological opinion, which concluded that the regulations are not likely to adversely affect any endangered or threatened species. Additionally, these findings may have caused modification of some regulatory measures previously proposed, and the final frameworks reflect any such modifications. Our biological opinions resulting from this Section 7 consultation are public documents available for public inspection at the address indicated under ADDRESSES. Executive Order 12866 The migratory bird hunting regulations are economically significant and were reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866. As such, a cost/ benefit analysis was initially prepared in 1981. This analysis was subsequently revised annually from 1990–96, updated in 1998 and updated again in 2004. It is further discussed below under the heading Regulatory Flexibility Act. E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations Results from the 2004 analysis indicate that the expected welfare benefit of the annual migratory bird hunting frameworks is on the order of $734 to $1,064 million, with a mid-point estimate of $899 million. Copies of the cost/benefit analysis are available upon request from the address indicated under ADDRESSES or from our Web site at http://www.migratorybirds.gov. Regulatory Flexibility Act These regulations have a significant economic impact on substantial numbers of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). We analyzed the economic impacts of the annual hunting regulations on small business entities in detail as part of the 1981 cost-benefit analysis discussed under Executive Order 12866. This analysis was revised annually from 1990–95. In 1995, the Service issued a Small Entity Flexibility Analysis (Analysis), which was subsequently updated in 1996, 1998, and 2004. The primary source of information about hunter expenditures for migratory game bird hunting is the National Hunting and Fishing Survey, which is conducted at 5-year intervals. The 2004 Analysis was based on the 2001 National Hunting and Fishing Survey and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s County Business Patterns, from which it was estimated that migratory bird hunters would spend between $481 million and $1.2 billion at small businesses in 2004. Copies of the Analysis are available upon request from the address indicated under ADDRESSES or from our Web site at http://www.migratorybirds.gov. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act This rule is a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. For the reasons outlined above, this rule has an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. However, because this rule establishes hunting seasons, we do not plan to defer the effective date required by 5 U.S.C. 801 under the exemption contained in 5 U.S.C. 808 (1). Paperwork Reduction Act We examined these regulations under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The various recordkeeping and reporting requirements imposed under regulations established in 50 CFR part 20, Subpart K, are utilized in the formulation of migratory game bird hunting regulations. Specifically, OMB has approved the information collection requirements of the surveys associated with the Migratory Bird Harvest VerDate Aug<18>2005 18:04 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 Information Program and assigned clearance number 1018–0015 (expires 2/ 29/2008). This information is used to provide a sampling frame for voluntary national surveys to improve our harvest estimates for all migratory game birds in order to better manage these populations. OMB has also approved the information collection requirements of the Sandhill Crane Harvest Survey and assigned clearance number 1018– 0023 (expires 11/30/2007). The information from this survey is used to estimate the magnitude and the geographical and temporal distribution of the harvest, and the portion it constitutes of the total population. A Federal agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act We have determined and certify, in compliance with the requirements of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. 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. Therefore, this rule is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. Civil Justice Reform—Executive Order 12988 The Department, in promulgating this rule, has determined that it will not unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988. Takings Implication Assessment In accordance with Executive Order 12630, this rule, authorized by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, does not have significant takings implications and does not affect any constitutionally protected property rights. This rule will not result in the physical occupancy of property, the physical invasion of property, or the regulatory taking of any property. In fact, these rules allow hunters to exercise otherwise unavailable privileges and, therefore, reduce restrictions on the use of private and public property. Energy Effects—Executive Order 13211 On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 on regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and use. Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. While this rule is a significant regulatory action PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 51947 under Executive Order 12866, it is not expected to adversely affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action and no Statement of Energy Effects is required. Federalism Effects Due to the migratory nature of certain species of birds, the Federal Government has been given responsibility over these species by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. We annually prescribe frameworks from which the States make selections regarding the hunting of migratory birds, and we employ guidelines to establish special regulations on Federal Indian reservations and ceded lands. This process preserves the ability of the States and tribes to determine which seasons meet their individual needs. Any State or tribe may be more restrictive than the Federal frameworks at any time. The frameworks are developed in a cooperative process with the States and the Flyway Councils. This process allows States to participate in the development of frameworks from which they will make selections, thereby having an influence on their own regulations. These rules do not have a substantial direct effect on fiscal capacity, change the roles or responsibilities of Federal or State governments, or intrude on State policy or administration. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, these regulations do not have significant federalism effects and do not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. Regulations Promulgation The rulemaking process for migratory game bird hunting must, by its nature, operate under severe time constraints. However, we intend that the public be given the greatest possible opportunity to comment on the regulations. Thus, when the preliminary proposed rulemaking was published, we established what we believed were the longest periods possible for public comment. In doing this, we recognized that when the comment period closed, time would be of the essence. That is, if there was a delay in the effective date of these regulations after this final rulemaking, the States would have insufficient time to implement their selected season dates and limits and start their seasons in a timely manner. We therefore find that ‘‘good cause’’ exists, within the terms of 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) of the Administrative Procedure Act, and these regulations E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 51948 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations will, therefore, take effect immediately upon publication. Accordingly, with each conservation agency having had an opportunity to participate in selecting the hunting seasons desired for its State or Territory on those species of migratory birds for which open seasons are now prescribed, and consideration having been given to all other relevant matters presented, certain sections of title 50, chapter I, subchapter B, part 20, subpart K, are hereby amended as set forth below. VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20 Exports, Hunting, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation, Wildlife. Federal Regulations is amended as follows: PART 20—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 20 continues to read as follows: Dated: August 12, 2005. Julie MacDonald, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. I For the reasons set out in the preamble, title 50, chapter I, subchapter B, part 20, subpart K of the Code of BILLING CODE 4310–55–P I PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 703–712 and 16 U.S.C. 742 a–j, Pub. L. 106–108. E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 51949 ER31AU05.007</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Aug<18>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 ER31AU05.008</GPH> 51950 VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 51951 ER31AU05.009</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Aug<18>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 ER31AU05.010</GPH> 51952 VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 51953 ER31AU05.011</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Aug<18>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 ER31AU05.012</GPH> 51954 VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 51955 ER31AU05.013</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Aug<18>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 ER31AU05.014</GPH> 51956 VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 51957 ER31AU05.015</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Aug<18>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 ER31AU05.016</GPH> 51958 VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 51959 ER31AU05.017</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Aug<18>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 ER31AU05.018</GPH> 51960 VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 51961 ER31AU05.019</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Aug<18>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 ER31AU05.020</GPH> 51962 VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 51963 ER31AU05.021</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Aug<18>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 ER31AU05.022</GPH> 51964 VerDate Aug<18>2005 16:53 Aug 30, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\31AUR3.SGM 31AUR3 51965 ER31AU05.023</GPH> Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Aug<18>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / 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Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 168 (Wednesday, August 31, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 51946-51981]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-17238]



[[Page 51945]]

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Part III





Department of the Interior





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Fish and Wildlife Service



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50 CFR Part 20



Migratory Bird Hunting; Early Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits for 
Certain Migratory Game Birds in the Contiguous United States, Alaska, 
Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 31, 2005 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 51946]]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 20

RIN 1018-AT76


Migratory Bird Hunting; Early Seasons and Bag and Possession 
Limits for Certain Migratory Game Birds in the Contiguous United 
States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule prescribes the hunting seasons, hours, areas, and 
daily bag and possession limits of mourning, white-winged, and white-
tipped doves; band-tailed pigeons; rails; moorhens and gallinules; 
woodcock; common snipe; sandhill cranes; sea ducks; early (September) 
waterfowl seasons; migratory game birds in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, 
and the Virgin Islands; and some extended falconry seasons. Taking of 
migratory birds is prohibited unless specifically provided for by 
annual regulations. This rule permits taking of designated species 
during the 2005-06 season.

DATES: This rule is effective on September 1, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Millsap, Chief, or Ron W. Kokel, 
Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
(703) 358-1714.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulations Schedule for 2005

    On April 6, 2005, we published in the Federal Register (70 FR 
17574) a proposal to amend 50 CFR part 20. The proposal provided a 
background and overview of the migratory bird hunting regulations 
process, and dealt with the establishment of seasons, limits, the 
proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2005-06 duck hunting season, 
and other regulations for migratory game birds under Sec. Sec.  20.101 
through 20.107, 20.109, and 20.110 of subpart K. On June 24, 2005, we 
published in the Federal Register (70 FR 36794) a second document 
providing supplemental proposals for early- and late-season migratory 
bird hunting regulations frameworks and the regulatory alternatives for 
the 2005-06 duck hunting season. The June 24 supplement also provided 
detailed information on the 2005-06 regulatory schedule and announced 
the Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee (SRC) and Flyway 
Council meetings.
    On June 22 and 23, we held open meetings with the Flyway Council 
Consultants at which the participants reviewed information on the 
current status of migratory shore and upland game birds and developed 
recommendations for the 2005-06 regulations for these species plus 
regulations for migratory game birds in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the 
Virgin Islands, special September waterfowl seasons in designated 
States, special sea duck seasons in the Atlantic Flyway, and extended 
falconry seasons. In addition, we reviewed and discussed preliminary 
information on the status of waterfowl as it relates to the development 
and selection of the regulatory packages for the 2005-06 regular 
waterfowl seasons. On August 1, we published in the Federal Register 
(70 FR 44200) a third document specifically dealing with the proposed 
frameworks for early-season regulations.
    On July 27-28, 2005, we held open meetings with the Flyway Council 
Consultants at which the participants reviewed the status of waterfowl 
and developed recommendations for the 2005-06 regulations for these 
species. Proposed hunting regulations were discussed for late seasons. 
We published proposed frameworks for the 2005-06 late-season migratory 
bird hunting regulations on August 22, 2005, in the Federal Register 
(70 FR 49068). On August 30, 2005, we published a fifth document in the 
Federal Register which contained final frameworks for early migratory 
bird hunting seasons from which wildlife conservation agency officials 
from the States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands selected early-
season hunting dates, hours, areas, and limits.
    The final rule described here is the sixth in the series of 
proposed, supplemental, and final rulemaking documents for migratory 
game bird hunting regulations and deals specifically with amending 
subpart K of 50 CFR part 20. It sets hunting seasons, hours, areas, and 
limits for mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves; band-tailed 
pigeons; rails; moorhens and gallinules; woodcock; common snipe; 
sandhill cranes; sea ducks; early (September) waterfowl seasons; 
mourning doves in Hawaii; migratory game birds in Alaska, Puerto Rico, 
and the Virgin Islands; youth waterfowl hunting day; and some extended 
falconry seasons.

NEPA Consideration

    NEPA considerations are covered by the programmatic document 
``Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement: Issuance of Annual 
Regulations Permitting the Sport Hunting of Migratory Birds (FSES 88-
14),'' filed with the Environmental Protection Agency on June 9, 1988. 
We published a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register on June 
16, 1988 (53 FR 22582) and our Record of Decision on August 18, 1988 
(53 FR 31341). Copies are available from the address indicated under 
ADDRESSES.
    Additionally, in a proposed rule published in the April 30, 2001, 
Federal Register (66 FR 21298), we expressed our intent to begin the 
process of developing a new EIS for the migratory bird hunting program. 
We plan to begin the public scoping process this year.

Endangered Species Act Consideration

    Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 
1531-1543; 87 Stat. 884), provides that, ``The Secretary shall review 
other programs administered by him and utilize such programs in 
furtherance of the purposes of this Act'' (and) shall ``insure that any 
action authorized, funded or carried out * * * is not likely to 
jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or 
threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification 
of [critical] habitat * * *'' Consequently, we conducted formal 
consultations to ensure that actions resulting from these regulations 
would not likely jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or 
threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification 
of their critical habitat. Findings from these consultations are 
included in a biological opinion, which concluded that the regulations 
are not likely to adversely affect any endangered or threatened 
species. Additionally, these findings may have caused modification of 
some regulatory measures previously proposed, and the final frameworks 
reflect any such modifications. Our biological opinions resulting from 
this Section 7 consultation are public documents available for public 
inspection at the address indicated under ADDRESSES.

Executive Order 12866

    The migratory bird hunting regulations are economically significant 
and were reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under 
Executive Order 12866. As such, a cost/benefit analysis was initially 
prepared in 1981. This analysis was subsequently revised annually from 
1990-96, updated in 1998 and updated again in 2004. It is further 
discussed below under the heading Regulatory Flexibility Act.

[[Page 51947]]

Results from the 2004 analysis indicate that the expected welfare 
benefit of the annual migratory bird hunting frameworks is on the order 
of $734 to $1,064 million, with a mid-point estimate of $899 million. 
Copies of the cost/benefit analysis are available upon request from the 
address indicated under ADDRESSES or from our Web site at http://
www.migratorybirds.gov.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    These regulations have a significant economic impact on substantial 
numbers of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 
U.S.C. 601 et seq.). We analyzed the economic impacts of the annual 
hunting regulations on small business entities in detail as part of the 
1981 cost-benefit analysis discussed under Executive Order 12866. This 
analysis was revised annually from 1990-95. In 1995, the Service issued 
a Small Entity Flexibility Analysis (Analysis), which was subsequently 
updated in 1996, 1998, and 2004. The primary source of information 
about hunter expenditures for migratory game bird hunting is the 
National Hunting and Fishing Survey, which is conducted at 5-year 
intervals. The 2004 Analysis was based on the 2001 National Hunting and 
Fishing Survey and the U.S. Department of Commerce's County Business 
Patterns, from which it was estimated that migratory bird hunters would 
spend between $481 million and $1.2 billion at small businesses in 
2004. Copies of the Analysis are available upon request from the 
address indicated under ADDRESSES or from our Web site at http://
www.migratorybirds.gov.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. For the reasons outlined above, 
this rule has an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. 
However, because this rule establishes hunting seasons, we do not plan 
to defer the effective date required by 5 U.S.C. 801 under the 
exemption contained in 5 U.S.C. 808 (1).

Paperwork Reduction Act

    We examined these regulations under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995. The various recordkeeping and reporting requirements imposed 
under regulations established in 50 CFR part 20, Subpart K, are 
utilized in the formulation of migratory game bird hunting regulations. 
Specifically, OMB has approved the information collection requirements 
of the surveys associated with the Migratory Bird Harvest Information 
Program and assigned clearance number 1018-0015 (expires 2/29/2008). 
This information is used to provide a sampling frame for voluntary 
national surveys to improve our harvest estimates for all migratory 
game birds in order to better manage these populations. OMB has also 
approved the information collection requirements of the Sandhill Crane 
Harvest Survey and assigned clearance number 1018-0023 (expires 11/30/
2007). The information from this survey is used to estimate the 
magnitude and the geographical and temporal distribution of the 
harvest, and the portion it constitutes of the total population. A 
Federal agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required 
to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB control number.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    We have determined and certify, in compliance with the requirements 
of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. 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. Therefore, this 
rule is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act.

Civil Justice Reform--Executive Order 12988

    The Department, in promulgating this rule, has determined that it 
will not unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the 
requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

Takings Implication Assessment

    In accordance with Executive Order 12630, this rule, authorized by 
the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, does not have significant takings 
implications and does not affect any constitutionally protected 
property rights. This rule will not result in the physical occupancy of 
property, the physical invasion of property, or the regulatory taking 
of any property. In fact, these rules allow hunters to exercise 
otherwise unavailable privileges and, therefore, reduce restrictions on 
the use of private and public property.

Energy Effects--Executive Order 13211

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 on 
regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and 
use. Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of 
Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. While this rule is a 
significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, it is not 
expected to adversely affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. 
Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action and no 
Statement of Energy Effects is required.

Federalism Effects

    Due to the migratory nature of certain species of birds, the 
Federal Government has been given responsibility over these species by 
the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. We annually prescribe frameworks from 
which the States make selections regarding the hunting of migratory 
birds, and we employ guidelines to establish special regulations on 
Federal Indian reservations and ceded lands. This process preserves the 
ability of the States and tribes to determine which seasons meet their 
individual needs. Any State or tribe may be more restrictive than the 
Federal frameworks at any time. The frameworks are developed in a 
cooperative process with the States and the Flyway Councils. This 
process allows States to participate in the development of frameworks 
from which they will make selections, thereby having an influence on 
their own regulations. These rules do not have a substantial direct 
effect on fiscal capacity, change the roles or responsibilities of 
Federal or State governments, or intrude on State policy or 
administration. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, 
these regulations do not have significant federalism effects and do not 
have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 
Federalism Assessment.

Regulations Promulgation

    The rulemaking process for migratory game bird hunting must, by its 
nature, operate under severe time constraints. However, we intend that 
the public be given the greatest possible opportunity to comment on the 
regulations. Thus, when the preliminary proposed rulemaking was 
published, we established what we believed were the longest periods 
possible for public comment. In doing this, we recognized that when the 
comment period closed, time would be of the essence. That is, if there 
was a delay in the effective date of these regulations after this final 
rulemaking, the States would have insufficient time to implement their 
selected season dates and limits and start their seasons in a timely 
manner. We therefore find that ``good cause'' exists, within the terms 
of 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) of the Administrative Procedure Act, and these 
regulations

[[Page 51948]]

will, therefore, take effect immediately upon publication. Accordingly, 
with each conservation agency having had an opportunity to participate 
in selecting the hunting seasons desired for its State or Territory on 
those species of migratory birds for which open seasons are now 
prescribed, and consideration having been given to all other relevant 
matters presented, certain sections of title 50, chapter I, subchapter 
B, part 20, subpart K, are hereby amended as set forth below.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20

    Exports, Hunting, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Transportation, Wildlife.

    Dated: August 12, 2005.
Julie MacDonald,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, title 50, chapter I, 
subchapter B, part 20, subpart K of the Code of Federal Regulations is 
amended as follows:

PART 20--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 20 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 703-712 and 16 U.S.C. 742 a-j, Pub. L. 106-
108.
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