Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations for the 2010-11 Hunting Season; Notice of Meetings, 32872-32877 [2010-13956]

Download as PDF cprice-sewell on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 32872 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 111 / Thursday, June 10, 2010 / Proposed Rules mature’’ (50 CFR 17.3). We have refined that definition in experimental wolf reintroduction rules to mean ‘‘at least two breeding pairs of gray wolves that each successfully raise at least two young’’ annually for 2 consecutive years (59 FR 60252, 60266; November 22, 1994). Under the Act, an experimental population must be ‘‘wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species’’ (16 U.S.C. 1539(j)(1)). Opponents of wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park have argued that releasing an experimental population would violate this separation requirement because individual wolves sometimes disperse to Yellowstone from natural populations to the north. The Court of Appeals rejected this argument: ‘‘by definition lone dispersers do not constitute a population or even part of a population, since they are not ‘in common spatial arrangement’ sufficient to interbreed with other members of a population’’ (Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation v. Babbitt, 199 F.3d 1224, 1234 (10th Cir. 2000)). This decision followed another Court of Appeals holding that, despite ‘‘sporadic sightings of isolated indigenous wolves in the release area, lone wolves, or ‘dispersers,’ do not constitute a population’’ under the Act (U.S. v. McKittrick, 142 F.3d 1170, 1175 (9th Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1072 (1999)). Thus, the courts have upheld the Service’s interpretation that pairs must breed in order to have a ‘‘population.’’ The petition provides an account of individual wolves and wolf-like canids dispersing into the petitioned DPS area, as occurs in Yellowstone National Park. However, the petition does not provide information suggesting that dispersing wolves may be interbreeding. Nor do we have any information in our files indicating that dispersing wolves may be interbreeding. While the occurrence of dispersing wolves raises the theoretical possibility that a population could exist, it does not constitute substantial information that a population may actually exist. That is, it is not the amount of information that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that a population (i.e., at least two breeding pairs of gray wolves that each successfully raise at least two young annually for 2 consecutive years) may exist. Because we do not have substantial information that any ‘‘population’’ of the gray wolf may exist in the Northeast, we lack substantial information that there may be a discrete population in the Northeast. Because we find that there is not substantial information that a discrete gray wolf VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:38 Jun 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 population may exist in the Northeast, we do not evaluate whether such a population could be significant, and could be endangered or threatened. Finding We have reviewed the petition and supporting information provided with the petition, as well as information in our files. Based on this review, we find that the petition and information in our files do not present substantial information indicating that listing a gray wolf DPS in the States of Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine as threatened or endangered may be warranted. If you wish to provide information regarding the Northeast DPS of gray wolf, you may submit your information or materials to the Field Supervisor/Listing Coordinator, New England Field Office (see ADDRESSES), at any time. As explained above in the Previous Federal Actions section, any wolf found in the Northeast is still classified as endangered under the lower 48 United States listing. Therefore, should one or more wolves disperse into the Northeast from Canada, the protections of the Act would apply. References Cited A complete list of all references cited in this document is available on the Internet at https://www.regulations.gov and upon request, from the New England Field Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Author The primary author of this notice is Michael Amaral, Supervisory Fish and Wildlife Biologist, (see ADDRESSES). Martin Miller, Chief, Division of Threatened and Endangered Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, Massachusetts 01035, also contributed to this finding. Authority The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: May 12, 2010. Daniel M. Ashe, Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2010–13882 Filed 6–9–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 20 [Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2010-0040] [91200-1231-9BPP-L2] RIN 1018-AX06 Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations for the 2010–11 Hunting Season; Notice of Meetings AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule; supplemental. SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), proposed in an earlier document to establish annual hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds for the 2010–11 hunting season. This supplement to the proposed rule provides the regulatory schedule, announces the Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee and Flyway Council meetings, and provides Flyway Council recommendations resulting from their March meetings. DATES: You must submit comments on the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2010–11 duck hunting seasons by June 25, 2010. Following subsequent Federal Register documents, you will be given an opportunity to submit comments for proposed early-season frameworks by July 31, 2010, and for proposed late-season frameworks and subsistence migratory bird seasons in Alaska by August 31, 2010. The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet to consider and develop proposed regulations for early-season migratory bird hunting on June 23 and 24, 2010, and for late-season migratory bird hunting and the 2011 spring/summer migratory bird subsistence seasons in Alaska on July 28 and 29, 2010. All meetings will commence at approximately 8:30 a.m. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposals by one of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: https:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on docket number FWS-R9-MB-20100040. • U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R9NB-2010-0040; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203. We will not accept e-mail or faxes. We will post all comments on https:// E:\FR\FM\10JNP1.SGM 10JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 111 / Thursday, June 10, 2010 / Proposed Rules www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments section below for more information). The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet in room 200 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Arlington Square Building, 4401 N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ron W. Kokel, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, MS MBSP-4107-ARLSQ, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20240; (703) 358-1714. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations Schedule for 2010 On May 13, 2010, we published in the Federal Register (75 FR 27144) a proposal to amend 50 CFR part 20. The proposal provided a background and overview of the migratory bird hunting regulations process, and addressed the establishment of seasons, limits, and other regulations for hunting migratory game birds under §§ 20.101 through 20.107, 20.109, and 20.110 of subpart K. This document is the second in a series of proposed, supplemental, and final rules for migratory game bird hunting regulations. We will publish proposed early-season frameworks in early July and late-season frameworks in early August. We will publish final regulatory frameworks for early seasons on or about August 16, 2010, and for late seasons on or about September 15, 2010. cprice-sewell on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee Meetings The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet June 23–24, 2010, to review information on the current status of migratory shore and upland game birds and develop 2010–11 migratory game bird regulations recommendations for these species, plus regulations for migratory game birds in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The Committee will also develop regulations recommendations for September waterfowl seasons in designated States, special sea duck seasons in the Atlantic Flyway, and extended falconry seasons. In addition, the Committee will review and discuss preliminary information on the status of waterfowl. At the July 28-29, 2010, meetings, the Committee will review information on the current status of waterfowl and develop 2010–11 migratory game bird regulations recommendations for regular waterfowl seasons and other species and seasons not previously discussed at the early-season meetings. In addition, the Committee will develop VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:38 Jun 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 recommendations for the 2011 spring/ summer migratory bird subsistence season in Alaska. In accordance with Departmental policy, these meetings are open to public observation. You may submit written comments to the Service on the matters discussed. Announcement of Flyway Council Meetings Service representatives will be present at the individual meetings of the four Flyway Councils this July. Although agendas are not yet available, these meetings usually commence at 8 a.m. on the days indicated. Atlantic Flyway Council: July 22–23, Hilton Wilmington, Riverside, Wilmington, NC. Mississippi Flyway Council: July 23– 24, Radisson Admiral Semmes Hotel, Mobile, AL. Central Flyway Council: July 21–23, Embassy Suites, Norman, OK. Pacific Flyway Council: July 23, John Ascuaga’s Nugget, Reno, NV. Review of Public Comments This supplemental rulemaking describes Flyway Council recommended changes based on the preliminary proposals published in the May 13, 2010, Federal Register. We have included only those recommendations requiring either new proposals or substantial modification of the preliminary proposals and do not include recommendations that simply support or oppose preliminary proposals and provide no recommended alternatives. Our responses to some Flyway Council recommendations, but not others, are merely a clarification aid to the reader on the overall regulatory process, not a definitive response to the issue. We will publish responses to all proposals and written comments when we develop final frameworks. We seek additional information and comments on the recommendations in this supplemental proposed rule. New proposals and modifications to previously described proposals are discussed below. Wherever possible, they are discussed under headings corresponding to the numbered items identified in the May 13 proposed rule. Only those categories requiring your attention or for which we received Flyway Council recommendations are discussed below. 1. Ducks Duck harvest management categories are: (A) General Harvest Strategy; (B) Regulatory Alternatives, including specification of framework dates, season length, and bag limits; (C) Zones and PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 32873 Split Seasons; and (D) Special Seasons/ Species Management. A. General Harvest Strategy Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that regulations changes be restricted to one step per year, both when restricting as well as liberalizing hunting regulations. Service Response: As we stated in the May 13 Federal Register, the final Adaptive Harvest Management protocol for the 2010–11 season will be detailed in the early-season proposed rule, which will be published in mid-July. B. Regulatory Alternatives Council Recommendations: The Mississippi and Central Flyway Councils recommended that regulatory alternatives for duck hunting seasons remain the same as those used in 2009. Service Response: As we stated in the May 13 Federal Register, the final regulatory alternatives for the 2010–11 season will be detailed in the earlyseason proposed rule, which will be published in mid-July. C. Zones and Split Seasons Council Recommendations: The Upper-Region Regulations Committee of the Mississippi Flyway Council and the Central and Pacific Flyway Councils recommended that the Service allow 3 zones, with 2-way splits in each zone, and 4 zones with no splits as additional zone/split-season options for duck seasons during 2011–15. In addition, it is recommended that States with existing grandfathered status be allowed to retain that status. D. Special Seasons/Species Management i. Special Teal Seasons Council Recommendations: The Upper-Region Regulations Committee of the Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that the Service explore options for providing production States an opportunity to harvest teal outside the regular duck season frameworks as part of the teal season assessment that is currently being conducted. vi. Pintails Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended adoption of a derived Northern Pintail Harvest Strategy and provided the following pintail harvest objectives for the Atlantic Flyway and for individual Atlantic Flyway States: (1) The harvest objective for northern pintails should be Maximum Sustained Yield (MSY); (2) constrain closed seasons to breeding populations below 1.75 million birds; E:\FR\FM\10JNP1.SGM 10JNP1 cprice-sewell on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 32874 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 111 / Thursday, June 10, 2010 / Proposed Rules and (3) regulatory alternatives should include a closed season, a liberal season with a 1-bird daily bag limit, and a liberal season with a 2-bird daily bag limit. These objectives were captured in Scenario #39 in the Service’s draft Northern Pintail Harvest Strategy (Draft Strategy) (available at https:// www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/ NewsPublicationsReports.html). The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended use of the Draft Strategy’s harvest management Scenarios #39, #29, or #39(b) to develop an optimal harvest policy. The Council remains concerned regarding the following: (1) The Service does not provide performance metrics for harvest management Scenarios #39 and #39(b) with no closed seasons until the pintail BPOP falls to 1.0 million birds; (2) the method for integrating the preferred alternatives from other Flyways into a single harvest policy is not defined and reviewed; (3) additional weighting exercises that address more fundamental harvest objectives, such as simplified regulations, maintaining/ expanding hunting opportunity for pintails, and maximizing harvest, have not yet been conducted; and (4) there is uncertainty about the consistency of the harvest strategy for pintails with the fundamental objectives addressed through the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) revision. The Central Flyway Council recommended continued discussions on the potential structure and use of a derived harvest strategy for pintails. They recommend a one-year implementation of Scenario #39 in the Draft Strategy until a number of issues are resolved. The Pacific Flyway Council recommended that harvest management for pintails be based on a derived strategy that: (1) uses MSY as a harvest objective; (2) constrains closed seasons to breeding populations below 1.75 million birds; and (3) eliminates partial seasons (shorter pintail seasons within a longer general duck season). Specifically, the Council recommended Scenario #39 as its preferred strategy for regulations in 2010–11 and further review for the next year. The Council supported a derived strategy that does not have an explicit allocation of harvest among the flyways. The Council also recommended that Alaska’s exclusion from the pintail harvest management process be continued. The Council further recommended the use of historic proportions of harvest to weight the inputs from the flyways should that input differ in the future. They noted that we proposed to consider inputs from all flyways equally, but the absolute and relative VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:38 Jun 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 abundance of pintail is highest in the Pacific Flyway, and regulatory alternatives have a different effect there. They continued to support more work on alternative underlying population models because they do not believe that the model set in the strategy includes a model that addresses the effect of harvest regulation changes on pintail survival rates in a manner similar to ultra-structural models. The Council has recommended in the past that we investigate the usefulness of sex-specific regulations for pintails as a way to increase hunting opportunity on male pintails. Lastly, the Council recognized that all of the analyzed strategies predict the perpetuation of the pintail breeding population between 2.78 and 3.57 million pintails, but that the differences among the strategies center largely on effects on the hunting public. These effects include the frequency of closed and partial seasons, larger daily bag limits, and annual regulation changes. The Council has limited information on hunter preferences about the trade-offs inherent in the analyzed derived strategies. Service Response: We greatly appreciate the time and attention that all four Flyway Councils have devoted to review and consideration of the various alternatives for implementing a derived pintail harvest strategy. We note that all four flyways have recommended the same alternative derived strategy be implemented this year. Therefore, we propose adoption of alternative 39 as described and evaluated in the Service’s report ‘‘Proposal for a Derived and Adaptive Harvest Strategy for Northern Pintails (January 2010)’’ and incorporated in a ‘‘Proposed Northern Pintail Harvest Strategy (May 2010)’’ (both available at https://www.fws.gov/ migratorybirds/ NewsPublicationsReports.html) for the 2010–11 hunting season. Numerous variations of the final proposed harvest strategy were evaluated and deliberated by the Service and Flyway Councils that differed in their expression of management objectives and regulatory alternatives, but that shared a common scientific underpinning. Alternative 39 was deemed to best balance tradeoffs among fundamental objectives identified for pintail harvest management. We note that additional technical work became available to the Councils and their technical committees very late in the process. Over the coming year, we will review this choice of alternative 39 based on one year of experience, as well as input received from the Councils, public, and Service technical staff, to determine if a PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 different alternative will better insure the long-term conservation of northern pintails and meet the interests of the hunting public. Changes, if warranted, would be implemented for the 2011–12 regulations cycle. 4. Canada Geese A. Special Seasons Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that the closing date for the September Canada goose season in Minnesota be September 22 Statewide. The Central Flyway Council recommended that we increase the daily bag limit framework from 5 to 8 for the Central Flyway States of South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma during the Special Early Canada Goose hunting season. B. Regular Seasons Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that the framework opening date for all species of geese for the regular goose seasons in Michigan and Wisconsin be September 16, 2010. 9. Sandhill Cranes Council Recommendations: The Mississippi, Central, and Pacific Flyway Councils recommended a sandhill crane hunting season for mid-continent sandhill cranes in northwest Minnesota in 2010, following guidelines outlined in the 2006 Cooperative Management Plan for mid-continent sandhill cranes. The Central and Pacific Flyway Councils recommend using the 2010 Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) sandhill crane harvest allocation of 1,979 birds as proposed in the allocation formula using the 2007–09 3–year running average. The Pacific Flyway Council recommended initiating a limited hunt for Lower Colorado River Valley (LCRV) Sandhill Cranes in Arizona with a goal of a limited harvest of 9 cranes during the 2010–11 hunting season. Arizona will issue permits to hunters and require mandatory check-in of all harvested cranes. The Service previously approved the hunt in 2007. 14. Woodcock Council Recommendations: The Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway Councils recommended adoption of the Interim American Woodcock Harvest Strategy (available at https:// www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/ NewsPublicationsReports.html) for implementation in the 2011–12 hunting season. The Central Flyway Council recommended that the interim harvest E:\FR\FM\10JNP1.SGM 10JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 111 / Thursday, June 10, 2010 / Proposed Rules strategy outlined in the Draft American Woodcock Harvest Strategy be implemented for a period of 5 years (2011–15). cprice-sewell on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 16. Mourning Doves Council Recommendations: The Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway Councils recommended use of the ‘‘moderate’’ season framework for States within the Eastern Management Unit population of mourning doves resulting in a 70–day season and 15-bird daily bag limit. The daily bag limit could be composed of mourning doves and white-winged doves, singly or in combination. The Mississippi and Central Flyway Councils recommend the use of the standard (or ‘‘moderate’’) season package of a 15-bird daily bag limit and a 70–day season for the 2010–11 mourning dove season in the States within the Central Management Unit. The Pacific Flyway Council recommended use of the ‘‘moderate’’ season framework for States in the Western Management Unit (WMU) population of mourning doves, which represents no change from last year’s frameworks. Public Comments The Department of the Interior’s policy is, whenever possible, to afford the public an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process. Accordingly, we invite interested persons to submit written comments, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the proposed regulations. Before promulgating final migratory game bird hunting regulations, we will consider all comments we receive. These comments, and any additional information we receive, may lead to final regulations that differ from these proposals. You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We will not accept comments sent by e-mail or fax or to an address not listed in the ADDRESSES section. Finally, we will not consider hand-delivered comments that we do not receive, or mailed comments that are not postmarked, by the date specified in the DATES section. We will post all comments in their entirety—including your personal identifying information—on https:// www.regulations.gov. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:38 Jun 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on https://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Bird Management, Room 4107, 4501 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203. For each series of proposed rulemakings, we will establish specific comment periods. We will consider, but possibly may not respond in detail to, each comment. As in the past, we will summarize all comments we receive during the comment period and respond to them after the closing date in the preambles of any final rules. 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 8814),’’ filed with the Environmental Protection Agency on June 9, 1988. We published notice of availability in the Federal Register on June 16, 1988 (53 FR 22582). We published our Record of Decision on August 18, 1988 (53 FR 31341). In addition, an August 1985 environmental assessment entitled ‘‘Guidelines for Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Federal Indian Reservations and Ceded Lands’’ is available from the address indicated under the caption FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. In a notice published in the September 8, 2005, Federal Register (70 FR 53376), we announced our intent to develop a new Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the migratory bird hunting program. Public scoping meetings were held in the spring of 2006, as detailed in a March 9, 2006, Federal Register (71 FR 12216). We prepared a scoping report summarizing the scoping comments and scoping meetings. The report is available by either writing to the address indicated under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or by viewing on our website at https://www.fws.gov/ migratorybirds. Endangered Species Act Consideration Before issuance of the 2010–11 migratory game bird hunting regulations, we will comply with provisions of the Endangered Species PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 32875 Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531–1543; hereinafter the Act), to ensure that hunting is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any species designated as endangered or threatened or modify or destroy its critical habitat and is consistent with conservation programs for those species. Consultations under section 7 of the Act may cause us to change proposals in this and future supplemental proposed rulemaking documents. Executive Order 12866 The Office of Management and Budget has determined that this rule is significant and has reviewed this rule under Executive Order 12866. OMB bases its determination of regulatory significance upon the following four criteria: (a) Whether the rule will have an annual effect of $100 million or more on the economy or adversely affect an economic sector, productivity, jobs, the environment, or other units of the government. (b) Whether the rule will create inconsistencies with other Federal agencies’ actions. (c) Whether the rule will materially affect entitlements, grants, user fees, loan programs, or the rights and obligations of their recipients. (d) Whether the rule raises novel legal or policy issues. An economic analysis was prepared for the 2008–09 season. This analysis was based on data from the 2006 National Hunting and Fishing Survey, the most recent year for which data are available (see discussion in Regulatory Flexibility Act section below). This analysis estimated consumer surplus for three alternatives for duck hunting (estimates for other species are not quantified due to lack of data). The alternatives are (1) Issue restrictive regulations allowing fewer days than those issued during the 2007–08 season, (2) Issue moderate regulations allowing more days than those in alternative 1, and (3) Issue liberal regulations identical to the regulations in the 2007– 08 season. For the 2008–09 season, we chose alternative 3, with an estimated consumer surplus across all flyways of $205–$270 million. At this time, we are proposing no changes to the season frameworks for the 2010–11 season, and as such, we will again consider these three alternatives. However, final frameworks will depend on population status information available later this year. For these reasons, we have not conducted a new economic analysis, but the 2008–09 analysis is part of the record for this rule and is available at https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/ E:\FR\FM\10JNP1.SGM 10JNP1 32876 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 111 / Thursday, June 10, 2010 / Proposed Rules NewReportsPublications/SpecialTopics/ SpecialTopics.html#HuntingRegs or at https://www.regulations.gov. Regulatory Flexibility Act The 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. 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, 2004, and 2008. 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 2008 Analysis was based on the 2006 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 approximately $1.2 billion at small businesses in 2008. Copies of the Analysis are available upon request from the Division of Migratory Bird Management (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) or from our website at https://www.fws.gov/ migratorybirds/ NewReportsPublications/SpecialTopics/ SpecialTopics.html#HuntingRegs or at https://www.regulations.gov. cprice-sewell on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 Clarity of the Rule We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must: (a) Be logically organized; (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly; (c) Use clear language rather than jargon; (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible. If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc. VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:38 Jun 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 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 under the exemption contained in 5 U.S.C. 808(1). 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. Paperwork Reduction Act We examined these regulations under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The various recordkeeping and reporting requirements imposed under regulations established in 50 CFR part 20, subpart K, are used in formulating migratory game bird hunting regulations. OMB has approved the information collection requirements of our Migratory Bird Surveys and assigned control number 1018–0023 (expires 2/28/2011). 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 Alaska Subsistence Household Survey, an associated voluntary annual household survey used to determine levels of subsistence take in Alaska, and assigned control number 1018–0124 (expires 4/30/2013). 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. Energy Effects—Executive Order 13211 Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. While this proposed 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. 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 proposed rule, has determined that this proposed rule 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 proposed rule, authorized by PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Government-to-Government Relationship with Tribes In accordance with the President’s memorandum of April 29, 1994, ‘‘Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments’’ (59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175, and 512 DM 2, we have evaluated possible effects on Federallyrecognized Indian tribes and have determined that there are no effects on Indian trust resources. We solicited proposals for special migratory bird hunting regulations for certain Tribes on Federal Indian reservations, offreservation trust lands, and ceded lands for the 2010–11 migratory bird hunting season in the May 13, Federal Register. The resulting proposals will be contained in a separate proposed rule. By virtue of these actions, we have consulted with Tribes affected by this rule. 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 (16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.). 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 Indian tribe may be more restrictive than the Federal frameworks at any time. The frameworks are E:\FR\FM\10JNP1.SGM 10JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 111 / Thursday, June 10, 2010 / Proposed Rules 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. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20 Exports, Hunting, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation, Wildlife. The rules that eventually will be promulgated for the 2010–11 hunting season are authorized under 16 U.S.C. 703–711, 16 U.S.C. 712, and 16 U.S.C. 742 a–j. Dated: May 28, 2010 Thomas L. Strickland, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2010–13956 Filed 6–9–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE S DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 80 [Docket No. FWS–R9–WSR–2009–0088; 91400–5110–POLI–7B; 91400–9410–POLI– 7B] RIN 1018–AW65 Financial Assistance: Wildlife Restoration, Sport Fish Restoration, Hunter Education and Safety cprice-sewell on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with PROPOSALS-1 AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule. SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, propose changes in the regulations governing the Wildlife Restoration, Sport Fish Restoration, and Hunter Education and Safety (Enhanced Hunter Education and Safety) financial assistance programs. We conducted rulemaking 2 years ago to amend these regulations, and based on experience gained since then, we propose to adopt two recommendations that we received in response to the prior proposed rule and to modify three provisions from the subsequent final rule. We also propose VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:38 Jun 09, 2010 Jkt 220001 to update the regulations to reflect changes in law, regulation, policy, technology, and practice during the past 25 years. In addition, this proposed rule simplifies specific requirements of the establishing authorities of the Wildlife Restoration and Sport Fish Restoration programs and clarifies terms in those authorities as well as terms generally used in grant administration. Finally, this proposed rule organizes the regulations to follow the life cycle of a grant and rewords and reformats the regulations following Federal plain language policy and current rulemaking guidance. DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before August 9, 2010. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: https:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS–R9–WSR–2009–0088. • U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: RIN 1018– AW65; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203. We will not accept e-mail or faxes. We will post all public comments on https://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments section below for more information). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joyce Johnson, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, Division of Policy and Programs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 703–358–2156. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) manages or co-manages 55 financial assistance programs, 19 of which are managed, in whole or in part, by the Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. This proposed rule would revise title 50, part 80, of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which is ‘‘Administrative Requirements, Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Acts.’’ The primary users of these regulations are the fish and wildlife agencies of the 50 States, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, and the territories of Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. We use ‘‘State’’ or ‘‘States’’ in this document to refer to any or all of these jurisdictions except the District of PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 32877 Columbia for purposes of the PittmanRobertson Wildlife Restoration Act and the two grant programs and one subprogram under the Act because the Act does not authorize funding for the District. The term, ‘‘the 50 States,’’ applies only to the 50 States of the United States. It does not include the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, or the territories of Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. These regulations tell States how they may: (a) Use revenues from hunting and fishing licenses; (b) receive annual apportionments from the Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration Fund and the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund; (c) receive financial assistance from the Wildlife Restoration program, the Basic Hunter Education and Safety subprogram, and the Enhanced Hunter Education and Safety program; and (d) receive financial assistance from the Sport Fish Restoration program, the Recreational Boating Access subprogram, the Aquatic Resources Education subprogram, and the Outreach and Communications subprogram. These programs provide financial assistance to State fish and wildlife agencies to: (a) Restore or manage wildlife and sport fish; (b) provide hunter-education, hunterdevelopment, and hunter-safety programs; (c) provide recreational boating access; (d) enhance the public’s understanding of water resources, aquatic-life forms, and sport fishing; and (e) develop responsible attitudes and ethics toward the aquatic environment. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at https://www.cfda.gov describes these programs under 15.611, 15.605, and 15.626. The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, as amended (50 Stat. 917; 16 U.S.C. 669–669k), and the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act, as amended (64 Stat. 430; 16 U.S.C. 777–777n, except 777e–1 and g–1), established the programs affected by this proposed rule in 1937 and 1950 respectively. We refer to these acts in this document and in the proposed rule as ‘‘the Acts.’’ They established a hunting- and angling-based user-pay and user-benefit system in which the State fish and wildlife agencies of the 50 States, the Commonwealths, and the territories receive formula-based funding from a continuing appropriation. The District of Columbia also receives funding, but only under the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act. The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act does not authorize funding for the District of E:\FR\FM\10JNP1.SGM 10JNP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 111 (Thursday, June 10, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 32872-32877]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-13956]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 20

[Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2010-0040]
[91200-1231-9BPP-L2]
RIN 1018-AX06


Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game 
Bird Hunting Regulations for the 2010-11 Hunting Season; Notice of 
Meetings

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; supplemental.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), proposed in 
an earlier document to establish annual hunting regulations for certain 
migratory game birds for the 2010-11 hunting season. This supplement to 
the proposed rule provides the regulatory schedule, announces the 
Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee and Flyway Council 
meetings, and provides Flyway Council recommendations resulting from 
their March meetings.

DATES: You must submit comments on the proposed regulatory alternatives 
for the 2010-11 duck hunting seasons by June 25, 2010. Following 
subsequent Federal Register documents, you will be given an opportunity 
to submit comments for proposed early-season frameworks by July 31, 
2010, and for proposed late-season frameworks and subsistence migratory 
bird seasons in Alaska by August 31, 2010.
    The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet to 
consider and develop proposed regulations for early-season migratory 
bird hunting on June 23 and 24, 2010, and for late-season migratory 
bird hunting and the 2011 spring/summer migratory bird subsistence 
seasons in Alaska on July 28 and 29, 2010. All meetings will commence 
at approximately 8:30 a.m.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposals by one of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments on docket number FWS-
R9-MB-2010-0040.
     U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attn: FWS-R9-NB-2010-0040; Division of Policy and Directives 
Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, 
Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203.
    We will not accept e-mail or faxes. We will post all comments on 
https://

[[Page 32873]]

www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any 
personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments section 
below for more information).
    The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet in room 
200 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Arlington Square Building, 
4401 N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ron W. Kokel, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Department of the Interior, MS MBSP-4107-ARLSQ, 1849 C Street, 
NW, Washington, DC 20240; (703) 358-1714.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulations Schedule for 2010

    On May 13, 2010, we published in the Federal Register (75 FR 27144) 
a proposal to amend 50 CFR part 20. The proposal provided a background 
and overview of the migratory bird hunting regulations process, and 
addressed the establishment of seasons, limits, and other regulations 
for hunting migratory game birds under Sec. Sec.  20.101 through 
20.107, 20.109, and 20.110 of subpart K. This document is the second in 
a series of proposed, supplemental, and final rules for migratory game 
bird hunting regulations. We will publish proposed early-season 
frameworks in early July and late-season frameworks in early August. We 
will publish final regulatory frameworks for early seasons on or about 
August 16, 2010, and for late seasons on or about September 15, 2010.

Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee Meetings

    The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet June 23-
24, 2010, to review information on the current status of migratory 
shore and upland game birds and develop 2010-11 migratory game bird 
regulations recommendations for these species, plus regulations for 
migratory game birds in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. 
The Committee will also develop regulations recommendations for 
September waterfowl seasons in designated States, special sea duck 
seasons in the Atlantic Flyway, and extended falconry seasons. In 
addition, the Committee will review and discuss preliminary information 
on the status of waterfowl.
    At the July 28-29, 2010, meetings, the Committee will review 
information on the current status of waterfowl and develop 2010-11 
migratory game bird regulations recommendations for regular waterfowl 
seasons and other species and seasons not previously discussed at the 
early-season meetings. In addition, the Committee will develop 
recommendations for the 2011 spring/summer migratory bird subsistence 
season in Alaska.
    In accordance with Departmental policy, these meetings are open to 
public observation. You may submit written comments to the Service on 
the matters discussed.

Announcement of Flyway Council Meetings

    Service representatives will be present at the individual meetings 
of the four Flyway Councils this July. Although agendas are not yet 
available, these meetings usually commence at 8 a.m. on the days 
indicated.
    Atlantic Flyway Council: July 22-23, Hilton Wilmington, Riverside, 
Wilmington, NC.
    Mississippi Flyway Council: July 23-24, Radisson Admiral Semmes 
Hotel, Mobile, AL.
    Central Flyway Council: July 21-23, Embassy Suites, Norman, OK.
    Pacific Flyway Council: July 23, John Ascuaga's Nugget, Reno, NV.

Review of Public Comments

    This supplemental rulemaking describes Flyway Council recommended 
changes based on the preliminary proposals published in the May 13, 
2010, Federal Register. We have included only those recommendations 
requiring either new proposals or substantial modification of the 
preliminary proposals and do not include recommendations that simply 
support or oppose preliminary proposals and provide no recommended 
alternatives. Our responses to some Flyway Council recommendations, but 
not others, are merely a clarification aid to the reader on the overall 
regulatory process, not a definitive response to the issue. We will 
publish responses to all proposals and written comments when we develop 
final frameworks.
    We seek additional information and comments on the recommendations 
in this supplemental proposed rule. New proposals and modifications to 
previously described proposals are discussed below. Wherever possible, 
they are discussed under headings corresponding to the numbered items 
identified in the May 13 proposed rule. Only those categories requiring 
your attention or for which we received Flyway Council recommendations 
are discussed below.

1. Ducks

    Duck harvest management categories are: (A) General Harvest 
Strategy; (B) Regulatory Alternatives, including specification of 
framework dates, season length, and bag limits; (C) Zones and Split 
Seasons; and (D) Special Seasons/Species Management.

A. General Harvest Strategy

    Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended 
that regulations changes be restricted to one step per year, both when 
restricting as well as liberalizing hunting regulations.
    Service Response: As we stated in the May 13 Federal Register, the 
final Adaptive Harvest Management protocol for the 2010-11 season will 
be detailed in the early-season proposed rule, which will be published 
in mid-July.

B. Regulatory Alternatives

    Council Recommendations: The Mississippi and Central Flyway 
Councils recommended that regulatory alternatives for duck hunting 
seasons remain the same as those used in 2009.
    Service Response: As we stated in the May 13 Federal Register, the 
final regulatory alternatives for the 2010-11 season will be detailed 
in the early-season proposed rule, which will be published in mid-July.

C. Zones and Split Seasons

    Council Recommendations: The Upper-Region Regulations Committee of 
the Mississippi Flyway Council and the Central and Pacific Flyway 
Councils recommended that the Service allow 3 zones, with 2-way splits 
in each zone, and 4 zones with no splits as additional zone/split-
season options for duck seasons during 2011-15. In addition, it is 
recommended that States with existing grandfathered status be allowed 
to retain that status.

D. Special Seasons/Species Management

i. Special Teal Seasons

    Council Recommendations: The Upper-Region Regulations Committee of 
the Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that the Service explore 
options for providing production States an opportunity to harvest teal 
outside the regular duck season frameworks as part of the teal season 
assessment that is currently being conducted.

vi. Pintails

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
adoption of a derived Northern Pintail Harvest Strategy and provided 
the following pintail harvest objectives for the Atlantic Flyway and 
for individual Atlantic Flyway States: (1) The harvest objective for 
northern pintails should be Maximum Sustained Yield (MSY); (2) 
constrain closed seasons to breeding populations below 1.75 million 
birds;

[[Page 32874]]

and (3) regulatory alternatives should include a closed season, a 
liberal season with a 1-bird daily bag limit, and a liberal season with 
a 2-bird daily bag limit. These objectives were captured in Scenario 
39 in the Service's draft Northern Pintail Harvest Strategy 
(Draft Strategy) (available at https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewsPublicationsReports.html).
    The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended use of the Draft 
Strategy's harvest management Scenarios 39, 29, or 
39(b) to develop an optimal harvest policy. The Council 
remains concerned regarding the following: (1) The Service does not 
provide performance metrics for harvest management Scenarios 
39 and 39(b) with no closed seasons until the pintail 
BPOP falls to 1.0 million birds; (2) the method for integrating the 
preferred alternatives from other Flyways into a single harvest policy 
is not defined and reviewed; (3) additional weighting exercises that 
address more fundamental harvest objectives, such as simplified 
regulations, maintaining/expanding hunting opportunity for pintails, 
and maximizing harvest, have not yet been conducted; and (4) there is 
uncertainty about the consistency of the harvest strategy for pintails 
with the fundamental objectives addressed through the North American 
Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) revision.
    The Central Flyway Council recommended continued discussions on the 
potential structure and use of a derived harvest strategy for pintails. 
They recommend a one-year implementation of Scenario 39 in the 
Draft Strategy until a number of issues are resolved.
    The Pacific Flyway Council recommended that harvest management for 
pintails be based on a derived strategy that: (1) uses MSY as a harvest 
objective; (2) constrains closed seasons to breeding populations below 
1.75 million birds; and (3) eliminates partial seasons (shorter pintail 
seasons within a longer general duck season). Specifically, the Council 
recommended Scenario 39 as its preferred strategy for 
regulations in 2010-11 and further review for the next year. The 
Council supported a derived strategy that does not have an explicit 
allocation of harvest among the flyways. The Council also recommended 
that Alaska's exclusion from the pintail harvest management process be 
continued.
    The Council further recommended the use of historic proportions of 
harvest to weight the inputs from the flyways should that input differ 
in the future. They noted that we proposed to consider inputs from all 
flyways equally, but the absolute and relative abundance of pintail is 
highest in the Pacific Flyway, and regulatory alternatives have a 
different effect there. They continued to support more work on 
alternative underlying population models because they do not believe 
that the model set in the strategy includes a model that addresses the 
effect of harvest regulation changes on pintail survival rates in a 
manner similar to ultra-structural models. The Council has recommended 
in the past that we investigate the usefulness of sex-specific 
regulations for pintails as a way to increase hunting opportunity on 
male pintails.
    Lastly, the Council recognized that all of the analyzed strategies 
predict the perpetuation of the pintail breeding population between 
2.78 and 3.57 million pintails, but that the differences among the 
strategies center largely on effects on the hunting public. These 
effects include the frequency of closed and partial seasons, larger 
daily bag limits, and annual regulation changes. The Council has 
limited information on hunter preferences about the trade-offs inherent 
in the analyzed derived strategies.
    Service Response: We greatly appreciate the time and attention that 
all four Flyway Councils have devoted to review and consideration of 
the various alternatives for implementing a derived pintail harvest 
strategy. We note that all four flyways have recommended the same 
alternative derived strategy be implemented this year. Therefore, we 
propose adoption of alternative 39 as described and evaluated in the 
Service's report ``Proposal for a Derived and Adaptive Harvest Strategy 
for Northern Pintails (January 2010)'' and incorporated in a ``Proposed 
Northern Pintail Harvest Strategy (May 2010)'' (both available at 
https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewsPublicationsReports.html) for the 
2010-11 hunting season. Numerous variations of the final proposed 
harvest strategy were evaluated and deliberated by the Service and 
Flyway Councils that differed in their expression of management 
objectives and regulatory alternatives, but that shared a common 
scientific underpinning. Alternative 39 was deemed to best balance 
tradeoffs among fundamental objectives identified for pintail harvest 
management. We note that additional technical work became available to 
the Councils and their technical committees very late in the process.
    Over the coming year, we will review this choice of alternative 39 
based on one year of experience, as well as input received from the 
Councils, public, and Service technical staff, to determine if a 
different alternative will better insure the long-term conservation of 
northern pintails and meet the interests of the hunting public. 
Changes, if warranted, would be implemented for the 2011-12 regulations 
cycle.

4. Canada Geese

A. Special Seasons

    Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended 
that the closing date for the September Canada goose season in 
Minnesota be September 22 Statewide.
    The Central Flyway Council recommended that we increase the daily 
bag limit framework from 5 to 8 for the Central Flyway States of South 
Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma during the Special Early Canada 
Goose hunting season.

B. Regular Seasons

    Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended 
that the framework opening date for all species of geese for the 
regular goose seasons in Michigan and Wisconsin be September 16, 2010.

9. Sandhill Cranes

    Council Recommendations: The Mississippi, Central, and Pacific 
Flyway Councils recommended a sandhill crane hunting season for mid-
continent sandhill cranes in northwest Minnesota in 2010, following 
guidelines outlined in the 2006 Cooperative Management Plan for mid-
continent sandhill cranes.
    The Central and Pacific Flyway Councils recommend using the 2010 
Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) sandhill crane harvest allocation of 
1,979 birds as proposed in the allocation formula using the 2007-09 3-
year running average.
    The Pacific Flyway Council recommended initiating a limited hunt 
for Lower Colorado River Valley (LCRV) Sandhill Cranes in Arizona with 
a goal of a limited harvest of 9 cranes during the 2010-11 hunting 
season. Arizona will issue permits to hunters and require mandatory 
check-in of all harvested cranes. The Service previously approved the 
hunt in 2007.

14. Woodcock

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway 
Councils recommended adoption of the Interim American Woodcock Harvest 
Strategy (available at https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewsPublicationsReports.html) for implementation in the 2011-12 hunting 
season.
    The Central Flyway Council recommended that the interim harvest

[[Page 32875]]

strategy outlined in the Draft American Woodcock Harvest Strategy be 
implemented for a period of 5 years (2011-15).

16. Mourning Doves

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway 
Councils recommended use of the ``moderate'' season framework for 
States within the Eastern Management Unit population of mourning doves 
resulting in a 70-day season and 15-bird daily bag limit. The daily bag 
limit could be composed of mourning doves and white-winged doves, 
singly or in combination.
    The Mississippi and Central Flyway Councils recommend the use of 
the standard (or ``moderate'') season package of a 15-bird daily bag 
limit and a 70-day season for the 2010-11 mourning dove season in the 
States within the Central Management Unit.
    The Pacific Flyway Council recommended use of the ``moderate'' 
season framework for States in the Western Management Unit (WMU) 
population of mourning doves, which represents no change from last 
year's frameworks.

Public Comments

    The Department of the Interior's policy is, whenever possible, to 
afford the public an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking 
process. Accordingly, we invite interested persons to submit written 
comments, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the proposed 
regulations. Before promulgating final migratory game bird hunting 
regulations, we will consider all comments we receive. These comments, 
and any additional information we receive, may lead to final 
regulations that differ from these proposals.
    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed 
rule by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We will not 
accept comments sent by e-mail or fax or to an address not listed in 
the ADDRESSES section. Finally, we will not consider hand-delivered 
comments that we do not receive, or mailed comments that are not 
postmarked, by the date specified in the DATES section.
    We will post all comments in their entirety--including your 
personal identifying information--on https://www.regulations.gov. Before 
including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal 
identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your 
entire comment - including your personal identifying information - may 
be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your 
comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public 
review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection on https://www.regulations.gov, or by 
appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Bird Management, Room 4107, 
4501 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203.
    For each series of proposed rulemakings, we will establish specific 
comment periods. We will consider, but possibly may not respond in 
detail to, each comment. As in the past, we will summarize all comments 
we receive during the comment period and respond to them after the 
closing date in the preambles of any final rules.

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 notice of availability in the Federal Register on June 16, 
1988 (53 FR 22582). We published our Record of Decision on August 18, 
1988 (53 FR 31341). In addition, an August 1985 environmental 
assessment entitled ``Guidelines for Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations 
on Federal Indian Reservations and Ceded Lands'' is available from the 
address indicated under the caption FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    In a notice published in the September 8, 2005, Federal Register 
(70 FR 53376), we announced our intent to develop a new Supplemental 
Environmental Impact Statement for the migratory bird hunting program. 
Public scoping meetings were held in the spring of 2006, as detailed in 
a March 9, 2006, Federal Register (71 FR 12216). We prepared a scoping 
report summarizing the scoping comments and scoping meetings. The 
report is available by either writing to the address indicated under 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or by viewing on our website at https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds.

Endangered Species Act Consideration

    Before issuance of the 2010-11 migratory game bird hunting 
regulations, we will comply with provisions of the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531-1543; hereinafter the Act), to 
ensure that hunting is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence 
of any species designated as endangered or threatened or modify or 
destroy its critical habitat and is consistent with conservation 
programs for those species. Consultations under section 7 of the Act 
may cause us to change proposals in this and future supplemental 
proposed rulemaking documents.

Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget has determined that this rule 
is significant and has reviewed this rule under Executive Order 12866. 
OMB bases its determination of regulatory significance upon the 
following four criteria:
    (a) Whether the rule will have an annual effect of $100 million or 
more on the economy or adversely affect an economic sector, 
productivity, jobs, the environment, or other units of the government.
    (b) Whether the rule will create inconsistencies with other Federal 
agencies' actions.
    (c) Whether the rule will materially affect entitlements, grants, 
user fees, loan programs, or the rights and obligations of their 
recipients.
    (d) Whether the rule raises novel legal or policy issues.
    An economic analysis was prepared for the 2008-09 season. This 
analysis was based on data from the 2006 National Hunting and Fishing 
Survey, the most recent year for which data are available (see 
discussion in Regulatory Flexibility Act section below). This analysis 
estimated consumer surplus for three alternatives for duck hunting 
(estimates for other species are not quantified due to lack of data). 
The alternatives are (1) Issue restrictive regulations allowing fewer 
days than those issued during the 2007-08 season, (2) Issue moderate 
regulations allowing more days than those in alternative 1, and (3) 
Issue liberal regulations identical to the regulations in the 2007-08 
season. For the 2008-09 season, we chose alternative 3, with an 
estimated consumer surplus across all flyways of $205-$270 million. At 
this time, we are proposing no changes to the season frameworks for the 
2010-11 season, and as such, we will again consider these three 
alternatives. However, final frameworks will depend on population 
status information available later this year. For these reasons, we 
have not conducted a new economic analysis, but the 2008-09 analysis is 
part of the record for this rule and is available at https://
www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/

[[Page 32876]]

NewReportsPublications/SpecialTopics/
SpecialTopics.htmlHuntingRegs or at https://www.regulations.gov.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The 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. 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, 
2004, and 2008. 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 2008 
Analysis was based on the 2006 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 approximately 
$1.2 billion at small businesses in 2008. Copies of the Analysis are 
available upon request from the Division of Migratory Bird Management 
(see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) or from our website at https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewReportsPublications/SpecialTopics/SpecialTopics.html#HuntingRegs or at https://www.regulations.gov.

Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the 
Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain 
language. This means that each rule we publish must:
    (a) Be logically organized;
    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;
    (c) Use clear language rather than jargon;
    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and
    (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.
    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us 
comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To 
better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as 
possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections 
or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences 
are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be 
useful, etc.

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 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 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The various recordkeeping and reporting 
requirements imposed under regulations established in 50 CFR part 20, 
subpart K, are used in formulating migratory game bird hunting 
regulations. OMB has approved the information collection requirements 
of our Migratory Bird Surveys and assigned control number 1018-0023 
(expires 2/28/2011). 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 Alaska Subsistence Household Survey, an associated 
voluntary annual household survey used to determine levels of 
subsistence take in Alaska, and assigned control number 1018-0124 
(expires 4/30/2013).
    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 proposed rule, has determined 
that this proposed rule 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 proposed 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

    Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of 
Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. While this proposed 
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.

Government-to-Government Relationship with Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, 
``Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments'' (59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175, and 512 DM 2, we 
have evaluated possible effects on Federally-recognized Indian tribes 
and have determined that there are no effects on Indian trust 
resources. We solicited proposals for special migratory bird hunting 
regulations for certain Tribes on Federal Indian reservations, off-
reservation trust lands, and ceded lands for the 2010-11 migratory bird 
hunting season in the May 13, Federal Register. The resulting proposals 
will be contained in a separate proposed rule. By virtue of these 
actions, we have consulted with Tribes affected by this rule.

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 (16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.). 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 
Indian tribe may be more restrictive than the Federal frameworks at any 
time. The frameworks are

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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.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20

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

    The rules that eventually will be promulgated for the 2010-11 
hunting season are authorized under 16 U.S.C. 703-711, 16 U.S.C. 712, 
and 16 U.S.C. 742 a-j.

    Dated: May 28, 2010
Thomas L. Strickland,
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
 [FR Doc. 2010-13956 Filed 6-9-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE S