Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations for the 2011-12 Hunting Season; Notice of Meetings, 36508-36510 [2011-15599]

Download as PDF srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 36508 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 120 / Wednesday, June 22, 2011 / Proposed Rules present, may also inform waterway users of designations. (ix) Prohibited activities. We specifically identify and prohibit the activities set forth in this paragraph to prevent the take of manatees by individuals engaged in waterborne activities while in the water, in boats, or on-shore within the Kings Bay Manatee Refuge. In regard to these prohibited activities, we consider a resting manatee to be a mostly motionless manatee on the water bottom, in the water column, or on the water’s surface that rises to the surface to breath. While resting, a manatee may make minor changes in its posture and may slightly shift its position. Minor changes in posture occur when resting manatees breathe or roll. Resting manatees may also make slight movements with their flippers or tail to compensate for drift, etc. Prohibited activities include: (A) Chasing or pursuing manatee(s). (B) Disturbing or touching a resting or feeding manatee(s). (C) Diving from the surface on to resting or feeding manatee(s). (D) Cornering or surrounding or attempting to corner or surround a manatee(s). (E) Riding, holding, grabbing, or pinching or attempting to ride, hold, grab, or pinch a manatee(s). (F) Poking, prodding, or stabbing or attempting to poke, prod, or stab a manatee(s) with anything, including your hands and feet. (G) Standing on or attempting to stand on manatee(s). (H) Separating a mother and calf or attempting to separate a mother and calf. (I) Separating manatee(s) from a group or attempting to separate manatee(s) from a group. (J) Giving manatee(s) anything to eat or drink or attempting to give manatee(s) anything to eat or drink. (K) Actively initiating contact with belted and/or tagged manatee(s) and associated gear, including any belts, harnesses, tracking devices, or antennae. (L) Interfering with rescue and research activities. (M) Using mooring and float lines that can entangle manatees. Dated: June 10, 2011. Rachel Jacobson, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2011–15603 Filed 6–21–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:53 Jun 21, 2011 Jkt 223001 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 20 [Docket No. FWS–R9–MB–2011–0014; 91200–1231–9BPP–L2] RIN 1018–AX34 Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations for the 2011–12 Hunting Season; Notice of Meetings Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule; supplemental. AGENCY: 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 2011–12 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: Comments: You must submit comments on the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2011–12 duck hunting seasons by July 5, 2011. Following subsequent Federal Register documents, you will be given an opportunity to submit comments for proposed early-season frameworks by July 29, 2011, and for proposed lateseason frameworks and subsistence migratory bird seasons in Alaska by August 31, 2011. Meetings: The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet to consider and develop proposed regulations for early-season migratory bird hunting on June 22 and 23, 2011, and for late-season migratory bird hunting and the 2012 spring/summer migratory bird subsistence seasons in Alaska on July 27 and 28, 2011. All meetings will commence at approximately 8:30 a.m. ADDRESSES: Comments: You may submit comments on the proposals by one of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS–R9–MB–2011– 0014. • U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R9– MB–2011–0014; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00123 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 We will not accept e-mailed or faxed comments. We will post all comments on http://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). Meetings: 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 2011 On April 8, 2011, we published in the Federal Register (76 FR 19876) 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, 2011, and for late seasons on or about September 15, 2011. Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee Meetings The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet June 22–23, 2011, to review information on the current status of migratory shore and upland game birds and develop 2011–12 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 27–28, 2011, meetings, the Committee will review information on the current status of waterfowl and develop 2011–12 migratory game bird regulations recommendations for regular waterfowl seasons and other species and E:\FR\FM\22JNP1.SGM 22JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 120 / Wednesday, June 22, 2011 / Proposed Rules seasons not previously discussed at the early-season meetings. In addition, the Committee will develop recommendations for the 2012 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. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 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 21–22, Hotel Viking, Newport, RI. Mississippi Flyway Council: July 22– 23, Crowne Plaza, Little Rock, AR. Central Flyway Council: July 21–22, Holiday Inn, Cody, WY. Pacific Flyway Council: July 21, GranTree Inn, Bozeman, MT. Review of Public Comments This supplemental rulemaking describes Flyway Council recommended changes based on the preliminary proposals published in the April 8, 2011, 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 April 8 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:53 Jun 21, 2011 Jkt 223001 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 April 8 Federal Register, the final Adaptive Harvest Management protocol for the 2011–12 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 2010. Service Response: As we stated in the April 8 Federal Register, the final regulatory alternatives for the 2011–12 season will be detailed in the earlyseason proposed rule, which will be published in mid-July. C. Zones and Split Seasons Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended allowing States two periods for selecting their zone and split options: spring 2011 for currently offered options, and spring 2012 for possible additional available options. The Mississippi Flyway Council urged us to provide new options for zones/split-season criteria (i.e., three zones with two splits or four zones) for use during the 2011–12 regulations cycle season (see the April 8 Federal Register for a full discussion). They note, however, that some States may not be able to use these new criteria even if they are approved this spring because of their internal regulations setting process. Thus, they request extending the open season for States to select zone/split-season configurations through the 2012 regulations cycle. The Central and Pacific Flyway Councils recommended extending the current open season for States to select regular season zone/split configurations for 2011–15 through June 2012. Service Response: As we discussed in the April 8 Federal Register, we proposed new guidelines for duck zones and split seasons for use by States in setting their seasons for the 2011–15 hunting seasons. We also prepared a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on the proposed zone and split season guidelines and provided a brief summary of the anticipated impacts of PO 00000 Frm 00124 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 36509 the preferred alternative with regard to the guidelines. Specifics of each of the four alternatives we analyzed can be found on our Web site at http:// www.fws.gov/migratorybirds, or at http://www.regulations.gov. The comment period on the EA closed on May 15, 2011. We are currently analyzing comments received and determining whether to: (1) Prepare a final EA and Finding of No Significant Impact and authorize [the preferred alternative], (2) reconsider our preferred alternative, or (3) determine that an Environmental Impact Statement should be prepared. We plan to release our final EA and decision in July. D. Special Seasons/Species Management ix. Youth Hunt Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended that we remove the criteria for youth hunting days to be two consecutive hunting days and allow the two days to be taken singularly or consecutively outside any regular duck season on a weekend, holidays, or other non-school days when youth hunters would have the maximum opportunity to participate. x. Mallard Management Units Council Recommendations: The Central Flyway Council recommends a minor change to the High Plains Mallard Management Unit boundary in Nebraska and Kansas for simplification and clarification. 4. Canada Geese A. Special Seasons Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended that the 10-day experimental season extension (September 16–25) of the special September Canada goose hunting season in Delaware become operational. The Central Flyway Council recommended that we increase the daily bag limit framework from five to eight for North Dakota during the special early Canada goose hunting season in September. The Pacific Flyway Council recommended increasing the daily bag limit in the Pacific Flyway portion of Colorado from three geese to four geese, and increasing the possession limit from six to eight birds during the special September season. B. Regular Seasons Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that the framework E:\FR\FM\22JNP1.SGM 22JNP1 36510 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 120 / Wednesday, June 22, 2011 / Proposed Rules opening date for all species of geese for the regular goose seasons in Michigan and Wisconsin be September 16, 2011. 9. Sandhill Cranes Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended a 3-year experimental 30day sandhill crane season for eastern population sandhill cranes in Kentucky beginning in the 2011–12 season. The Central and Pacific Flyway Councils recommend using the 2011 Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) sandhill crane harvest allocation of 1,771 birds as proposed in the allocation formula using the 3-year running average for 2008–10. The Councils also recommended the establishment of two new hunting areas for RMP greater sandhill crane hunting in Montana, the addition of Golden Valley County to an existing RMP sandhill crane hunting unit, and the establishment of a new RMP sandhill crane hunting unit in Broadwater County. The Pacific Flyway Council recommended not allowing a limited hunt for Lower Colorado River Valley (LCRV) Sandhill Cranes in Arizona during the 2011–12 hunting season as survey results indicate the 3-year average population estimate is below the 2,500 birds required by the framework to hunt Lower Colorado River Valley (LCRV) Sandhill Cranes. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 14. Woodcock Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended adoption of the ‘‘moderate’’ season package of 45 days with a 3-bird daily bag limit in the Eastern Management Unit for the 2011–12 season as outlined in the Interim American Woodcock Harvest Strategy (available at http:// www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/ NewsPublicationsReports.html). 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 2011–12 mourning dove season in the States within the Central Management Unit. The Central Flyway Council also VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:53 Jun 21, 2011 Jkt 223001 recommended that the opening date for the South Dove Zone in Texas be the Friday before the third Saturday in September. 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. The Council also recommended combining mourning and white-winged dove season frameworks into a single framework, and allowing an aggregate bag in all Pacific Flyway States in the WMU. 18. Alaska Council Recommendations: The Pacific Flyway Council recommended removal of Canada goose daily bag limit restrictions within the overall dark goose daily bag limit in Units 9, 10, 17, and 18. In these Units, the dark goose limits would be 6 geese per day, with 12 geese in possession. 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. 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 http:// 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 PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 used in preparing this proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://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. Required Determinations Based on our most current data, we are affirming our required determinations made in the proposed rule; for descriptions of our actions to ensure compliance with the following statutes and Executive orders, see our April 8, 2011, proposed rule (76 FR 19876): • National Environmental Policy Act; • Endangered Species Act; • Regulatory Flexibility Act; • Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act; • Paperwork Reduction Act; • Unfunded Mandates Reform Act; • Executive Orders 12630, 12866, 12988, 13175, 13132, and 13211. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20 Exports, Hunting, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation, Wildlife. Authority The rules that eventually will be promulgated for the 2011–12 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: June 13, 2011. Rachel Jacobson, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2011–15599 Filed 6–21–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P E:\FR\FM\22JNP1.SGM 22JNP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 120 (Wednesday, June 22, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 36508-36510]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-15599]


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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 20

[Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2011-0014; 91200-1231-9BPP-L2]
RIN 1018-AX34


Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game 
Bird Hunting Regulations for the 2011-12 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 2011-12 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: Comments: You must submit comments on the proposed regulatory 
alternatives for the 2011-12 duck hunting seasons by July 5, 2011. 
Following subsequent Federal Register documents, you will be given an 
opportunity to submit comments for proposed early-season frameworks by 
July 29, 2011, and for proposed late-season frameworks and subsistence 
migratory bird seasons in Alaska by August 31, 2011.
    Meetings: The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will 
meet to consider and develop proposed regulations for early-season 
migratory bird hunting on June 22 and 23, 2011, and for late-season 
migratory bird hunting and the 2012 spring/summer migratory bird 
subsistence seasons in Alaska on July 27 and 28, 2011. All meetings 
will commence at approximately 8:30 a.m.

ADDRESSES: Comments: You may submit comments on the proposals by one of 
the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS-R9-
MB-2011-0014.
     U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attn: FWS-R9-MB-2011-0014; Division of Policy and Directives 
Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 
2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
    We will not accept e-mailed or faxed comments. We will post all 
comments on http://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).
    Meetings: 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 2011

    On April 8, 2011, we published in the Federal Register (76 FR 
19876) 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, 2011, and for late seasons on or about 
September 15, 2011.

Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee Meetings

    The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet June 22-
23, 2011, to review information on the current status of migratory 
shore and upland game birds and develop 2011-12 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 27-28, 2011, meetings, the Committee will review 
information on the current status of waterfowl and develop 2011-12 
migratory game bird regulations recommendations for regular waterfowl 
seasons and other species and

[[Page 36509]]

seasons not previously discussed at the early-season meetings. In 
addition, the Committee will develop recommendations for the 2012 
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 21-22, Hotel Viking, Newport, RI.
    Mississippi Flyway Council: July 22-23, Crowne Plaza, Little Rock, 
AR.
    Central Flyway Council: July 21-22, Holiday Inn, Cody, WY.
    Pacific Flyway Council: July 21, GranTree Inn, Bozeman, MT.

Review of Public Comments

    This supplemental rulemaking describes Flyway Council recommended 
changes based on the preliminary proposals published in the April 8, 
2011, 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 April 8 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 April 8 Federal Register, the 
final Adaptive Harvest Management protocol for the 2011-12 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 2010.
    Service Response: As we stated in the April 8 Federal Register, the 
final regulatory alternatives for the 2011-12 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 Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
allowing States two periods for selecting their zone and split options: 
spring 2011 for currently offered options, and spring 2012 for possible 
additional available options.
    The Mississippi Flyway Council urged us to provide new options for 
zones/split-season criteria (i.e., three zones with two splits or four 
zones) for use during the 2011-12 regulations cycle season (see the 
April 8 Federal Register for a full discussion). They note, however, 
that some States may not be able to use these new criteria even if they 
are approved this spring because of their internal regulations setting 
process. Thus, they request extending the open season for States to 
select zone/split-season configurations through the 2012 regulations 
cycle.
    The Central and Pacific Flyway Councils recommended extending the 
current open season for States to select regular season zone/split 
configurations for 2011-15 through June 2012.
    Service Response: As we discussed in the April 8 Federal Register, 
we proposed new guidelines for duck zones and split seasons for use by 
States in setting their seasons for the 2011-15 hunting seasons. We 
also prepared a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on the proposed 
zone and split season guidelines and provided a brief summary of the 
anticipated impacts of the preferred alternative with regard to the 
guidelines. Specifics of each of the four alternatives we analyzed can 
be found on our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds, or at 
http://www.regulations.gov. The comment period on the EA closed on May 
15, 2011. We are currently analyzing comments received and determining 
whether to: (1) Prepare a final EA and Finding of No Significant Impact 
and authorize [the preferred alternative], (2) reconsider our preferred 
alternative, or (3) determine that an Environmental Impact Statement 
should be prepared. We plan to release our final EA and decision in 
July.

D. Special Seasons/Species Management

ix. Youth Hunt
    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
that we remove the criteria for youth hunting days to be two 
consecutive hunting days and allow the two days to be taken singularly 
or consecutively outside any regular duck season on a weekend, 
holidays, or other non-school days when youth hunters would have the 
maximum opportunity to participate.
x. Mallard Management Units
    Council Recommendations: The Central Flyway Council recommends a 
minor change to the High Plains Mallard Management Unit boundary in 
Nebraska and Kansas for simplification and clarification.

4. Canada Geese

A. Special Seasons

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
that the 10-day experimental season extension (September 16-25) of the 
special September Canada goose hunting season in Delaware become 
operational.
    The Central Flyway Council recommended that we increase the daily 
bag limit framework from five to eight for North Dakota during the 
special early Canada goose hunting season in September.
    The Pacific Flyway Council recommended increasing the daily bag 
limit in the Pacific Flyway portion of Colorado from three geese to 
four geese, and increasing the possession limit from six to eight birds 
during the special September season.

B. Regular Seasons

    Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended 
that the framework

[[Page 36510]]

opening date for all species of geese for the regular goose seasons in 
Michigan and Wisconsin be September 16, 2011.

9. Sandhill Cranes

    Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended 
a 3-year experimental 30-day sandhill crane season for eastern 
population sandhill cranes in Kentucky beginning in the 2011-12 season.
    The Central and Pacific Flyway Councils recommend using the 2011 
Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) sandhill crane harvest allocation of 
1,771 birds as proposed in the allocation formula using the 3-year 
running average for 2008-10. The Councils also recommended the 
establishment of two new hunting areas for RMP greater sandhill crane 
hunting in Montana, the addition of Golden Valley County to an existing 
RMP sandhill crane hunting unit, and the establishment of a new RMP 
sandhill crane hunting unit in Broadwater County.
    The Pacific Flyway Council recommended not allowing a limited hunt 
for Lower Colorado River Valley (LCRV) Sandhill Cranes in Arizona 
during the 2011-12 hunting season as survey results indicate the 3-year 
average population estimate is below the 2,500 birds required by the 
framework to hunt Lower Colorado River Valley (LCRV) Sandhill Cranes.

14. Woodcock

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
adoption of the ``moderate'' season package of 45 days with a 3-bird 
daily bag limit in the Eastern Management Unit for the 2011-12 season 
as outlined in the Interim American Woodcock Harvest Strategy 
(available at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewsPublicationsReports.html).

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 2011-12 mourning dove season in the 
States within the Central Management Unit. The Central Flyway Council 
also recommended that the opening date for the South Dove Zone in Texas 
be the Friday before the third Saturday in September.
    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. The Council also recommended combining mourning and 
white-winged dove season frameworks into a single framework, and 
allowing an aggregate bag in all Pacific Flyway States in the WMU.

18. Alaska

    Council Recommendations: The Pacific Flyway Council recommended 
removal of Canada goose daily bag limit restrictions within the overall 
dark goose daily bag limit in Units 9, 10, 17, and 18. In these Units, 
the dark goose limits would be 6 geese per day, with 12 geese in 
possession.

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. 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 http://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 http://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.

Required Determinations

    Based on our most current data, we are affirming our required 
determinations made in the proposed rule; for descriptions of our 
actions to ensure compliance with the following statutes and Executive 
orders, see our April 8, 2011, proposed rule (76 FR 19876):
     National Environmental Policy Act;
     Endangered Species Act;
     Regulatory Flexibility Act;
     Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act;
     Paperwork Reduction Act;
     Unfunded Mandates Reform Act;
     Executive Orders 12630, 12866, 12988, 13175, 13132, and 
13211.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20

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

Authority

    The rules that eventually will be promulgated for the 2011-12 
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: June 13, 2011.
Rachel Jacobson,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2011-15599 Filed 6-21-11; 8:45 am]
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