Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; U.S. Navy Training in the Northwest Training Range Complex, 64492-64493 [2012-25980]

Download as PDF 64492 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 204 / Monday, October 22, 2012 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC) RIN 0648–XC247 Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC). AGENCY: ACTION: Cancellation of Open Meeting. Notice is hereby given cancelling the DoC NOAA National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC) conference call on Tuesday, October 24, 2012 from 3:00–5:00 p.m. Eastern time. SUMMARY: The National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee was established in December 2010. The committee’s mission is to synthesize and summarize the science and information pertaining to current and future impacts of climate change upon the United States; and to provide advice and recommendations toward the development of an ongoing, sustainable national assessment of global change impacts and adaptation and mitigation strategies for the Nation. Within the scope of its mission, the committee’s specific objective is to produce a National Climate Assessment. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dr. Cynthia Decker, Designated Federal Official, National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee, NOAA, Rm. 11230, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. (Phone: 301–734–1156, Fax: 301–713–1459, Email: Cynthia.Decker@noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dated: October 16, 2012. Andy Baldus, Acting Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [FR Doc. 2012–25958 Filed 10–19–12; 8:45 am] wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with BILLING CODE 3510–KD–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:00 Oct 19, 2012 Jkt 229001 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; U.S. Navy Training in the Northwest Training Range Complex National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of issuance of a Letter of Authorization. AGENCY: In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notice is hereby given that NMFS has issued a 3year Letter of Authorization (LOA) to the U.S. Navy (Navy) to take marine mammals incidental to Navy training and research activities to be conducted within the Northwest Training Range Complex (NWTRC), off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and northern California. These activities are considered military readiness activities pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2004 (NDAA). DATES: This Authorization is effective from November 12, 2012, through November 9, 2015. ADDRESSES: The LOA and supporting documentation may be obtained by writing to P. Michael Payne, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 EastWest Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, or by telephoning one of the contacts listed here. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian D. Hopper, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) directs NMFS to allow, upon request, the incidental taking of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing), if certain findings are made by NMFS and regulations are issued. Under the MMPA, the term ‘‘take’’ means to harass, hunt, capture, or kill or to attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill marine mammals. Regulations governing the taking of marine mammals by the Navy incidental to training and research activities in the NWTRC became effective on November 10, 2010 (75 FR 69296), and remain in PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 effect through November 9, 2015. For detailed information on this action, please refer to that document. These regulations include mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements and establish a framework to authorize incidental take through the issuance of LOAs. On February 1, 2012, NMFS amended the regulations for 12 Navy Range Complexes, including NWTRC, to allow for multi-year LOAs (77 FR 4917). Summary of Request On June 27, 2012, NMFS received a request from the Navy for an LOA for the taking of marine mammals incidental to training and research activities conducted within the NWTRC under regulations issued on November 10, 2010 (75 FR 69296). The Navy has complied with the measures required in 50 CFR 216.274 and 216.275, as well as the LOA issued on November 12, 2011, and submitted the reports and other documentation required in the final rule and the 2011 LOA. Summary of Activity Under the 2011 LOA As described in the Navy’s exercise reports (both classified and unclassified), from May 2, 2011 to May 1, 2012, the training activities conducted by the Navy were within the scope and amounts indicated in the 2011 LOA and the levels of take remain within the scope and amounts contemplated by the final rule. Planned Activities and Estimated Take for 2012 Through 2015 Between 2012 and 2015, the Navy expects to conduct the same type and amount of training identified in the 2011 LOA; however, the Navy does not plan to conduct any Sinking Exercises (SINKEXs). While the Navy requested the same amount of take that was authorized in the 2011 LOA, NMFS has slightly adjusted those numbers to account for the exposure analysis contained in the Biological Opinion. However, the authorized take remains within the annual estimates analyzed in the final rule. Summary of Monitoring, Reporting, and Other Requirements Under the 2011 LOA Annual Exercise Reports The Navy submitted their classified and unclassified 2011 exercise reports within the required timeframes and the unclassified report is posted on NMFS Web site: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/ permits/incidental.htm. NMFS has reviewed both reports and they contain the information required by the 2011 LOA. The reports indicate the amounts of different types of training that E:\FR\FM\22OCN1.SGM 22OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 204 / Monday, October 22, 2012 / Notices occurred from May 2, 2011, to May 1, 2012. The Navy conducted zero SINKEXs and all other exercise types conducted (classified data) fell within the amount indicated in the LOA. 2011 Monitoring The Navy conducted the monitoring required by the 2011 LOA and described in the Monitoring Plan, which included passive acoustic monitoring utilizing high-frequency acoustic recording packages (HARPs) and marine mammal tagging and tracking. The Navy submitted their 2011 Monitoring Report, which is posted on NMFS’ Web site (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental.htm), within the required timeframe. Because data is gathered through May 1 and the report is due in July, some of the data analysis will occur in the subsequent year’s report. Navy-funded marine mammal monitoring accomplishments within NWTRC for the past year consisted of the following: wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with Passive Acoustic Monitoring Two high-frequency acoustic monitoring packages (HARP) have been deployed by Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO) within the NWTRC. The first HARP was deployed in January 2011 approximately 25 nm from the coast in the southern part of NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. SIO has had HARPs in the same approximate location periodically since 2004. A second HARP was deployed in May 2011 near the edge of an underwater canyon west of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary boundary. Both HARPs were field serviced in early December 2011. Over 10,617 hours of passive acoustic data have been recorded. Subsequent analysis confirmed detection of the following marine mammals: blue whale, fin whale, humpback whale, nine toothed whale species, and sounds dominated by shipping noise. Tagging Under the 2011 LOA, the Navy purchased a total of 10 satellite tracking tags suitable for deployment on a number of marine mammal species within the NWTRC. Field deployment for tagging marine mammals commenced 2011 as part of a three-year joint project between the Navy, NMFS, Cascadia Research Collective, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. During the May 2011 to May 2012 reporting period, three fin whales and one humpback whale were tagged off the Washington Coast. Approximately 43 days of animal VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:00 Oct 19, 2012 Jkt 229001 64493 movement data was obtained. More information detailing the results of the tagging study can be found in the Navy’s Year 2 Northwest Training Range Complex Monitoring Report (2012), which is posted on the NMFS permits Web site: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/ permits/incidental.htm. In conclusion, the Navy successfully implemented the monitoring requirements for the NWTRC by the end of the second monitoring period. Over the next three years, the Navy will continue to maintain the two HARPs that are currently in the water, while analyzing and presenting results from previously recorded data. Furthermore, the Navy will continue to report tagging results within the NWTRC from tags the Navy purchased in 2010, which have not yet been deployed. Dated: October 16, 2012. Helen M. Golde, Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Adaptive Management SUMMARY: The Navy’s adaptive management of the NWTRC monitoring program involves close coordination with NMFS to align marine mammal monitoring with the overall objectives of the monitoring plan. Monitoring under the 2011 LOA only represents the second year of a planned five-year effort. Therefore, it would be premature to draw detailed conclusions or initiate comprehensive monitoring changes before more monitoring and data analysis is complete. Authorization The Navy complied with the requirements of the 2011 LOA. Based on our review of the record, NMFS has determined that the marine mammal take resulting from the 2011 military readiness training and research activities falls within the levels previously anticipated, analyzed, and authorized. Further, the level of taking authorized from 2012 to 2015 for the Navy’s NWTRC activities is consistent with our previous findings made for the total taking allowed under the NWTRC regulations. Finally, the record supports NMFS’ conclusion that the total number of marine mammals taken by the 2012 to 2015 activities in the NWTRC will have no more than a negligible impact on the affected species or stocks of marine mammals and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of these species or stocks for taking for subsistence uses. Accordingly, NMFS has issued an LOA for Navy training and research activities conducted in the NWTRC from November 12, 2012, through November 9, 2015. PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [FR Doc. 2012–25980 Filed 10–19–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force Office of the Secretary of the Air Force Acceptance of Group Application Under Public Law 95–202 and Department of Defense Directive (DODD) 1000.20 AGENCY: The United States Air Force, DOD. ACTION: Notice. Under the provisions of Section 401, Public Law 95–202 and DoD Directive 1000.20, the Department of Defense Civilian/Military Service Review Board has accepted an application on behalf of a group known as: ‘‘Lycoming AVCO Vietnam Tech Reps.’’ Persons with information or documentation pertinent to the determination of whether the service of this group should be considered active military service to the Armed Forces of the United States are encouraged to submit such information or documentation within 60 days to the DoD Civilian/Military Service Review Board (DoD C/MSRB), 1500 West Perimeter Road, Suite 3700 Joint Base Andrews NAF, MD 20762–7002. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Bruce T. Brown, Executive Secretary, DoD C/MSRB, at 240–612–5364, bruce.brown@afncr.af.mil. Copies of documents or other materials submitted cannot be returned. Henry Williams, Jr., Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2012–25946 Filed 10–19–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–10–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. ACTION: Announcement of the time and location of the December 11–12, 2012 National Advisory Committee on AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\22OCN1.SGM 22OCN1

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[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 204 (Monday, October 22, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 64492-64493]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-25980]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC247


Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; U.S. Navy Training in the 
Northwest Training Range Complex

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of issuance of a Letter of Authorization.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as 
amended, and implementing regulations, notice is hereby given that NMFS 
has issued a 3-year Letter of Authorization (LOA) to the U.S. Navy 
(Navy) to take marine mammals incidental to Navy training and research 
activities to be conducted within the Northwest Training Range Complex 
(NWTRC), off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and northern California. 
These activities are considered military readiness activities pursuant 
to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended by the National 
Defense Authorization Act of 2004 (NDAA).

DATES: This Authorization is effective from November 12, 2012, through 
November 9, 2015.

ADDRESSES: The LOA and supporting documentation may be obtained by 
writing to P. Michael Payne, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 
East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, or by telephoning one of 
the contacts listed here.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian D. Hopper, Office of Protected 
Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) directs 
NMFS to allow, upon request, the incidental taking of marine mammals by 
U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial 
fishing), if certain findings are made by NMFS and regulations are 
issued. Under the MMPA, the term ``take'' means to harass, hunt, 
capture, or kill or to attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill marine 
mammals.
    Regulations governing the taking of marine mammals by the Navy 
incidental to training and research activities in the NWTRC became 
effective on November 10, 2010 (75 FR 69296), and remain in effect 
through November 9, 2015. For detailed information on this action, 
please refer to that document. These regulations include mitigation, 
monitoring, and reporting requirements and establish a framework to 
authorize incidental take through the issuance of LOAs. On February 1, 
2012, NMFS amended the regulations for 12 Navy Range Complexes, 
including NWTRC, to allow for multi-year LOAs (77 FR 4917).

Summary of Request

    On June 27, 2012, NMFS received a request from the Navy for an LOA 
for the taking of marine mammals incidental to training and research 
activities conducted within the NWTRC under regulations issued on 
November 10, 2010 (75 FR 69296). The Navy has complied with the 
measures required in 50 CFR 216.274 and 216.275, as well as the LOA 
issued on November 12, 2011, and submitted the reports and other 
documentation required in the final rule and the 2011 LOA.

Summary of Activity Under the 2011 LOA

    As described in the Navy's exercise reports (both classified and 
unclassified), from May 2, 2011 to May 1, 2012, the training activities 
conducted by the Navy were within the scope and amounts indicated in 
the 2011 LOA and the levels of take remain within the scope and amounts 
contemplated by the final rule.

Planned Activities and Estimated Take for 2012 Through 2015

    Between 2012 and 2015, the Navy expects to conduct the same type 
and amount of training identified in the 2011 LOA; however, the Navy 
does not plan to conduct any Sinking Exercises (SINKEXs). While the 
Navy requested the same amount of take that was authorized in the 2011 
LOA, NMFS has slightly adjusted those numbers to account for the 
exposure analysis contained in the Biological Opinion. However, the 
authorized take remains within the annual estimates analyzed in the 
final rule.

Summary of Monitoring, Reporting, and Other Requirements Under the 2011 
LOA Annual Exercise Reports

    The Navy submitted their classified and unclassified 2011 exercise 
reports within the required timeframes and the unclassified report is 
posted on NMFS Web site: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm. NMFS has reviewed both reports and they contain the 
information required by the 2011 LOA. The reports indicate the amounts 
of different types of training that

[[Page 64493]]

occurred from May 2, 2011, to May 1, 2012. The Navy conducted zero 
SINKEXs and all other exercise types conducted (classified data) fell 
within the amount indicated in the LOA.

2011 Monitoring

    The Navy conducted the monitoring required by the 2011 LOA and 
described in the Monitoring Plan, which included passive acoustic 
monitoring utilizing high-frequency acoustic recording packages (HARPs) 
and marine mammal tagging and tracking. The Navy submitted their 2011 
Monitoring Report, which is posted on NMFS' Web site (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm), within the required 
timeframe. Because data is gathered through May 1 and the report is due 
in July, some of the data analysis will occur in the subsequent year's 
report. Navy-funded marine mammal monitoring accomplishments within 
NWTRC for the past year consisted of the following:

Passive Acoustic Monitoring

    Two high-frequency acoustic monitoring packages (HARP) have been 
deployed by Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO) within the NWTRC. 
The first HARP was deployed in January 2011 approximately 25 nm from 
the coast in the southern part of NOAA's Olympic Coast National Marine 
Sanctuary. SIO has had HARPs in the same approximate location 
periodically since 2004. A second HARP was deployed in May 2011 near 
the edge of an underwater canyon west of the Olympic Coast National 
Marine Sanctuary boundary. Both HARPs were field serviced in early 
December 2011. Over 10,617 hours of passive acoustic data have been 
recorded. Subsequent analysis confirmed detection of the following 
marine mammals: blue whale, fin whale, humpback whale, nine toothed 
whale species, and sounds dominated by shipping noise.

Tagging

    Under the 2011 LOA, the Navy purchased a total of 10 satellite 
tracking tags suitable for deployment on a number of marine mammal 
species within the NWTRC. Field deployment for tagging marine mammals 
commenced 2011 as part of a three-year joint project between the Navy, 
NMFS, Cascadia Research Collective, Washington Department of Fish and 
Wildlife, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. During the May 
2011 to May 2012 reporting period, three fin whales and one humpback 
whale were tagged off the Washington Coast. Approximately 43 days of 
animal movement data was obtained. More information detailing the 
results of the tagging study can be found in the Navy's Year 2 
Northwest Training Range Complex Monitoring Report (2012), which is 
posted on the NMFS permits Web site: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm.
    In conclusion, the Navy successfully implemented the monitoring 
requirements for the NWTRC by the end of the second monitoring period. 
Over the next three years, the Navy will continue to maintain the two 
HARPs that are currently in the water, while analyzing and presenting 
results from previously recorded data. Furthermore, the Navy will 
continue to report tagging results within the NWTRC from tags the Navy 
purchased in 2010, which have not yet been deployed.

Adaptive Management

    The Navy's adaptive management of the NWTRC monitoring program 
involves close coordination with NMFS to align marine mammal monitoring 
with the overall objectives of the monitoring plan. Monitoring under 
the 2011 LOA only represents the second year of a planned five-year 
effort. Therefore, it would be premature to draw detailed conclusions 
or initiate comprehensive monitoring changes before more monitoring and 
data analysis is complete.

Authorization

    The Navy complied with the requirements of the 2011 LOA. Based on 
our review of the record, NMFS has determined that the marine mammal 
take resulting from the 2011 military readiness training and research 
activities falls within the levels previously anticipated, analyzed, 
and authorized. Further, the level of taking authorized from 2012 to 
2015 for the Navy's NWTRC activities is consistent with our previous 
findings made for the total taking allowed under the NWTRC regulations. 
Finally, the record supports NMFS' conclusion that the total number of 
marine mammals taken by the 2012 to 2015 activities in the NWTRC will 
have no more than a negligible impact on the affected species or stocks 
of marine mammals and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on 
the availability of these species or stocks for taking for subsistence 
uses. Accordingly, NMFS has issued an LOA for Navy training and 
research activities conducted in the NWTRC from November 12, 2012, 
through November 9, 2015.

    Dated: October 16, 2012.
Helen M. Golde,
Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-25980 Filed 10-19-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P