Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Frameworks for Early-Season Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations; Notice of Meetings, 45375-45404 [2013-17876]

Download as PDF Vol. 78 Friday, No. 144 July 26, 2013 Part III Department of the Interior tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 20 Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Frameworks for Early-Season Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations; Notice of Meetings; Proposed Rule VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4717 Sfmt 4717 E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 45376 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 20 [Docket No. FWS–HQ–MB–2013–0057; FF09M21200–134–FXMB1231099BPP0] RIN 1018–AY87 Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Frameworks for Early-Season Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations; Notice of Meetings Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule; supplemental. AGENCY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (hereinafter Service or we) is proposing to establish the 2013–14 early-season hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds. We annually prescribe frameworks, or outer limits, for dates and times when hunting may occur and the maximum number of birds that may be taken and possessed in early seasons. Early seasons may open as early as September 1, and include seasons in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These frameworks are necessary to allow State selections of specific final seasons and limits and to allow recreational harvest at levels compatible with population status and habitat conditions. This proposed rule also provides the final regulatory alternatives for the 2013–14 duck hunting seasons. DATES: Comments: You must submit comments on the proposed early-season frameworks by August 5, 2013. Meetings: The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee (SRC) will meet to consider and develop proposed regulations for late-season migratory bird hunting and the 2013 spring/ summer migratory bird subsistence seasons in Alaska on July 31 and August 1, 2013. 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–HQ–MB–2013– 0057. • U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–HQ– MB–2013–0057; 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 emailed or faxed comments. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Public Comments section below for more information). Meetings: The SRC will meet in room 200 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Arlington Square Building, 4401 N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA 22203. 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 2013 On April 9, 2013, we published in the Federal Register (78 FR 21200) 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. Major steps in the 2013–14 regulatory cycle relating to open public meetings and Federal Register notifications were also identified in the April 9 proposed rule. Further, we explained that all sections of subsequent documents outlining hunting frameworks and guidelines were organized under numbered headings. Those headings are: 1. Ducks A. General Harvest Strategy B. Regulatory Alternatives C. Zones and Split Seasons D. Special Seasons/Species Management i. September Teal Seasons ii. September Teal/Wood Duck Seasons iii. Black ducks iv. Canvasbacks v. Pintails vi. Scaup vii. Mottled ducks viii. Wood ducks ix. Youth Hunt x. Mallard Management Units xi. Other 2. Sea Ducks 3. Mergansers 4. Canada Geese A. Special Seasons B. Regular Seasons C. Special Late Seasons 5. White-fronted Geese 6. Brant 7. Snow and Ross’s (Light) Geese 8. Swans 9. Sandhill Cranes 10. Coots 11. Moorhens and Gallinules 12. Rails 13. Snipe 14. Woodcock 15. Band-tailed Pigeons PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 16. Doves 17. Alaska 18. Hawaii 19. Puerto Rico 20. Virgin Islands 21. Falconry 22. Other Subsequent documents will refer only to numbered items requiring attention. Therefore, it is important to note that we will omit those items requiring no attention, and remaining numbered items will be discontinuous and appear incomplete. On June 14, 2013, we published in the Federal Register (78 FR 35844) a second document providing supplemental proposals for early- and late-season migratory bird hunting regulations. The June 14 supplement also provided detailed information on the 2013–14 regulatory schedule and announced the SRC and Flyway Council meetings. This document, the third in a series of proposed, supplemental, and final rulemaking documents for migratory bird hunting regulations, deals specifically with proposed frameworks for early-season regulations and the regulatory alternatives for the 2013–14 duck hunting seasons. It will lead to final frameworks from which States may select season dates, shooting hours, and daily bag and possession limits for the 2013–14 season. We have considered all pertinent comments received through June 22, 2013, on the April 9 and June 14, 2013, rulemaking documents in developing this document. In addition, new proposals for certain early-season regulations are provided for public comment. Comment periods are specified above under DATES. We will publish final regulatory frameworks for early seasons in the Federal Register on or about August 16, 2013. Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee Meetings Participants at the June 19–20, 2013, meetings reviewed information on the current status of migratory shore and upland game birds and developed 2013– 14 migratory game bird regulations recommendations for these species plus regulations for migratory game birds in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands; special September waterfowl seasons in designated States; special sea duck seasons in the Atlantic Flyway; and extended falconry seasons. In addition, we reviewed and discussed preliminary information on the status of waterfowl. Participants at the previously announced July 31–August 1, 2013, meetings will review information on the current status of waterfowl and develop E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules recommendations for the 2013–14 regulations pertaining to regular waterfowl seasons and other species and seasons not previously discussed at the early-season meetings. In accordance with Department of the Interior policy, these meetings are open to public observation and you may submit comments on the matters discussed. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Population Status and Harvest The following paragraphs provide preliminary information on the status of waterfowl and information on the status and harvest of migratory shore and upland game birds excerpted from various reports. For more detailed information on methodologies and results, you may obtain complete copies of the various reports at the address indicated under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or from our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/ migratorybirds/ NewsPublicationsReports.html. Waterfowl Breeding and Habitat Survey Federal, provincial, and State agencies conduct surveys each spring to estimate the size of waterfowl breeding populations and to evaluate the conditions of the habitats. These surveys are conducted using fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and ground crews and encompass principal breeding areas of North America, covering an area over 2.0 million square miles. The traditional survey area comprises Alaska, Canada, and the northcentral United States, and includes approximately 1.3 million square miles. The eastern survey area includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Labrador, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, New York, and Maine, an area of approximately 0.7 million square miles. Overall, despite a delayed spring, habitat conditions during the 2013 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey were improved or similar to last year in many areas due to abundant winter or spring precipitation, with the exception of eastern Canada, the northeast United States, and portions of Montana and the Dakotas. The total pond estimate (Prairie Canada and United States combined) was 6.9±0.2 million. This was 24 percent higher than the 2012 estimate of 5.5±0.2 million ponds, and 35 percent higher than the long-term average (1974–2012) of 5.1±0.03 million ponds. Traditional Survey Area (U.S. and Canadian Prairies and Parklands) Spring was much delayed across the traditional survey area. Extreme southern Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba, and North Dakota received VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 abundant spring rainfall; most of this moisture came too late for the majority of waterfowl breeding this year, but could benefit habitats into 2014. The majority of the Canadian prairies had above-average winter precipitation; however, a poor frost seal was produced and little runoff was observed. The Parklands have improved from 2012, and the boreal region has benefitted from average annual precipitation. Most of the Canadian portion of the traditional survey area was rated as good or excellent this year, in contrast to the dry conditions last year across northern Saskatchewan and Alberta. The 2013 estimate of ponds in Prairie Canada was 4.6±0.2 million. This was 17 percent higher than last year’s estimate (3.9±0.1 million) and 32 percent higher than the 1961–2012 average (3.5±0.03 million). The U.S. prairies received recordbreaking snowfall in April; however, below-average early spring precipitation in parts of Montana and the eastern Dakotas resulted in fair to poor habitat conditions. The 2013 estimate of ponds in the north-central United States was 2.3±0.1 million, which was 41 percent higher than last year’s estimate (1.7±0.1 million) and 42 percent higher than the 1974–2012 average (1.7±0.02 million). Eastern Survey Area Spring temperatures in the eastern survey area were closer to normal than in the traditional survey area. Winter precipitation in southwestern Ontario, southern Quebec, and most of the Maritimes was below average. Eastern Canada experienced near record low winter precipitation but improved to the north and east into the Maritimes. Much of eastern Canada experienced excessive late-spring rains, which may have inhibited waterfowl production. Habitat conditions ranged from fair, in Maine and the southern Maritimes, to good in Newfoundland and Labrador. Status of Teal The estimate of blue-winged teal from the traditional survey area is 7.7 million. This count represents a 16 percent decrease from 2012, and is 60 percent above the 1955–2012 average. Sandhill Cranes Compared to increases recorded in the 1970s, annual indices to abundance of the Mid-Continent Population (MCP) of sandhill cranes have been relatively stable since the early 1980s. The preliminary spring 2013 index for sandhill cranes in the Central Platte River Valley (CPRV), Nebraska, uncorrected for visibility bias, was 756,217 birds. This estimate is PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 45377 significantly higher than the previous 5 years, which is likely due to late winter weather in North and South Dakota delaying any migration from the CPRV. The photo-corrected, 3-year average for 2010–12 was 504,658, which is above the established population-objective range of 349,000–472,000 cranes. All Central Flyway States, except Nebraska, allowed crane hunting in portions of their States during 2012–13. An estimated 7,239 hunters participated in these seasons, which was 7 percent lower than the number that participated in the previous season. Hunters harvested 14,887 MCP cranes in the U.S. portion of the Central Flyway during the 2012–13 seasons, which was 3 percent lower than the harvest for the previous year and 2 percent higher than the longterm average. The retrieved harvest of MCP cranes in hunt areas outside of the Central Flyway (Arizona, Pacific Flyway portion of New Mexico, Minnesota, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico combined) was 9,683 during 2012–13. The preliminary estimate for the North American MCP sport harvest, including crippling losses, was 27,966 birds, which was a 16 percent decrease from the previous year’s estimate. The longterm (1982–2012) trends for the MCP indicate that harvest has been increasing at a higher rate than population growth. The fall 2012 pre-migration survey for the Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) resulted in a count of 15,417 cranes. The 3-year average was 17,992 sandhill cranes, which is within the established population objective of 17,000–21,000 for the RMP. Hunting seasons during 2012–13 in portions of Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming resulted in a harvest of 1,080 RMP cranes, an 11 percent decrease from the previous year’s harvest. The Lower Colorado River Valley Population (LCRVP) survey results indicate a 16 percent increase from 2,646 birds in 2012, to 3,078 birds in 2013. The 3-year average is 2,713 LCRVP cranes, which is above the population objective of 2,500. The Eastern Population (EP) sandhill crane fall survey index (87,796) increased by 21 percent in 2012, and in Kentucky’s second hunting season 92 cranes were harvested, up from 50 cranes in the inaugural season. Woodcock Singing-ground and Wing-collection Surveys were conducted to assess the population status of the American woodcock (Scolopax minor). The Singing-ground Survey is intended to measure long-term changes in woodcock population levels. Singing-ground Survey data for 2013 indicate that the E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 45378 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules number of singing male woodcock per route in the Eastern and Central Management Regions were unchanged from 2012. There were no significant 10year trends in woodcock heard in the Eastern or Central Management Regions during 2003–13, which marks the tenth consecutive year that the 10-year trend estimate for the Eastern Region was stable and the third year that the 10-year trend was stable for the Central Region. Both management regions have a longterm (1968–2012) declining trend (¥1.0 percent per year in the Eastern Management Region and ¥0.8 percent per year in the Central Management Region). The Wing-collection Survey provides an index to recruitment. Wingcollection Survey data indicate that the 2012 recruitment index for the U.S. portion of the Eastern Region (1.65 immatures per adult female) was 1.9 percent less than the 2011 index, and 0.8 percent greater than the long-term (1963–2011) average. The recruitment index for the U.S. portion of the Central Region (1.66 immatures per adult female) was 8.0 percent greater than the 2011 index and 5.7 percent greater than the long-term (1963–2011) average. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Band-Tailed Pigeons Two subspecies of band-tailed pigeon occur north of Mexico, and are managed as two separate populations: Interior and Pacific Coast. Information on the abundance and harvest of band-tailed pigeons is collected annually in the United States and British Columbia. Abundance information comes from the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and the Mineral Site Survey (MSS, specific to the Pacific Coast Population). Harvest and hunter participation are estimated from the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP). The BBS provided evidence that the abundance of Pacific Coast band-tailed pigeons decreased (¥2.0 percent per year) over the long term (1968–2012). Trends in abundance during the recent 10- and 5year periods were inconclusive. The MSS, however, provided some evidence that abundance decreased during the recent 9-year (¥4.7 percent per year) and 5-year (¥4.0 percent per year) periods, but results were inconclusive. An estimated 3,900 hunters harvested 10,900 birds in 2012. For Interior band-tailed pigeons, the BBS provided evidence that abundance decreased (¥5.1 percent per year) over the long term (1968–2012). Trends in abundance during the recent 10- and 5year periods were inconclusive. An estimated 1,400 hunters harvested 2,900 birds in 2012. VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 Mourning Doves We annually summarize information collected in the United States on survival, recruitment, abundance and harvest of mourning doves. We report on trends in the number of doves heard per route from the Mourning Dove Callcount Survey (CCS), doves seen per route from the CCS, birds heard and seen per route from the all-bird BBS, and provide absolute abundance estimates based on band recovery and harvest data. Harvest and hunter participation are estimated from the HIP. The CCS-heard data suggested that abundance of doves decreased in all three dove management units (Eastern [EMU], Central [CMU], and Western [WMU]) over the long term (1966–2013); within the EMU, however, there is evidence that abundance decreased in hunt States but increased in non-hunt States. In the recent 10 years, there was no evidence for a change in mourning dove abundance in the EMU, but there was evidence of a decline in the CMU and WMU. Over the most recent two years, there was no evidence for a change in abundance in any of the management units. Over the long term, trends based on CCS-heard and CCSseen data were consistent in the CMU and WMU, but inconsistent in the EMU; CCS-seen data indicated that abundance increased in the EMU. BBS data suggested that the abundance of mourning doves over the long-term increased in the EMU and decreased in the CMU and WMU. Thus, over the long term, the three data sets provided consistent results for the CMU and WMU but not the EMU. Estimates of absolute abundance are available only since 2003, and indicate that there are about 349 million doves in the United States, and annual abundance during the recent 5 years appears stationary in the EMU and WMU, but may be declining in the CMU. However, abundance appeared to increase between 2011 and 2012 in the CMU and WMU. Based on a composite trend (weighted trend estimate using information from the CCS, BBS, and absolute abundance), the EMU and WMU populations were stationary over the previous 5 and 10 years, whereas the population in the CMU declined. Current (2012) HIP estimates for mourning dove total harvest, active hunters, and total days afield in the U.S. were 14,490,800 birds, 828,900 hunters, and 2,538,000 days afield. Harvest and hunter participation at the unit level were: EMU, 6,279,900 birds, 349,600 hunters, and 1,015,600 days afield; CMU, 6,361,600 birds, 338,700 hunters, PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 and 1,108,700 days afield; and WMU, 1,849,400 birds, 140,700 hunters, and 413,700 days afield. White-Winged Doves Two states harbor substantial populations of white-winged dove: Arizona and Texas. California and New Mexico also have substantial but smaller populations. Based on the preliminary HIP report for 2012, white-winged doves were harvested in 22 additional states. The Arizona Game and Fish Department monitors white-winged dove populations by means of a CCS to provide an annual index to population size. It runs concurrently with the Service’s Mourning Dove CCS. The index of mean number of white-winged doves heard per route from this survey peaked at 52.3 in 1968, but then declined until about 2000. The index had stabilized at around 25 doves per route in the last few years; however, for 2013, the mean number of doves heard per route was 16.8. Harvest of whitewinged doves in Arizona peaked in the late 1960s at approximately 740,000 birds, and has since declined and stabilized at around 100,000 birds; the preliminary 2012 HIP estimate of harvest was 86,000 birds. In Texas, white-winged doves continue to expand their breeding range. Nesting by white-winged doves has been recorded in most counties, with new colonies recently found in east Texas. Nesting is essentially confined to urban areas, but appears to be expanding to exurban areas. Concomitant with this range expansion has been a continuing increase in whitewinged dove abundance. A new distance-based sampling protocol was implemented for Central and South Texas in 2007, and has been expanded each year. In 2010, 4,650 points were surveyed statewide and the urban population of breeding white-winged doves was estimated at 4.6 million. Additionally, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has an operational white-winged dove banding program and has banded 52,001 white-winged doves from 2006 to 2010. The estimated harvest of white-wings in Texas in the 2012 season was 1,414,800 birds. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department continues to work to improve the scientific basis for management of white-winged doves. In California, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas BBS data indicate an increasing trend in the population indices between 1966 and 2011. In Arizona BBS data indicate population indices were stationary between 1966 and 2011. According to HIP surveys, the preliminary harvest estimates for the E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules 2012 season were 42,200 white-winged doves in California, and 79,500 in New Mexico. In 2012 white-winged doves were also harvested (range 100 to 8,700 per state) in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 White-Tipped Doves White-tipped doves occur primarily south of the United States-Mexico border; however, the species does occur in Texas. Monitoring information is presently limited. White-tipped doves are believed to be maintaining a relatively stable population in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Distance-based sampling procedures implemented in Texas are also providing limited information on whitetipped dove abundance. Texas is working to improve the sampling frame to include the rural Rio Grande corridor in order to improve the utility of population indices. Annual estimates for white-tipped dove harvest in Texas average between 3,000 and 4,000 birds. Review of Public Comments The preliminary proposed rulemaking (April 9 Federal Register) opened the public comment period for migratory game bird hunting regulations and announced the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2013–14 duck hunting season. Comments concerning early-season issues and the proposed alternatives are summarized below and numbered in the order used in the April 9 Federal Register document. Only the numbered items pertaining to earlyseasons issues and the proposed regulatory alternatives for which we received written comments are included. Consequently, the issues do not follow in consecutive numerical or alphabetical order. We received recommendations from all four Flyway Councils. Some recommendations supported continuation of last year’s frameworks. Due to the comprehensive nature of the annual review of the frameworks performed by the Councils, support for continuation of last year’s frameworks is assumed for items for which no recommendations were received. Council recommendations for changes in the frameworks are summarized below. We seek additional information and comments on the recommendations in this supplemental proposed rule. New proposals and modifications to previously described proposals are VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 discussed below. Wherever possible, they are discussed under headings corresponding to the numbered items in the April 9 Federal Register document. 1. Ducks Categories used to discuss issues related to duck harvest management are: (A) General Harvest Strategy; (B) Regulatory Alternatives, including specification of framework dates, season lengths, and bag limits; (C) Zones and Split Seasons; and (D) Special Seasons/ Species Management. The categories correspond to previously published issues/discussions, and only those containing substantial recommendations are discussed below. 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 9 Federal Register, we intend to continue use of Adaptive Harvest Management (AHM) to help determine appropriate duck-hunting regulations for the 2013–14 season. AHM is a tool that permits sound resource decisions in the face of uncertain regulatory impacts, as well as providing a mechanism for reducing that uncertainty over time. The current AHM protocol is used to evaluate four alternative regulatory levels based on the population status of mallards and their breeding habitat (i.e., abundance of ponds) (special hunting restrictions are enacted for certain species, such as canvasbacks, black ducks, scaup, and pintails). Unfortunately, this year a mechanical issue with the Service aircraft normally used in the Eastern Survey Area of the May Breeding Population and Habitat Survey prohibited the use of those aircraft to conduct this year’s survey. Lack of reliable data from Canadian survey strata (51–54, 56) precludes a reliable estimate of the Eastern mallard breeding population for 2013. As a result, an observed 2013 breeding population (BPOP) estimate will not be available for updating model weights and deriving the 2013 harvest policy. Therefore, we propose to predict the 2013 BPOP size based on the 2012 BPOP estimate and 2012 model weights, the 2012–13 harvest rate, and the current model set. That predicted value will be used in place of the observed value for this year, and that value will be compared with last year’s (2012) AHM harvest policy matrix to determine the optimal regulatory alternative for the 2013–14 regular duck seasons in the PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 45379 Atlantic Flyway. Further details on these proposed technical changes will be detailed in the forthcoming AHM report for the 2013 season. Regarding the Mississippi Flyway Council’s recommendation for a onestep constraint, we have repeatedly stated over the past several years that we believe that the new Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the migratory bird hunting program (see National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) section) is the appropriate venue for considering such changes in a more comprehensive manner that involves input from all Flyways. With the May 24, 2013, release of the new SEIS and the associated Record of Decision (RoD) contained in this rule, we believe that any recommendations for changes such as the inclusion of a one-step constraint should be considered within the context of the process that is being used to revise current AHM protocols. As AHM decision-making frameworks are modified, regulatory alternatives should be crafted by the Flyways in the context of those changes, including revised harvest management objectives and the demographic models that predict changes in waterfowl status due to those regulations. We will propose a specific regulatory alternative for each of the Flyways during the 2013–14 season after survey information becomes available later this summer. More information on AHM is located at http://www.fws.gov/ migratorybirds/CurrentBirdIssues/ Management/AHM/AHM-intro.htm. 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 2012– 13. Service Response: The regulatory alternatives proposed in the April 9 Federal Register will be used for the 2013–14 hunting season (see accompanying table at the end of this proposed rule for specifics). In 2005, the AHM regulatory alternatives were modified to consist only of the maximum season lengths, framework dates, and bag limits for total ducks and mallards. Restrictions for certain species within these frameworks that are not covered by existing harvest strategies will be addressed during the late-season regulations process. For those species with specific harvest strategies (canvasbacks, pintails, black ducks, and scaup), those strategies will again be used for the 2013–14 hunting season. E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 45380 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 D. Special Seasons/Species Management i. Special Teal Seasons Council Recommendations: The Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyway Councils recommended that the daily bag limit be increased from 4 to 6 teal in the aggregate during the Special September teal season. The Atlantic Flyway Council also recommended that we allow Maryland to adjust existing shooting hours during the Special September teal season from sunrise to one-half hour before sunrise on an experimental basis during 2013–15 seasons. Service Response: We appreciate the long-standing interest by the Flyway Councils to pursue additional teal harvest opportunity. With this interest in mind, in 2009, the Flyways and Service began to assess the collective results of all teal harvest, including harvest during special September seasons. The Teal Harvest Potential Working Group conducted this assessment work, which included a thorough assessment of the harvest potential for both blue-winged and green-winged teal, as well as an assessment of the impacts of current special September seasons on these two species. Cinnamon teal were subsequently included in this assessment. In the April 9, 2013, Federal Register, we stated that the final report of the Teal Harvest Potential Working Group indicated that additional opportunity could be provided for blue-winged teal and green-winged teal. Therefore, we support recommendations from the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyway Councils that the daily bag limit be increased from 4 to 6 teal in the aggregate during the Special September teal season in 2013–14. However, we will not support additional changes to the structure of the September teal season until specific management objectives for teal have been articulated and a comprehensive, cross-flyway approach to developing and evaluating other potential avenues by which additional teal harvest opportunity can be provided has been completed. We recognize this comprehensive approach may include addition of new hunting seasons (e.g., September teal seasons in northern States) as well as expanded hunting opportunities (e.g., season lengths, bag limits) in States with existing teal seasons. In order to assess the overall effects of these changes, an evaluation plan must be developed that includes specific objectives and is tailored to appropriately address concerns about potential impacts VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 resulting from the type of opportunity offered. We outlined guidance for conducting special season evaluations in SEIS 88 (Controlled Use of Special Regulations, pp 82–83) which should be used when developing the plan. We recognize that additional technical and coordination work will need to be accomplished to complete this task, thus, a small technical group comprised of members from the Flyway Councils and Service should be convened. We look forward to working with the Flyway Councils in undertaking the technical work needed to develop regulatory proposals, and would expect a progress report on such work at the February 2014 Service Regulations Committee meeting. In the interest of guiding State and Federal workloads and facilitating a timely process for providing additional teal harvest opportunity, we provide the following initial considerations. First, we have stated that the primary focus of special season regulations is underutilized species and/or stocks whose migration and distribution provide opportunities outside the time period in which regular seasons are held, and where such harvest can occur without appreciable impacts to nontarget species (SEIS 2013). Although the Teal Harvest Potential Working Group’s report documented the existence of additional blue-winged and greenwinged teal harvest opportunity, we believe the unique migration behavior of blue-winged teal presents the opportunity to isolate only that species both temporally and geographically, consistent with the intent of special regulations. Consequently, regulatory proposals to increase teal harvest should direct harvest primarily at blue-winged teal. Second, previous alternatives to provide additional teal harvest opportunities have included bonus teal, Special September duck seasons in Iowa, and Special September teal/wood duck seasons. Following implementation of the SEIS 88 regarding the sport hunting of migratory birds, all of these efforts were reviewed. Assessments of special hunting opportunities, including September teal seasons and bonus teal bags, were conducted. The results of these reviews indicated that the September teal seasons could adequately be assessed regarding their effects on migratory birds, but that bonus teal regulations could not. Thus, in the early 1990s, bonus teal bags were no longer offered in the annual duck regulations frameworks. With regard to Special September duck seasons, we have previously stated that mixed-species PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 special seasons (as defined in the context of SEIS 88) are not a preferred management approach, and that we do not wish to entertain refinements to this season or foster expansions of this type of season into other States (August 29, 1996, 61 FR 45838). Special September teal/wood duck seasons in Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky have been provided in lieu of Special September teal seasons and our preference at this time is to maintain that policy. If Flyway Councils wish to pursue these regulatory approaches to providing additional teal harvest opportunity, we request that they provide compelling information as to why such policies and approaches should be reinstated (i.e., bonus teal) or expanded/modified (i.e., September duck seasons or September teal/wood duck seasons). A copy of the teal working group’s final report is available on our Web site at either http://www.fws.gov/ migratorybirds, or at http:// www.regulations.gov. Regarding the regulations for this year, utilizing the criteria developed for the teal season harvest strategy, this year’s estimate of 7.7 million bluewinged teal from the traditional survey area indicates that a 16-day September teal season in the Atlantic, Central, and Mississippi Flyways is appropriate for 2013. Regarding the Atlantic Flyway Council’s request to allow Maryland to adjust existing shooting hours during the Special September teal season from sunrise to sunset to one-half hour before sunrise to sunset on an experimental basis, we agree. Since the inception of Maryland’s September teal season in 1998, Maryland has utilized shooting hours of sunrise to sunset. Maryland has agreed to conduct hunter performance surveys to assess the impacts of the expanded shooting hours on non-target waterfowl species. The hunter performance survey and assessment criteria will be specified in an agreement between Maryland and the Service. 2. Sea Ducks Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended that the Service amend the annual waterfowl hunting regulations at 50 CFR 20.105 to allow the shooting of crippled waterfowl from a motorboat under power in New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia in those areas described, delineated, and designated in their respective hunting regulations as special sea duck hunting areas. Service Response: We concur with the Atlantic Flyway’s recommendation and E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules note that this provision is already allowed in all other Atlantic Flyway States with special sea duck hunting areas. Sea duck hunting areas are typically large, open water areas (i.e., Atlantic Ocean) at least 800 yards from shore where it is not reasonable to use retrieving dogs. Further, all States with sea duck seasons have defined special sea duck hunting areas described, delineated, and designated in their respective hunting regulations as special sea duck hunting areas. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 4. Canada Geese A. Special Seasons Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended increasing the daily bag limit in Minnesota from 5 geese to 10 geese during the special September season in certain areas of the State. The Council further recommended that there be no possession limits for Canada geese in either special seasons or regular seasons (see 22. Other for further discussion on possession limits). Service Response: We agree with the Mississippi Flyway Council’s request to increase the Canada goose daily bag limit within certain areas that have experienced higher levels of agricultural depredations in Minnesota. The Special Early Canada Goose hunting season is generally designed to reduce or control overabundant resident Canada geese populations. Increasing the daily bag limit from 5 to 10 geese in certain areas may help reduce or control existing high populations of resident Canada geese and associated agricultural depredation problems. Nest and egg permits, airport removal, trap and euthanize, and agricultural shooting permits have all been used in efforts to address damage caused by overabundant Canada geese. In 2012, a record number of shooting permits (234) were issued to landowners dealing with excessive numbers of Canada geese causing agricultural damage. The breeding population of resident Canada geese in Minnesota has averaged 332,000 Canada geese, since 2001, which is 33 percent higher than the goal of 250,000 Canada geese. In 2012, the breeding population estimate was 434,000 Canada geese, which was the highest estimate on record and 74 percent above the population goal. Annual harvest of Canada geese in Minnesota has averaged 220,000 since 2001, with harvest during the September season averaging 98,000 Canada geese. Further, Minnesota has used a variety of methods to increase the harvest of resident Canada geese, including an expanded September VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 season (Sept. 1 through 22) and expanded opportunity during the regular season. Bag limits for Canada geese above 5 per day during the September season have not yet been used in the Mississippi Flyway during September seasons. Based on bag frequency data from Atlantic Flyway States that have utilized Canada goose daily bag limits of 15 during September seasons, increasing the daily bag limit from 5 to 10 is expected to increase Canada goose harvest approximately 16 percent during the September season. Thus, a daily bag limit of 10 geese implemented Statewide in Minnesota during the September season would be expected to increase the annual harvest from 98,000 to 114,000 during the September 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 the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin be September 16, 2013, and in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan be September 11, 2013. The Council further recommended that there be no possession limits for Canada geese throughout the Flyway (see 22. Other for further discussion on possession limits). Service Response: We concur with recommended framework opening dates. Michigan, beginning in 1998, and Wisconsin, beginning in 1989, have opened their regular Canada goose seasons prior to the Flyway-wide framework opening date to address resident goose management concerns in these States. As we have previously stated (73 FR 50678, August 27, 2008), we agree with the objective to increase harvest pressure on resident Canada geese in the Mississippi Flyway and will continue to consider the opening dates in both States as exceptions to the general Flyway opening date, to be reconsidered annually. The framework closing date for the early goose season in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is September 10. By changing the framework opening date for the regular season to September 11 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan there will be no need to close goose hunting in that area for 5 days and thus lose the ability to maintain harvest pressure on resident Canada geese. We note that the most recent resident Canada goose estimate for the Mississippi Flyway was a record high 1,767,900 geese during the spring of 2012, 8 percent higher than the 2011 estimate of 1,629,800 geese, and well above the Flyway’s population goal of 1.18 to 1.40 million birds. See 23. Other PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 45381 for further discussion on possession limits. 9. Sandhill Cranes Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended implementation of a 3year, experimental 60-day sandhill crane season in Tennessee beginning in the 2013–14 season. The Central Flyway Council recommended increasing the season length in North Dakota’s eastern sandhill crane hunting zone (Area 2) from 37 to 58 days in length. The Central and Pacific Flyway Councils recommend using the 2013 Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) sandhill crane harvest allocation of 771 birds as proposed in the allocation formula using the 3-year running average of fall population estimates for 2010–12. Service Response: We concur with the Mississippi Flyway Council’s recommendation concerning an experimental season in Tennessee. We note that a management plan for the Eastern Population of sandhill cranes was approved by the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway Councils in 2010. The plan contained provisions and guidelines for establishing hunting seasons in the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyway States if the fall population was above a minimum threshold of 30,000 cranes. The management plan also sets an overall harvest objective for an individual State to be no more than 10 percent of the 5-year average peak population estimate in that State. Since Tennessee’s 5-year average peak population count is 23,334 cranes, the State’s maximum allowable harvest would be 2,333 cranes. Tennessee’s proposed experimental season would limit the number of crane hunters to 775 with each hunter receiving 3 tags for a maximum allowed harvest of 2,325 cranes. Given Tennessee’s proposed harvest monitoring system, the maximum allowed harvest of 2,333 cranes cannot be exceeded. Additionally, we prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) on the hunting of EP sandhill cranes in Tennessee as allowed under the management plan. A copy of the draft EA and specifics of the two alternatives we analyzed can be found on our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/ migratorybirds, or at http:// www.regulations.gov. Our EA outlines two different approaches for assessing the ability of the EP crane population to withstand the level of harvest contained in EP management plan: (1) The potential biological removal allowance method; and (2) a simple population E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 45382 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules model using fall survey data and annual survival rates. The EA concluded that the anticipated combined level of harvest and crippling loss in Tennessee could be sustained by the proposed hunt. Furthermore, population modeling indicated that any harvest below 2,000 birds would still result in a growing population of EP cranes. We anticipate that the proposed action to allow a new experimental EP crane hunt in Tennessee, combined with the existing experimental EP crane season in Kentucky, would result in a potential take of 1,875 cranes, or only 2.7 percent of the EP population being harvested, which is lower than the percentage currently experienced in either the RMP or Mid-continent Population. Thus, we believe the proposed action would still allow positive growth of the EP sandhill crane population. We further believe that we have fulfilled our NEPA obligation with the preparation of an EA, and therefore an EIS is not required. The proposed crane hunt in Tennessee would begin in early December and continue until late January. These proposed season dates would begin approximately 2 to 3 weeks after whooping cranes are normally migrating through Tennessee and would reduce the likelihood that sandhill crane hunters would encounter whooping cranes. We further note that whooping cranes that migrate through Tennessee are part of the experimental nonessential population of whooping cranes (NEP). In 2001, the Service announced its intent to reintroduce whooping cranes (Grus americana) into historic habitat in the eastern United States with the intent to establish a migratory flock that would summer and breed in Wisconsin, and winter in westcentral Florida (66 FR 14107, March 9, 2001). We designated this reintroduced population as an NEP according to section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended (66 FR 33903, June 26, 2001). Mississippi and Atlantic Flyway States within the NEP area maintain their management prerogatives regarding the whooping crane. They are not directed by the reintroduction program to take any specific actions to provide any special protective measures, nor are they prevented from imposing restrictions under State law, such as protective designations, and area closures. We also support the Central Flyway Council’s recommendation to increase the season length for midcontinent sandhill cranes in the eastern zone of North Dakota (Area 2). However, we believe additional information recently published on the demographics of this population should be incorporated into VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 a revised management plan, and that the revised plan should include more specificity regarding how harvest opportunities should be expanded and restricted based on population status and harvest. Such a process is essential to successful, collaborative management of shared populations by the Service and the Flyways. We do not want to address regulatory changes in an incremental manner and believe codifying specifically in a management plan how such changes in harvest opportunities will occur would achieve that end. We also agree with the Central and Pacific Flyway Councils’ recommendations on the RMP sandhill crane harvest allocation of 771 birds for the 2013–14 season, as outlined in the RMP sandhill crane management plan’s harvest allocation formula. The objective for RMP sandhill cranes is to manage for a stable population index of 17,000–21,000 cranes determined by an average of the three most recent, reliable September (fall pre-migration) surveys. Additionally, the RMP management plan allows for the regulated harvest of cranes when the 3-year average of the population indices exceeds 15,000 cranes. In 2012, 15,417 cranes were counted in the September survey, a decrease from the previous year’s count of 17,494 birds. The most recent 3-year average for the RMP sandhill crane fall index is 17,992, a decrease from the previous 3-year average of 19,626. 14. Woodcock In 2011, we implemented an interim harvest strategy for woodcock for a period of 5 years (2011–15) (76 FR 19876, April 8, 2011). The interim harvest strategy provides a transparent framework for making regulatory decisions for woodcock season length and bag limit while we work to improve monitoring and assessment protocols for this species. Utilizing the criteria developed for the interim strategy, the 3-year average for the Singing Ground Survey indices and associated confidence intervals fall within the ‘‘moderate package’’ for both the Eastern and Central Management Regions. As such, a ‘‘moderate season’’ for both management regions for the 2013–14 woodcock hunting season is appropriate for 2013. Specifics of the interim harvest strategy can be found at http:// www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/ NewsPublicationsReports.html. 15. Band-Tailed Pigeons Council Recommendations: The Pacific Flyway Council recommended reducing the daily bag limit from 5 to 2 pigeons for the Interior Population. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Service Response: We have a longstanding practice of giving considerable deference to harvest strategies developed in cooperative Flyway management plans. However, a harvest strategy does not exist for the Interior Population of band-tailed pigeons even though the development of one was identified as a high priority when the management plan was adopted in 2001. Because the Pacific Flyway Council’s recommendation is not supported by the Central Flyway at this time, we recommend that the two Flyway Councils discuss this issue and advise us of the results of these deliberations in their respective recommendation packages from their meetings next March. It is our desire to see adoption of a mutually acceptable harvest strategy for this population as soon as possible. 16. 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 2013–14 mourning dove season in the States within the Central Management Unit. The Central Flyway Council previously recommended that the Special Whitewinged Dove Area be expanded to Interstate Highway 37 in the 2013–14 season. The Pacific Flyway Council recommended use of the ‘‘moderate’’ season framework for States in the Western Management Unit (WMU) population of doves, which represents no change from last year’s frameworks. The Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific Flyway Councils also recommended that the present interim mourning dove harvest strategy be replaced by a new national mourning dove harvest strategy for implementation beginning with the 2014–15 season. The new strategy uses a discrete logistic growth model based on information derived from the banding program, the Harvest Information Program, and the mourning dove parts collection survey to predict mourning dove population size in a Bayesian statistical framework. The method is similar to other migratory bird strategies already in place and E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules performs better than several other modeling strategies that were evaluated by the National Mourning Dove Task Force. The strategy uses mourning dove population thresholds to determine a regulation package for mourning doves for each year. The Central and Mississippi Flyway Councils did, however, recommend several changes to the strategy, including a reduced closure threshold, using a running 3-year average of abundance in assessing regulatory change, and holding regulations constant for 3 years. Service Response: In 2008, we accepted and endorsed the interim harvest strategies for the Central, Eastern, and Western Management Units (73 FR 50678, August 27, 2008). As we stated then, the interim mourning dove harvest strategies are a step towards implementing the Mourning Dove National Strategic Harvest Plan (Plan) that was approved by all four Flyway Councils in 2003. The Plan represents a new, more informed means of decisionmaking for dove harvest management besides relying solely on traditional roadside counts of mourning doves as indicators of population trend. However, recognizing that a more comprehensive, national approach would take time to develop, we requested the development of interim harvest strategies, by management unit, until the elements of the Plan can be fully implemented. In 2009, the interim harvest strategies were successfully employed and implemented in all three Management Units (74 FR 36870, July 24, 2009). We concur with the Atlantic and Pacific Flyway Councils’ recommendations that the National mourning dove harvest strategy, as developed by the Mourning Dove Task Force, be adopted this year for implementation in 2014–15 hunting season. This strategy would replace the Interim Harvest Strategies that have been in place since 2009. While we appreciate the Central and Mississippi Flyway Councils’ recommendations supporting implementation of the National mourning dove harvest, we do not support the changes proposed by the Central and Mississippi Flyway Councils specific to the Central Management Unit. More specifically, we do not support the reduced closure threshold, using a running 3-year average of abundance in assessing regulatory change, and holding regulations constant for at least 3 years. We support continued development and further evaluation of the modifications proposed by the Mississippi and Central Flyways, including appropriate closure levels for each management unit based VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 on objective biological criteria. The Mourning Dove Task Force is a useful venue for developing these issues for future consideration and potential modification to the National Strategy. This year, based on the interim harvest strategies and current population status, we agree with the recommended selection of the ‘‘moderate’’ season frameworks for doves in the Eastern, Central, and Western Management Units. Regarding the Central Flyway Council’s recommendation to expand the Special White-winged Dove Area in Texas, we expressed our support for this recommendation last year and addressed it in the August 30, 2012, Federal Register (77 FR 53118). The then-approved changes take effect this season. 22. Other Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended increasing the possession limits for sora and Virginia rails from 1 to 3 times the aggregate daily bag limit, consistent with the Council’s proposed bag limits for all other migratory game birds during normal established hunting seasons. The Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific Flyway Councils recommended increasing the possession limit from 2 to 3 times the daily bag limit for doves. The Pacific Flyway Council recommended increasing the possession limit from 2 to 3 times the daily bag limit for band-tailed pigeons; special September Canada goose seasons; snipe; falconry; and Alaska seasons for brant, sandhill cranes, and geese (except dusky Canada geese). The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that the Service increase the possession limit from 2 times to 3 times the daily bag limit for all migratory game bird species and seasons except for Canada geese, where they recommended that there be no possession limit, or other overabundant species for which no current possession limits are currently assigned (e.g., light geese), where there would continue to be no possession limits. The Council also recommended increasing the possession limits for sora and Virginia rails from 1 to 3 times the aggregate daily bag limit, consistent with other possession limit recommendations, and no change for those species that currently have permit hunts (e.g., cranes and swans). The Council recommends these changes be implemented beginning in the 2013–14 season. New and/or experimental seasons could have different possession limits if justified. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 45383 The Council further recommended that possession limits not apply at one’s personal permanent residence and specifically recommended language to modify 50 CFR 20.39 to do so. Lastly, the Central Flyway Council recommended that the Service develop a mechanism that allows not for profit community food distribution centers to exceed possession limits for Canada geese during the regular hunting season. Service Response: The issue of possession limits was first raised by the Flyway Councils in the summer of 2010. At that time, we stated that we were generally supportive of the Flyways’ interest in increasing the possession limits for migratory game birds and appreciated the discussions to frame this important issue (75 FR 58250, September 23, 2010). We also stated that we believed there were many unanswered questions regarding how this interest could be fully articulated in a proposal that satisfies the harvest management community, while fostering the support of the law enforcement community and informing the general hunting public. Thus, we proposed the creation of a cross-agency Working Group, chaired by the Service, and comprised of staff from the Service’s Migratory Bird Program, State Wildlife Agency representatives, and Federal and State law enforcement staff, to develop a recommendation that fully articulates a potential change in possession limits. This effort would include a discussion of the current status and use of possession limits, which populations and/or species/ species groups should not be included in any proposed modification of possession limits, potential law enforcement issues, and a reasonable timeline for the implementation of any such proposed changes. After discussions last year at the January SRC meeting, and March and July Flyway Council meetings, the Atlantic, Central, and Pacific Flyway Councils recommended that the Service increase the possession limit from 2 times to 3 times the daily bag limit for all migratory game bird species and seasons except for those species that currently have possession limits of less than 2 times the daily bag limit (e.g., some rail species), for permit hunts (e.g., cranes and swans), and for overabundant species for which no current possession limits are assigned (e.g., light geese), beginning in the 2013–14 season (77 FR 58444; September 20, 2012). These recommendations from the Councils were one such outgrowth of the efforts started in 2010. With the Mississippi Flyway Council’s recommendation and E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 45384 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules the additional input and recommendations from all four Flyway Councils from their March 2013 Council meetings, we believe the Flyway Councils’ consensus approach of moving from 2 times to 3 times the daily bag limit is appropriate for implementation beginning with the 2013–14 season. Thus, we propose to increase the possession limit for all species for which we currently have possession limits of twice the daily bag limit to three times the daily bag limit. We also propose to include sora and Virginia rails in this possession limit increase. Possession limits for other species and hunts for which the possession limit is equal to the daily bag limit would remain unchanged, as would permit hunts for species such as swans and some crane populations. Additionally, as we discussed in the April 9 and June 14 proposed rules, when our initial review of possession limits was instituted in 2010, we also realized that a review of possession limits could not be adequately conducted without expanding the initial review to include other possessionrelated regulations. In particular, it was our belief that any potential increase in the possession limits should be done in concert with a review and update of the wanton waste regulations in 50 CFR 20.25. We believed it prudent to review some of the long-standing sources of confusion (for both hunters and law enforcement) regarding wanton waste. A review of the current Federal wanton waste regulations, along with various State wanton waste regulations, has been recently completed, and we anticipate publishing a proposed rule this summer to revise 50 CFR 20.25. Lastly, we recognize that there are other important issues surrounding possession that need to be reviewed, such as termination of possession (as recommended by the Mississippi Flyway Council). However, that issue is a much larger and more complex review than the wanton waste regulations and the possession limit regulations. We anticipate starting a review of termination of possession regulations upon completion of changes to the wanton waste regulations. Regarding the Central Flyway Council’s recommendation to allow food banks to exceed possession limits for Canada geese, we note that this issue is outside the scope of this proposed rule. Such a proposal would require a change to 50 CFR 20.33 and would require a separate rulemaking process. Public Comments The Department of the Interior’s policy is, whenever possible, to afford VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 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 email 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, email 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. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 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 (EPA) on June 9, 1988, addresses NEPA compliance by the Service for issuance of the annual framework regulations for hunting of PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 migratory game bird species. We published a notice of availability in the Federal Register on June 16, 1988 (53 FR 22582), and our Record of Decision on August 18, 1988 (53 FR 31341). We also address NEPA compliance for waterfowl hunting frameworks through the annual preparation of separate environmental assessments, the most recent being ‘‘Duck Hunting Regulations for 2012–13,’’ with its corresponding August 23, 2012, finding of no significant impact. We will prepare another separate EA for 2013–14 waterfowl hunting frameworks this summer. 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), the Service announced its intent to develop a new supplemental environmental impact statement for the migratory bird hunting program. We held public scoping meetings in the spring of 2006, as announced in a March 9, 2006, Federal Register notice (71 FR 12216). We published the 2010 draft supplemental environmental impact statement in the Federal Register on July 9, 2010 (73 FR 39577). The public comment period closed on March 26, 2011. On May 31, 2013, we published a notice of availability in the Federal Register (78 FR 32686) announcing a Second Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Issuance of Annual Regulations Permitting the Hunting of Migratory Birds. The programmatic document was filed with the EPA on May 24, 2013, pursuant to the NEPA. The public review period ended July 1, 2013. Below is the Service’s Record of Decision (RoD) for the migratory bird hunting program, prepared pursuant to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations at 40 CFR 1505.2. We have provided it here in its entirety. This RoD was developed by the Service in compliance with the agency decisionmaking requirements of NEPA. The purpose of this RoD is to document the Service’s decision for the selection of an alternative for the issuance of annual regulations permitting the hunting of migratory birds. Alternatives have been fully described and evaluated in the May 2013 Second Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Issuance of Annual Regulations Permitting the Hunting of Migratory Birds. E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules This RoD is intended to: (a) State the Service’s decision, present the rationale for its selection, and describe its implementation; (b) identify the alternatives considered in reaching the decision; and (c) state whether all means to avoid or minimize environmental harm from implementation of the selected alternative have been adopted (40 CFR 1505.2). Record of Decision—Second Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Issuance of Annual Regulations Permitting the Hunting of Migratory Birds Through this Record of Decision (RoD), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) selects alternatives for the seven regulatory components considered for establishing annual regulations for the hunting of migratory birds in the United States. This RoD includes brief summaries of the alternatives considered, the public involvement process, and the rationale for selecting an alternative for each of the seven regulatory components considered, as described in the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS), for issuance of annual migratory bird hunting regulations. In all cases, the ‘‘preferred’’ alternative is also the environmentally preferred one. Description of the Seven Regulatory Components and Alternatives Considered Under Each tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 1. Schedule and Timing of the General Regulatory Process Promulgation of annual hunting regulations relies on a well-defined process of monitoring, data collection, and scientific assessment. At key points during that process, Flyway Technical Committees, Flyway Councils, and the public review and provide valuable input on technical assessments or other documents related to proposed regulatory frameworks. The Service then finalizes the frameworks and forwards them to the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks for final approval. After approval, each State selects its seasons, usually following its own schedule of public hearings and other deliberations. After State selections are completed, the Service adopts them as Federal regulations by publication in the Federal Register. Alternative 1: (no change alternative). Promulgate annual regulations using separate early and late season processes based on previous or current year VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 biological information and established harvest strategies. Alternative 2: (preferred alternative). Promulgate annual regulations using a single process for early and late seasons based on predictions derived from longterm biological information and established harvest strategies. Alternative 3: Promulgate biennial (or longer) regulations using separate early and late season processes. Alternative 4: Promulgate biennial (or longer) regulations using a single process for early and late seasons. Decision: The Service has selected Alternative 2 as described in the FSEIS for implementation. Alternative 2 is the most effective alternative for addressing key issues identified during the planning process and will best achieve the purposes and goals of the Service and States. Implementation of the preferred alternative is targeted for the 2015–16 regulations cycle. Factors Considered in Making the Decision: In reaching this decision, the Service reviewed and considered the following: Impacts identified in Chapter 6 of the draft and FSEIS; relevant issues, concerns, and opportunities presented by agencies, organizations, and individuals throughout the planning process, including comments on the draft and FSEIS; and other relevant factors, including statutory and regulatory guidance. The Service concludes that the impact of Alternative 2 on hunted populations of migratory birds compared to the no change alternative is likely to be minimal. Alternative 2 combines the current early and late season regulatory actions into a single process. Regulatory proposals will be developed using biological data from the preceding year(s), model predictions, or most recently accumulated data that are available at the time the proposals are being formulated. Individual harvest strategies will be modified using either data from the previous year(s) or model predictions because the current year’s data would not be available for many of the strategies. Considerable technical work will be necessary over a period of years to adjust the underlying biological models to the new regulatory time scale. During this transition period, harvest strategies and prescriptions will be modified to fit into the new regulatory schedule. These adjustments could be accomplished immediately upon adoption of the new process. Many existing regulatory prescriptions used for Canada geese and sandhill cranes currently work on this basis. The process will be somewhat less precise in some instances because population projections would be used instead of PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 45385 current-year status information. The use of population projections rather than current-year population estimates would add variability to the population estimate from which the regulations are based. However, the uncertainty associated with these status predictions will be accounted for and incorporated into the process. This uncertainty will not result in a disproportionately higher harvest rate for any stock, either annually or on a cumulative basis, because these regulations likely would become slightly more conservative due to the increased uncertainty of the population status. Additionally, under this alternative, the SRC will meet in March or April (exact dates would be determined in consultation with the four Flyway Councils). Proposed frameworks will be available for public review by early June. Final frameworks will be published by mid-August. The schedule proposed under Alternative 2 will allow 30–60 days for public input and comments (currently the comment period is as short as 10 days). The four Flyway Councils could meet only once instead of twice, and the SRC will meet twice a year, once in January and once in March-April, instead of the three times they currently convene. The reduced number of meetings could lower administrative costs by 40 percent per year and substantially lower the Service’s carbon footprint due to a decrease in travel and a reduction in the costs associated with the additional meetings. 2. Frequency of Review and Adoption of Duck Regulatory Packages Duck regulatory packages are the set of framework regulations that apply to the general duck hunting seasons. Packages include opening and closing dates, season lengths, daily bag limits, and shooting hours. Current regulatory packages contain a set of frameworks for each of the four flyways and a set of four regulatory alternatives: restrictive (relatively short seasons and low daily bag limits), moderate (intermediate season lengths and daily bag limits), liberal (longer seasons and higher daily bag limits), and closed. The differences in season lengths and daily bag limits among flyways reflect the historic differences in waterfowl abundance and hunter numbers in these regions. Each regulatory package has an associated target harvest rate, which is based on mallards since mallards are the most well-studied and most heavily harvested (nationally) of all duck species. Each year the adaptive harvest management (AHM) models are run, with the most up-to-date harvest survey data included, and one of the regulatory alternatives E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 45386 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules (i.e., closed, restrictive, moderate, or liberal) is selected based on the AHM process. These regulatory packages apply to all duck species except those for which specific individual harvest strategies exist or, in some cases, for species in which separate daily bag limits have been established. Daily bag limit restrictions within the general duck seasons are used to limit the harvest of certain less abundant species (e.g., American black duck, wood duck, mottled duck). Importantly, when employing the AHM approach, the regulatory packages should remain relatively constant over time, because the optimization process assumes that the expected harvest rates resulting from the various packages remains constant. However, the uncertainty in harvest rates from what is projected and what is realized in any given year is a component that is accounted for in the process; thus, there is room for modification. Recognizing the desire of many constituents to make adjustments to the basic packages, a regular process to review and incorporate possible modifications is necessary and appropriate. The intent, regardless of the alternative selected below, is to have the first open review and possible modification of these packages begin in the year following the finalization of the FSEIS. Alternative 1: (no change alternative). Regulatory packages adopted annually. Duck regulatory packages are currently reviewed and adopted on an annual basis (see above). This would continue under this alternative. Alternative 2: (preferred alternative). Establish regulatory packages for 5-year periods. A description of duck regulatory packages is provided above. Under this alternative, the set of regulatory packages would be adopted for a 5-year period instead of annually, and changes would be considered at the time of renewal. The first review period would coincide with the initial implementation of the proposed action. Decision: The Service has selected Alternative 2 as described in the FSEIS for implementation. Alternative 2 is the most effective alternative for addressing key issues identified during the planning process and will best achieve the purposes and goals of the Service and States. Implementation of the preferred alternative is targeted for the 2015–16 regulations cycle or as soon as is technically feasible. Factors Considered in Making the Decision: In reaching this decision, the Service reviewed and considered the following: Impacts identified in Chapter 6 of the draft and FSEIS; relevant issues, VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 concerns, and opportunities presented by agencies, organizations, and individuals throughout the planning process, including comments on the draft and FSEIS; and other relevant factors, including statutory and regulatory guidance. The Service concludes that Alternative 2 allowing review and adoption of regulatory packages every 5 years instead of annually is the best course of action balancing the need for consistent regulatory actions with the need for occasional adjustments. Adopting such a process will result in limited impacts on population status. Limiting changes to a 5-year interval is expected to result in an improvement over the current situation. The improvement should result because of the reduced variability in harvest rates that are expected when compared to allowing annual changes in the basic duck regulatory packages. Adopting packages annually as is presently done could increase variability, if the packages are actually changed annually. In fact, and in recognition of this problem, the Service has kept packages stable, although it reviews and adopts them each year. Alternative 2 will minimize the frequency of changes, thereby improving the learning potential under the AHM process, while still affording the option to adjust packages at regular intervals in recognition of changing bird status, environmental conditions, and socioeconomic changes. 3. Stock-Specific Harvest Strategies Harvest strategies have been developed for stocks deemed not biologically capable of sustaining the same harvest levels that jointly managed stocks are capable of sustaining, or whose migration and distribution do not conform to patterns followed by the most commonly harvested species. There also is a desire to have a known set of conditions under which regulations would be changed for species covered by these strategies. The formal strategies provide this information by describing abundance levels and other demographic factors that would result in changes in harvest opportunity. Stock-specific harvest strategies formally adopted by the Service include those for American black ducks, canvasbacks, northern pintails, and scaup. In addition, an interim harvest strategy was recently developed and proposed for approval for mourning doves starting with the 2014–15 hunting season. A draft harvest strategy for wood ducks may be developed and considered for adoption in the future. The Service has adopted stock-specific strategies for ducks and PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 mourning doves through the Federal Register process. Harvest guidelines for goose, swan and crane populations are addressed in flyway-specific management plans. Although these harvest guidelines are not formally adopted by the Service, the Service gives strong consideration to these plans when formulating annual regulatory proposals. Alternative 1: (no change, preferred alternative). Continue use of currently employed stock-specific harvest strategies and develop new strategies when necessary. Alternative 2: Significantly reduce the use of stock-specific harvest strategies. This action would be accomplished by reducing general seasons to a structure that can be sustained by more stocks than the existing aggregate structures are able to sustain. For example, a simplified set of regulations for general duck seasons would result in a reduction in the number of separate harvest strategies that would be needed for ducks (e.g., duck limits overall would be reduced to those appropriate for scaup or northern pintails, whichever of these required the most conservative regulations). Alternative 3: Expand the use of stock-specific harvest strategies to include most individual stocks. This alternative would lead to additional stock-specific regulations that would eventually result in separate hunting seasons for most, if not all, recognized stocks for which harvest is allowed. Decision: The Service has selected Alternative 1 as described in the FSEIS for implementation. Alternative 1 is the most effective alternative for addressing key issues identified during the planning process and will best achieve the purposes and goals of the Service and States. Implementation of the preferred alternative is targeted for the 2015–16 regulations cycle or as soon as is technically feasible. Factors Considered in Making the Decision: In reaching this decision, the Service reviewed and considered the following: Impacts identified in Chapter 6 of the draft and FSEIS; relevant issues, concerns, and opportunities presented by agencies, organizations, and individuals throughout the planning process, including comments on the draft and FSEIS; and other relevant factors, including statutory and regulatory guidance. The Service concludes that the use of stock-specific harvest strategies protects individual species deemed biologically incapable of sustaining the harvest levels imposed by the current AHM process based on mallard status. E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Alternative 1 reduces the risk of overharvesting specific stocks without unnecessarily reducing harvest opportunities on more abundant species. Alternative 1 allows hunters, businesses, and governments to plan for hunting expenses and regulations in advance, since it provides a set of conditions under which regulations would be changed, and the extent of change in those regulations. However, adding additional strategies could increase regulatory complexity because there could be new strategies and associated regulations developed, as needed, to address additional stocks of migratory birds. Any new strategies will also increase the cost of the annual regulatory process. Thus, new strategies will only be added when there is a clear need and after consultation with State partners. New strategies will be proposed, and the public will be provided opportunities for comment. The Service will continue the current policy of reviewing, revising and/or eliminating strategies to reflect changes in the status and technical understanding of the strategies that are in use. 4. Special Regulations Special regulations differ from stockspecific harvest strategies because they entail additional days of harvest opportunity outside the established frameworks for general seasons, but within the 107-day limit mandated by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703–712). Special regulations are employed to provide additional harvest opportunity on overabundant stocks, stocks that are lightly harvested and can sustain greater harvest pressure when harvest can be achieved without appreciable impacts to nontarget species, and/or stocks whose migration and distribution provide opportunities outside the time period in which regular seasons are held. An important tenet of special regulations is that harvest pressure can be effectively directed primarily at target stocks that can be temporally and geographically isolated so as to avoid nontarget take. Currently, special regulations include: (1) September teal seasons in the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyways; (2) September teal and wood duck seasons in Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee; (3) the special sea duck season along the Atlantic Coast; and (4) special regulations on overabundant resident Canada geese. The Service has required that States implementing special regulations conduct experiments that assess the biological impacts of those seasons on both target and non-target stocks. VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 Alternative 1: (no change alternative). No change to currently allowed special regulations. Maintain requirement for experimental evaluation of any proposed new special regulations and periodic assessments of the effects of special regulations to determine whether they are still justified. Alternative 2: (preferred alternative). Eliminate experimental evaluation requirements for special regulations on overabundant resident Canada geese, except for areas where previous evaluations indicate an unacceptable level of take of migrant Canada geese, and in areas which have not conducted evaluations where one could reasonably expect an unacceptable level of take of migrant Canada geese (e.g., areas in northern States). All special Canada goose seasons require Flyway Council endorsement, and Flyway Councils may request evaluations as part of the approval process if they believe such evaluations to be warranted. Additionally, if conditions are believed to have changed, new evaluations can be conducted for areas in which prior evaluations failed with respect to the take of migrant Canada geese. The Service may periodically re-evaluate existing special regulations for other species/stocks on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they are still justified, and will continue to require experiments for any other types of new special regulations. The Service will undertake a review of the Special harvest regulations in place for sea ducks. Decision: The Service has selected Alternative 2 as described in the FSEIS for implementation. Alternative 2 is the most effective alternative for addressing key issues identified during the planning process and will best achieve the purposes and goals of the Service and States. Implementation of the preferred alternative is targeted for the 2015–16 regulations cycle or as soon following as is technically feasible. Factors Considered in Making the Decision: In reaching this decision, the Service reviewed and considered the following: Impacts identified in Chapter 6 of the draft and FSEIS; relevant issues, concerns, and opportunities presented by agencies, organizations, and individuals throughout the planning process, including comments on the draft and FSEIS; and other relevant factors, including statutory and regulatory guidance. The Service concludes that several target populations will benefit from the biological review that would determine if special harvest opportunities were still warranted. In particular, special PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 45387 seasons for sea ducks and teal will be considered. Elimination of experimental season evaluations for overabundant resident Canada geese is not expected to alter their population status, but is expected to expedite actions designed to increase harvest of these birds. Sufficient experimentation already has been conducted, and the results indicate that these seasons will not endanger the resident geese. There are some risks to non-target migrant Canada goose populations; however, recent studies provide sufficient data regarding select areas where such seasons could pose a problem for non-target goose populations and those areas will be addressed on a case-by-case basis to ensure non-resident stocks are not negatively impacted. Alternative 2 could lead to increased administrative costs associated with the re-evaluation of the existing special regulations. The Service has historically reviewed special regulations when changes in status or environmental conditions suggest there is a reason to do so. This alternative continues that practice. Although there could be an initial increase in cost associated with such re-evaluations, there could also be financial savings associated with elimination of the experimental evaluation requirement for most resident Canada goose special regulations. Depending on findings, the results of those evaluations could lead to expansion of one or more of the current special duck seasons or establishment of additional special seasons, either of which would result in more hunting opportunity and the associated economic benefits. On the other hand, evaluations could lead to reduction or elimination of one or more current special seasons, resulting in reduced hunting opportunity and some negative impacts on local economies. Expediting the approval of additional special regulations for resident Canada geese would increase harvest and result in fewer of those birds, which in turn would reduce crop depredation and other conflicts caused by their overabundance. 5. Management Scale for the Harvest of Migratory Birds Management scale is defined as the geographic area in which stocks are monitored and harvest is managed. Determining the appropriate scale of harvest management is important for two primary reasons: (1) Scale determines the degree to which harvest regulations can differ geographically, and (2) management at smaller geographic scales commits management agencies to increased monitoring efforts E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 45388 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules on greater numbers of stocks of migratory birds. The finer the scale of management employed in harvest management, the higher the cost of monitoring to management agencies. The desire for smaller management scales is driven by the potential for increased harvest opportunity associated with more refined geographic management. Alternative 1: (no change, preferred alternative). Maintain the current scale of management for all migratory bird species. Under this alternative, ducks would be managed by flyway on the basis of three mallard stocks: Eastern, western, and mid-continent. For duck species that are covered by harvest strategies (e.g., pintails, scaup, and canvasbacks), the management scale would continue to be continental. New strategies would include geographic definitions of the applicable scale as part of their descriptions. American woodcock would continue to be managed as two units and mourning doves as three. Sandhill cranes, geese, tundra swans, and band-tailed pigeons would be managed as the currently defined individual populations. American black duck and wood duck seasons would remain as currently implemented. All geographic scales would be subject to periodic review and revision when new information becomes available, or if population distributions shift markedly in the future. This approach provides considerable allowances for differences in hunting opportunity based on geographic differences in population status and distribution, yet limits the number of different stocks that require individual monitoring to a manageable level. Alternative 2: Expand the existing management scale by reverting to a single continental management scale for population monitoring of ducks, mourning doves, and American woodcock. The existing harvestmanagement units (e.g., flyways, management units) would be maintained to account for regional differences in hunter numbers and harvest pressure. This alternative would establish a continental scale for the monitoring of migratory game birds and harvest management decisions. Regional differences in population status and trends would not be taken into account when making regulatory decisions. The only geographic differences in harvest opportunity would be based on the traditional differences that have been established among flyways and among/ between ducks, mourning dove, tundra VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 swan, and American woodcock management units. Alternative 3: Work to further geographically refine the scale of duck harvest management, and maintain existing management scales for other stocks. Monitoring programs would be established wherever sufficient biological evidence suggests further geographic refinement is possible for any stocks. The monitoring programs would allow for differential harvest regulations within the defined range of each stock. Conceptually, this would greatly increase the number of stocks for which separate regulations would be established independently. This could include subdividing the traditional management units of flyways (in the case of ducks), or the management units, in the case of mourning doves or American woodcock. Decision: The Service has selected Alternative 1 as described in the FSEIS for implementation. Alternative 1 is the most effective alternative for addressing key issues identified during the planning process and will best achieve the purposes and goals of the Service and States. Implementation of the preferred alternative is targeted for the 2015–16 regulations cycle or as soon following as is technically feasible. Factors Considered in Making the Decision: In reaching this decision, the Service reviewed and considered the following: Impacts identified in Chapter 6 of the draft and FSEIS; relevant issues, concerns, and opportunities presented by agencies, organizations, and individuals throughout the planning process, including comments on the draft and FSEIS; and other relevant factors, including statutory and regulatory guidance. The Service concludes that Alternative 1 ensures sustainable continental populations of mallards and other duck species that are the subjects of species-specific harvest strategies, because those harvest strategies are supported by adequate population size, harvest monitoring programs, and other relevant population statistics. Likewise, geese, mourning doves, woodcock, sandhill cranes, tundra swans, and band-tailed pigeons are monitored at their current management scales to ensure sustainability. However, if distinct subpopulations exist within any of the currently defined populations/ species, and have demographics that differ greatly from the managementscale-wide average, those subpopulations could undergo undetected growth or decline under Alternative 1. Coots, gallinules, moorhens, snipe, and rails will be PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 managed at the continental scale under this alternative. Alternative 1 maintains the traditional approach of allowing for recognition of geographic variation in harvest opportunity while maintaining a relatively limited number of geographic units that must be monitored and managed separately. Costs of monitoring and managing at the current scale have been considered acceptable to the public and the cooperating management agencies. To date, the level of hunting opportunity that this alternative affords has been adequate to satisfy migratory bird hunters in most years. This approach represents a compromise between recognition of existing natural variation in abundance and distribution with the costs associated with managing at more refined geographic scales, such as is considered in Alternative 3 for this component. 6. Zones and Split Seasons A zone is a geographic area or portion of a State, with a contiguous boundary, for which an independent season may be selected. A split is a situation where a season is broken into two or more segments with a closed period between segments. The combination of zones and split seasons allows a State to maximize harvest opportunity within the Federal frameworks without exceeding the number of days allowed for a given season. Guidelines for the use of zones and splits have been formalized for ducks and doves. For these species, States select zone/split configurations for 5-year periods. After each 5 year period, States have the opportunity to change their configurations within the provisions of the guidelines. The use of zones and split seasons for other migratory game birds is handled on a case-by-case basis. Refer to Chapter 2 of the FSEIS for a more in-depth description of zones and splits. Alternative 1: (no change, preferred alternative). Continue the current use of zones and split seasons and the 5-year schedule for consideration of changes for ducks and doves within established zones/splits guidelines. Goose and crane zones may be adjusted annually. Alternative 2: Allow annual adjustments to zone/split-season configurations for all migratory game birds. Decision: The Service has selected Alternative 1 as described in the FSEIS for implementation. Alternative 1 is the most effective alternative for addressing key issues identified during the planning process and will best achieve the purposes and goals of the Service and States. Implementation of the preferred alternative is targeted for the E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 2015–16 regulations cycle or as soon following as is technically feasible. Factors Considered in Making the Decision: In reaching this decision, the Service reviewed and considered the following: Impacts identified in Chapter 6 of the draft and FSEIS; relevant issues, concerns, and opportunities presented by agencies, organizations, and individuals throughout the planning process, including comments on the draft and FSEIS; and other relevant factors, including statutory and regulatory guidance. The Service recognizes that the use of zones and split seasons results in some additional harvest, but the incremental impacts of each State’s existing zone and split season configuration on the overall harvest of ducks and doves are not anticipated to be significant at the population level. However, most duck and dove populations are stable or increasing, indicating that within the context of other framework regulations, current zone and split season configurations are not adversely impacting those populations. When reductions in harvest are necessary, they are accomplished through framework regulations, taking into account the effects of existing zone and split season configurations. Thus, Alternative 1 is not expected to have any measurable impacts on target duck and dove populations compared to current practice. The use of zones and split seasons enables States to better maximize hunting opportunity, thereby encouraging participation in migratory bird hunting and resulting in increased benefits to local economies. Alternative 1 would maintain those benefits at current levels. Limiting the frequency of potential changes to the proposed 5-year interval for zone/split-season configurations continues to be somewhat less responsive to public desires for adjustments, but there is no evidence that this has impacted hunter participation negatively. States incur some costs associated with contacting their hunting publics to assess their desires with regard to zone locations and dates for split seasons, primarily through public meetings and surveys. 7. Subsistence-Harvest Regulatory Process Regulations governing the subsistence harvest of migratory birds provide a framework that enables the continuation of customary and traditional subsistence uses of migratory birds in Alaska. These regulations are subject to annual review and are developed under a comanagement process involving the Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Alaska Native VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 representatives. This annual review process establishes regulations that prescribe frameworks for dates when harvesting of birds may occur, species that can be taken, and methods and means that are excluded from use. Alternative 1: (no change, preferred alternative). Allow a spring-summer subsistence hunting season with regulations necessary to ensure the longterm conservation of the migratory bird resource. Under this alternative, the Service would allow a spring-summer harvest of migratory birds. The harvest would, to the extent possible, be consistent with the customary and traditional subsistence harvest of migratory birds by Alaskan indigenous inhabitants, while providing for the long-term sustained use of the migratory bird resource. Egg gathering would be consistent with the customary and traditional subsistence harvest of eggs by Alaskan indigenous inhabitants. Only bird populations that are determined to be capable of supporting this sustained use would be open to harvest. In general, the Service will consider the following actions when establishing subsistence hunting regulations consistent with the long-term conservation of species open to subsistence harvest. The species open to harvest will be determined annually based on conservation status and a determination that harvest is consistent with long-term conservation. The secondary consideration of the Service in establishing subsistence harvest regulations will be to preserve the customary and traditional practices of the rural residents of Alaska to the maximum extent possible after ensuring the long-term conservation of species harvested. The third consideration of the Service in establishing subsistence harvest regulations will be to determine that the proposed harvest is consistent with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), as modified by amendments to the Protocols of Migratory Bird Treaties with Canada and Mexico. A summary of the potential management tools that could be employed to regulate subsistence harvest under these actions is as follows: (A) Closures to protect nesting birds. For all species, the Service will require at least a 30 day closure to protect nesting birds. In-season closures of a minimum of 30 days will be set for each region to protect nesting birds. The closed period will apply every year; however, the dates of the closures may be altered to adapt to changes in the nesting cycle of birds. Regions may have different closures for different PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 45389 taxonomic groups. Closures may be set in advance in regulation or may be set in-season, based upon data collected by field biologists and subsistence users. In the case of closures set in-season, the dates will be announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director (or designee) and then broadcast widely. (B) Species closures to all harvest. Seasons for certain species may be closed when there is a conservation concern. Harvest will be resumed when the species recovers to a status sufficient to ensure sustainability. (C) Species closures to egg-gathering. Species may be closed to egg-gathering when there is a conservation concern. Egg harvest may be resumed when the species recovers to a status sufficient to ensure sustainability. (D) Special area closure. A defined area may be closed to all harvest of a species when there is a conservation concern. The closure may be lifted when the species has recovered. A defined area also may be closed to all harvest of a particular species when the species in question has not been traditionally harvested or when the Regional Council, which represents the land in question, recommends the closure. (E) Early season closure. A season may be closed early for a defined area to protect birds staging during migration when there is a conservation concern or the birds are vulnerable to excessive harvest. (F) Establishment of a community bag limit. A community or regional bag limit may be implemented only in the case in which the affected species would otherwise be closed to all harvest. (G) Special opening for a specified area. Special openings (i.e., egg gathering) may be created to allow for the customary and traditional use of a migratory bird species in areas that are not otherwise eligible to participate in subsistence harvest seasons. Such areas will be recommended by Regional Councils, and such recommendations will be based on evidence of customary and traditional subsistence harvest practices. (H) Individual bag limits. Personal harvester bag limits may be imposed in the case of a declining population of a species that would otherwise be closed, or an increasing population that is closed to harvest and would not otherwise be open. Personal bag limits will be employed only after consultation with respective regional management bodies affected through the Alaska Migratory Bird Co-management Council (AMBCC) process described in Appendix 6 of the FEIS. E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 45390 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules Alternative 2: Open a spring-summer subsistence hunting season that incorporates fall-winter hunting season regulations (e.g., bag limits, shooting hours). Under this alternative, the Service would replace the current springsummer subsistence hunting season regulations with regulations consistent with the fall harvest. Methods and means required for fall-winter hunting would be adopted, daily bag limits for individual hunters would be imposed, and fall regulations concerning exchange and transport of birds and bird parts would apply. Egg gathering would, to the extent possible, be consistent with the customary and traditional subsistence harvest of eggs by Alaskan indigenous inhabitants. The regulations at title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 20, subpart C (Taking), apply in this alternative with the exception of closed seasons (§ 20.22). 50 CFR 20, subpart D (Possession), also applies with the exception of § 20.32. The final frameworks approved by the Secretary of the Interior for the Pacific Flyway season would apply with the following exceptions: (1) Shooting hours would not be specified; (2) the season would be from April 2 through August 31; and (3) the closed periods to protect nesting birds described in Alternative 1 would apply. Decision: The Service has selected Alternative 1 as described in the FSEIS for implementation. Alternative 1 is the most effective alternative for addressing key issues identified during the planning process and will best achieve the purposes and goals of the Service and States. Implementation of the preferred alternative is targeted for the 2015–16 regulations cycle or as soon following as is technically feasible. Factors Considered in Making the Decision: In reaching this decision, the Service reviewed and considered the following: Impacts identified in Chapter 6 of the draft and FSEIS; relevant issues, concerns, and opportunities presented by agencies, organizations, and individuals throughout the planning process, including comments on the draft and FSEIS; and other relevant factors, including statutory and regulatory guidance. The preamble of the 1995 Protocol to the Migratory Bird Treaty Amendment states, ‘‘. . . it is not the intent of this Protocol to cause significant increases in the take of species of migratory birds relative to their continental population sizes.’’ The use of household surveys of subsistence harvest areas will enable tracking of participation in subsistence harvest activities and the extent of the VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 take. Should the harvest significantly increase relative to continental populations, then regulatory actions would be taken to keep harvest in compliance with the 1995 Protocol. Under Alternative 1, law enforcement efforts will be carried out commensurate with threats to migratory bird populations to ensure that compliance is achieved to maintain harvest at prescribed levels. The subsistence economies of rural areas will continue to benefit from an important food resource which is traditionally shared among members of a community. In addition, this alternative promotes the establishment of regulations recommended by the AMBCC which, along with the regional management bodies, is the embodiment of the comanagement process. Greater compliance with regulations developed through the co-management process is more likely than with Alternative 2. By being part of the regulatory process, subsistence hunters, and those who share in the harvest, will have a sense of ownership, leading to greater compliance. An example of how this has worked in the past is the population recovery of cackling Canada geese that nest on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, in Alaska. The institution of the Hooper Bay agreement in advance of the Migratory Bird Treaty Amendment led to reduced subsistence and reduced fallwinter harvests of cackling Canada geese and helped the population recover from a low of about 25,000 birds to the current population size of approximately 200,000. Participation in the regulatory process also is anticipated to result in greater participation in the harvest survey. Broader coverage of the survey would lead to more accurate harvest data because it would include the harvest of more of the subsistence hunter population. Avoiding and Minimizing Environmental Harm The above seven components of the annual regulatory process are designed to continue and improve the longstanding Federal process for establishing regulations for hunting migratory birds. These components continue the process that has maintained this harvest consistent with the long-term conservation of the species and populations that are harvested. The preferred alternatives selected for these components will reduce the administrative burden and thus reduce the carbon footprint by both Federal and State government agencies by reducing the number of meetings conducted annually to establish these PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 regulations. In addition, changing the timing of the meetings will now allow for a greater opportunity for public input and consideration of the proposed annual regulations. The changed process will also allow for periodic modifications of the underlying regulatory packages at 5-year intervals to better address potential changes in environmental conditions caused by factors other than hunting (i.e., climate change). These changes are possible due to improved technical understanding gained through decades of monitoring and assessment of these biological systems. This process will not alter the continued development and improvement of such understanding of the biological systems, as monitoring and assessment will continue on an annual basis. Public Involvement Scoping is the initial stage of the EIS process used to design the extent and influence of an action. On September 8, 2005, the Service published a notice of intent to prepare a SEIS on the hunting of migratory birds under the authority of the MBTA (70 FR 53376). On March 9, 2006, the Service subsequently announced a total of 12 public meetings to be held across the United States to accept public and agency comment on the scope and relevant issues that should be addressed in the SEIS (71 FR 12216). In addition to these public meetings, the Service established a Web site to receive electronic comments and solicited written comments. The Service also announced that all comments received from the initiation of this process on September 8, 2005 until May 30, 2006 would be considered in the development of the SEIS. Subsequent to the conclusion of the scoping process a draft FSEIS was developed based on the input received. The draft FSEIS was released for public comment on June 7, 2010 and comments were accepted until March 31, 2011. All comments on the draft FSEIS were carefully considered in the preparation of the FSEIS and the selection of the preferred alternatives for the seven regulatory components considered. Findings Required by Other Laws and Executive Orders Please see the Other Required Determinations section of this document. For Further Information Questions about the FSEIS may be directed to Robert Trost, Pacific Flyway Representative, Division of Migratory Bird Management, Portland, OR 97232; phone number (503) 231–6162, fax E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules number (503) 231–6228, and email: robert_trost@fws.gov. Supporting References U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2010. Issuance of Annual Regulations Permitting the hunting of Migratory Birds: Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC. 296 pages. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2013. Issuance of Annual Regulations Permitting the hunting of Migratory Birds: Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC. 418 pages. Note: This RoD and supporting references are available for public review from the Pacific Flyway Representative, Division of Migratory Bird Management at (503) 231– 6162, or the Chief, Division of Migratory Bird Management, at (703) 358–1714. Alternately, you may write to: Pacific Flyway Representative, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 911 NE 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97232. Paperwork Reduction Act This proposed rule does not contain any new information collection requirement that require approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. OMB has reviewed and approved the information collection requirements associated with migratory bird surveys and assigned the following OMB control numbers: • 1018–0010—Mourning Dove Call Count Survey (expires 4/30/2015). • 1018–001—North American Woodcock Singing Ground Survey (expires 4/30/2015). • 1018–0023—Migratory Bird Surveys (expires 4/30/2015). Includes Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program, Migratory Bird Hunter Surveys, Sandhill Crane Survey, and Parts Collection Survey. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Other Required Determinations Based on our most current data, we are affirming our required determinations made in earlier proposed rules; for descriptions of our actions to ensure compliance with the following statutes and Executive Orders, see our April 9, and June 14, 2013, proposed rules (78 FR 21200 and 78 FR 35844): • Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563); • Endangered Species Act; • Regulatory Flexibility Act; VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 • Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act; • Unfunded Mandates Reform Act; • Executive Orders 12630, 12988, 13175, 13132, and 13211. 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 2013–14 hunting season are authorized under 16 U.S.C. 703–712 and 16 U.S.C. 742 a–j. Dated: July 18, 2013. Rachel Jacobson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. Proposed Regulations Frameworks for 2013–14 Early Hunting Seasons on Certain Migratory Game Birds Pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and delegated authorities, the Department of the Interior approved the following proposed frameworks, which prescribe season lengths, bag limits, shooting hours, and outside dates within which States may select hunting seasons for certain migratory game birds between September 1, 2013, and March 10, 2014. These frameworks are summarized below. General Dates: All outside dates noted below are inclusive. Shooting and Hawking (taking by falconry) Hours: Unless otherwise specified, from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset daily. Possession Limits: Unless otherwise specified, possession limits are three times the daily bag limit. Permits: For some species of migratory birds, the Service authorizes the use of permits to regulate harvest or monitor their take by sport hunters, or both. In many cases (e.g., tundra swans, some sandhill crane populations), the Service determines the amount of harvest that may be taken during hunting seasons during its formal regulations-setting process, and the States then issue permits to hunters at levels predicted to result in the amount of take authorized by the Service. Thus, although issued by States, the permits would not be valid unless the Service approved such take in its regulations. These Federally authorized, Stateissued permits are issued to individuals, and only the individual whose name and address appears on the permit at the time of issuance is authorized to take migratory birds at levels specified in the permit, in accordance with provisions of both Federal and State regulations governing the hunting season. The PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 45391 permit must be carried by the permittee when exercising its provisions and must be presented to any law enforcement officer upon request. The permit is not transferrable or assignable to another individual, and may not be sold, bartered, traded, or otherwise provided to another person. If the permit is altered or defaced in any way, the permit becomes invalid. Flyways and Management Units Waterfowl Flyways Atlantic Flyway—includes Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. Mississippi Flyway—includes Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Central Flyway—includes Colorado (east of the Continental Divide), Kansas, Montana (Counties of Blaine, Carbon, Fergus, Judith Basin, Stillwater, Sweetgrass, Wheatland, and all counties east thereof), Nebraska, New Mexico (east of the Continental Divide except the Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation), North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming (east of the Continental Divide). Pacific Flyway—includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and those portions of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming not included in the Central Flyway. Management Units Mourning Dove Management Units Eastern Management Unit—All States east of the Mississippi River, and Louisiana. Central Management Unit—Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. Western Management Unit—Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Woodcock Management Regions Eastern Management Region— Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. Central Management Region— Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 45392 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Other geographic descriptions are contained in a later portion of this document. Definitions Dark geese: Canada geese, whitefronted geese, brant (except in Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, and the Atlantic Flyway), and all other goose species, except light geese. Light geese: Snow (including blue) geese and Ross’s geese. Waterfowl Seasons in the Atlantic Flyway In the Atlantic Flyway States of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, where Sunday hunting is prohibited Statewide by State law, all Sundays are closed to all take of migratory waterfowl (including mergansers and coots). tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Special September Teal Season Outside Dates: Between September 1 and September 30, an open season on all species of teal may be selected by the following States in areas delineated by State regulations: Atlantic Flyway—Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Mississippi Flyway—Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee. Central Flyway—Colorado (part), Kansas, Nebraska (part), New Mexico (part), Oklahoma, and Texas. Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not to exceed 16 consecutive hunting days in the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyways. The daily bag limit is 6 teal. Shooting Hours: Atlantic Flyway—One-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Mississippi and Central Flyways— One-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except in the States of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio, where the hours are from sunrise to sunset. Special September Duck Seasons Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee: In lieu of a special September teal season, a 5-consecutive-day season may be selected in September. The daily bag limit may not exceed 4 teal and wood ducks in the aggregate, of which no more than 2 may be wood ducks. Iowa: Iowa may hold up to 5 days of its regular duck hunting season in VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 September. All ducks that are legal during the regular duck season may be taken during the September segment of the season. The September season segment may commence no earlier than the Saturday nearest September 20 (September 21). The daily bag and possession limits will be the same as those in effect last year but are subject to change during the late-season regulations process. The remainder of the regular duck season may not begin before October 10. Special Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days Outside Dates: States may select 2 days per duck-hunting zone, designated as ‘‘Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days,’’ in addition to their regular duck seasons. The days must be held outside any regular duck season on a weekend, holidays, or other non-school days when youth hunters would have the maximum opportunity to participate. The days may be held up to 14 days before or after any regular duck-season frameworks or within any split of a regular duck season, or within any other open season on migratory birds. Daily Bag Limits: The daily bag limits may include ducks, geese, mergansers, coots, and gallinules and will be the same as those allowed in the regular season. Flyway species and area restrictions will remain in effect. Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Participation Restrictions: Youth hunters must be 15 years of age or younger. In addition, an adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the youth hunter into the field. This adult may not duck hunt but may participate in other seasons that are open on the special youth day. Scoters, Eiders, and Long-Tailed Ducks (Atlantic Flyway) Outside Dates: Between September 15 and January 31. Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not to exceed 107 days, with a daily bag limit of 7, singly or in the aggregate, of the listed sea duck species, of which no more than 4 may be scoters. Daily Bag Limits During the Regular Duck Season: Within the special sea duck areas, during the regular duck season in the Atlantic Flyway, States may choose to allow the above sea duck limits in addition to the limits applying to other ducks during the regular duck season. In all other areas, sea ducks may be taken only during the regular open season for ducks and are part of the regular duck season daily bag (not to exceed 4 scoters) and possession limits. Areas: In all coastal waters and all waters of rivers and streams seaward PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 from the first upstream bridge in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York; in any waters of the Atlantic Ocean and in any tidal waters of any bay which are separated by at least 1 mile of open water from any shore, island, and emergent vegetation in New Jersey, South Carolina, and Georgia; and in any waters of the Atlantic Ocean and in any tidal waters of any bay which are separated by at least 800 yards of open water from any shore, island, and emergent vegetation in Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia; and provided that any such areas have been described, delineated, and designated as special sea duck hunting areas under the hunting regulations adopted by the respective States. Special Early Canada Goose Seasons Atlantic Flyway General Seasons A Canada goose season of up to 15 days during September 1–15 may be selected for the Eastern Unit of Maryland. Seasons not to exceed 30 days during September 1–30 may be selected for Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York (Long Island Zone only), North Carolina, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. Seasons may not exceed 25 days during September 1–25 in the remainder of the Flyway. Areas open to the hunting of Canada geese must be described, delineated, and designated as such in each State’s hunting regulations. Daily Bag Limits: Not to exceed 15 Canada geese. Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except that during any general season, shooting hours may extend to one-half hour after sunset if all other waterfowl seasons are closed in the specific applicable area. Mississippi Flyway General Seasons Canada goose seasons of up to 15 days during September 1–15 may be selected, except in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, where the season may not extend beyond September 10, and in Minnesota, where a season of up to 22 days during September 1–22 may be selected. The daily bag limit may not exceed 5 Canada geese, except in designated areas of Minnesota where the daily bag limit may not exceed 10 Canada geese. Areas open to the hunting of Canada geese must be described, delineated, and designated as such in each State’s hunting regulations. A Canada goose season of up to 10 consecutive days during September 1– E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules 10 may be selected by Michigan for Huron, Saginaw, and Tuscola Counties, except that the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, Shiawassee River State Game Area Refuge, and the Fish Point Wildlife Area Refuge will remain closed. The daily bag limit may not exceed 5 Canada geese. Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except that during September 1–15 shooting hours may extend to one-half hour after sunset if all other waterfowl seasons are closed in the specific applicable area. Wyoming may select an 8-day season on Canada geese during the period September 1–15. This season is subject to the following conditions: A. Where applicable, the season must be concurrent with the September portion of the sandhill crane season. B. A daily bag limit of 3, with season and possession limits of 9, will apply to the special season. Areas open to hunting of Canada geese in each State must be described, delineated, and designated as such in each State’s hunting regulations. Central Flyway Regular Goose Seasons Regular goose seasons may open as early as September 11 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and September 16 in Wisconsin and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Season lengths, bag and possession limits, and other provisions will be established during the late-season regulations process. General Seasons In Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas, Canada goose seasons of up to 30 days during September 1–30 may be selected. In Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, Canada goose seasons of up to 15 days during September 1–15 may be selected. The daily bag limit may not exceed 5 Canada geese, except in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, where the daily bag limit may not exceed 8 Canada geese and in North Dakota and South Dakota, where the daily bag limit may not exceed 15 Canada geese. Areas open to the hunting of Canada geese must be described, delineated, and designated as such in each State’s hunting regulations. Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except that during September 1–15 shooting hours may extend to one-half hour after sunset if all other waterfowl seasons are closed in the specific applicable area. Pacific Flyway tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 General Seasons California may select a 9-day season in Humboldt County during the period September 1–15. The daily bag limit is 2. Colorado may select a 9-day season during the period of September 1–15. The daily bag limit is 4. Oregon may select a special Canada goose season of up to 15 days during the period September 1–15. In addition, in the NW Goose Management Zone in Oregon, a 15-day season may be selected during the period September 1–20. Daily bag limits may not exceed 5 Canada geese. Idaho may select a 7-day season during the period September 1–15. The daily bag limit is 2. Washington may select a special Canada goose season of up to 15 days during the period September 1–15. Daily bag limits may not exceed 5 Canada geese. VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 Sandhill Cranes Regular Seasons in the Mississippi Flyway Outside Dates: Between September 1 and February 28. Hunting Seasons: A season not to exceed 37 consecutive days may be selected in the designated portion of northwestern Minnesota (Northwest Goose Zone). Daily Bag Limit: 2 sandhill cranes. Permits: Each person participating in the regular sandhill crane season must have a valid Federal or State sandhill crane hunting permit. Experimental Seasons in the Mississippi Flyway Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 31. Hunting Seasons: A season not to exceed 30 consecutive days may be selected in Kentucky and a season not to exceed 60 consecutive days may be selected in Tennessee. Daily Bag Limit: Not to exceed 2 daily and 2 per season in Kentucky. Not to exceed 3 daily and 3 per season in Tennessee. Permits: Each person participating in the regular sandhill crane season must have a valid Federal or State sandhill crane hunting permit. Other Provisions: Numbers of permits, open areas, season dates, protection plans for other species, and other provisions of seasons must be consistent with the management plan and approved by the Mississippi Flyway Council. Regular Seasons in the Central Flyway Outside Dates: Between September 1 and February 28. PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 45393 Hunting Seasons: Seasons not to exceed 37 consecutive days may be selected in designated portions of Texas (Area 2). Seasons not to exceed 58 consecutive days may be selected in designated portions of the following States: Colorado, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Seasons not to exceed 93 consecutive days may be selected in designated portions of the following States: New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Daily Bag Limits: 3 sandhill cranes, except 2 sandhill cranes in designated portions of North Dakota (Area 2) and Texas (Area 2). Permits: Each person participating in the regular sandhill crane season must have a valid Federal or State sandhill crane hunting permit. Special Seasons in the Central and Pacific Flyways Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming may select seasons for hunting sandhill cranes within the range of the Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) subject to the following conditions: Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 31. Hunting Seasons: The season in any State or zone may not exceed 30 consecutive days. Bag limits: Not to exceed 3 daily and 9 per season. Permits: Participants must have a valid permit, issued by the appropriate State, in their possession while hunting. Other Provisions: Numbers of permits, open areas, season dates, protection plans for other species, and other provisions of seasons must be consistent with the management plan and approved by the Central and Pacific Flyway Councils, with the following exceptions: A. In Utah, 100 percent of the harvest will be assigned to the RMP quota; B. In Arizona, monitoring the racial composition of the harvest must be conducted at 3-year intervals; C. In Idaho, 100 percent of the harvest will be assigned to the RMP quota; and D. In New Mexico, the season in the Estancia Valley is experimental, with a requirement to monitor the level and racial composition of the harvest; greater sandhill cranes in the harvest will be assigned to the RMP quota. Special Seasons in the Pacific Flyway Arizona may select a season for hunting sandhill cranes within the range of the Lower Colorado River Population (LCR) of sandhill cranes, subject to the following conditions: Outside Dates: Between January 1 and January 31. E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 45394 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules Hunting Seasons: The season may not exceed 3 days. Bag limits: Not to exceed 1 daily and 1 per season. Permits: Participants must have a valid permit, issued by the appropriate State, in their possession while hunting. Other provisions: The season is experimental. Numbers of permits, open areas, season dates, protection plans for other species, and other provisions of seasons must be consistent with the management plan and approved by the Pacific Flyway Council. Common Moorhens and Purple Gallinules Outside Dates: Between September 1 and the last Sunday in January (January 26) in the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyways. States in the Pacific Flyway have been allowed to select their hunting seasons between the outside dates for the season on ducks; therefore, they are late-season frameworks, and no frameworks are provided in this document. Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Seasons may not exceed 70 days in the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyways. Seasons may be split into 2 segments. The daily bag limit is 15 common moorhens and purple gallinules, singly or in the aggregate of the two species. Zoning: Seasons may be selected by zones established for duck hunting. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Rails Outside Dates: States included herein may select seasons between September 1 and the last Sunday in January (January 26) on clapper, king, sora, and Virginia rails. Hunting Seasons: Seasons may not exceed 70 days, and may be split into 2 segments. Daily Bag Limits: Clapper and King Rails—In Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, 10, singly or in the aggregate of the two species. In Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, 15, singly or in the aggregate of the two species. Sora and Virginia Rails—In the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyways and the Pacific Flyway portions of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming, 25 rails, singly or in the aggregate of the two species. The season is closed in the remainder of the Pacific Flyway. Common Snipe Outside Dates: Between September 1 and February 28, except in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, where the season must end no later than January 31. Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Seasons may not exceed 107 days and may be split into two segments. The daily bag limit is 8 snipe. Zoning: Seasons may be selected by zones established for duck hunting. American Woodcock Outside Dates: States in the Eastern Management Region may select hunting seasons between October 1 and January 31. States in the Central Management Region may select hunting seasons between the Saturday nearest September 22 (September 21) and January 31. Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Seasons may not exceed 45 days in the Eastern Region and 45 days in the Central Region. The daily bag limit is 3. Seasons may be split into two segments. Zoning: New Jersey may select seasons in each of two zones. The season in each zone may not exceed 36 days. Band-Tailed Pigeons Pacific Coast States (California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada) Outside Dates: Between September 15 and January 1. Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 9 consecutive days, with a daily bag limit of 2 bandtailed pigeons. Zoning: California may select hunting seasons not to exceed 9 consecutive days in each of two zones. The season in the North Zone must close by October 3. Four-Corners States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah) Outside Dates: Between September 1 and November 30. Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 30 consecutive days, with a daily bag limit of 5 bandtailed pigeons. Zoning: New Mexico may select hunting seasons not to exceed 20 consecutive days in each of two zones. The season in the South Zone may not open until October 1. Doves Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 15, except as otherwise provided, States may select hunting seasons and daily bag limits as follows: Eastern Management Unit Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 70 days, with a PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 daily bag limit of 15 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate. Zoning and Split Seasons: States may select hunting seasons in each of two zones. The season within each zone may be split into not more than three periods. Regulations for bag and possession limits, season length, and shooting hours must be uniform within specific hunting zones. Central Management Unit For all States except Texas: Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 70 days, with a daily bag limit of 15 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate. Zoning and Split Seasons: States may select hunting seasons in each of two zones. The season within each zone may be split into not more than three periods. Texas: Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 70 days, with a daily bag limit of 15 mourning, whitewinged, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate, of which no more than 2 may be white-tipped doves. Zoning and Split Seasons: Texas may select hunting seasons for each of three zones subject to the following conditions: A. The hunting season may be split into not more than two periods, except in that portion of Texas in which the special white-winged dove season is allowed, where a limited take of mourning and white-tipped doves may also occur during that special season (see Special White-winged Dove Area). B. A season may be selected for the North and Central Zones between September 1 and January 25; and for the South Zone between the Friday nearest September 20 (September 20), but not earlier than September 17, and January 25. C. Except as noted above, regulations for bag and possession limits, season length, and shooting hours must be uniform within each hunting zone. Special White-winged Dove Area in Texas: In addition, Texas may select a hunting season of not more than 4 days for the Special White-winged Dove Area of the South Zone between September 1 and September 19. The daily bag limit may not exceed 15 white-winged, mourning, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate, of which no more than 2 may be mourning doves and no more than 2 may be white-tipped doves. Western Management Unit Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington—Not more than 30 E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 consecutive days, with a daily bag limit of 10 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate. Arizona and California—Not more than 60 days, which may be split between two periods, September 1–15 and November 1–January 15. In Arizona, during the first segment of the season, the daily bag limit is 10 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate. During the remainder of the season, the daily bag limit is 10 mourning doves. In California, the daily bag limit is 10 mourning and whitewinged doves in the aggregate. Alaska Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 26. Hunting Seasons: Alaska may select 107 consecutive days for waterfowl, sandhill cranes, and common snipe in each of 5 zones. The season may be split without penalty in the Kodiak Zone. The seasons in each zone must be concurrent. Closures: The hunting season is closed on emperor geese, spectacled eiders, and Steller’s eiders. Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Ducks—Except as noted, a basic daily bag limit of 7 ducks. Daily bag limits in the North Zone are 10, and in the Gulf Coast Zone, they are 8. The basic limits may include no more than 1 canvasback daily and may not include sea ducks. In addition to the basic duck limits, Alaska may select sea duck limits of 10 daily, singly or in the aggregate, including no more than 6 each of either harlequin or long-tailed ducks. Sea ducks include scoters, common and king eiders, harlequin ducks, long-tailed ducks, and common and red-breasted mergansers. Light Geese—A basic daily bag limit of 4. Dark Geese—A basic daily bag limit of 4. Dark-goose seasons are subject to the following exceptions: A. In Units 5 and 6, the taking of Canada geese is permitted from September 28 through December 16. B. On Middleton Island in Unit 6, a special, permit-only Canada goose season may be offered. A mandatory goose identification class is required. Hunters must check in and check out. The bag limit is 1 daily and 1 in possession. The season will close if incidental harvest includes 5 dusky Canada geese. A dusky Canada goose is any dark-breasted Canada goose (Munsell 10 YR color value five or less) with a bill length between 40 and 50 millimeters. C. In Units 6–B, 6–C, and on Hinchinbrook and Hawkins Islands in VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 Unit 6–D, a special, permit-only Canada goose season may be offered. Hunters must have all harvested geese checked and classified to subspecies. The daily bag limit is 4 daily. The Canada goose season will close in all of the permit areas if the total dusky goose (as defined above) harvest reaches 40. D. In Units 9, 10, 17, and 18, dark goose limits are 6 per day. Brant—A daily bag limit of 2. Common snipe—A daily bag limit of 8. Sandhill cranes—Bag limit of 2 in the Southeast, Gulf Coast, Kodiak, and Aleutian Zones, and Unit 17 in the Northern Zone. In the remainder of the Northern Zone (outside Unit 17), bag limit of 3. Tundra Swans—Open seasons for tundra swans may be selected subject to the following conditions: A. All seasons are by registration permit only. B. All season framework dates are September 1–October 31. C. In Game Management Unit (GMU) 17, no more than 200 permits may be issued during this operational season. No more than 3 tundra swans may be authorized per permit, with no more than 1 permit issued per hunter per season. D. In Game Management Unit (GMU) 18, no more than 500 permits may be issued during the operational season. Up to 3 tundra swans may be authorized per permit. No more than 1 permit may be issued per hunter per season. E. In GMU 22, no more than 300 permits may be issued during the operational season. Each permittee may be authorized to take up to 3 tundra swans per permit. No more than 1 permit may be issued per hunter per season. F. In GMU 23, no more than 300 permits may be issued during the operational season. No more than 3 tundra swans may be authorized per permit, with no more than 1 permit issued per hunter per season. Hawaii Outside Dates: Between October 1 and January 31. Hunting Seasons: Not more than 65 days (75 under the alternative) for mourning doves. Bag Limits: Not to exceed 15 (12 under the alternative) mourning doves. Note: Mourning doves may be taken in Hawaii in accordance with shooting hours and other regulations set by the State of Hawaii, and subject to the applicable provisions of 50 CFR part 20. PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 45395 Puerto Rico Doves and Pigeons Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 15. Hunting Seasons: Not more than 60 days. Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Not to exceed 20 Zenaida, mourning, and white-winged doves in the aggregate, of which not more than 10 may be Zenaida doves and 3 may be mourning doves. Not to exceed 5 scaly-naped pigeons. Closed Seasons: The season is closed on the white-crowned pigeon and the plain pigeon, which are protected by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Closed Areas: There is no open season on doves or pigeons in the following areas: Municipality of Culebra, Desecheo Island, Mona Island, El Verde Closure Area, and Cidra Municipality and adjacent areas. Ducks, Coots, Moorhens, Gallinules, and Snipe Outside Dates: Between October 1 and January 31. Hunting Seasons: Not more than 55 days may be selected for hunting ducks, common moorhens, and common snipe. The season may be split into two segments. Daily Bag Limits: Ducks—Not to exceed 6. Common moorhens—Not to exceed 6. Common snipe—Not to exceed 8. Closed Seasons: The season is closed on the ruddy duck, white-cheeked pintail, West Indian whistling duck, fulvous whistling duck, and masked duck, which are protected by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The season also is closed on the purple gallinule, American coot, and Caribbean coot. Closed Areas: There is no open season on ducks, common moorhens, and common snipe in the Municipality of Culebra and on Desecheo Island. Virgin Islands Doves and Pigeons Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 15. Hunting Seasons: Not more than 60 days for Zenaida doves. Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Not to exceed 10 Zenaida doves. Closed Seasons: No open season is prescribed for ground or quail doves or pigeons. Closed Areas: There is no open season for migratory game birds on Ruth Cay (just south of St. Croix). Local Names for Certain Birds: Zenaida dove, also known as mountain dove; bridled quail-dove, also known as E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 45396 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules Barbary dove or partridge; common ground-dove, also known as stone dove, tobacco dove, rola, or tortolita; scalynaped pigeon, also known as red-necked or scaled pigeon. Ducks Outside Dates: Between December 1 and January 31. Hunting Seasons: Not more than 55 consecutive days. Daily Bag Limits: Not to exceed 6. Closed Seasons: The season is closed on the ruddy duck, white-cheeked pintail, West Indian whistling duck, fulvous whistling duck, and masked duck. Special Falconry Regulations Falconry is a permitted means of taking migratory game birds in any State meeting Federal falconry standards in 50 CFR 21.29. These States may select an extended season for taking migratory game birds in accordance with the following: Extended Seasons: For all hunting methods combined, the combined length of the extended season, regular season, and any special or experimental seasons must not exceed 107 days for any species or group of species in a geographical area. Each extended season may be divided into a maximum of 3 segments. Framework Dates: Seasons must fall between September 1 and March 10. Daily Bag Limits: Falconry daily bag limits for all permitted migratory game birds must not exceed 3 birds, singly or in the aggregate, during extended falconry seasons, any special or experimental seasons, and regular hunting seasons in all States, including those that do not select an extended falconry season. Regular Seasons: General hunting regulations, including seasons and hunting hours, apply to falconry in each State listed in 50 CFR 21.29. Regular season bag limits do not apply to falconry. The falconry bag limit is not in addition to gun limits. Area, Unit, and Zone Descriptions Doves tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Alabama South Zone—Baldwin, Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, and Mobile Counties. North Zone—Remainder of the State. California White-winged Dove Open Areas— Imperial, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 Florida Northwest Zone—The Counties of Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, Washington, Leon (except that portion north of U.S. 27 and east of State Road 155), Jefferson (south of U.S. 27, west of State Road 59 and north of U.S. 98), and Wakulla (except that portion south of U.S. 98 and east of the St. Marks River). South Zone—Remainder of State. Louisiana the south shore of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel to the Gulf of Mexico. Central Zone—That portion of the State lying between the North and South Zones. Band-Tailed Pigeons California North Zone—Alpine, Butte, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, and Trinity Counties. South Zone—The remainder of the State. North Zone—That portion of the State north of a line extending east from the Texas border along State Highway 12 to U.S. Highway 190, east along U.S. 190 to Interstate Highway 12, east along Interstate 12 to Interstate Highway 10, then east along Interstate Highway 10 to the Mississippi border. South Zone—The remainder of the State. New Mexico Mississippi Western Washington—The State of Washington excluding those portions lying east of the Pacific Crest Trail and east of the Big White Salmon River in Klickitat County. North Zone—That portion of the State north and west of a line extending west from the Alabama State line along U.S. Highway 84 to its junction with State Highway 35, then south along State Highway 35 to the Louisiana State line. South Zone—The remainder of Mississippi. Texas North Zone—That portion of the State north of a line beginning at the International Bridge south of Fort Hancock; north along FM 1088 to TX 20; west along TX 20 to TX 148; north along TX 148 to I–10 at Fort Hancock; east along I–10 to I–20; northeast along I–20 to I–30 at Fort Worth; northeast along I– 30 to the Texas–Arkansas State line. South Zone—That portion of the State south and west of a line beginning at the International Bridge south of Del Rio, proceeding east on U.S. 90 to State Loop 1604 west of San Antonio; then south, east, and north along Loop 1604 to Interstate Highway 10 east of San Antonio; then east on I–10 to Orange, Texas. Special White-winged Dove Area in the South Zone—That portion of the state south and west of a line beginning at the International Toll Bridge in Del Rio; then northeast along U.S. Highway 277 Spur to Highway 90 in Del Rio; thence east along U.S. Highway 90 to State Loop 1604; thence along Loop 1604 south and east to Interstate Highway 37; thence south along Interstate Highway 37 to U.S. Highway 181 in Corpus Christi; thence north and east along U.S. 181 to the Corpus Christi Ship Channel, thence eastwards along PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 North Zone—North of a line following U.S. 60 from the Arizona State line east to I–25 at Socorro and then south along I–25 from Socorro to the Texas State line. South Zone—The remainder of the State. Washington Woodcock New Jersey North Zone—That portion of the State north of NJ 70. South Zone—The remainder of the State. Special September Canada Goose Seasons Atlantic Flyway Connecticut North Zone—That portion of the State north of I–95. South Zone—The remainder of the State. Maryland Eastern Unit—Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties; and that part of Anne Arundel County east of Interstate 895, Interstate 97 and Route 3; that part of Prince George’s County east of Route 3 and Route 301; and that part of Charles County east of Route 301 to the Virginia State line. Western Unit—Allegany, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery, and Washington Counties and that part of Anne Arundel County west of Interstate 895, Interstate 97 and Route 3; that part of Prince George’s County west of Route 3 and Route 301; and that part of Charles County west of Route 301 to the Virginia State line. E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules Massachusetts Western Zone—That portion of the State west of a line extending south from the Vermont border on I–91 to MA 9, west on MA 9 to MA 10, south on MA 10 to U.S. 202, south on U.S. 202 to the Connecticut border. Central Zone—That portion of the State east of the Berkshire Zone and west of a line extending south from the New Hampshire border on I–95 to U.S. 1, south on U.S. 1 to I–93, south on I– 93 to MA 3, south on MA 3 to U.S. 6, west on U.S. 6 to MA 28, west on MA 28 to I–195, west to the Rhode Island border; except the waters, and the lands 150 yards inland from the high-water mark, of the Assonet River upstream to the MA 24 bridge, and the Taunton River upstream to the Center St.–Elm St. bridge will be in the Coastal Zone. Coastal Zone—That portion of Massachusetts east and south of the Central Zone. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 New York Lake Champlain Zone—The U.S. portion of Lake Champlain and that area east and north of a line extending along NY 9B from the Canadian border to U.S. 9, south along U.S. 9 to NY 22 south of Keesville; south along NY 22 to the west shore of South Bay, along and around the shoreline of South Bay to NY 22 on the east shore of South Bay; southeast along NY 22 to U.S. 4, northeast along U.S. 4 to the Vermont border. Eastern Long Island Goose Area (North Atlantic Population (NAP) High Harvest Area)—That area of Suffolk County lying east of a continuous line extending due south from the New York-Connecticut boundary to the northernmost end of Roanoke Avenue in the Town of Riverhead; then south on Roanoke Avenue (which becomes County Route 73) to State Route 25; then west on Route 25 to Peconic Avenue; then south on Peconic Avenue to County Route (CR) 104 (Riverleigh Avenue); then south on CR 104 to CR 31 (Old Riverhead Road); then south on CR 31 to Oak Street; then south on Oak Street to Potunk Lane; then west on Stevens Lane; then south on Jessup Avenue (in Westhampton Beach) to Dune Road (CR 89); then due south to international waters. Western Long Island Goose Area (Resident Population (RP) Area)—That area of Westchester County and its tidal waters southeast of Interstate Route 95 and that area of Nassau and Suffolk Counties lying west of a continuous line extending due south from the New York-Connecticut boundary to the northernmost end of the Sunken Meadow State Parkway; then south on VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 the Sunken Meadow Parkway to the Sagtikos State Parkway; then south on the Sagtikos Parkway to the Robert Moses State Parkway; then south on the Robert Moses Parkway to its southernmost end; then due south to international waters. Central Long Island Goose Area (NAP Low Harvest Area)—That area of Suffolk County lying between the Western and Eastern Long Island Goose Areas, as defined above. Western Zone—That area west of a line extending from Lake Ontario east along the north shore of the Salmon River to I–81, and south along I–81 to the Pennsylvania border. Northeastern Zone—That area north of a line extending from Lake Ontario east along the north shore of the Salmon River to I–81, south along I–81 to NY 49, east along NY 49 to NY 365, east along NY 365 to NY 28, east along NY 28 to NY 29, east along NY 29 to I–87, north along I–87 to U.S. 9 (at Exit 20), north along U.S. 9 to NY 149, east along NY 149 to U.S. 4, north along U.S. 4 to the Vermont border, exclusive of the Lake Champlain Zone. Southeastern Zone—The remaining portion of New York. Pennsylvania Southern James Bay Population (SJBP) Zone—The area north of I–80 and west of I–79, including in the city of Erie west of Bay Front Parkway to and including the Lake Erie Duck Zone (Lake Erie, Presque Isle, and the area within 150 yards of the Lake Erie Shoreline). Vermont Lake Champlain Zone—The U.S. portion of Lake Champlain and that area north and west of the line extending from the New York border along U.S. 4 to VT 22A at Fair Haven; VT 22A to U.S. 7 at Vergennes; U.S. 7 to VT 78 at Swanton; VT 78 to VT 36; VT 36 to Maquam Bay on Lake Champlain; along and around the shoreline of Maquam Bay and Hog Island to VT 78 at the West Swanton Bridge; VT 78 to VT 2 in Alburg; VT 2 to the Richelieu River in Alburg; along the east shore of the Richelieu River to the Canadian border. Interior Zone—That portion of Vermont east of the Lake Champlain Zone and west of a line extending from the Massachusetts border at Interstate 91; north along Interstate 91 to US 2; east along US 2 to VT 102; north along VT 102 to VT 253; north along VT 253 to the Canadian border. Connecticut River Zone—The remaining portion of Vermont east of the Interior Zone. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 45397 Mississippi Flyway Arkansas Early Canada Goose Area—Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clark, Conway, Crawford, Faulkner, Franklin, Garland, Hempstead, Hot Springs, Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Little River, Logan, Madison, Marion, Miller, Montgomery, Newton, Perry, Pike, Polk, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Searcy, Sebastian, Sevier, Scott, Van Buren, Washington, and Yell Counties. Illinois North September Canada Goose Zone—That portion of the State north of a line extending west from the Indiana border along Interstate 80 to I–39, south along I–39 to Illinois Route 18, west along Illinois Route 18 to Illinois Route 29, south along Illinois Route 29 to Illinois Route 17, west along Illinois Route 17 to the Mississippi River, and due south across the Mississippi River to the Iowa border. Central September Canada Goose Zone—That portion of the State south of the North September Canada Goose Zone line to a line extending west from the Indiana border along I–70 to Illinois Route 4, south along Illinois Route 4 to Illinois Route 161, west along Illinois Route 161 to Illinois Route 158, south and west along Illinois Route 158 to Illinois Route 159, south along Illinois Route 159 to Illinois Route 3, south along Illinois Route 3 to St. Leo’s Road, south along St. Leo’s road to Modoc Road, west along Modoc Road to Modoc Ferry Road, southwest along Modoc Ferry Road to Levee Road, southeast along Levee Road to County Route 12 (Modoc Ferry entrance Road), south along County Route 12 to the Modoc Ferry route and southwest on the Modoc Ferry route across the Mississippi River to the Missouri border. South September Canada Goose Zone—That portion of the State south and east of a line extending west from the Indiana border along Interstate 70, south along U.S. Highway 45, to Illinois Route 13, west along Illinois Route 13 to Greenbriar Road, north on Greenbriar Road to Sycamore Road, west on Sycamore Road to N. Reed Station Road, south on N. Reed Station Road to Illinois Route 13, west along Illinois Route 13 to Illinois Route 127, south along Illinois Route 127 to State Forest Road (1025 N), west along State Forest Road to Illinois Route 3, north along Illinois Route 3 to the south bank of the Big Muddy River, west along the south bank of the Big Muddy River to the Mississippi River, west across the Mississippi River to the Missouri border. E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 45398 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 South Central September Canada Goose Zone—The remainder of the State between the south border of the Central Zone and the North border of the South Zone Iowa North Zone—That portion of the State north of U.S. Highway 20. South Zone—The remainder of Iowa. Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Goose Zone— Includes portions of Linn and Johnson Counties bounded as follows: Beginning at the intersection of the west border of Linn County and Linn County Road E2W; then south and east along County Road E2W to Highway 920; then north along Highway 920 to County Road E16; then east along County Road E16 to County Road W58; then south along County Road W58 to County Road E34; then east along County Road E34 to Highway 13; then south along Highway 13 to Highway 30; then east along Highway 30 to Highway 1; then south along Highway 1 to Morse Road in Johnson County; then east along Morse Road to Wapsi Avenue; then south along Wapsi Avenue to Lower West Branch Road; then west along Lower West Branch Road to Taft Avenue; then south along Taft Avenue to County Road F62; then west along County Road F62 to Kansas Avenue; then north along Kansas Avenue to Black Diamond Road; then west on Black Diamond Road to Jasper Avenue; then north along Jasper Avenue to Rohert Road; then west along Rohert Road to Ivy Avenue; then north along Ivy Avenue to 340th Street; then west along 340th Street to Half Moon Avenue; then north along Half Moon Avenue to Highway 6; then west along Highway 6 to Echo Avenue; then north along Echo Avenue to 250th Street; then east on 250th Street to Green Castle Avenue; then north along Green Castle Avenue to County Road F12; then west along County Road F12 to County Road W30; then north along County Road W30 to Highway 151; then north along the Linn–Benton County line to the point of beginning. Des Moines Goose Zone—Includes those portions of Polk, Warren, Madison and Dallas Counties bounded as follows: Beginning at the intersection of Northwest 158th Avenue and County Road R38 in Polk County; then south along R38 to Northwest 142nd Avenue; then east along Northwest 142nd Avenue to Northeast 126th Avenue; then east along Northeast 126th Avenue to Northeast 46th Street; then south along Northeast 46th Street to Highway 931; then east along Highway 931 to Northeast 80th Street; then south along Northeast 80th Street to Southeast 6th Avenue; then west along Southeast 6th VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 Avenue to Highway 65; then south and west along Highway 65 to Highway 69 in Warren County; then south along Highway 69 to County Road G24; then west along County Road G24 to Highway 28; then southwest along Highway 28 to 43rd Avenue; then north along 43rd Avenue to Ford Street; then west along Ford Street to Filmore Street; then west along Filmore Street to 10th Avenue; then south along 10th Avenue to 155th Street in Madison County; then west along 155th Street to Cumming Road; then north along Cumming Road to Badger Creek Avenue; then north along Badger Creek Avenue to County Road F90 in Dallas County; then east along County Road F90 to County Road R22; then north along County Road R22 to Highway 44; then east along Highway 44 to County Road R30; then north along County Road R30 to County Road F31; then east along County Road F31 to Highway 17; then north along Highway 17 to Highway 415 in Polk County; then east along Highway 415 to Northwest 158th Avenue; then east along Northwest 158th Avenue to the point of beginning. Cedar Falls/Waterloo Goose Zone— Includes those portions of Black Hawk County bounded as follows: Beginning at the intersection of County Roads C66 and V49 in Black Hawk County, then south along County Road V49 to County Road D38, then west along County Road D38 to State Highway 21, then south along State Highway 21 to County Road D35, then west along County Road D35 to Grundy Road, then north along Grundy Road to County Road D19, then west along County Road D19 to Butler Road, then north along Butler Road to County Road C57, then north and east along County Road C57 to U.S. Highway 63, then south along U.S. Highway 63 to County Road C66, then east along County Road C66 to the point of beginning. Michigan North Zone—Same as North duck zone. Middle Zone—Same as Middle duck zone. South Zone—Same as South duck zone. Minnesota Northwest Goose Zone—That portion of the State encompassed by a line extending east from the North Dakota border along U.S. Highway 2 to State Trunk Highway (STH) 32, north along STH 32 to STH 92, east along STH 92 to County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 2 in Polk County, north along CSAH 2 to CSAH 27 in Pennington County, north along CSAH 27 to STH 1, east along PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 STH 1 to CSAH 28 in Pennington County, north along CSAH 28 to CSAH 54 in Marshall County, north along CSAH 54 to CSAH 9 in Roseau County, north along CSAH 9 to STH 11, west along STH 11 to STH 310, and north along STH 310 to the Manitoba border. Intensive Harvest Zone—That portion of the State encompassed by a line extending east from the junction of US 2 and the North Dakota border, US 2 east to MN 32 N, MN 32 N to MN 92 S, MN 92 S to MN 200 E, MN 200 E to US 71 S, US 71 S to US 10 E, US 10 E to MN 101 S, MN 101 S to Interstate 94 E, Interstate 94 East to US 494 S, US 494 S to US 212 W, US 212 W to MN 23 S, MN 23 S to US 14 W, US 14 W to the South Dakota border, South Dakota Border north to the North Dakota border, North Dakota border north to US 2 E. Rest of State: Remainder of Minnesota. Wisconsin Early-Season Subzone A—That portion of the State encompassed by a line beginning at the intersection of U.S. Highway 141 and the Michigan border near Niagara, then south along U.S. 141 to State Highway 22, west and southwest along State 22 to U.S. 45, south along U.S. 45 to State 22, west and south along State 22 to State 110, south along State 110 to U.S. 10, south along U.S. 10 to State 49, south along State 49 to State 23, west along State 23 to State 73, south along State 73 to State 60, west along State 60 to State 23, south along State 23 to State 11, east along State 11 to State 78, then south along State 78 to the Illinois border. Early-Season Subzone B—The remainder of the State. Central Flyway North Dakota Missouri River Canada Goose Zone— The area within and bounded by a line starting where ND Hwy 6 crosses the South Dakota border; then north on ND Hwy 6 to I–94; then west on I–94 to ND Hwy 49; then north on ND Hwy 49 to ND Hwy 200; then north on Mercer County Rd. 21 to the section line between sections 8 and 9 (T146N– R87W); then north on that section line to the southern shoreline to Lake Sakakawea; then east along the southern shoreline (including Mallard Island) of Lake Sakakawea to US Hwy 83; then south on US Hwy 83 to ND Hwy 200; then east on ND Hwy 200 to ND Hwy 41; then south on ND Hwy 41 to US Hwy 83; then south on US Hwy 83 to I–94; then east on I–94 to US Hwy 83; then south on US Hwy 83 to the South E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules East Zone—Baker, Gilliam, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, and Wasco Counties. Dakota border; then west along the South Dakota border to ND Hwy 6. Rest of State—Remainder of North Dakota. South Dakota Special Early Canada Goose Unit— The Counties of Campbell, Marshall, Roberts, Day, Clark, Codington, Grant, Hamlin, Deuel, Walworth; that portion of Dewey County north of Bureau of Indian Affairs Road 8, Bureau of Indian Affairs Road 9, and the section of U.S. Highway 212 east of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Road 8 junction; that portion of Potter County east of U.S. Highway 83; that portion of Sully County east of U.S. Highway 83; portions of Hyde, Buffalo, Brule, and Charles Mix counties north and east of a line beginning at the Hughes-Hyde County line on State Highway 34, east to Lees Boulevard, southeast to the State Highway 34, east 7 miles to 350th Avenue, south to Interstate 90 on 350th Avenue, south and east on State Highway 50 to Geddes, east on 285th Street to U.S. Highway 281, and north on U.S. Highway 281 to the Charles Mix-Douglas County boundary; that portion of Bon Homme County north of State Highway 50; that portion of Fall River County west of State Highway 71 and U.S. Highway 385; that portion of Custer County west of State Highway 79 and north of French Creek; McPherson, Edmunds, Kingsbury, Brookings, Lake, Moody, Miner, Faulk, Hand, Jerauld, Douglas, Hutchinson, Turner, Lincoln, Union, Clay, Yankton, Aurora, Beadle, Davison, Hanson, Sanborn, Spink, Brown, Harding, Butte, Lawrence, Meade, Pennington, Shannon, Jackson, Mellette, Todd, Jones, Haakon, Corson, Ziebach, McCook, and Minnehaha Counties. Texas Eastern Goose Zone—East of a line from the International Toll Bridge at Laredo, north following IH–35 and 35W to Fort Worth, northwest along U.S. Hwy. 81 and 287 to Bowie, north along U.S. Hwy. 81 to the Texas-Oklahoma State line. Pacific Flyway tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Idaho East Zone—Bonneville, Caribou, Fremont, and Teton Counties. Oregon Northwest Zone—Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk, Multnomah, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill Counties. Southwest Zone—Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath Counties. VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 Washington Area 1—Skagit, Island, and Snohomish Counties. Area 2A (SW Quota Zone)—Clark County, except portions south of the Washougal River; Cowlitz County; and Wahkiakum County. Area 2B (SW Quota Zone)—Pacific County. Area 3—All areas west of the Pacific Crest Trail and west of the Big White Salmon River that are not included in Areas 1, 2A, and 2B. Area 4—Adams, Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Lincoln, Okanogan, Spokane, and Walla Walla Counties. Area 5—All areas east of the Pacific Crest Trail and east of the Big White Salmon River that are not included in Area 4. Ducks Atlantic Flyway New York Lake Champlain Zone—The U.S. portion of Lake Champlain and that area east and north of a line extending along NY 9B from the Canadian border to U.S. 9, south along U.S. 9 to NY 22 south of Keesville; south along NY 22 to the west shore of South Bay, along and around the shoreline of South Bay to NY 22 on the east shore of South Bay; southeast along NY 22 to U.S. 4, northeast along U.S. 4 to the Vermont border. Long Island Zone—That area consisting of Nassau County, Suffolk County, that area of Westchester County southeast of I–95, and their tidal waters. Western Zone—That area west of a line extending from Lake Ontario east along the north shore of the Salmon River to I–81, and south along I–81 to the Pennsylvania border. Northeastern Zone—That area north of a line extending from Lake Ontario east along the north shore of the Salmon River to I–81, south along I–81 to NY 49, east along NY 49 to NY 365, east along NY 365 to NY 28, east along NY 28 to NY 29, east along NY 29 to I–87, north along I–87 to U.S. 9 (at Exit 20), north along U.S. 9 to NY 149, east along NY 149 to U.S. 4, north along U.S. 4 to the Vermont border, exclusive of the Lake Champlain Zone. Southeastern Zone—The remaining portion of New York. Maryland Special Teal Season Area— Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 45399 Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties; that part of Anne Arundel County east of Interstate 895, Interstate 97, and Route 3; that part of Prince Georges County east of Route 3 and Route 301; and that part of Charles County east of Route 301 to the Virginia State Line. Mississippi Flyway Indiana North Zone—That part of Indiana north of a line extending east from the Illinois border along State Road 18 to U.S. 31; north along U.S. 31 to U.S. 24; east along U.S. 24 to Huntington; southeast along U.S. 224; south along State Road 5; and east along State Road 124 to the Ohio border. Central Zone—That part of Indiana south of the North Zone boundary and north of the South Zone boundary. South Zone—That part of Indiana south of a line extending east from the Illinois border along U.S. 40; south along U.S. 41; east along State Road 58; south along State Road 37 to Bedford; and east along U.S. 50 to the Ohio border. Iowa North Zone—That portion of Iowa north of a line beginning on the South Dakota-Iowa border at Interstate 29, southeast along Interstate 29 to State Highway 175, east along State Highway 175 to State Highway 37, southeast along State Highway 37 to State Highway 183, northeast along State Highway 183 to State Highway 141, east along State Highway 141 to U.S. Highway 30, and along U.S. Highway 30 to the Illinois border. Missouri River Zone—That portion of Iowa west of a line beginning on the South Dakota-Iowa border at Interstate 29, southeast along Interstate 29 to State Highway 175, and west along State Highway 175 to the Iowa-Nebraska border. South Zone—The remainder of Iowa. Michigan North Zone: The Upper Peninsula. Middle Zone: That portion of the Lower Peninsula north of a line beginning at the Wisconsin State line in Lake Michigan due west of the mouth of Stony Creek in Oceana County; then due east to, and easterly and southerly along the south shore of Stony Creek to Scenic Drive, easterly and southerly along Scenic Drive to Stony Lake Road, easterly along Stony Lake and Garfield Roads to Michigan Highway 20, east along Michigan 20 to U.S. Highway 10 Business Route (BR) in the city of Midland, easterly along U.S. 10 BR to E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 45400 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules U.S. 10, easterly along U.S. 10 to Interstate Highway 75/U.S. Highway 23, northerly along I–75/U.S. 23 to the U.S. 23 exit at Standish, easterly along U.S. 23 to the centerline of the Au Gres River, then southerly along the centerline of the Au Gres River to Saginaw Bay, then on a line directly east 10 miles into Saginaw Bay, and from that point on a line directly northeast to the Canadian border. South Zone: The remainder of Michigan. Wisconsin North Zone: That portion of the State north of a line extending east from the Minnesota State line along U.S. Highway 10 into Portage County to County Highway HH, east on County Highway HH to State Highway 66 and then east on State Highway 66 to U.S. Highway 10, continuing east on U.S. Highway 10 to U.S. Highway 41, then north on U.S. Highway 41 to the Michigan State line. Mississippi River Zone: That area encompassed by a line beginning at the intersection of the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway and the Illinois State line in Grant County and extending northerly along the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway to the city limit of Prescott in Pierce County, then west along the Prescott city limit to the Minnesota State line. South Zone: The remainder of Wisconsin. Central Flyway Colorado Special Teal Season Area—Lake and Chaffee Counties and that portion of the State east of Interstate Highway 25. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Kansas High Plains Zone—That portion of the State west of U.S. 283. Early Zone—That part of Kansas bounded by a line from the NebraskaKansas State line south on K–128 to its junction with U.S.–36, then east on U.S.–36 to its junction with K–199, then south on K–199 to its junction with Republic County 30 Rd, then south on Republic County 30 Rd to its junction with K–148, then east on K–148 to its junction with Republic County 50 Rd, then south on Republic County 50 Rd to its junction with Cloud County 40th Rd, then south on Cloud County 40th Rd to its junction with K–9, then west on K– 9 to its junction with U.S.–24, then west on U.S.–24 to its junction with U.S.– 281, then north on U.S.–281 to its junction with U.S.–36, then west on U.S.–36 to its junction with U.S.–183, then south on U.S.–183 to its junction VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 with U.S.–24, then west on U.S.–24 to its junction with K–18, then southeast on K–18 to its junction with U.S.–183, then south on U.S.–183 to its junction with K–4, then east on K–4 to its junction with I–135, then south on I– 135 to its junction with K–61, then southwest on K–61 to McPherson County. 14th Avenue, then south on McPherson County 14th Avenue to its junction with Arapaho Rd, then west on Arapaho Rd to its junction with K–61, then southwest on K–61 to its junction with K–96, then northwest on K–96 to its junction with U.S.–56, then southwest on U.S.–56 to its junction with K–19, then east on K–19 to its junction with U.S.–281, then south on U.S.–281 to its junction with U.S.–54, then west on U.S.–54 to its junction with U.S.–183, then north on U.S.–183 to its junction with U.S.–56, then southwest on U.S.–56 to its junction with Ford County Rd 126, then south on Ford County Rd 126 to its junction with U.S.–400, then northwest on U.S.–400 to its junction with U.S.–283, then north on U.S.–283 to its junction with the Nebraska-Kansas State line, then east along the Nebraska-Kansas State line to its junction with K–128. Late Zone—That part of Kansas bounded by a line from the NebraskaKansas State line south on K–128 to its junction with U.S.–36, then east on U.S.–36 to its junction with K–199, then south on K–199 to its junction with Republic County 30 Rd, then south on Republic County 30 Rd to its junction with K–148, then east on K–148 to its junction with Republic County 50 Rd, then south on Republic County 50 Rd to its junction with Cloud County 40th Rd, then south on Cloud County 40th Rd to its junction with K–9, then west on K– 9 to its junction with U.S.–24, then west on U.S.–24 to its junction with U.S.– 281, then north on U.S.–281 to its junction with U.S.–36, then west on U.S.–36 to its junction with U.S.–183, then south on U.S.–183 to its junction with U.S.–24, then west on U.S.–24 to its junction with K–18, then southeast on K–18 to its junction with U.S.–183, then south on U.S.–183 to its junction with K–4, then east on K–4 to its junction with I–135, then south on I– 135 to its junction with K–61, then southwest on K–61 to 14th Avenue, then south on 14th Avenue to its junction with Arapaho Rd, then west on Arapaho Rd to its junction with K–61, then southwest on K–61 to its junction with K–96, then northwest on K–96 to its junction with U.S.–56, then southwest on U.S.–56 to its junction with K–19, then east on K–19 to its junction with U.S.–281, then south on PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 U.S.–281 to its junction with U.S.–54, then west on U.S.–54 to its junction with U.S.–183, then north on U.S.–183 to its junction with U.S.–56, then southwest on U.S.–56 to its junction with Ford County Rd 126, then south on Ford County Rd 126 to its junction with U.S.–400, then northwest on U.S.–400 to its junction with U.S.–283, then south on U.S.–283 to its junction with the Oklahoma-Kansas State line, then east along the Oklahoma-Kansas State line to its junction with U.S.–77, then north on U.S.–77 to its junction with Butler County, NE 150th Street, then east on Butler County, NE 150th Street to its junction with U.S.–35, then northeast on U.S.–35 to its junction with K–68, then east on K–68 to the KansasMissouri State line, then north along the Kansas-Missouri State line to its junction with the Nebraska State line, then west along the Kansas-Nebraska State line to its junction with K–128. Southeast Zone—That part of Kansas bounded by a line from the MissouriKansas State line west on K–68 to its junction with U.S.–35, then southwest on U.S.–35 to its junction with Butler County, NE 150th Street, then west on NE 150th Street until its junction with K–77, then south on K–77 to the Oklahoma-Kansas State line, then east along the Kansas-Oklahoma State line to its junction with the Missouri State line, then north along the Kansas-Missouri State line to its junction with K–68. Nebraska Special Teal Season Area—That portion of the State south of a line beginning at the Wyoming State line; east along U.S. 26 to Nebraska Highway L62A east to U.S. 385; south to U.S. 26; east to NE 92; east along NE 92 to NE 61; south along NE 61 to U.S. 30; east along U.S. 30 to the Iowa border. High Plains—That portion of Nebraska lying west of a line beginning at the South Dakota-Nebraska border on U.S. Hwy. 183; south on U.S. Hwy. 183 to U.S. Hwy. 20; west on U.S. Hwy. 20 to NE Hwy. 7; south on NE Hwy. 7 to NE Hwy. 91; southwest on NE Hwy. 91 to NE Hwy. 2; southeast on NE Hwy. 2 to NE Hwy. 92; west on NE Hwy. 92 to NE Hwy. 40; south on NE Hwy. 40 to NE Hwy. 47; south on NE Hwy. 47 to NE Hwy. 23; east on NE Hwy. 23 to U.S. Hwy. 283; and south on U.S. Hwy. 283 to the Kansas-Nebraska border. Zone 1—Area bounded by designated Federal and State highways and political boundaries beginning at the South Dakota-Nebraska border west of NE Hwy. 26E Spur and north of NE Hwy. 12; those portions of Dixon, Cedar and Knox Counties north of NE Hwy. 12; that portion of Keya Paha County E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules east of U.S. Hwy. 183; and all of Boyd County. Both banks of the Niobrara River in Keya Paha and Boyd counties east of U.S. Hwy. 183 shall be included in Zone 1. Zone 2—The area south of Zone 1 and north of Zone 3. Zone 3—Area bounded by designated Federal and State highways, County Roads, and political boundaries beginning at the Wyoming-Nebraska border at the intersection of the Interstate Canal; east along northern borders of Scotts Bluff and Morrill Counties to Broadwater Road; south to Morrill County Rd 94; east to County Rd 135; south to County Rd 88; southeast to County Rd 151; south to County Rd 80; east to County Rd 161; south to County Rd 76; east to County Rd 165; south to Country Rd 167; south to U.S. Hwy. 26; east to County Rd 171; north to County Rd 68; east to County Rd 183; south to County Rd 64; east to County Rd 189; north to County Rd 70; east to County Rd 201; south to County Rd 60A; east to County Rd 203; south to County Rd 52; east to Keith County Line; east along the northern boundaries of Keith and Lincoln Counties to NE Hwy. 97; south to U.S. Hwy 83; south to E Hall School Rd; east to N Airport Road; south to U.S. Hwy. 30; east to Merrick County Rd 13; north to County Rd O; east to NE Hwy. 14; north to NE Hwy. 52; west and north to NE Hwy. 91; west to U.S. Hwy. 281; south to NE Hwy. 22; west to NE Hwy. 11; northwest to NE Hwy. 91; west to U.S. Hwy. 183; south to Round Valley Rd; west to Sargent River Rd; west to Sargent Rd; west to Milburn Rd; north to Blaine County Line; east to Loup County Line; north to NE Hwy. 91; west to North Loup Spur Rd; north to North Loup River Rd; east to Pleasant Valley/Worth Rd; east to Loup County Line; north to Loup-Brown county line; east along northern boundaries of Loup and Garfield Counties to Cedar River Rd; south to NE Hwy. 70; east to U.S. Hwy. 281; north to NE Hwy. 70; east to NE Hwy. 14; south to NE Hwy. 39; southeast to NE Hwy. 22; east to U.S. Hwy. 81; southeast to U.S. Hwy. 30; east to U.S. Hwy. 75; north to the Washington County line; east to the Iowa-Nebraska border; south to the Missouri-Nebraska border; south to Kansas-Nebraska border; west along Kansas-Nebraska border to ColoradoNebraska border; north and west to Wyoming-Nebraska border; north to intersection of Interstate Canal; and excluding that area in Zone 4. Zone 4—Area encompassed by designated Federal and State highways and County Roads beginning at the intersection of NE Hwy. 8 and U.S. VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 Hwy. 75; north to U.S. Hwy. 136; east to the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 136 and the Steamboat Trace (Trace); north along the Trace to the intersection with Federal Levee R–562; north along Federal Levee R–562 to the intersection with the Trace; north along the Trace/ Burlington Northern Railroad right-ofway to NE Hwy. 2; west to U.S. Hwy. 75; north to NE Hwy. 2; west to NE Hwy. 43; north to U.S. Hwy. 34; east to NE Hwy. 63; north to NE Hwy. 66; north and west to U.S. Hwy. 77; north to NE Hwy. 92; west to NE Hwy. Spur 12F; south to Butler County Rd 30; east to County Rd X; south to County Rd 27; west to County Rd W; south to County Rd 26; east to County Rd X; south to County Rd 21 (Seward County Line); west to NE Hwy. 15; north to County Rd 34; west to County Rd J; south to NE Hwy. 92; west to U.S. Hwy. 81; south to NE Hwy. 66; west to Polk County Rd C; north to NE Hwy. 92; west to U.S. Hwy. 30; west to Merrick County Rd 17; south to Hordlake Road; southeast to Prairie Island Road; southeast to Hamilton County Rd T; south to NE Hwy. 66; west to NE Hwy. 14; south to County Rd 22; west to County Rd M; south to County Rd 21; west to County Rd K; south to U.S. Hwy. 34; west to NE Hwy. 2; south to U.S. Hwy. I–80; west to Gunbarrel Rd (Hall/Hamilton county line); south to Giltner Rd; west to U.S. Hwy. 281; south to U.S. Hwy. 34; west to NE Hwy. 10; north to Kearney County Rd R and Phelps County Rd 742; west to U.S. Hwy. 283; south to U.S. Hwy 34; east to U.S. Hwy. 136; east to U.S. Hwy. 183; north to NE Hwy. 4; east to NE Hwy. 10; south to U.S. Hwy. 136; east to NE Hwy. 14; south to NE Hwy. 8; east to U.S. Hwy. 81; north to NE Hwy. 4; east to NE Hwy. 15; south to U.S. Hwy. 136; east to NE Hwy. 103; south to NE Hwy. 8; east to U.S. Hwy. 75. New Mexico (Central Flyway Portion) North Zone—That portion of the State north of I–40 and U.S. 54. South Zone—The remainder of New Mexico. Pacific Flyway California Northeastern Zone—In that portion of California lying east and north of a line beginning at the intersection of Interstate 5 with the California-Oregon line; south along Interstate 5 to its junction with Walters Lane south of the town of Yreka; west along Walters Lane to its junction with Easy Street; south along Easy Street to the junction with Old Highway 99; south along Old Highway 99 to the point of intersection with Interstate 5 north of the town of PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 45401 Weed; south along Interstate 5 to its junction with Highway 89; east and south along Highway 89 to Main Street Greenville; north and east to its junction with North Valley Road; south to its junction of Diamond Mountain Road; north and east to its junction with North Arm Road; south and west to the junction of North Valley Road; south to the junction with Arlington Road (A22); west to the junction of Highway 89; south and west to the junction of Highway 70; east on Highway 70 to Highway 395; south and east on Highway 395 to the point of intersection with the California-Nevada State line; north along the California-Nevada State line to the junction of the CaliforniaNevada-Oregon State lines west along the California-Oregon State line to the point of origin. Colorado River Zone—Those portions of San Bernardino, Riverside, and Imperial Counties east of a line extending from the Nevada border south along U.S. 95 to Vidal Junction; south on a road known as ‘‘Aqueduct Road’’ in San Bernardino County through the town of Rice to the San BernardinoRiverside County line; south on a road known in Riverside County as the ‘‘Desert Center to Rice Road’’ to the town of Desert Center; east 31 miles on I–10 to the Wiley Well Road; south on this road to Wiley Well; southeast along the Army-Milpitas Road to the Blythe, Brawley, Davis Lake intersections; south on the Blythe-Brawley paved road to the Ogilby and Tumco Mine Road; south on this road to U.S. 80; east 7 miles on U.S. 80 to the Andrade-Algodones Road; south on this paved road to the Mexican border at Algodones, Mexico. Southern Zone—That portion of southern California (but excluding the Colorado River Zone) south and east of a line extending from the Pacific Ocean east along the Santa Maria River to CA 166 near the City of Santa Maria; east on CA 166 to CA 99; south on CA 99 to the crest of the Tehachapi Mountains at Tejon Pass; east and north along the crest of the Tehachapi Mountains to CA 178 at Walker Pass; east on CA 178 to U.S. 395 at the town of Inyokern; south on U.S. 395 to CA 58; east on CA 58 to I–15; east on I–15 to CA 127; north on CA 127 to the Nevada border. Southern San Joaquin Valley Temporary Zone—All of Kings and Tulare Counties and that portion of Kern County north of the Southern Zone. Balance-of-the-State Zone—The remainder of California not included in the Northeastern, Southern, and Colorado River Zones, and the Southern San Joaquin Valley Temporary Zone. E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 45402 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules Canada Geese tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Michigan North Zone—Same as North duck zone. Middle Zone—Same as Middle duck zone. South Zone—Same as South duck zone. Tuscola/Huron Goose Management Unit (GMU): Those portions of Tuscola and Huron Counties bounded on the south by Michigan Highway 138 and Bay City Road, on the east by Colwood and Bay Port Roads, on the north by Kilmanagh Road and a line extending directly west off the end of Kilmanagh Road into Saginaw Bay to the west boundary, and on the west by the Tuscola-Bay County line and a line extending directly north off the end of the Tuscola-Bay County line into Saginaw Bay to the north boundary. Allegan County GMU: That area encompassed by a line beginning at the junction of 136th Avenue and Interstate Highway 196 in Lake Town Township and extending easterly along 136th Avenue to Michigan Highway 40, southerly along Michigan 40 through the city of Allegan to 108th Avenue in Trowbridge Township, westerly along 108th Avenue to 46th Street, northerly along 46th Street to 109th Avenue, westerly along 109th Avenue to I–196 in Casco Township, then northerly along I–196 to the point of beginning. Saginaw County GMU: That portion of Saginaw County bounded by Michigan Highway 46 on the north; Michigan 52 on the west; Michigan 57 on the south; and Michigan 13 on the east. Muskegon Wastewater GMU: That portion of Muskegon County within the boundaries of the Muskegon County wastewater system, east of the Muskegon State Game Area, in sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 17, 18, 19, 20, 29, 30, and 32, T10N R14W, and sections 1, 2, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 24, and 25, T10N R15W, as posted. Wisconsin Same zones as for ducks but in addition: Horicon Zone: That area encompassed by a line beginning at the intersection of State Highway 21 and the Fox River in Winnebago County and extending westerly along State 21 to the west boundary of Winnebago County, southerly along the west boundary of Winnebago County to the north boundary of Green Lake County, westerly along the north boundaries of Green Lake and Marquette Counties to State 22, southerly along State 22 to State 33, westerly along State 33 to VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 Interstate Highway 39, southerly along Interstate Highway 39 to Interstate Highway 90/94, southerly along I–90/94 to State 60, easterly along State 60 to State 83, northerly along State 83 to State 175, northerly along State 175 to State 33, easterly along State 33 to U.S. Highway 45, northerly along U.S. 45 to the east shore of the Fond Du Lac River, northerly along the east shore of the Fond Du Lac River to Lake Winnebago, northerly along the western shoreline of Lake Winnebago to the Fox River, then westerly along the Fox River to State 21. Exterior Zone: That portion of the State not included in the Horicon Zone. Mississippi River Subzone: That area encompassed by a line beginning at the intersection of the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway and the Illinois State line in Grant County and extending northerly along the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway to the city limit of Prescott in Pierce County, then west along the Prescott city limit to the Minnesota State line. Brown County Subzone: That area encompassed by a line beginning at the intersection of the Fox River with Green Bay in Brown County and extending southerly along the Fox River to State Highway 29, northwesterly along State 29 to the Brown County line, south, east, and north along the Brown County line to Green Bay, due west to the midpoint of the Green Bay Ship Channel, then southwesterly along the Green Bay Ship Channel to the Fox River. Sandhill Cranes Mississippi Flyway Minnesota Northwest Goose Zone—That portion of the State encompassed by a line extending east from the North Dakota border along U.S. Highway 2 to State Trunk Highway (STH) 32, north along STH 32 to STH 92, east along STH 92 to County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 2 in Polk County, north along CSAH 2 to CSAH 27 in Pennington County, north along CSAH 27 to STH 1, east along STH 1 to CSAH 28 in Pennington County, north along CSAH 28 to CSAH 54 in Marshall County, north along CSAH 54 to CSAH 9 in Roseau County, north along CSAH 9 to STH 11, west along STH 11 to STH 310, and north along STH 310 to the Manitoba border. Tennessee Hunt Zone—That portion of the State south of Interstate 40 and east of State Highway 56. Closed Zone—Remainder of the State. PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Central Flyway Colorado—The Central Flyway portion of the State except the San Luis Valley (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Hinsdale, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache Counties east of the Continental Divide) and North Park (Jackson County). Kansas—That portion of the State west of a line beginning at the Oklahoma border, north on I–35 to Wichita, north on I–135 to Salina, and north on U.S. 81 to the Nebraska border. Montana—The Central Flyway portion of the State except for that area south and west of Interstate 90, which is closed to sandhill crane hunting. New Mexico Regular-Season Open Area—Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Eddy, Lea, Quay, and Roosevelt Counties. Middle Rio Grande Valley Area—The Central Flyway portion of New Mexico in Socorro and Valencia Counties. Estancia Valley Area—Those portions of Santa Fe, Torrance and Bernallilo Counties within an area bounded on the west by New Mexico Highway 55 beginning at Mountainair north to NM 337, north to NM 14, north to I–25; on the north by I–25 east to U.S. 285; on the east by U.S. 285 south to U.S. 60; and on the south by U.S. 60 from U.S. 285 west to NM 55 in Mountainair. Southwest Zone—Area bounded on the south by the New Mexico/Mexico border; on the west by the New Mexico/ Arizona border north to Interstate 10; on the north by Interstate 10 east to U.S. 180, north to N.M. 26, east to N.M. 27, north to N.M. 152, and east to Interstate 25; on the east by Interstate 25 south to Interstate 10, west to the Luna county line, and south to the New Mexico/ Mexico border. North Dakota Area 1—That portion of the State west of U.S. 281. Area 2—That portion of the State east of U.S. 281. Oklahoma—That portion of the State west of I–35. South Dakota—That portion of the State west of U.S. 281. Texas Zone A—That portion of Texas lying west of a line beginning at the international toll bridge at Laredo, then northeast along U.S. Highway 81 to its junction with Interstate Highway 35 in Laredo, then north along Interstate Highway 35 to its junction with Interstate Highway 10 in San Antonio, then northwest along Interstate Highway 10 to its junction with U.S. Highway 83 at Junction, then north along U.S. E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules Highway 83 to its junction with U.S. Highway 62, 16 miles north of Childress, then east along U.S. Highway 62 to the Texas-Oklahoma State line. Zone B—That portion of Texas lying within boundaries beginning at the junction of U.S. Highway 81 and the Texas-Oklahoma State line, then southeast along U.S. Highway 81 to its junction with U.S. Highway 287 in Montague County, then southeast along U.S. Highway 287 to its junction with Interstate Highway 35W in Fort Worth, then southwest along Interstate Highway 35 to its junction with Interstate Highway 10 in San Antonio, then northwest along Interstate Highway 10 to its junction with U.S. Highway 83 in the town of Junction, then north along U.S. Highway 83 to its junction with U.S. Highway 62, 16 miles north of Childress, then east along U.S. Highway 62 to the Texas-Oklahoma State line, then south along the Texas-Oklahoma State line to the south bank of the Red River, then eastward along the vegetation line on the south bank of the Red River to U.S. Highway 81. Zone C—The remainder of the State, except for the closed areas. Closed areas—(A) That portion of the State lying east and north of a line beginning at the junction of U.S. Highway 81 and the Texas-Oklahoma State line, then southeast along U.S. Highway 81 to its junction with U.S. Highway 287 in Montague County, then southeast along U.S. Highway 287 to its junction with Interstate Highway 35W in Fort Worth, then southwest along Interstate Highway 35 to its junction with U.S. Highway 290 East in Austin, then east along U.S. Highway 290 to its junction with Interstate Loop 610 in Harris County, then south and east along Interstate Loop 610 to its junction with Interstate Highway 45 in Houston, then south on Interstate Highway 45 to State Highway 342, then to the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, and then north and east along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico to the Texas-Louisiana State line. (B) That portion of the State lying within the boundaries of a line beginning at the Kleberg-Nueces County line and the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, then west along the County line to Park Road 22 in Nueces County, then north and west along Park Road 22 to its junction with State Highway 358 in Corpus Christi, then west and north along State Highway 358 to its junction with State Highway 286, then north along State Highway 286 to its junction with Interstate Highway 37, then east along Interstate Highway 37 to its junction with U.S. Highway 181, then north and west along U.S. Highway 181 VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 Jkt 229001 to its junction with U.S. Highway 77 in Sinton, then north and east along U.S. Highway 77 to its junction with U.S. Highway 87 in Victoria, then south and east along U.S. Highway 87 to its junction with State Highway 35 at Port Lavaca, then north and east along State Highway 35 to the south end of the Lavaca Bay Causeway, then south and east along the shore of Lavaca Bay to its junction with the Port Lavaca Ship Channel, then south and east along the Lavaca Bay Ship Channel to the Gulf of Mexico, and then south and west along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico to the Kleberg-Nueces County line. Wyoming Regular Season Open Area— Campbell, Converse, Crook, Goshen, Laramie, Niobrara, Platte, and Weston Counties, and portions of Johnson and Sheridan Counties. Riverton-Boysen Unit—Portions of Fremont County. Park and Big Horn County Unit—All of Big Horn, Hot Springs, Park and Washakie Counties. Pacific Flyway Arizona Special Season Area—Game Management Units 28, 30A, 30B, 31, and 32. Idaho Special Season Area—See State regulations. Montana Special Season Area—See State regulations. Utah Special Season Area—Rich, Cache, and Unitah Counties and that portion of Box Elder County beginning on the Utah-Idaho State line at the Box ElderCache County line; west on the State line to the Pocatello Valley County Road; south on the Pocatello Valley County Road to I–15; southeast on I–15 to SR–83; south on SR–83 to Lamp Junction; west and south on the Promontory Point County Road to the tip of Promontory Point; south from Promontory Point to the Box ElderWeber County line; east on the Box Elder-Weber County line to the Box Elder-Cache County line; north on the Box Elder-Cache County line to the Utah-Idaho State line. Wyoming Bear River Area—That portion of Lincoln County described in State regulations. PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 45403 Salt River Area—That portion of Lincoln County described in State regulations. Farson-Eden Area—Those portions of Sweetwater and Sublette Counties described in State regulations. Uinta County Area—That portion of Uinta County described in State regulations. All Migratory Game Birds in Alaska North Zone—State Game Management Units 11–13 and 17–26. Gulf Coast Zone—State Game Management Units 5–7, 9, 14–16, and 10 (Unimak Island only). Southeast Zone—State Game Management Units 1–4. Pribilof and Aleutian Islands Zone— State Game Management Unit 10 (except Unimak Island). Kodiak Zone—State Game Management Unit 8. All Migratory Game Birds in the Virgin Islands Ruth Cay Closure Area—The island of Ruth Cay, just south of St. Croix. All Migratory Game Birds in Puerto Rico Municipality of Culebra Closure Area—All of the municipality of Culebra. Desecheo Island Closure Area—All of Desecheo Island. Mona Island Closure Area—All of Mona Island. Verde Closure Area—Those areas of the municipalities of Rio Grande and Loiza delineated as follows: (1) All lands between Routes 956 on the west and 186 on the east, from Route 3 on the north to the juncture of Routes 956 and 186 (Km 13.2) in the south; (2) all lands between Routes 186 and 966 from the juncture of 186 and 966 on the north, to the Caribbean National Forest Boundary on the south; (3) all lands lying west of Route 186 for 1 kilometer from the juncture of Routes 186 and 956 south to Km 6 on Route 186; (4) all lands within Km 14 and Km 6 on the west and the Caribbean National Forest Boundary on the east; and (5) all lands within the Caribbean National Forest Boundary whether private or public. Cidra Municipality and adjacent areas—All of Cidra Municipality and portions of Aguas Buenas, Caguas, Cayey, and Comerio Municipalities as encompassed within the following boundary: Beginning on Highway 172 as it leaves the municipality of Cidra on the west edge, north to Highway 156, east on Highway 156 to Highway 1, south on Highway 1 to Highway 765, south on Highway 765 to Highway 763, south on Highway 763 to the Rio E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 26JYP2 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Sfmt 9990 LIB RES Beginning Shooting Time 1/2 hr. before sunrise 1/2 hr. before sunrise 1/2 hr. before sunrise 1/2 hr. before sunrise 1/2 hr. before sunrise before sunrise 1/2 hr. before sunrise 1/2 hr. before sunrise 1/2 hr. before sunrise 1/2 hr. before sunrise 1/2 hr. before sunrise 1/2 hr. before sunrise Ending Shooting Time Sunset Sunset Sunset Sunset Sunset Sunset Sunset Sunset Sunset Sunset Sunset Sunset Opening Date Oct. 1 Sat nearest Sept. 24 Sat. nearest Sept. 24 Sat. nearest Oct. 1 Sat. nearest Sept. 24 Sat nearest Sept. 24 Sat. nearest Oct. 1 Sat. nearest Sept. 24 Sat. nearest Sept. 24 Sat. nearest Oct. 1 Sat. nearest Sept. 24 Sat. nearest Sept. 24 Closing Date Jan. 20 Last Sunday in Jan. Sun. nearest Jan. 20 Last Sunday in Jan. Sun. nearest Jan. 20 Last Sunday in Jan. Sun. nearest Jan. 20 74 60 Season Length (in days) 30 Daily Bagl 3 Last Sunday in Jan. . 45 6 . 30 6 3 4/2 2/1 Last Sunday in Jan. . 45 112 hr. , RES CENTRAL FLYWAY (a) MOD LIB I I Last Sunday in Jan. r 60 . RES PACIFIC FLYWAY (b)(c) MOD LIB I I Last Sunday in Jan. . 86 Last Sunday in Jan. . 60 39 107 6 6 3 6 6 4 7 7 4/1 4/2 3/1 511 5/2 3/1 5/2 7/2 Species/Sex Limits within the Overall Daily Bag Limit Mallard (Total/Female) 3/1 4/2 26JYP2 (a) In the High Plains Mallard Management Unit, all regulations would be the same as the remainder of the Central Flyway, with the exception of season length. Additional days would be allowed under the various alternatives as follows: restrictive - 12, moderate and liberal- 23. Under all alternatives, additional days must be on or after the Saturday nearest December 10. (b) In the Columbia Basin Mallard Management Unit, all regulations would be the same as the remainder of the Pacific Flyway, with the exception of season length. Under all alternatives except the liberal afiernative, an additional 7 days would be allowed. (c) In Alaska, framework dates, bag limits, and season length would be different from the remainder of the Pacific Flyway. The bag limit would be 5-8 under the restrictive alternative, and 7-10 under the moderate and liberal alternatives. Under all alternatives, season length would be 107 days and framework dates would be Sep. 1 - Jan. 26. Cidra Municipality boundary to the point of the beginning. E:\FR\FM\26JYP2.SGM 60 MISSISSIPPI FLYWAY MOD LIB I I Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / Proposed Rules Fmt 4701 ATLANTIC FLYWAY MOD I I 45404 Frm 00030 RES Highway 14, west on Highway 14 to Highway 729, north on Highway 729 to PO 00000 EP26JY13.014</GPH> Guavate, west along Rio Guavate to Highway 1, southwest on Highway 1 to Jkt 229001 [FR Doc. 2013–17876 Filed 7–25–13; 8:45 am] 20:17 Jul 25, 2013 BILLING CODE 4310–55–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 FINAL REGULATORY ALTERNATIVES FOR DUCK HUNTING DURING THE 2013-14 SEASON

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 144 (Friday, July 26, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 45375-45404]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-17876]



[[Page 45375]]

Vol. 78

Friday,

No. 144

July 26, 2013

Part III





Department of the Interior





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Fish and Wildlife Service





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50 CFR Part 20





 Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Frameworks for Early-Season Migratory 
Bird Hunting Regulations; Notice of Meetings; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 78 , No. 144 / Friday, July 26, 2013 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 45376]]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 20

[Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2013-0057; FF09M21200-134-FXMB1231099BPP0]
RIN 1018-AY87


Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Frameworks for Early-Season 
Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations; Notice of Meetings

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; supplemental.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (hereinafter Service or we) 
is proposing to establish the 2013-14 early-season hunting regulations 
for certain migratory game birds. We annually prescribe frameworks, or 
outer limits, for dates and times when hunting may occur and the 
maximum number of birds that may be taken and possessed in early 
seasons. Early seasons may open as early as September 1, and include 
seasons in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 
These frameworks are necessary to allow State selections of specific 
final seasons and limits and to allow recreational harvest at levels 
compatible with population status and habitat conditions. This proposed 
rule also provides the final regulatory alternatives for the 2013-14 
duck hunting seasons.

DATES: Comments: You must submit comments on the proposed early-season 
frameworks by August 5, 2013.
    Meetings: The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee (SRC) 
will meet to consider and develop proposed regulations for late-season 
migratory bird hunting and the 2013 spring/summer migratory bird 
subsistence seasons in Alaska on July 31 and August 1, 2013. 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-HQ-
MB-2013-0057.
     U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attn: FWS-HQ-MB-2013-0057; 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 emailed 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 SRC will meet in room 200 of the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service's Arlington Square Building, 4401 N. Fairfax Dr., 
Arlington, VA 22203.

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 2013

    On April 9, 2013, we published in the Federal Register (78 FR 
21200) 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. Major steps in the 
2013-14 regulatory cycle relating to open public meetings and Federal 
Register notifications were also identified in the April 9 proposed 
rule.
    Further, we explained that all sections of subsequent documents 
outlining hunting frameworks and guidelines were organized under 
numbered headings. Those headings are:

1. Ducks
    A. General Harvest Strategy
    B. Regulatory Alternatives
    C. Zones and Split Seasons
    D. Special Seasons/Species Management
    i. September Teal Seasons
    ii. September Teal/Wood Duck Seasons
    iii. Black ducks
    iv. Canvasbacks
    v. Pintails
    vi. Scaup
    vii. Mottled ducks
    viii. Wood ducks
    ix. Youth Hunt
    x. Mallard Management Units
    xi. Other
2. Sea Ducks
3. Mergansers
4. Canada Geese
    A. Special Seasons
    B. Regular Seasons
    C. Special Late Seasons
5. White-fronted Geese
6. Brant
7. Snow and Ross's (Light) Geese
8. Swans
9. Sandhill Cranes
10. Coots
11. Moorhens and Gallinules
12. Rails
13. Snipe
14. Woodcock
15. Band-tailed Pigeons
16. Doves
17. Alaska
18. Hawaii
19. Puerto Rico
20. Virgin Islands
21. Falconry
22. Other

    Subsequent documents will refer only to numbered items requiring 
attention. Therefore, it is important to note that we will omit those 
items requiring no attention, and remaining numbered items will be 
discontinuous and appear incomplete.
    On June 14, 2013, we published in the Federal Register (78 FR 
35844) a second document providing supplemental proposals for early- 
and late-season migratory bird hunting regulations. The June 14 
supplement also provided detailed information on the 2013-14 regulatory 
schedule and announced the SRC and Flyway Council meetings.
    This document, the third in a series of proposed, supplemental, and 
final rulemaking documents for migratory bird hunting regulations, 
deals specifically with proposed frameworks for early-season 
regulations and the regulatory alternatives for the 2013-14 duck 
hunting seasons. It will lead to final frameworks from which States may 
select season dates, shooting hours, and daily bag and possession 
limits for the 2013-14 season.
    We have considered all pertinent comments received through June 22, 
2013, on the April 9 and June 14, 2013, rulemaking documents in 
developing this document. In addition, new proposals for certain early-
season regulations are provided for public comment. Comment periods are 
specified above under DATES. We will publish final regulatory 
frameworks for early seasons in the Federal Register on or about August 
16, 2013.

Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee Meetings

    Participants at the June 19-20, 2013, meetings reviewed information 
on the current status of migratory shore and upland game birds and 
developed 2013-14 migratory game bird regulations recommendations for 
these species plus regulations for migratory game birds in Alaska, 
Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands; special September waterfowl 
seasons in designated States; special sea duck seasons in the Atlantic 
Flyway; and extended falconry seasons. In addition, we reviewed and 
discussed preliminary information on the status of waterfowl.
    Participants at the previously announced July 31-August 1, 2013, 
meetings will review information on the current status of waterfowl and 
develop

[[Page 45377]]

recommendations for the 2013-14 regulations pertaining to regular 
waterfowl seasons and other species and seasons not previously 
discussed at the early-season meetings. In accordance with Department 
of the Interior policy, these meetings are open to public observation 
and you may submit comments on the matters discussed.

Population Status and Harvest

    The following paragraphs provide preliminary information on the 
status of waterfowl and information on the status and harvest of 
migratory shore and upland game birds excerpted from various reports. 
For more detailed information on methodologies and results, you may 
obtain complete copies of the various reports at the address indicated 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or from our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewsPublicationsReports.html.

Waterfowl Breeding and Habitat Survey

    Federal, provincial, and State agencies conduct surveys each spring 
to estimate the size of waterfowl breeding populations and to evaluate 
the conditions of the habitats. These surveys are conducted using 
fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and ground crews and encompass 
principal breeding areas of North America, covering an area over 2.0 
million square miles. The traditional survey area comprises Alaska, 
Canada, and the northcentral United States, and includes approximately 
1.3 million square miles. The eastern survey area includes parts of 
Ontario, Quebec, Labrador, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward 
Island, New Brunswick, New York, and Maine, an area of approximately 
0.7 million square miles.
    Overall, despite a delayed spring, habitat conditions during the 
2013 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey were improved or 
similar to last year in many areas due to abundant winter or spring 
precipitation, with the exception of eastern Canada, the northeast 
United States, and portions of Montana and the Dakotas. The total pond 
estimate (Prairie Canada and United States combined) was 6.90.2 million. This was 24 percent higher than the 2012 estimate of 
5.50.2 million ponds, and 35 percent higher than the long-
term average (1974-2012) of 5.10.03 million ponds.

Traditional Survey Area (U.S. and Canadian Prairies and Parklands)

    Spring was much delayed across the traditional survey area. Extreme 
southern Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba, and North Dakota received 
abundant spring rainfall; most of this moisture came too late for the 
majority of waterfowl breeding this year, but could benefit habitats 
into 2014. The majority of the Canadian prairies had above-average 
winter precipitation; however, a poor frost seal was produced and 
little runoff was observed. The Parklands have improved from 2012, and 
the boreal region has benefitted from average annual precipitation. 
Most of the Canadian portion of the traditional survey area was rated 
as good or excellent this year, in contrast to the dry conditions last 
year across northern Saskatchewan and Alberta. The 2013 estimate of 
ponds in Prairie Canada was 4.60.2 million. This was 17 
percent higher than last year's estimate (3.90.1 million) 
and 32 percent higher than the 1961-2012 average (3.50.03 
million).
    The U.S. prairies received record-breaking snowfall in April; 
however, below-average early spring precipitation in parts of Montana 
and the eastern Dakotas resulted in fair to poor habitat conditions. 
The 2013 estimate of ponds in the north-central United States was 
2.30.1 million, which was 41 percent higher than last 
year's estimate (1.70.1 million) and 42 percent higher than 
the 1974-2012 average (1.70.02 million).

Eastern Survey Area

    Spring temperatures in the eastern survey area were closer to 
normal than in the traditional survey area. Winter precipitation in 
southwestern Ontario, southern Quebec, and most of the Maritimes was 
below average. Eastern Canada experienced near record low winter 
precipitation but improved to the north and east into the Maritimes. 
Much of eastern Canada experienced excessive late-spring rains, which 
may have inhibited waterfowl production. Habitat conditions ranged from 
fair, in Maine and the southern Maritimes, to good in Newfoundland and 
Labrador.

Status of Teal

    The estimate of blue-winged teal from the traditional survey area 
is 7.7 million. This count represents a 16 percent decrease from 2012, 
and is 60 percent above the 1955-2012 average.

Sandhill Cranes

    Compared to increases recorded in the 1970s, annual indices to 
abundance of the Mid-Continent Population (MCP) of sandhill cranes have 
been relatively stable since the early 1980s. The preliminary spring 
2013 index for sandhill cranes in the Central Platte River Valley 
(CPRV), Nebraska, uncorrected for visibility bias, was 756,217 birds. 
This estimate is significantly higher than the previous 5 years, which 
is likely due to late winter weather in North and South Dakota delaying 
any migration from the CPRV. The photo-corrected, 3-year average for 
2010-12 was 504,658, which is above the established population-
objective range of 349,000-472,000 cranes. All Central Flyway States, 
except Nebraska, allowed crane hunting in portions of their States 
during 2012-13. An estimated 7,239 hunters participated in these 
seasons, which was 7 percent lower than the number that participated in 
the previous season. Hunters harvested 14,887 MCP cranes in the U.S. 
portion of the Central Flyway during the 2012-13 seasons, which was 3 
percent lower than the harvest for the previous year and 2 percent 
higher than the long-term average. The retrieved harvest of MCP cranes 
in hunt areas outside of the Central Flyway (Arizona, Pacific Flyway 
portion of New Mexico, Minnesota, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico combined) 
was 9,683 during 2012-13. The preliminary estimate for the North 
American MCP sport harvest, including crippling losses, was 27,966 
birds, which was a 16 percent decrease from the previous year's 
estimate. The long-term (1982-2012) trends for the MCP indicate that 
harvest has been increasing at a higher rate than population growth.
    The fall 2012 pre-migration survey for the Rocky Mountain 
Population (RMP) resulted in a count of 15,417 cranes. The 3-year 
average was 17,992 sandhill cranes, which is within the established 
population objective of 17,000-21,000 for the RMP. Hunting seasons 
during 2012-13 in portions of Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, 
Utah, and Wyoming resulted in a harvest of 1,080 RMP cranes, an 11 
percent decrease from the previous year's harvest.
    The Lower Colorado River Valley Population (LCRVP) survey results 
indicate a 16 percent increase from 2,646 birds in 2012, to 3,078 birds 
in 2013. The 3-year average is 2,713 LCRVP cranes, which is above the 
population objective of 2,500.
    The Eastern Population (EP) sandhill crane fall survey index 
(87,796) increased by 21 percent in 2012, and in Kentucky's second 
hunting season 92 cranes were harvested, up from 50 cranes in the 
inaugural season.

Woodcock

    Singing-ground and Wing-collection Surveys were conducted to assess 
the population status of the American woodcock (Scolopax minor). The 
Singing-ground Survey is intended to measure long-term changes in 
woodcock population levels. Singing-ground Survey data for 2013 
indicate that the

[[Page 45378]]

number of singing male woodcock per route in the Eastern and Central 
Management Regions were unchanged from 2012. There were no significant 
10-year trends in woodcock heard in the Eastern or Central Management 
Regions during 2003-13, which marks the tenth consecutive year that the 
10-year trend estimate for the Eastern Region was stable and the third 
year that the 10-year trend was stable for the Central Region. Both 
management regions have a long-term (1968-2012) declining trend (-1.0 
percent per year in the Eastern Management Region and -0.8 percent per 
year in the Central Management Region).
    The Wing-collection Survey provides an index to recruitment. Wing-
collection Survey data indicate that the 2012 recruitment index for the 
U.S. portion of the Eastern Region (1.65 immatures per adult female) 
was 1.9 percent less than the 2011 index, and 0.8 percent greater than 
the long-term (1963-2011) average. The recruitment index for the U.S. 
portion of the Central Region (1.66 immatures per adult female) was 8.0 
percent greater than the 2011 index and 5.7 percent greater than the 
long-term (1963-2011) average.

Band-Tailed Pigeons

    Two subspecies of band-tailed pigeon occur north of Mexico, and are 
managed as two separate populations: Interior and Pacific Coast. 
Information on the abundance and harvest of band-tailed pigeons is 
collected annually in the United States and British Columbia. Abundance 
information comes from the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and the Mineral 
Site Survey (MSS, specific to the Pacific Coast Population). Harvest 
and hunter participation are estimated from the Migratory Bird Harvest 
Information Program (HIP). The BBS provided evidence that the abundance 
of Pacific Coast band-tailed pigeons decreased (-2.0 percent per year) 
over the long term (1968-2012). Trends in abundance during the recent 
10- and 5-year periods were inconclusive. The MSS, however, provided 
some evidence that abundance decreased during the recent 9-year (-4.7 
percent per year) and 5-year (-4.0 percent per year) periods, but 
results were inconclusive. An estimated 3,900 hunters harvested 10,900 
birds in 2012.
    For Interior band-tailed pigeons, the BBS provided evidence that 
abundance decreased (-5.1 percent per year) over the long term (1968-
2012). Trends in abundance during the recent 10- and 5-year periods 
were inconclusive. An estimated 1,400 hunters harvested 2,900 birds in 
2012.

Mourning Doves

    We annually summarize information collected in the United States on 
survival, recruitment, abundance and harvest of mourning doves. We 
report on trends in the number of doves heard per route from the 
Mourning Dove Call-count Survey (CCS), doves seen per route from the 
CCS, birds heard and seen per route from the all-bird BBS, and provide 
absolute abundance estimates based on band recovery and harvest data. 
Harvest and hunter participation are estimated from the HIP.
    The CCS-heard data suggested that abundance of doves decreased in 
all three dove management units (Eastern [EMU], Central [CMU], and 
Western [WMU]) over the long term (1966-2013); within the EMU, however, 
there is evidence that abundance decreased in hunt States but increased 
in non-hunt States. In the recent 10 years, there was no evidence for a 
change in mourning dove abundance in the EMU, but there was evidence of 
a decline in the CMU and WMU. Over the most recent two years, there was 
no evidence for a change in abundance in any of the management units. 
Over the long term, trends based on CCS-heard and CCS-seen data were 
consistent in the CMU and WMU, but inconsistent in the EMU; CCS-seen 
data indicated that abundance increased in the EMU. BBS data suggested 
that the abundance of mourning doves over the long-term increased in 
the EMU and decreased in the CMU and WMU. Thus, over the long term, the 
three data sets provided consistent results for the CMU and WMU but not 
the EMU.
    Estimates of absolute abundance are available only since 2003, and 
indicate that there are about 349 million doves in the United States, 
and annual abundance during the recent 5 years appears stationary in 
the EMU and WMU, but may be declining in the CMU. However, abundance 
appeared to increase between 2011 and 2012 in the CMU and WMU. Based on 
a composite trend (weighted trend estimate using information from the 
CCS, BBS, and absolute abundance), the EMU and WMU populations were 
stationary over the previous 5 and 10 years, whereas the population in 
the CMU declined.
    Current (2012) HIP estimates for mourning dove total harvest, 
active hunters, and total days afield in the U.S. were 14,490,800 
birds, 828,900 hunters, and 2,538,000 days afield. Harvest and hunter 
participation at the unit level were: EMU, 6,279,900 birds, 349,600 
hunters, and 1,015,600 days afield; CMU, 6,361,600 birds, 338,700 
hunters, and 1,108,700 days afield; and WMU, 1,849,400 birds, 140,700 
hunters, and 413,700 days afield.

White-Winged Doves

    Two states harbor substantial populations of white-winged dove: 
Arizona and Texas. California and New Mexico also have substantial but 
smaller populations. Based on the preliminary HIP report for 2012, 
white-winged doves were harvested in 22 additional states. The Arizona 
Game and Fish Department monitors white-winged dove populations by 
means of a CCS to provide an annual index to population size. It runs 
concurrently with the Service's Mourning Dove CCS. The index of mean 
number of white-winged doves heard per route from this survey peaked at 
52.3 in 1968, but then declined until about 2000. The index had 
stabilized at around 25 doves per route in the last few years; however, 
for 2013, the mean number of doves heard per route was 16.8. Harvest of 
white-winged doves in Arizona peaked in the late 1960s at approximately 
740,000 birds, and has since declined and stabilized at around 100,000 
birds; the preliminary 2012 HIP estimate of harvest was 86,000 birds.
    In Texas, white-winged doves continue to expand their breeding 
range. Nesting by white-winged doves has been recorded in most 
counties, with new colonies recently found in east Texas. Nesting is 
essentially confined to urban areas, but appears to be expanding to 
exurban areas. Concomitant with this range expansion has been a 
continuing increase in white-winged dove abundance. A new distance-
based sampling protocol was implemented for Central and South Texas in 
2007, and has been expanded each year. In 2010, 4,650 points were 
surveyed statewide and the urban population of breeding white-winged 
doves was estimated at 4.6 million. Additionally, the Texas Parks and 
Wildlife Department has an operational white-winged dove banding 
program and has banded 52,001 white-winged doves from 2006 to 2010. The 
estimated harvest of white-wings in Texas in the 2012 season was 
1,414,800 birds. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department continues to 
work to improve the scientific basis for management of white-winged 
doves.
    In California, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas BBS data 
indicate an increasing trend in the population indices between 1966 and 
2011. In Arizona BBS data indicate population indices were stationary 
between 1966 and 2011. According to HIP surveys, the preliminary 
harvest estimates for the

[[Page 45379]]

2012 season were 42,200 white-winged doves in California, and 79,500 in 
New Mexico. In 2012 white-winged doves were also harvested (range 100 
to 8,700 per state) in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, 
Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, 
Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, 
Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.

White-Tipped Doves

    White-tipped doves occur primarily south of the United States-
Mexico border; however, the species does occur in Texas. Monitoring 
information is presently limited. White-tipped doves are believed to be 
maintaining a relatively stable population in the Lower Rio Grande 
Valley of Texas. Distance-based sampling procedures implemented in 
Texas are also providing limited information on white-tipped dove 
abundance. Texas is working to improve the sampling frame to include 
the rural Rio Grande corridor in order to improve the utility of 
population indices. Annual estimates for white-tipped dove harvest in 
Texas average between 3,000 and 4,000 birds.

Review of Public Comments

    The preliminary proposed rulemaking (April 9 Federal Register) 
opened the public comment period for migratory game bird hunting 
regulations and announced the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 
2013-14 duck hunting season. Comments concerning early-season issues 
and the proposed alternatives are summarized below and numbered in the 
order used in the April 9 Federal Register document. Only the numbered 
items pertaining to early-seasons issues and the proposed regulatory 
alternatives for which we received written comments are included. 
Consequently, the issues do not follow in consecutive numerical or 
alphabetical order.
    We received recommendations from all four Flyway Councils. Some 
recommendations supported continuation of last year's frameworks. Due 
to the comprehensive nature of the annual review of the frameworks 
performed by the Councils, support for continuation of last year's 
frameworks is assumed for items for which no recommendations were 
received. Council recommendations for changes in the frameworks are 
summarized below.
    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 
in the April 9 Federal Register document.

1. Ducks

    Categories used to discuss issues related to duck harvest 
management are: (A) General Harvest Strategy; (B) Regulatory 
Alternatives, including specification of framework dates, season 
lengths, and bag limits; (C) Zones and Split Seasons; and (D) Special 
Seasons/Species Management. The categories correspond to previously 
published issues/discussions, and only those containing substantial 
recommendations are discussed below.

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 9 Federal Register, we 
intend to continue use of Adaptive Harvest Management (AHM) to help 
determine appropriate duck-hunting regulations for the 2013-14 season. 
AHM is a tool that permits sound resource decisions in the face of 
uncertain regulatory impacts, as well as providing a mechanism for 
reducing that uncertainty over time. The current AHM protocol is used 
to evaluate four alternative regulatory levels based on the population 
status of mallards and their breeding habitat (i.e., abundance of 
ponds) (special hunting restrictions are enacted for certain species, 
such as canvasbacks, black ducks, scaup, and pintails).
    Unfortunately, this year a mechanical issue with the Service 
aircraft normally used in the Eastern Survey Area of the May Breeding 
Population and Habitat Survey prohibited the use of those aircraft to 
conduct this year's survey. Lack of reliable data from Canadian survey 
strata (51-54, 56) precludes a reliable estimate of the Eastern mallard 
breeding population for 2013. As a result, an observed 2013 breeding 
population (BPOP) estimate will not be available for updating model 
weights and deriving the 2013 harvest policy. Therefore, we propose to 
predict the 2013 BPOP size based on the 2012 BPOP estimate and 2012 
model weights, the 2012-13 harvest rate, and the current model set. 
That predicted value will be used in place of the observed value for 
this year, and that value will be compared with last year's (2012) AHM 
harvest policy matrix to determine the optimal regulatory alternative 
for the 2013-14 regular duck seasons in the Atlantic Flyway. Further 
details on these proposed technical changes will be detailed in the 
forthcoming AHM report for the 2013 season.
    Regarding the Mississippi Flyway Council's recommendation for a 
one-step constraint, we have repeatedly stated over the past several 
years that we believe that the new Supplemental Environmental Impact 
Statement (SEIS) for the migratory bird hunting program (see National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) section) is the appropriate venue for 
considering such changes in a more comprehensive manner that involves 
input from all Flyways. With the May 24, 2013, release of the new SEIS 
and the associated Record of Decision (RoD) contained in this rule, we 
believe that any recommendations for changes such as the inclusion of a 
one-step constraint should be considered within the context of the 
process that is being used to revise current AHM protocols. As AHM 
decision-making frameworks are modified, regulatory alternatives should 
be crafted by the Flyways in the context of those changes, including 
revised harvest management objectives and the demographic models that 
predict changes in waterfowl status due to those regulations.
    We will propose a specific regulatory alternative for each of the 
Flyways during the 2013-14 season after survey information becomes 
available later this summer. More information on AHM is located at 
http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/CurrentBirdIssues/Management/AHM/AHM-intro.htm.

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 2012-13.
    Service Response: The regulatory alternatives proposed in the April 
9 Federal Register will be used for the 2013-14 hunting season (see 
accompanying table at the end of this proposed rule for specifics). In 
2005, the AHM regulatory alternatives were modified to consist only of 
the maximum season lengths, framework dates, and bag limits for total 
ducks and mallards. Restrictions for certain species within these 
frameworks that are not covered by existing harvest strategies will be 
addressed during the late-season regulations process. For those species 
with specific harvest strategies (canvasbacks, pintails, black ducks, 
and scaup), those strategies will again be used for the 2013-14 hunting 
season.

[[Page 45380]]

D. Special Seasons/Species Management

i. Special Teal Seasons
    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central 
Flyway Councils recommended that the daily bag limit be increased from 
4 to 6 teal in the aggregate during the Special September teal season. 
The Atlantic Flyway Council also recommended that we allow Maryland to 
adjust existing shooting hours during the Special September teal season 
from sunrise to one-half hour before sunrise on an experimental basis 
during 2013-15 seasons.
    Service Response: We appreciate the long-standing interest by the 
Flyway Councils to pursue additional teal harvest opportunity. With 
this interest in mind, in 2009, the Flyways and Service began to assess 
the collective results of all teal harvest, including harvest during 
special September seasons. The Teal Harvest Potential Working Group 
conducted this assessment work, which included a thorough assessment of 
the harvest potential for both blue-winged and green-winged teal, as 
well as an assessment of the impacts of current special September 
seasons on these two species. Cinnamon teal were subsequently included 
in this assessment.
    In the April 9, 2013, Federal Register, we stated that the final 
report of the Teal Harvest Potential Working Group indicated that 
additional opportunity could be provided for blue-winged teal and 
green-winged teal. Therefore, we support recommendations from the 
Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyway Councils that the daily bag 
limit be increased from 4 to 6 teal in the aggregate during the Special 
September teal season in 2013-14. However, we will not support 
additional changes to the structure of the September teal season until 
specific management objectives for teal have been articulated and a 
comprehensive, cross-flyway approach to developing and evaluating other 
potential avenues by which additional teal harvest opportunity can be 
provided has been completed. We recognize this comprehensive approach 
may include addition of new hunting seasons (e.g., September teal 
seasons in northern States) as well as expanded hunting opportunities 
(e.g., season lengths, bag limits) in States with existing teal 
seasons. In order to assess the overall effects of these changes, an 
evaluation plan must be developed that includes specific objectives and 
is tailored to appropriately address concerns about potential impacts 
resulting from the type of opportunity offered. We outlined guidance 
for conducting special season evaluations in SEIS 88 (Controlled Use of 
Special Regulations, pp 82-83) which should be used when developing the 
plan. We recognize that additional technical and coordination work will 
need to be accomplished to complete this task, thus, a small technical 
group comprised of members from the Flyway Councils and Service should 
be convened. We look forward to working with the Flyway Councils in 
undertaking the technical work needed to develop regulatory proposals, 
and would expect a progress report on such work at the February 2014 
Service Regulations Committee meeting.
    In the interest of guiding State and Federal workloads and 
facilitating a timely process for providing additional teal harvest 
opportunity, we provide the following initial considerations. First, we 
have stated that the primary focus of special season regulations is 
underutilized species and/or stocks whose migration and distribution 
provide opportunities outside the time period in which regular seasons 
are held, and where such harvest can occur without appreciable impacts 
to non-target species (SEIS 2013). Although the Teal Harvest Potential 
Working Group's report documented the existence of additional blue-
winged and green-winged teal harvest opportunity, we believe the unique 
migration behavior of blue-winged teal presents the opportunity to 
isolate only that species both temporally and geographically, 
consistent with the intent of special regulations. Consequently, 
regulatory proposals to increase teal harvest should direct harvest 
primarily at blue-winged teal.
    Second, previous alternatives to provide additional teal harvest 
opportunities have included bonus teal, Special September duck seasons 
in Iowa, and Special September teal/wood duck seasons. Following 
implementation of the SEIS 88 regarding the sport hunting of migratory 
birds, all of these efforts were reviewed. Assessments of special 
hunting opportunities, including September teal seasons and bonus teal 
bags, were conducted. The results of these reviews indicated that the 
September teal seasons could adequately be assessed regarding their 
effects on migratory birds, but that bonus teal regulations could not. 
Thus, in the early 1990s, bonus teal bags were no longer offered in the 
annual duck regulations frameworks. With regard to Special September 
duck seasons, we have previously stated that mixed-species special 
seasons (as defined in the context of SEIS 88) are not a preferred 
management approach, and that we do not wish to entertain refinements 
to this season or foster expansions of this type of season into other 
States (August 29, 1996, 61 FR 45838). Special September teal/wood duck 
seasons in Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky have been provided in lieu 
of Special September teal seasons and our preference at this time is to 
maintain that policy. If Flyway Councils wish to pursue these 
regulatory approaches to providing additional teal harvest opportunity, 
we request that they provide compelling information as to why such 
policies and approaches should be reinstated (i.e., bonus teal) or 
expanded/modified (i.e., September duck seasons or September teal/wood 
duck seasons).
    A copy of the teal working group's final report is available on our 
Web site at either http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds, or at http://www.regulations.gov.
    Regarding the regulations for this year, utilizing the criteria 
developed for the teal season harvest strategy, this year's estimate of 
7.7 million blue-winged teal from the traditional survey area indicates 
that a 16-day September teal season in the Atlantic, Central, and 
Mississippi Flyways is appropriate for 2013.
    Regarding the Atlantic Flyway Council's request to allow Maryland 
to adjust existing shooting hours during the Special September teal 
season from sunrise to sunset to one-half hour before sunrise to sunset 
on an experimental basis, we agree. Since the inception of Maryland's 
September teal season in 1998, Maryland has utilized shooting hours of 
sunrise to sunset. Maryland has agreed to conduct hunter performance 
surveys to assess the impacts of the expanded shooting hours on non-
target waterfowl species. The hunter performance survey and assessment 
criteria will be specified in an agreement between Maryland and the 
Service.

2. Sea Ducks

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
that the Service amend the annual waterfowl hunting regulations at 50 
CFR 20.105 to allow the shooting of crippled waterfowl from a motorboat 
under power in New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia 
in those areas described, delineated, and designated in their 
respective hunting regulations as special sea duck hunting areas.
    Service Response: We concur with the Atlantic Flyway's 
recommendation and

[[Page 45381]]

note that this provision is already allowed in all other Atlantic 
Flyway States with special sea duck hunting areas. Sea duck hunting 
areas are typically large, open water areas (i.e., Atlantic Ocean) at 
least 800 yards from shore where it is not reasonable to use retrieving 
dogs. Further, all States with sea duck seasons have defined special 
sea duck hunting areas described, delineated, and designated in their 
respective hunting regulations as special sea duck hunting areas.

4. Canada Geese

A. Special Seasons

    Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended 
increasing the daily bag limit in Minnesota from 5 geese to 10 geese 
during the special September season in certain areas of the State. The 
Council further recommended that there be no possession limits for 
Canada geese in either special seasons or regular seasons (see 22. 
Other for further discussion on possession limits).
    Service Response: We agree with the Mississippi Flyway Council's 
request to increase the Canada goose daily bag limit within certain 
areas that have experienced higher levels of agricultural depredations 
in Minnesota. The Special Early Canada Goose hunting season is 
generally designed to reduce or control overabundant resident Canada 
geese populations. Increasing the daily bag limit from 5 to 10 geese in 
certain areas may help reduce or control existing high populations of 
resident Canada geese and associated agricultural depredation problems. 
Nest and egg permits, airport removal, trap and euthanize, and 
agricultural shooting permits have all been used in efforts to address 
damage caused by overabundant Canada geese. In 2012, a record number of 
shooting permits (234) were issued to landowners dealing with excessive 
numbers of Canada geese causing agricultural damage.
    The breeding population of resident Canada geese in Minnesota has 
averaged 332,000 Canada geese, since 2001, which is 33 percent higher 
than the goal of 250,000 Canada geese. In 2012, the breeding population 
estimate was 434,000 Canada geese, which was the highest estimate on 
record and 74 percent above the population goal. Annual harvest of 
Canada geese in Minnesota has averaged 220,000 since 2001, with harvest 
during the September season averaging 98,000 Canada geese. Further, 
Minnesota has used a variety of methods to increase the harvest of 
resident Canada geese, including an expanded September season (Sept. 1 
through 22) and expanded opportunity during the regular season.
    Bag limits for Canada geese above 5 per day during the September 
season have not yet been used in the Mississippi Flyway during 
September seasons. Based on bag frequency data from Atlantic Flyway 
States that have utilized Canada goose daily bag limits of 15 during 
September seasons, increasing the daily bag limit from 5 to 10 is 
expected to increase Canada goose harvest approximately 16 percent 
during the September season. Thus, a daily bag limit of 10 geese 
implemented Statewide in Minnesota during the September season would be 
expected to increase the annual harvest from 98,000 to 114,000 during 
the September 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 the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin 
be September 16, 2013, and in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan be 
September 11, 2013. The Council further recommended that there be no 
possession limits for Canada geese throughout the Flyway (see 22. Other 
for further discussion on possession limits).
    Service Response: We concur with recommended framework opening 
dates. Michigan, beginning in 1998, and Wisconsin, beginning in 1989, 
have opened their regular Canada goose seasons prior to the Flyway-wide 
framework opening date to address resident goose management concerns in 
these States. As we have previously stated (73 FR 50678, August 27, 
2008), we agree with the objective to increase harvest pressure on 
resident Canada geese in the Mississippi Flyway and will continue to 
consider the opening dates in both States as exceptions to the general 
Flyway opening date, to be reconsidered annually. The framework closing 
date for the early goose season in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is 
September 10. By changing the framework opening date for the regular 
season to September 11 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan there will be 
no need to close goose hunting in that area for 5 days and thus lose 
the ability to maintain harvest pressure on resident Canada geese. We 
note that the most recent resident Canada goose estimate for the 
Mississippi Flyway was a record high 1,767,900 geese during the spring 
of 2012, 8 percent higher than the 2011 estimate of 1,629,800 geese, 
and well above the Flyway's population goal of 1.18 to 1.40 million 
birds. See 23. Other for further discussion on possession limits.

9. Sandhill Cranes

    Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended 
implementation of a 3-year, experimental 60-day sandhill crane season 
in Tennessee beginning in the 2013-14 season.
    The Central Flyway Council recommended increasing the season length 
in North Dakota's eastern sandhill crane hunting zone (Area 2) from 37 
to 58 days in length.
    The Central and Pacific Flyway Councils recommend using the 2013 
Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) sandhill crane harvest allocation of 
771 birds as proposed in the allocation formula using the 3-year 
running average of fall population estimates for 2010-12.
    Service Response: We concur with the Mississippi Flyway Council's 
recommendation concerning an experimental season in Tennessee. We note 
that a management plan for the Eastern Population of sandhill cranes 
was approved by the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway Councils in 2010. 
The plan contained provisions and guidelines for establishing hunting 
seasons in the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyway States if the fall 
population was above a minimum threshold of 30,000 cranes. The 
management plan also sets an overall harvest objective for an 
individual State to be no more than 10 percent of the 5-year average 
peak population estimate in that State. Since Tennessee's 5-year 
average peak population count is 23,334 cranes, the State's maximum 
allowable harvest would be 2,333 cranes. Tennessee's proposed 
experimental season would limit the number of crane hunters to 775 with 
each hunter receiving 3 tags for a maximum allowed harvest of 2,325 
cranes. Given Tennessee's proposed harvest monitoring system, the 
maximum allowed harvest of 2,333 cranes cannot be exceeded.
    Additionally, we prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) on 
the hunting of EP sandhill cranes in Tennessee as allowed under the 
management plan. A copy of the draft EA and specifics of the two 
alternatives we analyzed can be found on our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds, or at http://www.regulations.gov. Our EA 
outlines two different approaches for assessing the ability of the EP 
crane population to withstand the level of harvest contained in EP 
management plan: (1) The potential biological removal allowance method; 
and (2) a simple population

[[Page 45382]]

model using fall survey data and annual survival rates. The EA 
concluded that the anticipated combined level of harvest and crippling 
loss in Tennessee could be sustained by the proposed hunt. Furthermore, 
population modeling indicated that any harvest below 2,000 birds would 
still result in a growing population of EP cranes. We anticipate that 
the proposed action to allow a new experimental EP crane hunt in 
Tennessee, combined with the existing experimental EP crane season in 
Kentucky, would result in a potential take of 1,875 cranes, or only 2.7 
percent of the EP population being harvested, which is lower than the 
percentage currently experienced in either the RMP or Mid-continent 
Population. Thus, we believe the proposed action would still allow 
positive growth of the EP sandhill crane population. We further believe 
that we have fulfilled our NEPA obligation with the preparation of an 
EA, and therefore an EIS is not required.
    The proposed crane hunt in Tennessee would begin in early December 
and continue until late January. These proposed season dates would 
begin approximately 2 to 3 weeks after whooping cranes are normally 
migrating through Tennessee and would reduce the likelihood that 
sandhill crane hunters would encounter whooping cranes. We further note 
that whooping cranes that migrate through Tennessee are part of the 
experimental nonessential population of whooping cranes (NEP). In 2001, 
the Service announced its intent to reintroduce whooping cranes (Grus 
americana) into historic habitat in the eastern United States with the 
intent to establish a migratory flock that would summer and breed in 
Wisconsin, and winter in west-central Florida (66 FR 14107, March 9, 
2001). We designated this reintroduced population as an NEP according 
to section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as 
amended (66 FR 33903, June 26, 2001). Mississippi and Atlantic Flyway 
States within the NEP area maintain their management prerogatives 
regarding the whooping crane. They are not directed by the 
reintroduction program to take any specific actions to provide any 
special protective measures, nor are they prevented from imposing 
restrictions under State law, such as protective designations, and area 
closures.
    We also support the Central Flyway Council's recommendation to 
increase the season length for midcontinent sandhill cranes in the 
eastern zone of North Dakota (Area 2). However, we believe additional 
information recently published on the demographics of this population 
should be incorporated into a revised management plan, and that the 
revised plan should include more specificity regarding how harvest 
opportunities should be expanded and restricted based on population 
status and harvest. Such a process is essential to successful, 
collaborative management of shared populations by the Service and the 
Flyways. We do not want to address regulatory changes in an incremental 
manner and believe codifying specifically in a management plan how such 
changes in harvest opportunities will occur would achieve that end.
    We also agree with the Central and Pacific Flyway Councils' 
recommendations on the RMP sandhill crane harvest allocation of 771 
birds for the 2013-14 season, as outlined in the RMP sandhill crane 
management plan's harvest allocation formula. The objective for RMP 
sandhill cranes is to manage for a stable population index of 17,000-
21,000 cranes determined by an average of the three most recent, 
reliable September (fall pre-migration) surveys. Additionally, the RMP 
management plan allows for the regulated harvest of cranes when the 3-
year average of the population indices exceeds 15,000 cranes. In 2012, 
15,417 cranes were counted in the September survey, a decrease from the 
previous year's count of 17,494 birds. The most recent 3-year average 
for the RMP sandhill crane fall index is 17,992, a decrease from the 
previous 3-year average of 19,626.

14. Woodcock

    In 2011, we implemented an interim harvest strategy for woodcock 
for a period of 5 years (2011-15) (76 FR 19876, April 8, 2011). The 
interim harvest strategy provides a transparent framework for making 
regulatory decisions for woodcock season length and bag limit while we 
work to improve monitoring and assessment protocols for this species. 
Utilizing the criteria developed for the interim strategy, the 3-year 
average for the Singing Ground Survey indices and associated confidence 
intervals fall within the ``moderate package'' for both the Eastern and 
Central Management Regions. As such, a ``moderate season'' for both 
management regions for the 2013-14 woodcock hunting season is 
appropriate for 2013. Specifics of the interim harvest strategy can be 
found at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewsPublicationsReports.html.

15. Band-Tailed Pigeons

    Council Recommendations: The Pacific Flyway Council recommended 
reducing the daily bag limit from 5 to 2 pigeons for the Interior 
Population.
    Service Response: We have a long-standing practice of giving 
considerable deference to harvest strategies developed in cooperative 
Flyway management plans. However, a harvest strategy does not exist for 
the Interior Population of band-tailed pigeons even though the 
development of one was identified as a high priority when the 
management plan was adopted in 2001. Because the Pacific Flyway 
Council's recommendation is not supported by the Central Flyway at this 
time, we recommend that the two Flyway Councils discuss this issue and 
advise us of the results of these deliberations in their respective 
recommendation packages from their meetings next March. It is our 
desire to see adoption of a mutually acceptable harvest strategy for 
this population as soon as possible.

16. 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 2013-14 mourning dove season in the 
States within the Central Management Unit. The Central Flyway Council 
previously recommended that the Special White-winged Dove Area be 
expanded to Interstate Highway 37 in the 2013-14 season.
    The Pacific Flyway Council recommended use of the ``moderate'' 
season framework for States in the Western Management Unit (WMU) 
population of doves, which represents no change from last year's 
frameworks.
    The Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific Flyway Councils 
also recommended that the present interim mourning dove harvest 
strategy be replaced by a new national mourning dove harvest strategy 
for implementation beginning with the 2014-15 season. The new strategy 
uses a discrete logistic growth model based on information derived from 
the banding program, the Harvest Information Program, and the mourning 
dove parts collection survey to predict mourning dove population size 
in a Bayesian statistical framework. The method is similar to other 
migratory bird strategies already in place and

[[Page 45383]]

performs better than several other modeling strategies that were 
evaluated by the National Mourning Dove Task Force. The strategy uses 
mourning dove population thresholds to determine a regulation package 
for mourning doves for each year. The Central and Mississippi Flyway 
Councils did, however, recommend several changes to the strategy, 
including a reduced closure threshold, using a running 3-year average 
of abundance in assessing regulatory change, and holding regulations 
constant for 3 years.
    Service Response: In 2008, we accepted and endorsed the interim 
harvest strategies for the Central, Eastern, and Western Management 
Units (73 FR 50678, August 27, 2008). As we stated then, the interim 
mourning dove harvest strategies are a step towards implementing the 
Mourning Dove National Strategic Harvest Plan (Plan) that was approved 
by all four Flyway Councils in 2003. The Plan represents a new, more 
informed means of decision-making for dove harvest management besides 
relying solely on traditional roadside counts of mourning doves as 
indicators of population trend. However, recognizing that a more 
comprehensive, national approach would take time to develop, we 
requested the development of interim harvest strategies, by management 
unit, until the elements of the Plan can be fully implemented. In 2009, 
the interim harvest strategies were successfully employed and 
implemented in all three Management Units (74 FR 36870, July 24, 2009).
    We concur with the Atlantic and Pacific Flyway Councils' 
recommendations that the National mourning dove harvest strategy, as 
developed by the Mourning Dove Task Force, be adopted this year for 
implementation in 2014-15 hunting season. This strategy would replace 
the Interim Harvest Strategies that have been in place since 2009. 
While we appreciate the Central and Mississippi Flyway Councils' 
recommendations supporting implementation of the National mourning dove 
harvest, we do not support the changes proposed by the Central and 
Mississippi Flyway Councils specific to the Central Management Unit. 
More specifically, we do not support the reduced closure threshold, 
using a running 3-year average of abundance in assessing regulatory 
change, and holding regulations constant for at least 3 years. We 
support continued development and further evaluation of the 
modifications proposed by the Mississippi and Central Flyways, 
including appropriate closure levels for each management unit based on 
objective biological criteria. The Mourning Dove Task Force is a useful 
venue for developing these issues for future consideration and 
potential modification to the National Strategy.
    This year, based on the interim harvest strategies and current 
population status, we agree with the recommended selection of the 
``moderate'' season frameworks for doves in the Eastern, Central, and 
Western Management Units.
    Regarding the Central Flyway Council's recommendation to expand the 
Special White-winged Dove Area in Texas, we expressed our support for 
this recommendation last year and addressed it in the August 30, 2012, 
Federal Register (77 FR 53118). The then-approved changes take effect 
this season.

22. Other

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
increasing the possession limits for sora and Virginia rails from 1 to 
3 times the aggregate daily bag limit, consistent with the Council's 
proposed bag limits for all other migratory game birds during normal 
established hunting seasons.
    The Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific Flyway Councils 
recommended increasing the possession limit from 2 to 3 times the daily 
bag limit for doves.
    The Pacific Flyway Council recommended increasing the possession 
limit from 2 to 3 times the daily bag limit for band-tailed pigeons; 
special September Canada goose seasons; snipe; falconry; and Alaska 
seasons for brant, sandhill cranes, and geese (except dusky Canada 
geese).
    The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that the Service 
increase the possession limit from 2 times to 3 times the daily bag 
limit for all migratory game bird species and seasons except for Canada 
geese, where they recommended that there be no possession limit, or 
other overabundant species for which no current possession limits are 
currently assigned (e.g., light geese), where there would continue to 
be no possession limits. The Council also recommended increasing the 
possession limits for sora and Virginia rails from 1 to 3 times the 
aggregate daily bag limit, consistent with other possession limit 
recommendations, and no change for those species that currently have 
permit hunts (e.g., cranes and swans). The Council recommends these 
changes be implemented beginning in the 2013-14 season. New and/or 
experimental seasons could have different possession limits if 
justified. The Council further recommended that possession limits not 
apply at one's personal permanent residence and specifically 
recommended language to modify 50 CFR 20.39 to do so.
    Lastly, the Central Flyway Council recommended that the Service 
develop a mechanism that allows not for profit community food 
distribution centers to exceed possession limits for Canada geese 
during the regular hunting season.
    Service Response: The issue of possession limits was first raised 
by the Flyway Councils in the summer of 2010. At that time, we stated 
that we were generally supportive of the Flyways' interest in 
increasing the possession limits for migratory game birds and 
appreciated the discussions to frame this important issue (75 FR 58250, 
September 23, 2010). We also stated that we believed there were many 
unanswered questions regarding how this interest could be fully 
articulated in a proposal that satisfies the harvest management 
community, while fostering the support of the law enforcement community 
and informing the general hunting public. Thus, we proposed the 
creation of a cross-agency Working Group, chaired by the Service, and 
comprised of staff from the Service's Migratory Bird Program, State 
Wildlife Agency representatives, and Federal and State law enforcement 
staff, to develop a recommendation that fully articulates a potential 
change in possession limits. This effort would include a discussion of 
the current status and use of possession limits, which populations and/
or species/species groups should not be included in any proposed 
modification of possession limits, potential law enforcement issues, 
and a reasonable timeline for the implementation of any such proposed 
changes.
    After discussions last year at the January SRC meeting, and March 
and July Flyway Council meetings, the Atlantic, Central, and Pacific 
Flyway Councils recommended that the Service increase the possession 
limit from 2 times to 3 times the daily bag limit for all migratory 
game bird species and seasons except for those species that currently 
have possession limits of less than 2 times the daily bag limit (e.g., 
some rail species), for permit hunts (e.g., cranes and swans), and for 
overabundant species for which no current possession limits are 
assigned (e.g., light geese), beginning in the 2013-14 season (77 FR 
58444; September 20, 2012). These recommendations from the Councils 
were one such outgrowth of the efforts started in 2010. With the 
Mississippi Flyway Council's recommendation and

[[Page 45384]]

the additional input and recommendations from all four Flyway Councils 
from their March 2013 Council meetings, we believe the Flyway Councils' 
consensus approach of moving from 2 times to 3 times the daily bag 
limit is appropriate for implementation beginning with the 2013-14 
season. Thus, we propose to increase the possession limit for all 
species for which we currently have possession limits of twice the 
daily bag limit to three times the daily bag limit. We also propose to 
include sora and Virginia rails in this possession limit increase. 
Possession limits for other species and hunts for which the possession 
limit is equal to the daily bag limit would remain unchanged, as would 
permit hunts for species such as swans and some crane populations.
    Additionally, as we discussed in the April 9 and June 14 proposed 
rules, when our initial review of possession limits was instituted in 
2010, we also realized that a review of possession limits could not be 
adequately conducted without expanding the initial review to include 
other possession-related regulations. In particular, it was our belief 
that any potential increase in the possession limits should be done in 
concert with a review and update of the wanton waste regulations in 50 
CFR 20.25. We believed it prudent to review some of the long-standing 
sources of confusion (for both hunters and law enforcement) regarding 
wanton waste. A review of the current Federal wanton waste regulations, 
along with various State wanton waste regulations, has been recently 
completed, and we anticipate publishing a proposed rule this summer to 
revise 50 CFR 20.25.
    Lastly, we recognize that there are other important issues 
surrounding possession that need to be reviewed, such as termination of 
possession (as recommended by the Mississippi Flyway Council). However, 
that issue is a much larger and more complex review than the wanton 
waste regulations and the possession limit regulations. We anticipate 
starting a review of termination of possession regulations upon 
completion of changes to the wanton waste regulations.
    Regarding the Central Flyway Council's recommendation to allow food 
banks to exceed possession limits for Canada geese, we note that this 
issue is outside the scope of this proposed rule. Such a proposal would 
require a change to 50 CFR 20.33 and would require a separate 
rulemaking process.

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 email 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, email 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.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    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 (EPA) on June 9, 1988, addresses NEPA compliance by 
the Service for issuance of the annual framework regulations for 
hunting of migratory game bird species. We published a notice of 
availability in the Federal Register on June 16, 1988 (53 FR 22582), 
and our Record of Decision on August 18, 1988 (53 FR 31341). We also 
address NEPA compliance for waterfowl hunting frameworks through the 
annual preparation of separate environmental assessments, the most 
recent being ``Duck Hunting Regulations for 2012-13,'' with its 
corresponding August 23, 2012, finding of no significant impact. We 
will prepare another separate EA for 2013-14 waterfowl hunting 
frameworks this summer. 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), the Service announced its intent to develop a new 
supplemental environmental impact statement for the migratory bird 
hunting program. We held public scoping meetings in the spring of 2006, 
as announced in a March 9, 2006, Federal Register notice (71 FR 12216). 
We published the 2010 draft supplemental environmental impact statement 
in the Federal Register on July 9, 2010 (73 FR 39577). The public 
comment period closed on March 26, 2011. On May 31, 2013, we published 
a notice of availability in the Federal Register (78 FR 32686) 
announcing a Second Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement 
for the Issuance of Annual Regulations Permitting the Hunting of 
Migratory Birds. The programmatic document was filed with the EPA on 
May 24, 2013, pursuant to the NEPA. The public review period ended July 
1, 2013.
    Below is the Service's Record of Decision (RoD) for the migratory 
bird hunting program, prepared pursuant to National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) regulations at 40 CFR 1505.2. We have provided it 
here in its entirety. This RoD was developed by the Service in 
compliance with the agency decision-making requirements of NEPA. The 
purpose of this RoD is to document the Service's decision for the 
selection of an alternative for the issuance of annual regulations 
permitting the hunting of migratory birds. Alternatives have been fully 
described and evaluated in the May 2013 Second Final Supplemental 
Environmental Impact Statement for the Issuance of Annual Regulations 
Permitting the Hunting of Migratory Birds.

[[Page 45385]]

    This RoD is intended to: (a) State the Service's decision, present 
the rationale for its selection, and describe its implementation; (b) 
identify the alternatives considered in reaching the decision; and (c) 
state whether all means to avoid or minimize environmental harm from 
implementation of the selected alternative have been adopted (40 CFR 
1505.2).

Record of Decision--Second Final Supplemental Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Issuance of Annual Regulations Permitting the Hunting 
of Migratory Birds

    Through this Record of Decision (RoD), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service) selects alternatives for the seven regulatory 
components considered for establishing annual regulations for the 
hunting of migratory birds in the United States. This RoD includes 
brief summaries of the alternatives considered, the public involvement 
process, and the rationale for selecting an alternative for each of the 
seven regulatory components considered, as described in the Final 
Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS), for issuance of 
annual migratory bird hunting regulations. In all cases, the 
``preferred'' alternative is also the environmentally preferred one.

Description of the Seven Regulatory Components and Alternatives 
Considered Under Each

1. Schedule and Timing of the General Regulatory Process

    Promulgation of annual hunting regulations relies on a well-defined 
process of monitoring, data collection, and scientific assessment. At 
key points during that process, Flyway Technical Committees, Flyway 
Councils, and the public review and provide valuable input on technical 
assessments or other documents related to proposed regulatory 
frameworks. The Service then finalizes the frameworks and forwards them 
to the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and 
Parks for final approval. After approval, each State selects its 
seasons, usually following its own schedule of public hearings and 
other deliberations. After State selections are completed, the Service 
adopts them as Federal regulations by publication in the Federal 
Register.
    Alternative 1: (no change alternative). Promulgate annual 
regulations using separate early and late season processes based on 
previous or current year biological information and established harvest 
strategies.
    Alternative 2: (preferred alternative). Promulgate annual 
regulations using a single process for early and late seasons based on 
predictions derived from long-term biological information and 
established harvest strategies.
    Alternative 3: Promulgate biennial (or longer) regulations using 
separate early and late season processes.
    Alternative 4: Promulgate biennial (or longer) regulations using a 
single process for early and late seasons.
    Decision: The Service has selected Alternative 2 as described in 
the FSEIS for implementation. Alternative 2 is the most effective 
alternative for addressing key issues identified during the planning 
process and will best achieve the purposes and goals of the Service and 
States. Implementation of the preferred alternative is targeted for the 
2015-16 regulations cycle.
    Factors Considered in Making the Decision: In reaching this 
decision, the Service reviewed and considered the following: Impacts 
identified in Chapter 6 of the draft and FSEIS; relevant issues, 
concerns, and opportunities presented by agencies, organizations, and 
individuals throughout the planning process, including comments on the 
draft and FSEIS; and other relevant factors, including statutory and 
regulatory guidance.
    The Service concludes that the impact of Alternative 2 on hunted 
populations of migratory birds compared to the no change alternative is 
likely to be minimal. Alternative 2 combines the current early and late 
season regulatory actions into a single process. Regulatory proposals 
will be developed using biological data from the preceding year(s), 
model predictions, or most recently accumulated data that are available 
at the time the proposals are being formulated. Individual harvest 
strategies will be modified using either data from the previous year(s) 
or model predictions because the current year's data would not be 
available for many of the strategies. Considerable technical work will 
be necessary over a period of years to adjust the underlying biological 
models to the new regulatory time scale. During this transition period, 
harvest strategies and prescriptions will be modified to fit into the 
new regulatory schedule. These adjustments could be accomplished 
immediately upon adoption of the new process. Many existing regulatory 
prescriptions used for Canada geese and sandhill cranes currently work 
on this basis. The process will be somewhat less precise in some 
instances because population projections would be used instead of 
current-year status information. The use of population projections 
rather than current-year population estimates would add variability to 
the population estimate from which the regulations are based. However, 
the uncertainty associated with these status predictions will be 
accounted for and incorporated into the process. This uncertainty will 
not result in a disproportionately higher harvest rate for any stock, 
either annually or on a cumulative basis, because these regulations 
likely would become slightly more conservative due to the increased 
uncertainty of the population status. Additionally, under this 
alternative, the SRC will meet in March or April (exact dates would be 
determined in consultation with the four Flyway Councils). Proposed 
frameworks will be available for public review by early June. Final 
frameworks will be published by mid-August. The schedule proposed under 
Alternative 2 will allow 30-60 days for public input and comments 
(currently the comment period is as short as 10 days). The four Flyway 
Councils could meet only once instead of twice, and the SRC will meet 
twice a year, once in January and once in March-April, instead of the 
three times they currently convene. The reduced number of meetings 
could lower administrative costs by 40 percent per year and 
substantially lower the Service's carbon footprint due to a decrease in 
travel and a reduction in the costs associated with the additional 
meetings.

2. Frequency of Review and Adoption of Duck Regulatory Packages

    Duck regulatory packages are the set of framework regulations that 
apply to the general duck hunting seasons. Packages include opening and 
closing dates, season lengths, daily bag limits, and shooting hours. 
Current regulatory packages contain a set of frameworks for each of the 
four flyways and a set of four regulatory alternatives: restrictive 
(relatively short seasons and low daily bag limits), moderate 
(intermediate season lengths and daily bag limits), liberal (longer 
seasons and higher daily bag limits), and closed. The differences in 
season lengths and daily bag limits among flyways reflect the historic 
differences in waterfowl abundance and hunter numbers in these regions. 
Each regulatory package has an associated target harvest rate, which is 
based on mallards since mallards are the most well-studied and most 
heavily harvested (nationally) of all duck species. Each year the 
adaptive harvest management (AHM) models are run, with the most up-to-
date harvest survey data included, and one of the regulatory 
alternatives

[[Page 45386]]

(i.e., closed, restrictive, moderate, or liberal) is selected based on 
the AHM process. These regulatory packages apply to all duck species 
except those for which specific individual harvest strategies exist or, 
in some cases, for species in which separate daily bag limits have been 
established. Daily bag limit restrictions within the general duck 
seasons are used to limit the harvest of certain less abundant species 
(e.g., American black duck, wood duck, mottled duck).
    Importantly, when employing the AHM approach, the regulatory 
packages should remain relatively constant over time, because the 
optimization process assumes that the expected harvest rates resulting 
from the various packages remains constant. However, the uncertainty in 
harvest rates from what is projected and what is realized in any given 
year is a component that is accounted for in the process; thus, there 
is room for modification. Recognizing the desire of many constituents 
to make adjustments to the basic packages, a regular process to review 
and incorporate possible modifications is necessary and appropriate. 
The intent, regardless of the alternative selected below, is to have 
the first open review and possible modification of these packages begin 
in the year following the finalization of the FSEIS.
    Alternative 1: (no change alternative). Regulatory packages adopted 
annually.
    Duck regulatory packages are currently reviewed and adopted on an 
annual basis (see above). This would continue under this alternative.
    Alternative 2: (preferred alternative). Establish regulatory 
packages for 5-year periods.
    A description of duck regulatory packages is provided above. Under 
this alternative, the set of regulatory packages would be adopted for a 
5-year period instead of annually, and changes would be considered at 
the time of renewal. The first review period would coincide with the 
initial implementation of the proposed action.
    Decision: The Service has selected Alternative 2 as described in 
the FSEIS for implementation. Alternative 2 is the most effective 
alternative for addressing key issues identified during the planning 
process and will best achieve the purposes and goals of the Service and 
States. Implementation of the preferred alternative is targeted for the 
2015-16 regulations cycle or as soon as is technically feasible.
    Factors Considered in Making the Decision: In reaching this 
decision, the Service reviewed and considered the following: Impacts 
identified in Chapter 6 of the draft and FSEIS; relevant issues, 
concerns, and opportunities presented by agencies, organizations, and 
individuals throughout the planning process, including comments on the 
draft and FSEIS; and other relevant factors, including statutory and 
regulatory guidance.
    The Service concludes that Alternative 2 allowing review and 
adoption of regulatory packages every 5 years instead of annually is 
the best course of action balancing the need for consistent regulatory 
actions with the need for occasional adjustments. Adopting such a 
process will result in limited impacts on population status. Limiting 
changes to a 5-year interval is expected to result in an improvement 
over the current situation. The improvement should result because of 
the reduced variability in harvest rates that are expected when 
compared to allowing annual changes in the basic duck regulatory 
packages. Adopting packages annually as is presently done could 
increase variability, if the packages are actually changed annually. In 
fact, and in recognition of this problem, the Service has kept packages 
stable, although it reviews and adopts them each year. Alternative 2 
will minimize the frequency of changes, thereby improving the learning 
potential under the AHM process, while still affording the option to 
adjust packages at regular intervals in recognition of changing bird 
status, environmental conditions, and socioeconomic changes.

3. Stock-Specific Harvest Strategies

    Harvest strategies have been developed for stocks deemed not 
biologically capable of sustaining the same harvest levels that jointly 
managed stocks are capable of sustaining, or whose migration and 
distribution do not conform to patterns followed by the most commonly 
harvested species. There also is a desire to have a known set of 
conditions under which regulations would be changed for species covered 
by these strategies. The formal strategies provide this information by 
describing abundance levels and other demographic factors that would 
result in changes in harvest opportunity. Stock-specific harvest 
strategies formally adopted by the Service include those for American 
black ducks, canvasbacks, northern pintails, and scaup. In addition, an 
interim harvest strategy was recently developed and proposed for 
approval for mourning doves starting with the 2014-15 hunting season. A 
draft harvest strategy for wood ducks may be developed and considered 
for adoption in the future. The Service has adopted stock-specific 
strategies for ducks and mourning doves through the Federal Register 
process. Harvest guidelines for goose, swan and crane populations are 
addressed in flyway-specific management plans. Although these harvest 
guidelines are not formally adopted by the Service, the Service gives 
strong consideration to these plans when formulating annual regulatory 
proposals.
    Alternative 1: (no change, preferred alternative). Continue use of 
currently employed stock-specific harvest strategies and develop new 
strategies when necessary.
    Alternative 2: Significantly reduce the use of stock-specific 
harvest strategies.
    This action would be accomplished by reducing general seasons to a 
structure that can be sustained by more stocks than the existing 
aggregate structures are able to sustain. For example, a simplified set 
of regulations for general duck seasons would result in a reduction in 
the number of separate harvest strategies that would be needed for 
ducks (e.g., duck limits overall would be reduced to those appropriate 
for scaup or northern pintails, whichever of these required the most 
conservative regulations).
    Alternative 3: Expand the use of stock-specific harvest strategies 
to include most individual stocks.
    This alternative would lead to additional stock-specific 
regulations that would eventually result in separate hunting seasons 
for most, if not all, recognized stocks for which harvest is allowed.
    Decision: The Service has selected Alternative 1 as described in 
the FSEIS for implementation. Alternative 1 is the most effective 
alternative for addressing key issues identified during the planning 
process and will best achieve the purposes and goals of the Service and 
States. Implementation of the preferred alternative is targeted for the 
2015-16 regulations cycle or as soon as is technically feasible.
    Factors Considered in Making the Decision: In reaching this 
decision, the Service reviewed and considered the following: Impacts 
identified in Chapter 6 of the draft and FSEIS; relevant issues, 
concerns, and opportunities presented by agencies, organizations, and 
individuals throughout the planning process, including comments on the 
draft and FSEIS; and other relevant factors, including statutory and 
regulatory guidance.
    The Service concludes that the use of stock-specific harvest 
strategies protects individual species deemed biologically incapable of 
sustaining the harvest levels imposed by the current AHM process based 
on mallard status.

[[Page 45387]]

Alternative 1 reduces the risk of overharvesting specific stocks 
without unnecessarily reducing harvest opportunities on more abundant 
species. Alternative 1 allows hunters, businesses, and governments to 
plan for hunting expenses and regulations in advance, since it provides 
a set of conditions under which regulations would be changed, and the 
extent of change in those regulations. However, adding additional 
strategies could increase regulatory complexity because there could be 
new strategies and associated regulations developed, as needed, to 
address additional stocks of migratory birds. Any new strategies will 
also increase the cost of the annual regulatory process. Thus, new 
strategies will only be added when there is a clear need and after 
consultation with State partners. New strategies will be proposed, and 
the public will be provided opportunities for comment. The Service will 
continue the current policy of reviewing, revising and/or eliminating 
strategies to reflect changes in the status and technical understanding 
of the strategies that are in use.

4. Special Regulations

    Special regulations differ from stock-specific harvest strategies 
because they entail additional days of harvest opportunity outside the 
established frameworks for general seasons, but within the 107-day 
limit mandated by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-712). 
Special regulations are employed to provide additional harvest 
opportunity on overabundant stocks, stocks that are lightly harvested 
and can sustain greater harvest pressure when harvest can be achieved 
without appreciable impacts to nontarget species, and/or stocks whose 
migration and distribution provide opportunities outside the time 
period in which regular seasons are held. An important tenet of special 
regulations is that harvest pressure can be effectively directed 
primarily at target stocks that can be temporally and geographically 
isolated so as to avoid nontarget take. Currently, special regulations 
include: (1) September teal seasons in the Atlantic, Mississippi, and 
Central Flyways; (2) September teal and wood duck seasons in Florida, 
Kentucky, and Tennessee; (3) the special sea duck season along the 
Atlantic Coast; and (4) special regulations on overabundant resident 
Canada geese. The Service has required that States implementing special 
regulations conduct experiments that assess the biological impacts of 
those seasons on both target and non-target stocks.
    Alternative 1: (no change alternative). No change to currently 
allowed special regulations.
    Maintain requirement for experimental evaluation of any proposed 
new special regulations and periodic assessments of the effects of 
special regulations to determine whether they are still justified.
    Alternative 2: (preferred alternative). Eliminate experimental 
evaluation requirements for special regulations on overabundant 
resident Canada geese, except for areas where previous evaluations 
indicate an unacceptable level of take of migrant Canada geese, and in 
areas which have not conducted evaluations where one could reasonably 
expect an unacceptable level of take of migrant Canada geese (e.g., 
areas in northern States). All special Canada goose seasons require 
Flyway Council endorsement, and Flyway Councils may request evaluations 
as part of the approval process if they believe such evaluations to be 
warranted. Additionally, if conditions are believed to have changed, 
new evaluations can be conducted for areas in which prior evaluations 
failed with respect to the take of migrant Canada geese. The Service 
may periodically re-evaluate existing special regulations for other 
species/stocks on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they are 
still justified, and will continue to require experiments for any other 
types of new special regulations. The Service will undertake a review 
of the Special harvest regulations in place for sea ducks.
    Decision: The Service has selected Alternative 2 as described in 
the FSEIS for implementation. Alternative 2 is the most effective 
alternative for addressing key issues identified during the planning 
process and will best achieve the purposes and goals of the Service and 
States. Implementation of the preferred alternative is targeted for the 
2015-16 regulations cycle or as soon following as is technically 
feasible.
    Factors Considered in Making the Decision: In reaching this 
decision, the Service reviewed and considered the following: Impacts 
identified in Chapter 6 of the draft and FSEIS; relevant issues, 
concerns, and opportunities presented by agencies, organizations, and 
individuals throughout the planning process, including comments on the 
draft and FSEIS; and other relevant factors, including statutory and 
regulatory guidance.
    The Service concludes that several target populations will benefit 
from the biological review that would determine if special harvest 
opportunities were still warranted. In particular, special seasons for 
sea ducks and teal will be considered. Elimination of experimental 
season evaluations for overabundant resident Canada geese is not 
expected to alter their population status, but is expected to expedite 
actions designed to increase harvest of these birds. Sufficient 
experimentation already has been conducted, and the results indicate 
that these seasons will not endanger the resident geese. There are some 
risks to non-target migrant Canada goose populations; however, recent 
studies provide sufficient data regarding select areas where such 
seasons could pose a problem for non-target goose populations and those 
areas will be addressed on a case-by-case basis to ensure non-resident 
stocks are not negatively impacted.
    Alternative 2 could lead to increased administrative costs 
associated with the re-evaluation of the existing special regulations. 
The Service has historically reviewed special regulations when changes 
in status or environmental conditions suggest there is a reason to do 
so. This alternative continues that practice. Although there could be 
an initial increase in cost associated with such re-evaluations, there 
could also be financial savings associated with elimination of the 
experimental evaluation requirement for most resident Canada goose 
special regulations. Depending on findings, the results of those 
evaluations could lead to expansion of one or more of the current 
special duck seasons or establishment of additional special seasons, 
either of which would result in more hunting opportunity and the 
associated economic benefits. On the other hand, evaluations could lead 
to reduction or elimination of one or more current special seasons, 
resulting in reduced hunting opportunity and some negative impacts on 
local economies. Expediting the approval of additional special 
regulations for resident Canada geese would increase harvest and result 
in fewer of those birds, which in turn would reduce crop depredation 
and other conflicts caused by their overabundance.

5. Management Scale for the Harvest of Migratory Birds

    Management scale is defined as the geographic area in which stocks 
are monitored and harvest is managed. Determining the appropriate scale 
of harvest management is important for two primary reasons: (1) Scale 
determines the degree to which harvest regulations can differ 
geographically, and (2) management at smaller geographic scales commits 
management agencies to increased monitoring efforts

[[Page 45388]]

on greater numbers of stocks of migratory birds. The finer the scale of 
management employed in harvest management, the higher the cost of 
monitoring to management agencies. The desire for smaller management 
scales is driven by the potential for increased harvest opportunity 
associated with more refined geographic management.
    Alternative 1: (no change, preferred alternative). Maintain the 
current scale of management for all migratory bird species.
    Under this alternative, ducks would be managed by flyway on the 
basis of three mallard stocks: Eastern, western, and mid-continent. For 
duck species that are covered by harvest strategies (e.g., pintails, 
scaup, and canvasbacks), the management scale would continue to be 
continental. New strategies would include geographic definitions of the 
applicable scale as part of their descriptions. American woodcock would 
continue to be managed as two units and mourning doves as three. 
Sandhill cranes, geese, tundra swans, and band-tailed pigeons would be 
managed as the currently defined individual populations. American black 
duck and wood duck seasons would remain as currently implemented. All 
geographic scales would be subject to periodic review and revision when 
new information becomes available, or if population distributions shift 
markedly in the future. This approach provides considerable allowances 
for differences in hunting opportunity based on geographic differences 
in population status and distribution, yet limits the number of 
different stocks that require individual monitoring to a manageable 
level.
    Alternative 2: Expand the existing management scale by reverting to 
a single continental management scale for population monitoring of 
ducks, mourning doves, and American woodcock. The existing harvest-
management units (e.g., flyways, management units) would be maintained 
to account for regional differences in hunter numbers and harvest 
pressure.
    This alternative would establish a continental scale for the 
monitoring of migratory game birds and harvest management decisions. 
Regional differences in population status and trends would not be taken 
into account when making regulatory decisions. The only geographic 
differences in harvest opportunity would be based on the traditional 
differences that have been established among flyways and among/between 
ducks, mourning dove, tundra swan, and American woodcock management 
units.
    Alternative 3: Work to further geographically refine the scale of 
duck harvest management, and maintain existing management scales for 
other stocks.
    Monitoring programs would be established wherever sufficient 
biological evidence suggests further geographic refinement is possible 
for any stocks. The monitoring programs would allow for differential 
harvest regulations within the defined range of each stock. 
Conceptually, this would greatly increase the number of stocks for 
which separate regulations would be established independently. This 
could include subdividing the traditional management units of flyways 
(in the case of ducks), or the management units, in the case of 
mourning doves or American woodcock.
    Decision: The Service has selected Alternative 1 as described in 
the FSEIS for implementation. Alternative 1 is the most effective 
alternative for addressing key issues identified during the planning 
process and will best achieve the purposes and goals of the Service and 
States. Implementation of the preferred alternative is targeted for the 
2015-16 regulations cycle or as soon following as is technically 
feasible.
    Factors Considered in Making the Decision: In reaching this 
decision, the Service reviewed and considered the following: Impacts 
identified in Chapter 6 of the draft and FSEIS; relevant issues, 
concerns, and opportunities presented by agencies, organizations, and 
individuals throughout the planning process, including comments on the 
draft and FSEIS; and other relevant factors, including statutory and 
regulatory guidance.
    The Service concludes that Alternative 1 ensures sustainable 
continental populations of mallards and other duck species that are the 
subjects of species-specific harvest strategies, because those harvest 
strategies are supported by adequate population size, harvest 
monitoring programs, and other relevant population statistics. 
Likewise, geese, mourning doves, woodcock, sandhill cranes, tundra 
swans, and band-tailed pigeons are monitored at their current 
management scales to ensure sustainability. However, if distinct 
subpopulations exist within any of the currently defined populations/
species, and have demographics that differ greatly from the management-
scale-wide average, those subpopulations could undergo undetected 
growth or decline under Alternative 1. Coots, gallinules, moorhens, 
snipe, and rails will be managed at the continental scale under this 
alternative. Alternative 1 maintains the traditional approach of 
allowing for recognition of geographic variation in harvest opportunity 
while maintaining a relatively limited number of geographic units that 
must be monitored and managed separately. Costs of monitoring and 
managing at the current scale have been considered acceptable to the 
public and the cooperating management agencies. To date, the level of 
hunting opportunity that this alternative affords has been adequate to 
satisfy migratory bird hunters in most years. This approach represents 
a compromise between recognition of existing natural variation in 
abundance and distribution with the costs associated with managing at 
more refined geographic scales, such as is considered in Alternative 3 
for this component.

6. Zones and Split Seasons

    A zone is a geographic area or portion of a State, with a 
contiguous boundary, for which an independent season may be selected. A 
split is a situation where a season is broken into two or more segments 
with a closed period between segments. The combination of zones and 
split seasons allows a State to maximize harvest opportunity within the 
Federal frameworks without exceeding the number of days allowed for a 
given season. Guidelines for the use of zones and splits have been 
formalized for ducks and doves. For these species, States select zone/
split configurations for 5-year periods. After each 5 year period, 
States have the opportunity to change their configurations within the 
provisions of the guidelines. The use of zones and split seasons for 
other migratory game birds is handled on a case-by-case basis. Refer to 
Chapter 2 of the FSEIS for a more in-depth description of zones and 
splits.
    Alternative 1: (no change, preferred alternative). Continue the 
current use of zones and split seasons and the 5-year schedule for 
consideration of changes for ducks and doves within established zones/
splits guidelines. Goose and crane zones may be adjusted annually.
    Alternative 2: Allow annual adjustments to zone/split-season 
configurations for all migratory game birds.
    Decision: The Service has selected Alternative 1 as described in 
the FSEIS for implementation. Alternative 1 is the most effective 
alternative for addressing key issues identified during the planning 
process and will best achieve the purposes and goals of the Service and 
States. Implementation of the preferred alternative is targeted for the

[[Page 45389]]

2015-16 regulations cycle or as soon following as is technically 
feasible.
    Factors Considered in Making the Decision: In reaching this 
decision, the Service reviewed and considered the following: Impacts 
identified in Chapter 6 of the draft and FSEIS; relevant issues, 
concerns, and opportunities presented by agencies, organizations, and 
individuals throughout the planning process, including comments on the 
draft and FSEIS; and other relevant factors, including statutory and 
regulatory guidance.
    The Service recognizes that the use of zones and split seasons 
results in some additional harvest, but the incremental impacts of each 
State's existing zone and split season configuration on the overall 
harvest of ducks and doves are not anticipated to be significant at the 
population level. However, most duck and dove populations are stable or 
increasing, indicating that within the context of other framework 
regulations, current zone and split season configurations are not 
adversely impacting those populations. When reductions in harvest are 
necessary, they are accomplished through framework regulations, taking 
into account the effects of existing zone and split season 
configurations. Thus, Alternative 1 is not expected to have any 
measurable impacts on target duck and dove populations compared to 
current practice. The use of zones and split seasons enables States to 
better maximize hunting opportunity, thereby encouraging participation 
in migratory bird hunting and resulting in increased benefits to local 
economies. Alternative 1 would maintain those benefits at current 
levels. Limiting the frequency of potential changes to the proposed 5-
year interval for zone/split-season configurations continues to be 
somewhat less responsive to public desires for adjustments, but there 
is no evidence that this has impacted hunter participation negatively. 
States incur some costs associated with contacting their hunting 
publics to assess their desires with regard to zone locations and dates 
for split seasons, primarily through public meetings and surveys.

7. Subsistence-Harvest Regulatory Process

    Regulations governing the subsistence harvest of migratory birds 
provide a framework that enables the continuation of customary and 
traditional subsistence uses of migratory birds in Alaska. These 
regulations are subject to annual review and are developed under a co-
management process involving the Service, the Alaska Department of Fish 
and Game, and Alaska Native representatives. This annual review process 
establishes regulations that prescribe frameworks for dates when 
harvesting of birds may occur, species that can be taken, and methods 
and means that are excluded from use.
    Alternative 1: (no change, preferred alternative). Allow a spring-
summer subsistence hunting season with regulations necessary to ensure 
the long-term conservation of the migratory bird resource.
    Under this alternative, the Service would allow a spring-summer 
harvest of migratory birds. The harvest would, to the extent possible, 
be consistent with the customary and traditional subsistence harvest of 
migratory birds by Alaskan indigenous inhabitants, while providing for 
the long-term sustained use of the migratory bird resource. Egg 
gathering would be consistent with the customary and traditional 
subsistence harvest of eggs by Alaskan indigenous inhabitants. Only 
bird populations that are determined to be capable of supporting this 
sustained use would be open to harvest.
    In general, the Service will consider the following actions when 
establishing subsistence hunting regulations consistent with the long-
term conservation of species open to subsistence harvest. The species 
open to harvest will be determined annually based on conservation 
status and a determination that harvest is consistent with long-term 
conservation. The secondary consideration of the Service in 
establishing subsistence harvest regulations will be to preserve the 
customary and traditional practices of the rural residents of Alaska to 
the maximum extent possible after ensuring the long-term conservation 
of species harvested. The third consideration of the Service in 
establishing subsistence harvest regulations will be to determine that 
the proposed harvest is consistent with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act 
(MBTA), as modified by amendments to the Protocols of Migratory Bird 
Treaties with Canada and Mexico. A summary of the potential management 
tools that could be employed to regulate subsistence harvest under 
these actions is as follows:
    (A) Closures to protect nesting birds. For all species, the Service 
will require at least a 30 day closure to protect nesting birds. In-
season closures of a minimum of 30 days will be set for each region to 
protect nesting birds. The closed period will apply every year; 
however, the dates of the closures may be altered to adapt to changes 
in the nesting cycle of birds. Regions may have different closures for 
different taxonomic groups. Closures may be set in advance in 
regulation or may be set in-season, based upon data collected by field 
biologists and subsistence users. In the case of closures set in-
season, the dates will be announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service Regional Director (or designee) and then broadcast widely.
    (B) Species closures to all harvest. Seasons for certain species 
may be closed when there is a conservation concern. Harvest will be 
resumed when the species recovers to a status sufficient to ensure 
sustainability.
    (C) Species closures to egg-gathering. Species may be closed to 
egg-gathering when there is a conservation concern. Egg harvest may be 
resumed when the species recovers to a status sufficient to ensure 
sustainability.
    (D) Special area closure. A defined area may be closed to all 
harvest of a species when there is a conservation concern. The closure 
may be lifted when the species has recovered. A defined area also may 
be closed to all harvest of a particular species when the species in 
question has not been traditionally harvested or when the Regional 
Council, which represents the land in question, recommends the closure.
    (E) Early season closure. A season may be closed early for a 
defined area to protect birds staging during migration when there is a 
conservation concern or the birds are vulnerable to excessive harvest.
    (F) Establishment of a community bag limit. A community or regional 
bag limit may be implemented only in the case in which the affected 
species would otherwise be closed to all harvest.
    (G) Special opening for a specified area. Special openings (i.e., 
egg gathering) may be created to allow for the customary and 
traditional use of a migratory bird species in areas that are not 
otherwise eligible to participate in subsistence harvest seasons. Such 
areas will be recommended by Regional Councils, and such 
recommendations will be based on evidence of customary and traditional 
subsistence harvest practices.
    (H) Individual bag limits. Personal harvester bag limits may be 
imposed in the case of a declining population of a species that would 
otherwise be closed, or an increasing population that is closed to 
harvest and would not otherwise be open. Personal bag limits will be 
employed only after consultation with respective regional management 
bodies affected through the Alaska Migratory Bird Co-management Council 
(AMBCC) process described in Appendix 6 of the FEIS.

[[Page 45390]]

    Alternative 2: Open a spring-summer subsistence hunting season that 
incorporates fall-winter hunting season regulations (e.g., bag limits, 
shooting hours).
    Under this alternative, the Service would replace the current 
spring-summer subsistence hunting season regulations with regulations 
consistent with the fall harvest. Methods and means required for fall-
winter hunting would be adopted, daily bag limits for individual 
hunters would be imposed, and fall regulations concerning exchange and 
transport of birds and bird parts would apply. Egg gathering would, to 
the extent possible, be consistent with the customary and traditional 
subsistence harvest of eggs by Alaskan indigenous inhabitants.
    The regulations at title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(CFR), part 20, subpart C (Taking), apply in this alternative with the 
exception of closed seasons (Sec.  20.22). 50 CFR 20, subpart D 
(Possession), also applies with the exception of Sec.  20.32. The final 
frameworks approved by the Secretary of the Interior for the Pacific 
Flyway season would apply with the following exceptions: (1) Shooting 
hours would not be specified; (2) the season would be from April 2 
through August 31; and (3) the closed periods to protect nesting birds 
described in Alternative 1 would apply.
    Decision: The Service has selected Alternative 1 as described in 
the FSEIS for implementation. Alternative 1 is the most effective 
alternative for addressing key issues identified during the planning 
process and will best achieve the purposes and goals of the Service and 
States. Implementation of the preferred alternative is targeted for the 
2015-16 regulations cycle or as soon following as is technically 
feasible.
    Factors Considered in Making the Decision: In reaching this 
decision, the Service reviewed and considered the following: Impacts 
identified in Chapter 6 of the draft and FSEIS; relevant issues, 
concerns, and opportunities presented by agencies, organizations, and 
individuals throughout the planning process, including comments on the 
draft and FSEIS; and other relevant factors, including statutory and 
regulatory guidance.
    The preamble of the 1995 Protocol to the Migratory Bird Treaty 
Amendment states, ``. . . it is not the intent of this Protocol to 
cause significant increases in the take of species of migratory birds 
relative to their continental population sizes.'' The use of household 
surveys of subsistence harvest areas will enable tracking of 
participation in subsistence harvest activities and the extent of the 
take. Should the harvest significantly increase relative to continental 
populations, then regulatory actions would be taken to keep harvest in 
compliance with the 1995 Protocol.
    Under Alternative 1, law enforcement efforts will be carried out 
commensurate with threats to migratory bird populations to ensure that 
compliance is achieved to maintain harvest at prescribed levels. The 
subsistence economies of rural areas will continue to benefit from an 
important food resource which is traditionally shared among members of 
a community. In addition, this alternative promotes the establishment 
of regulations recommended by the AMBCC which, along with the regional 
management bodies, is the embodiment of the co-management process. 
Greater compliance with regulations developed through the co-management 
process is more likely than with Alternative 2. By being part of the 
regulatory process, subsistence hunters, and those who share in the 
harvest, will have a sense of ownership, leading to greater compliance. 
An example of how this has worked in the past is the population 
recovery of cackling Canada geese that nest on the Yukon-Kuskokwim 
Delta, in Alaska. The institution of the Hooper Bay agreement in 
advance of the Migratory Bird Treaty Amendment led to reduced 
subsistence and reduced fall-winter harvests of cackling Canada geese 
and helped the population recover from a low of about 25,000 birds to 
the current population size of approximately 200,000. Participation in 
the regulatory process also is anticipated to result in greater 
participation in the harvest survey. Broader coverage of the survey 
would lead to more accurate harvest data because it would include the 
harvest of more of the subsistence hunter population.

Avoiding and Minimizing Environmental Harm

    The above seven components of the annual regulatory process are 
designed to continue and improve the long-standing Federal process for 
establishing regulations for hunting migratory birds. These components 
continue the process that has maintained this harvest consistent with 
the long-term conservation of the species and populations that are 
harvested. The preferred alternatives selected for these components 
will reduce the administrative burden and thus reduce the carbon 
footprint by both Federal and State government agencies by reducing the 
number of meetings conducted annually to establish these regulations. 
In addition, changing the timing of the meetings will now allow for a 
greater opportunity for public input and consideration of the proposed 
annual regulations. The changed process will also allow for periodic 
modifications of the underlying regulatory packages at 5-year intervals 
to better address potential changes in environmental conditions caused 
by factors other than hunting (i.e., climate change). These changes are 
possible due to improved technical understanding gained through decades 
of monitoring and assessment of these biological systems. This process 
will not alter the continued development and improvement of such 
understanding of the biological systems, as monitoring and assessment 
will continue on an annual basis.

Public Involvement

    Scoping is the initial stage of the EIS process used to design the 
extent and influence of an action. On September 8, 2005, the Service 
published a notice of intent to prepare a SEIS on the hunting of 
migratory birds under the authority of the MBTA (70 FR 53376). On March 
9, 2006, the Service subsequently announced a total of 12 public 
meetings to be held across the United States to accept public and 
agency comment on the scope and relevant issues that should be 
addressed in the SEIS (71 FR 12216). In addition to these public 
meetings, the Service established a Web site to receive electronic 
comments and solicited written comments. The Service also announced 
that all comments received from the initiation of this process on 
September 8, 2005 until May 30, 2006 would be considered in the 
development of the SEIS. Subsequent to the conclusion of the scoping 
process a draft FSEIS was developed based on the input received. The 
draft FSEIS was released for public comment on June 7, 2010 and 
comments were accepted until March 31, 2011. All comments on the draft 
FSEIS were carefully considered in the preparation of the FSEIS and the 
selection of the preferred alternatives for the seven regulatory 
components considered.

Findings Required by Other Laws and Executive Orders

    Please see the Other Required Determinations section of this 
document.

For Further Information

    Questions about the FSEIS may be directed to Robert Trost, Pacific 
Flyway Representative, Division of Migratory Bird Management, Portland, 
OR 97232; phone number (503) 231-6162, fax

[[Page 45391]]

number (503) 231-6228, and email: robert_trost@fws.gov.

Supporting References

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2010. Issuance of Annual Regulations 
Permitting the hunting of Migratory Birds: Draft Supplemental 
Environmental Impact Statement. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Washington, DC. 296 pages.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2013. Issuance of Annual Regulations 
Permitting the hunting of Migratory Birds: Final Supplemental 
Environmental Impact Statement. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Washington, DC. 418 pages.

    Note:  This RoD and supporting references are available for 
public review from the Pacific Flyway Representative, Division of 
Migratory Bird Management at (503) 231-6162, or the Chief, Division 
of Migratory Bird Management, at (703) 358-1714. Alternately, you 
may write to: Pacific Flyway Representative, Division of Migratory 
Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 911 NE 11th Avenue, 
Portland, OR 97232.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule does not contain any new information collection 
requirement that require approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). We may not conduct or sponsor and you 
are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it 
displays a currently valid OMB control number. OMB has reviewed and 
approved the information collection requirements associated with 
migratory bird surveys and assigned the following OMB control numbers:
     1018-0010--Mourning Dove Call Count Survey (expires 4/30/
2015).
     1018-001--North American Woodcock Singing Ground Survey 
(expires 4/30/2015).
     1018-0023--Migratory Bird Surveys (expires 4/30/2015). 
Includes Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program, Migratory Bird 
Hunter Surveys, Sandhill Crane Survey, and Parts Collection Survey.

Other Required Determinations

    Based on our most current data, we are affirming our required 
determinations made in earlier proposed rules; for descriptions of our 
actions to ensure compliance with the following statutes and Executive 
Orders, see our April 9, and June 14, 2013, proposed rules (78 FR 21200 
and 78 FR 35844):
     Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 
13563);
     Endangered Species Act;
     Regulatory Flexibility Act;
     Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act;
     Unfunded Mandates Reform Act;
     Executive Orders 12630, 12988, 13175, 13132, and 13211.

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 2013-14 
hunting season are authorized under 16 U.S.C. 703-712 and 16 U.S.C. 742 
a-j.

    Dated: July 18, 2013.
Rachel Jacobson,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

Proposed Regulations Frameworks for 2013-14 Early Hunting Seasons on 
Certain Migratory Game Birds

    Pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and delegated 
authorities, the Department of the Interior approved the following 
proposed frameworks, which prescribe season lengths, bag limits, 
shooting hours, and outside dates within which States may select 
hunting seasons for certain migratory game birds between September 1, 
2013, and March 10, 2014. These frameworks are summarized below.

General

    Dates: All outside dates noted below are inclusive.
    Shooting and Hawking (taking by falconry) Hours: Unless otherwise 
specified, from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset daily.
    Possession Limits: Unless otherwise specified, possession limits 
are three times the daily bag limit.
    Permits: For some species of migratory birds, the Service 
authorizes the use of permits to regulate harvest or monitor their take 
by sport hunters, or both. In many cases (e.g., tundra swans, some 
sandhill crane populations), the Service determines the amount of 
harvest that may be taken during hunting seasons during its formal 
regulations-setting process, and the States then issue permits to 
hunters at levels predicted to result in the amount of take authorized 
by the Service. Thus, although issued by States, the permits would not 
be valid unless the Service approved such take in its regulations.
    These Federally authorized, State-issued permits are issued to 
individuals, and only the individual whose name and address appears on 
the permit at the time of issuance is authorized to take migratory 
birds at levels specified in the permit, in accordance with provisions 
of both Federal and State regulations governing the hunting season. The 
permit must be carried by the permittee when exercising its provisions 
and must be presented to any law enforcement officer upon request. The 
permit is not transferrable or assignable to another individual, and 
may not be sold, bartered, traded, or otherwise provided to another 
person. If the permit is altered or defaced in any way, the permit 
becomes invalid.

Flyways and Management Units

Waterfowl Flyways

    Atlantic Flyway--includes Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, 
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, 
North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, 
Virginia, and West Virginia.
    Mississippi Flyway--includes Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, 
Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, 
Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
    Central Flyway--includes Colorado (east of the Continental Divide), 
Kansas, Montana (Counties of Blaine, Carbon, Fergus, Judith Basin, 
Stillwater, Sweetgrass, Wheatland, and all counties east thereof), 
Nebraska, New Mexico (east of the Continental Divide except the 
Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation), North Dakota, Oklahoma, South 
Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming (east of the Continental Divide).
    Pacific Flyway--includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, 
Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and those portions of Colorado, 
Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming not included in the Central Flyway.

Management Units

Mourning Dove Management Units

    Eastern Management Unit--All States east of the Mississippi River, 
and Louisiana.
    Central Management Unit--Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, 
Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, 
Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.
    Western Management Unit--Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, 
Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Woodcock Management Regions

    Eastern Management Region--Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, 
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, 
North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, 
Virginia, and West Virginia.
    Central Management Region--Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, 
Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,

[[Page 45392]]

Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, 
Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
    Other geographic descriptions are contained in a later portion of 
this document.

Definitions

    Dark geese: Canada geese, white-fronted geese, brant (except in 
Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, and the Atlantic Flyway), and 
all other goose species, except light geese.
    Light geese: Snow (including blue) geese and Ross's geese.

Waterfowl Seasons in the Atlantic Flyway

    In the Atlantic Flyway States of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, 
Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and 
Virginia, where Sunday hunting is prohibited Statewide by State law, 
all Sundays are closed to all take of migratory waterfowl (including 
mergansers and coots).

Special September Teal Season

    Outside Dates: Between September 1 and September 30, an open season 
on all species of teal may be selected by the following States in areas 
delineated by State regulations:
    Atlantic Flyway--Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North 
Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
    Mississippi Flyway--Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, 
Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee.
    Central Flyway--Colorado (part), Kansas, Nebraska (part), New 
Mexico (part), Oklahoma, and Texas.
    Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not to exceed 16 consecutive 
hunting days in the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyways. The 
daily bag limit is 6 teal.
    Shooting Hours:
    Atlantic Flyway--One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
    Mississippi and Central Flyways--One-half hour before sunrise to 
sunset, except in the States of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, 
and Ohio, where the hours are from sunrise to sunset.

Special September Duck Seasons

    Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee: In lieu of a special September 
teal season, a 5-consecutive-day season may be selected in September. 
The daily bag limit may not exceed 4 teal and wood ducks in the 
aggregate, of which no more than 2 may be wood ducks.
    Iowa: Iowa may hold up to 5 days of its regular duck hunting season 
in September. All ducks that are legal during the regular duck season 
may be taken during the September segment of the season. The September 
season segment may commence no earlier than the Saturday nearest 
September 20 (September 21). The daily bag and possession limits will 
be the same as those in effect last year but are subject to change 
during the late-season regulations process. The remainder of the 
regular duck season may not begin before October 10.

Special Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days

    Outside Dates: States may select 2 days per duck-hunting zone, 
designated as ``Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days,'' in addition to their 
regular duck seasons. The days must be held outside any regular duck 
season on a weekend, holidays, or other non-school days when youth 
hunters would have the maximum opportunity to participate. The days may 
be held up to 14 days before or after any regular duck-season 
frameworks or within any split of a regular duck season, or within any 
other open season on migratory birds.
    Daily Bag Limits: The daily bag limits may include ducks, geese, 
mergansers, coots, and gallinules and will be the same as those allowed 
in the regular season. Flyway species and area restrictions will remain 
in effect.
    Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
    Participation Restrictions: Youth hunters must be 15 years of age 
or younger. In addition, an adult at least 18 years of age must 
accompany the youth hunter into the field. This adult may not duck hunt 
but may participate in other seasons that are open on the special youth 
day.

Scoters, Eiders, and Long-Tailed Ducks (Atlantic Flyway)

    Outside Dates: Between September 15 and January 31.
    Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not to exceed 107 days, with 
a daily bag limit of 7, singly or in the aggregate, of the listed sea 
duck species, of which no more than 4 may be scoters.
    Daily Bag Limits During the Regular Duck Season: Within the special 
sea duck areas, during the regular duck season in the Atlantic Flyway, 
States may choose to allow the above sea duck limits in addition to the 
limits applying to other ducks during the regular duck season. In all 
other areas, sea ducks may be taken only during the regular open season 
for ducks and are part of the regular duck season daily bag (not to 
exceed 4 scoters) and possession limits.
    Areas: In all coastal waters and all waters of rivers and streams 
seaward from the first upstream bridge in Maine, New Hampshire, 
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York; in any waters 
of the Atlantic Ocean and in any tidal waters of any bay which are 
separated by at least 1 mile of open water from any shore, island, and 
emergent vegetation in New Jersey, South Carolina, and Georgia; and in 
any waters of the Atlantic Ocean and in any tidal waters of any bay 
which are separated by at least 800 yards of open water from any shore, 
island, and emergent vegetation in Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, 
and Virginia; and provided that any such areas have been described, 
delineated, and designated as special sea duck hunting areas under the 
hunting regulations adopted by the respective States.

Special Early Canada Goose Seasons

Atlantic Flyway

General Seasons
    A Canada goose season of up to 15 days during September 1-15 may be 
selected for the Eastern Unit of Maryland. Seasons not to exceed 30 
days during September 1-30 may be selected for Connecticut, Florida, 
Georgia, New Jersey, New York (Long Island Zone only), North Carolina, 
Rhode Island, and South Carolina. Seasons may not exceed 25 days during 
September 1-25 in the remainder of the Flyway. Areas open to the 
hunting of Canada geese must be described, delineated, and designated 
as such in each State's hunting regulations.
    Daily Bag Limits: Not to exceed 15 Canada geese.
    Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except that 
during any general season, shooting hours may extend to one-half hour 
after sunset if all other waterfowl seasons are closed in the specific 
applicable area.

Mississippi Flyway

General Seasons
    Canada goose seasons of up to 15 days during September 1-15 may be 
selected, except in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, where the season 
may not extend beyond September 10, and in Minnesota, where a season of 
up to 22 days during September 1-22 may be selected. The daily bag 
limit may not exceed 5 Canada geese, except in designated areas of 
Minnesota where the daily bag limit may not exceed 10 Canada geese. 
Areas open to the hunting of Canada geese must be described, 
delineated, and designated as such in each State's hunting regulations.
    A Canada goose season of up to 10 consecutive days during September 
1-

[[Page 45393]]

10 may be selected by Michigan for Huron, Saginaw, and Tuscola 
Counties, except that the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, 
Shiawassee River State Game Area Refuge, and the Fish Point Wildlife 
Area Refuge will remain closed. The daily bag limit may not exceed 5 
Canada geese.
    Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except that 
during September 1-15 shooting hours may extend to one-half hour after 
sunset if all other waterfowl seasons are closed in the specific 
applicable area.

Central Flyway

General Seasons
    In Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas, Canada 
goose seasons of up to 30 days during September 1-30 may be selected. 
In Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, Canada 
goose seasons of up to 15 days during September 1-15 may be selected. 
The daily bag limit may not exceed 5 Canada geese, except in Kansas, 
Nebraska, and Oklahoma, where the daily bag limit may not exceed 8 
Canada geese and in North Dakota and South Dakota, where the daily bag 
limit may not exceed 15 Canada geese. Areas open to the hunting of 
Canada geese must be described, delineated, and designated as such in 
each State's hunting regulations.
    Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except that 
during September 1-15 shooting hours may extend to one-half hour after 
sunset if all other waterfowl seasons are closed in the specific 
applicable area.

Pacific Flyway

General Seasons
    California may select a 9-day season in Humboldt County during the 
period September 1-15. The daily bag limit is 2.
    Colorado may select a 9-day season during the period of September 
1-15. The daily bag limit is 4.
    Oregon may select a special Canada goose season of up to 15 days 
during the period September 1-15. In addition, in the NW Goose 
Management Zone in Oregon, a 15-day season may be selected during the 
period September 1-20. Daily bag limits may not exceed 5 Canada geese.
    Idaho may select a 7-day season during the period September 1-15. 
The daily bag limit is 2.
    Washington may select a special Canada goose season of up to 15 
days during the period September 1-15. Daily bag limits may not exceed 
5 Canada geese.
    Wyoming may select an 8-day season on Canada geese during the 
period September 1-15. This season is subject to the following 
conditions:
    A. Where applicable, the season must be concurrent with the 
September portion of the sandhill crane season.
    B. A daily bag limit of 3, with season and possession limits of 9, 
will apply to the special season.
    Areas open to hunting of Canada geese in each State must be 
described, delineated, and designated as such in each State's hunting 
regulations.

Regular Goose Seasons

    Regular goose seasons may open as early as September 11 in the 
Upper Peninsula of Michigan and September 16 in Wisconsin and the Lower 
Peninsula of Michigan. Season lengths, bag and possession limits, and 
other provisions will be established during the late-season regulations 
process.

Sandhill Cranes

Regular Seasons in the Mississippi Flyway

    Outside Dates: Between September 1 and February 28.
    Hunting Seasons: A season not to exceed 37 consecutive days may be 
selected in the designated portion of northwestern Minnesota (Northwest 
Goose Zone).
    Daily Bag Limit: 2 sandhill cranes.
    Permits: Each person participating in the regular sandhill crane 
season must have a valid Federal or State sandhill crane hunting 
permit.

Experimental Seasons in the Mississippi Flyway

    Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 31.
    Hunting Seasons: A season not to exceed 30 consecutive days may be 
selected in Kentucky and a season not to exceed 60 consecutive days may 
be selected in Tennessee.
    Daily Bag Limit: Not to exceed 2 daily and 2 per season in 
Kentucky. Not to exceed 3 daily and 3 per season in Tennessee.
    Permits: Each person participating in the regular sandhill crane 
season must have a valid Federal or State sandhill crane hunting 
permit.
    Other Provisions: Numbers of permits, open areas, season dates, 
protection plans for other species, and other provisions of seasons 
must be consistent with the management plan and approved by the 
Mississippi Flyway Council.

Regular Seasons in the Central Flyway

    Outside Dates: Between September 1 and February 28.
    Hunting Seasons: Seasons not to exceed 37 consecutive days may be 
selected in designated portions of Texas (Area 2). Seasons not to 
exceed 58 consecutive days may be selected in designated portions of 
the following States: Colorado, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, South 
Dakota, and Wyoming. Seasons not to exceed 93 consecutive days may be 
selected in designated portions of the following States: New Mexico, 
Oklahoma, and Texas.
    Daily Bag Limits: 3 sandhill cranes, except 2 sandhill cranes in 
designated portions of North Dakota (Area 2) and Texas (Area 2).
    Permits: Each person participating in the regular sandhill crane 
season must have a valid Federal or State sandhill crane hunting 
permit.

Special Seasons in the Central and Pacific Flyways

    Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming 
may select seasons for hunting sandhill cranes within the range of the 
Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) subject to the following conditions:
    Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 31.
    Hunting Seasons: The season in any State or zone may not exceed 30 
consecutive days.
    Bag limits: Not to exceed 3 daily and 9 per season.
    Permits: Participants must have a valid permit, issued by the 
appropriate State, in their possession while hunting.
    Other Provisions: Numbers of permits, open areas, season dates, 
protection plans for other species, and other provisions of seasons 
must be consistent with the management plan and approved by the Central 
and Pacific Flyway Councils, with the following exceptions:
    A. In Utah, 100 percent of the harvest will be assigned to the RMP 
quota;
    B. In Arizona, monitoring the racial composition of the harvest 
must be conducted at 3-year intervals;
    C. In Idaho, 100 percent of the harvest will be assigned to the RMP 
quota; and
    D. In New Mexico, the season in the Estancia Valley is 
experimental, with a requirement to monitor the level and racial 
composition of the harvest; greater sandhill cranes in the harvest will 
be assigned to the RMP quota.

Special Seasons in the Pacific Flyway

    Arizona may select a season for hunting sandhill cranes within the 
range of the Lower Colorado River Population (LCR) of sandhill cranes, 
subject to the following conditions:
    Outside Dates: Between January 1 and January 31.

[[Page 45394]]

    Hunting Seasons: The season may not exceed 3 days.
    Bag limits: Not to exceed 1 daily and 1 per season.
    Permits: Participants must have a valid permit, issued by the 
appropriate State, in their possession while hunting.
    Other provisions: The season is experimental. Numbers of permits, 
open areas, season dates, protection plans for other species, and other 
provisions of seasons must be consistent with the management plan and 
approved by the Pacific Flyway Council.

Common Moorhens and Purple Gallinules

    Outside Dates: Between September 1 and the last Sunday in January 
(January 26) in the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyways. States 
in the Pacific Flyway have been allowed to select their hunting seasons 
between the outside dates for the season on ducks; therefore, they are 
late-season frameworks, and no frameworks are provided in this 
document.
    Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Seasons may not exceed 70 
days in the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyways. Seasons may be 
split into 2 segments. The daily bag limit is 15 common moorhens and 
purple gallinules, singly or in the aggregate of the two species.
    Zoning: Seasons may be selected by zones established for duck 
hunting.

Rails

    Outside Dates: States included herein may select seasons between 
September 1 and the last Sunday in January (January 26) on clapper, 
king, sora, and Virginia rails.
    Hunting Seasons: Seasons may not exceed 70 days, and may be split 
into 2 segments.
    Daily Bag Limits:
    Clapper and King Rails--In Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, 
Delaware, and Maryland, 10, singly or in the aggregate of the two 
species. In Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, 
South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, 15, singly or in the 
aggregate of the two species.
    Sora and Virginia Rails--In the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central 
Flyways and the Pacific Flyway portions of Colorado, Montana, New 
Mexico, and Wyoming, 25 rails, singly or in the aggregate of the two 
species. The season is closed in the remainder of the Pacific Flyway.

Common Snipe

    Outside Dates: Between September 1 and February 28, except in 
Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, 
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, 
where the season must end no later than January 31.
    Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Seasons may not exceed 107 
days and may be split into two segments. The daily bag limit is 8 
snipe.
    Zoning: Seasons may be selected by zones established for duck 
hunting.

American Woodcock

    Outside Dates: States in the Eastern Management Region may select 
hunting seasons between October 1 and January 31. States in the Central 
Management Region may select hunting seasons between the Saturday 
nearest September 22 (September 21) and January 31.
    Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Seasons may not exceed 45 
days in the Eastern Region and 45 days in the Central Region. The daily 
bag limit is 3. Seasons may be split into two segments.
    Zoning: New Jersey may select seasons in each of two zones. The 
season in each zone may not exceed 36 days.

Band-Tailed Pigeons

Pacific Coast States (California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada)

    Outside Dates: Between September 15 and January 1.
    Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 9 consecutive 
days, with a daily bag limit of 2 band-tailed pigeons.
    Zoning: California may select hunting seasons not to exceed 9 
consecutive days in each of two zones. The season in the North Zone 
must close by October 3.

Four-Corners States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah)

    Outside Dates: Between September 1 and November 30.
    Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 30 consecutive 
days, with a daily bag limit of 5 band-tailed pigeons.
    Zoning: New Mexico may select hunting seasons not to exceed 20 
consecutive days in each of two zones. The season in the South Zone may 
not open until October 1.

Doves

    Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 15, except as 
otherwise provided, States may select hunting seasons and daily bag 
limits as follows:

Eastern Management Unit

    Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 70 days, with a 
daily bag limit of 15 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate.
    Zoning and Split Seasons: States may select hunting seasons in each 
of two zones. The season within each zone may be split into not more 
than three periods. Regulations for bag and possession limits, season 
length, and shooting hours must be uniform within specific hunting 
zones.

Central Management Unit

    For all States except Texas:
    Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 70 days, with a 
daily bag limit of 15 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate.
    Zoning and Split Seasons: States may select hunting seasons in each 
of two zones. The season within each zone may be split into not more 
than three periods.
    Texas:
    Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 70 days, with a 
daily bag limit of 15 mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves in 
the aggregate, of which no more than 2 may be white-tipped doves.
    Zoning and Split Seasons: Texas may select hunting seasons for each 
of three zones subject to the following conditions:
    A. The hunting season may be split into not more than two periods, 
except in that portion of Texas in which the special white-winged dove 
season is allowed, where a limited take of mourning and white-tipped 
doves may also occur during that special season (see Special White-
winged Dove Area).
    B. A season may be selected for the North and Central Zones between 
September 1 and January 25; and for the South Zone between the Friday 
nearest September 20 (September 20), but not earlier than September 17, 
and January 25.
    C. Except as noted above, regulations for bag and possession 
limits, season length, and shooting hours must be uniform within each 
hunting zone.
    Special White-winged Dove Area in Texas:
    In addition, Texas may select a hunting season of not more than 4 
days for the Special White-winged Dove Area of the South Zone between 
September 1 and September 19. The daily bag limit may not exceed 15 
white-winged, mourning, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate, of 
which no more than 2 may be mourning doves and no more than 2 may be 
white-tipped doves.

Western Management Unit

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits:
    Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington--Not more than 30

[[Page 45395]]

consecutive days, with a daily bag limit of 10 mourning and white-
winged doves in the aggregate.
    Arizona and California--Not more than 60 days, which may be split 
between two periods, September 1-15 and November 1-January 15. In 
Arizona, during the first segment of the season, the daily bag limit is 
10 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate. During the 
remainder of the season, the daily bag limit is 10 mourning doves. In 
California, the daily bag limit is 10 mourning and white-winged doves 
in the aggregate.

Alaska

    Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 26.
    Hunting Seasons: Alaska may select 107 consecutive days for 
waterfowl, sandhill cranes, and common snipe in each of 5 zones. The 
season may be split without penalty in the Kodiak Zone. The seasons in 
each zone must be concurrent.
    Closures: The hunting season is closed on emperor geese, spectacled 
eiders, and Steller's eiders.
    Daily Bag and Possession Limits:
    Ducks--Except as noted, a basic daily bag limit of 7 ducks. Daily 
bag limits in the North Zone are 10, and in the Gulf Coast Zone, they 
are 8. The basic limits may include no more than 1 canvasback daily and 
may not include sea ducks.
    In addition to the basic duck limits, Alaska may select sea duck 
limits of 10 daily, singly or in the aggregate, including no more than 
6 each of either harlequin or long-tailed ducks. Sea ducks include 
scoters, common and king eiders, harlequin ducks, long-tailed ducks, 
and common and red-breasted mergansers.
    Light Geese--A basic daily bag limit of 4.
    Dark Geese--A basic daily bag limit of 4.
    Dark-goose seasons are subject to the following exceptions:
    A. In Units 5 and 6, the taking of Canada geese is permitted from 
September 28 through December 16.
    B. On Middleton Island in Unit 6, a special, permit-only Canada 
goose season may be offered. A mandatory goose identification class is 
required. Hunters must check in and check out. The bag limit is 1 daily 
and 1 in possession. The season will close if incidental harvest 
includes 5 dusky Canada geese. A dusky Canada goose is any dark-
breasted Canada goose (Munsell 10 YR color value five or less) with a 
bill length between 40 and 50 millimeters.
    C. In Units 6-B, 6-C, and on Hinchinbrook and Hawkins Islands in 
Unit 6-D, a special, permit-only Canada goose season may be offered. 
Hunters must have all harvested geese checked and classified to 
subspecies. The daily bag limit is 4 daily. The Canada goose season 
will close in all of the permit areas if the total dusky goose (as 
defined above) harvest reaches 40.
    D. In Units 9, 10, 17, and 18, dark goose limits are 6 per day.
    Brant--A daily bag limit of 2.
    Common snipe--A daily bag limit of 8.
    Sandhill cranes--Bag limit of 2 in the Southeast, Gulf Coast, 
Kodiak, and Aleutian Zones, and Unit 17 in the Northern Zone. In the 
remainder of the Northern Zone (outside Unit 17), bag limit of 3.
    Tundra Swans--Open seasons for tundra swans may be selected subject 
to the following conditions:
    A. All seasons are by registration permit only.
    B. All season framework dates are September 1-October 31.
    C. In Game Management Unit (GMU) 17, no more than 200 permits may 
be issued during this operational season. No more than 3 tundra swans 
may be authorized per permit, with no more than 1 permit issued per 
hunter per season.
    D. In Game Management Unit (GMU) 18, no more than 500 permits may 
be issued during the operational season. Up to 3 tundra swans may be 
authorized per permit. No more than 1 permit may be issued per hunter 
per season.
    E. In GMU 22, no more than 300 permits may be issued during the 
operational season. Each permittee may be authorized to take up to 3 
tundra swans per permit. No more than 1 permit may be issued per hunter 
per season.
    F. In GMU 23, no more than 300 permits may be issued during the 
operational season. No more than 3 tundra swans may be authorized per 
permit, with no more than 1 permit issued per hunter per season.

Hawaii

    Outside Dates: Between October 1 and January 31.
    Hunting Seasons: Not more than 65 days (75 under the alternative) 
for mourning doves.
    Bag Limits: Not to exceed 15 (12 under the alternative) mourning 
doves.

    Note:  Mourning doves may be taken in Hawaii in accordance with 
shooting hours and other regulations set by the State of Hawaii, and 
subject to the applicable provisions of 50 CFR part 20.

Puerto Rico

Doves and Pigeons

    Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 15.
    Hunting Seasons: Not more than 60 days.
    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Not to exceed 20 Zenaida, 
mourning, and white-winged doves in the aggregate, of which not more 
than 10 may be Zenaida doves and 3 may be mourning doves. Not to exceed 
5 scaly-naped pigeons.
    Closed Seasons: The season is closed on the white-crowned pigeon 
and the plain pigeon, which are protected by the Commonwealth of Puerto 
Rico.
    Closed Areas: There is no open season on doves or pigeons in the 
following areas: Municipality of Culebra, Desecheo Island, Mona Island, 
El Verde Closure Area, and Cidra Municipality and adjacent areas.

Ducks, Coots, Moorhens, Gallinules, and Snipe

    Outside Dates: Between October 1 and January 31.
    Hunting Seasons: Not more than 55 days may be selected for hunting 
ducks, common moorhens, and common snipe. The season may be split into 
two segments.
    Daily Bag Limits:
    Ducks--Not to exceed 6.
    Common moorhens--Not to exceed 6.
    Common snipe--Not to exceed 8.
    Closed Seasons: The season is closed on the ruddy duck, white-
cheeked pintail, West Indian whistling duck, fulvous whistling duck, 
and masked duck, which are protected by the Commonwealth of Puerto 
Rico. The season also is closed on the purple gallinule, American coot, 
and Caribbean coot.
    Closed Areas: There is no open season on ducks, common moorhens, 
and common snipe in the Municipality of Culebra and on Desecheo Island.

Virgin Islands

Doves and Pigeons

    Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 15.
    Hunting Seasons: Not more than 60 days for Zenaida doves.
    Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Not to exceed 10 Zenaida doves.
    Closed Seasons: No open season is prescribed for ground or quail 
doves or pigeons.
    Closed Areas: There is no open season for migratory game birds on 
Ruth Cay (just south of St. Croix).
    Local Names for Certain Birds: Zenaida dove, also known as mountain 
dove; bridled quail-dove, also known as

[[Page 45396]]

Barbary dove or partridge; common ground-dove, also known as stone 
dove, tobacco dove, rola, or tortolita; scaly-naped pigeon, also known 
as red-necked or scaled pigeon.

Ducks

    Outside Dates: Between December 1 and January 31.
    Hunting Seasons: Not more than 55 consecutive days.
    Daily Bag Limits: Not to exceed 6.
    Closed Seasons: The season is closed on the ruddy duck, white-
cheeked pintail, West Indian whistling duck, fulvous whistling duck, 
and masked duck.

Special Falconry Regulations

    Falconry is a permitted means of taking migratory game birds in any 
State meeting Federal falconry standards in 50 CFR 21.29. These States 
may select an extended season for taking migratory game birds in 
accordance with the following:
    Extended Seasons: For all hunting methods combined, the combined 
length of the extended season, regular season, and any special or 
experimental seasons must not exceed 107 days for any species or group 
of species in a geographical area. Each extended season may be divided 
into a maximum of 3 segments.
    Framework Dates: Seasons must fall between September 1 and March 
10.
    Daily Bag Limits: Falconry daily bag limits for all permitted 
migratory game birds must not exceed 3 birds, singly or in the 
aggregate, during extended falconry seasons, any special or 
experimental seasons, and regular hunting seasons in all States, 
including those that do not select an extended falconry season.
    Regular Seasons: General hunting regulations, including seasons and 
hunting hours, apply to falconry in each State listed in 50 CFR 21.29. 
Regular season bag limits do not apply to falconry. The falconry bag 
limit is not in addition to gun limits.

Area, Unit, and Zone Descriptions

Doves

Alabama
    South Zone--Baldwin, Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Escambia, 
Geneva, Henry, Houston, and Mobile Counties.
    North Zone--Remainder of the State.
California
    White-winged Dove Open Areas--Imperial, Riverside, and San 
Bernardino Counties.
Florida
    Northwest Zone--The Counties of Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, 
Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, 
Washington, Leon (except that portion north of U.S. 27 and east of 
State Road 155), Jefferson (south of U.S. 27, west of State Road 59 and 
north of U.S. 98), and Wakulla (except that portion south of U.S. 98 
and east of the St. Marks River).
    South Zone--Remainder of State.
Louisiana
    North Zone--That portion of the State north of a line extending 
east from the Texas border along State Highway 12 to U.S. Highway 190, 
east along U.S. 190 to Interstate Highway 12, east along Interstate 12 
to Interstate Highway 10, then east along Interstate Highway 10 to the 
Mississippi border.
    South Zone--The remainder of the State.
Mississippi
    North Zone--That portion of the State north and west of a line 
extending west from the Alabama State line along U.S. Highway 84 to its 
junction with State Highway 35, then south along State Highway 35 to 
the Louisiana State line.
    South Zone--The remainder of Mississippi.
Texas
    North Zone--That portion of the State north of a line beginning at 
the International Bridge south of Fort Hancock; north along FM 1088 to 
TX 20; west along TX 20 to TX 148; north along TX 148 to I-10 at Fort 
Hancock; east along I-10 to I-20; northeast along I-20 to I-30 at Fort 
Worth; northeast along I-30 to the Texas-Arkansas State line.
    South Zone--That portion of the State south and west of a line 
beginning at the International Bridge south of Del Rio, proceeding east 
on U.S. 90 to State Loop 1604 west of San Antonio; then south, east, 
and north along Loop 1604 to Interstate Highway 10 east of San Antonio; 
then east on I-10 to Orange, Texas.
    Special White-winged Dove Area in the South Zone--That portion of 
the state south and west of a line beginning at the International Toll 
Bridge in Del Rio; then northeast along U.S. Highway 277 Spur to 
Highway 90 in Del Rio; thence east along U.S. Highway 90 to State Loop 
1604; thence along Loop 1604 south and east to Interstate Highway 37; 
thence south along Interstate Highway 37 to U.S. Highway 181 in Corpus 
Christi; thence north and east along U.S. 181 to the Corpus Christi 
Ship Channel, thence eastwards along the south shore of the Corpus 
Christi Ship Channel to the Gulf of Mexico.
    Central Zone--That portion of the State lying between the North and 
South Zones.

Band-Tailed Pigeons

California
    North Zone--Alpine, Butte, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lassen, 
Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, and Trinity 
Counties.
    South Zone--The remainder of the State.
New Mexico
    North Zone--North of a line following U.S. 60 from the Arizona 
State line east to I-25 at Socorro and then south along I-25 from 
Socorro to the Texas State line.
    South Zone--The remainder of the State.
Washington
    Western Washington--The State of Washington excluding those 
portions lying east of the Pacific Crest Trail and east of the Big 
White Salmon River in Klickitat County.

Woodcock

New Jersey
    North Zone--That portion of the State north of NJ 70.
    South Zone--The remainder of the State.

Special September Canada Goose Seasons

Atlantic Flyway

Connecticut
    North Zone--That portion of the State north of I-95.
    South Zone--The remainder of the State.
Maryland
    Eastern Unit--Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Harford, Kent, 
Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester 
Counties; and that part of Anne Arundel County east of Interstate 895, 
Interstate 97 and Route 3; that part of Prince George's County east of 
Route 3 and Route 301; and that part of Charles County east of Route 
301 to the Virginia State line.
    Western Unit--Allegany, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, 
Howard, Montgomery, and Washington Counties and that part of Anne 
Arundel County west of Interstate 895, Interstate 97 and Route 3; that 
part of Prince George's County west of Route 3 and Route 301; and that 
part of Charles County west of Route 301 to the Virginia State line.

[[Page 45397]]

Massachusetts
    Western Zone--That portion of the State west of a line extending 
south from the Vermont border on I-91 to MA 9, west on MA 9 to MA 10, 
south on MA 10 to U.S. 202, south on U.S. 202 to the Connecticut 
border.
    Central Zone--That portion of the State east of the Berkshire Zone 
and west of a line extending south from the New Hampshire border on I-
95 to U.S. 1, south on U.S. 1 to I-93, south on I-93 to MA 3, south on 
MA 3 to U.S. 6, west on U.S. 6 to MA 28, west on MA 28 to I-195, west 
to the Rhode Island border; except the waters, and the lands 150 yards 
inland from the high-water mark, of the Assonet River upstream to the 
MA 24 bridge, and the Taunton River upstream to the Center St.-Elm St. 
bridge will be in the Coastal Zone.
    Coastal Zone--That portion of Massachusetts east and south of the 
Central Zone.
New York
    Lake Champlain Zone--The U.S. portion of Lake Champlain and that 
area east and north of a line extending along NY 9B from the Canadian 
border to U.S. 9, south along U.S. 9 to NY 22 south of Keesville; south 
along NY 22 to the west shore of South Bay, along and around the 
shoreline of South Bay to NY 22 on the east shore of South Bay; 
southeast along NY 22 to U.S. 4, northeast along U.S. 4 to the Vermont 
border.
    Eastern Long Island Goose Area (North Atlantic Population (NAP) 
High Harvest Area)--That area of Suffolk County lying east of a 
continuous line extending due south from the New York-Connecticut 
boundary to the northernmost end of Roanoke Avenue in the Town of 
Riverhead; then south on Roanoke Avenue (which becomes County Route 73) 
to State Route 25; then west on Route 25 to Peconic Avenue; then south 
on Peconic Avenue to County Route (CR) 104 (Riverleigh Avenue); then 
south on CR 104 to CR 31 (Old Riverhead Road); then south on CR 31 to 
Oak Street; then south on Oak Street to Potunk Lane; then west on 
Stevens Lane; then south on Jessup Avenue (in Westhampton Beach) to 
Dune Road (CR 89); then due south to international waters.
    Western Long Island Goose Area (Resident Population (RP) Area)--
That area of Westchester County and its tidal waters southeast of 
Interstate Route 95 and that area of Nassau and Suffolk Counties lying 
west of a continuous line extending due south from the New York-
Connecticut boundary to the northernmost end of the Sunken Meadow State 
Parkway; then south on the Sunken Meadow Parkway to the Sagtikos State 
Parkway; then south on the Sagtikos Parkway to the Robert Moses State 
Parkway; then south on the Robert Moses Parkway to its southernmost 
end; then due south to international waters.
    Central Long Island Goose Area (NAP Low Harvest Area)--That area of 
Suffolk County lying between the Western and Eastern Long Island Goose 
Areas, as defined above.
    Western Zone--That area west of a line extending from Lake Ontario 
east along the north shore of the Salmon River to I-81, and south along 
I-81 to the Pennsylvania border.
    Northeastern Zone--That area north of a line extending from Lake 
Ontario east along the north shore of the Salmon River to I-81, south 
along I-81 to NY 49, east along NY 49 to NY 365, east along NY 365 to 
NY 28, east along NY 28 to NY 29, east along NY 29 to I-87, north along 
I-87 to U.S. 9 (at Exit 20), north along U.S. 9 to NY 149, east along 
NY 149 to U.S. 4, north along U.S. 4 to the Vermont border, exclusive 
of the Lake Champlain Zone.
    Southeastern Zone--The remaining portion of New York.
Pennsylvania
    Southern James Bay Population (SJBP) Zone--The area north of I-80 
and west of I-79, including in the city of Erie west of Bay Front 
Parkway to and including the Lake Erie Duck Zone (Lake Erie, Presque 
Isle, and the area within 150 yards of the Lake Erie Shoreline).
Vermont
    Lake Champlain Zone--The U.S. portion of Lake Champlain and that 
area north and west of the line extending from the New York border 
along U.S. 4 to VT 22A at Fair Haven; VT 22A to U.S. 7 at Vergennes; 
U.S. 7 to VT 78 at Swanton; VT 78 to VT 36; VT 36 to Maquam Bay on Lake 
Champlain; along and around the shoreline of Maquam Bay and Hog Island 
to VT 78 at the West Swanton Bridge; VT 78 to VT 2 in Alburg; VT 2 to 
the Richelieu River in Alburg; along the east shore of the Richelieu 
River to the Canadian border.
    Interior Zone--That portion of Vermont east of the Lake Champlain 
Zone and west of a line extending from the Massachusetts border at 
Interstate 91; north along Interstate 91 to US 2; east along US 2 to VT 
102; north along VT 102 to VT 253; north along VT 253 to the Canadian 
border.
    Connecticut River Zone--The remaining portion of Vermont east of 
the Interior Zone.

Mississippi Flyway

Arkansas
    Early Canada Goose Area--Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clark, 
Conway, Crawford, Faulkner, Franklin, Garland, Hempstead, Hot Springs, 
Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Little River, Logan, Madison, Marion, 
Miller, Montgomery, Newton, Perry, Pike, Polk, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, 
Searcy, Sebastian, Sevier, Scott, Van Buren, Washington, and Yell 
Counties.
Illinois
    North September Canada Goose Zone--That portion of the State north 
of a line extending west from the Indiana border along Interstate 80 to 
I-39, south along I-39 to Illinois Route 18, west along Illinois Route 
18 to Illinois Route 29, south along Illinois Route 29 to Illinois 
Route 17, west along Illinois Route 17 to the Mississippi River, and 
due south across the Mississippi River to the Iowa border.
    Central September Canada Goose Zone--That portion of the State 
south of the North September Canada Goose Zone line to a line extending 
west from the Indiana border along I-70 to Illinois Route 4, south 
along Illinois Route 4 to Illinois Route 161, west along Illinois Route 
161 to Illinois Route 158, south and west along Illinois Route 158 to 
Illinois Route 159, south along Illinois Route 159 to Illinois Route 3, 
south along Illinois Route 3 to St. Leo's Road, south along St. Leo's 
road to Modoc Road, west along Modoc Road to Modoc Ferry Road, 
southwest along Modoc Ferry Road to Levee Road, southeast along Levee 
Road to County Route 12 (Modoc Ferry entrance Road), south along County 
Route 12 to the Modoc Ferry route and southwest on the Modoc Ferry 
route across the Mississippi River to the Missouri border.
    South September Canada Goose Zone--That portion of the State south 
and east of a line extending west from the Indiana border along 
Interstate 70, south along U.S. Highway 45, to Illinois Route 13, west 
along Illinois Route 13 to Greenbriar Road, north on Greenbriar Road to 
Sycamore Road, west on Sycamore Road to N. Reed Station Road, south on 
N. Reed Station Road to Illinois Route 13, west along Illinois Route 13 
to Illinois Route 127, south along Illinois Route 127 to State Forest 
Road (1025 N), west along State Forest Road to Illinois Route 3, north 
along Illinois Route 3 to the south bank of the Big Muddy River, west 
along the south bank of the Big Muddy River to the Mississippi River, 
west across the Mississippi River to the Missouri border.

[[Page 45398]]

    South Central September Canada Goose Zone--The remainder of the 
State between the south border of the Central Zone and the North border 
of the South Zone
Iowa
    North Zone--That portion of the State north of U.S. Highway 20.
    South Zone--The remainder of Iowa.
    Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Goose Zone--Includes portions of Linn and 
Johnson Counties bounded as follows: Beginning at the intersection of 
the west border of Linn County and Linn County Road E2W; then south and 
east along County Road E2W to Highway 920; then north along Highway 920 
to County Road E16; then east along County Road E16 to County Road W58; 
then south along County Road W58 to County Road E34; then east along 
County Road E34 to Highway 13; then south along Highway 13 to Highway 
30; then east along Highway 30 to Highway 1; then south along Highway 1 
to Morse Road in Johnson County; then east along Morse Road to Wapsi 
Avenue; then south along Wapsi Avenue to Lower West Branch Road; then 
west along Lower West Branch Road to Taft Avenue; then south along Taft 
Avenue to County Road F62; then west along County Road F62 to Kansas 
Avenue; then north along Kansas Avenue to Black Diamond Road; then west 
on Black Diamond Road to Jasper Avenue; then north along Jasper Avenue 
to Rohert Road; then west along Rohert Road to Ivy Avenue; then north 
along Ivy Avenue to 340th Street; then west along 340th Street to Half 
Moon Avenue; then north along Half Moon Avenue to Highway 6; then west 
along Highway 6 to Echo Avenue; then north along Echo Avenue to 250th 
Street; then east on 250th Street to Green Castle Avenue; then north 
along Green Castle Avenue to County Road F12; then west along County 
Road F12 to County Road W30; then north along County Road W30 to 
Highway 151; then north along the Linn-Benton County line to the point 
of beginning.
    Des Moines Goose Zone--Includes those portions of Polk, Warren, 
Madison and Dallas Counties bounded as follows: Beginning at the 
intersection of Northwest 158th Avenue and County Road R38 in Polk 
County; then south along R38 to Northwest 142nd Avenue; then east along 
Northwest 142nd Avenue to Northeast 126th Avenue; then east along 
Northeast 126th Avenue to Northeast 46th Street; then south along 
Northeast 46th Street to Highway 931; then east along Highway 931 to 
Northeast 80th Street; then south along Northeast 80th Street to 
Southeast 6th Avenue; then west along Southeast 6th Avenue to Highway 
65; then south and west along Highway 65 to Highway 69 in Warren 
County; then south along Highway 69 to County Road G24; then west along 
County Road G24 to Highway 28; then southwest along Highway 28 to 43rd 
Avenue; then north along 43rd Avenue to Ford Street; then west along 
Ford Street to Filmore Street; then west along Filmore Street to 10th 
Avenue; then south along 10th Avenue to 155th Street in Madison County; 
then west along 155th Street to Cumming Road; then north along Cumming 
Road to Badger Creek Avenue; then north along Badger Creek Avenue to 
County Road F90 in Dallas County; then east along County Road F90 to 
County Road R22; then north along County Road R22 to Highway 44; then 
east along Highway 44 to County Road R30; then north along County Road 
R30 to County Road F31; then east along County Road F31 to Highway 17; 
then north along Highway 17 to Highway 415 in Polk County; then east 
along Highway 415 to Northwest 158th Avenue; then east along Northwest 
158th Avenue to the point of beginning.
    Cedar Falls/Waterloo Goose Zone--Includes those portions of Black 
Hawk County bounded as follows: Beginning at the intersection of County 
Roads C66 and V49 in Black Hawk County, then south along County Road 
V49 to County Road D38, then west along County Road D38 to State 
Highway 21, then south along State Highway 21 to County Road D35, then 
west along County Road D35 to Grundy Road, then north along Grundy Road 
to County Road D19, then west along County Road D19 to Butler Road, 
then north along Butler Road to County Road C57, then north and east 
along County Road C57 to U.S. Highway 63, then south along U.S. Highway 
63 to County Road C66, then east along County Road C66 to the point of 
beginning.
Michigan
    North Zone--Same as North duck zone.
    Middle Zone--Same as Middle duck zone.
    South Zone--Same as South duck zone.
Minnesota
    Northwest Goose Zone--That portion of the State encompassed by a 
line extending east from the North Dakota border along U.S. Highway 2 
to State Trunk Highway (STH) 32, north along STH 32 to STH 92, east 
along STH 92 to County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 2 in Polk County, north 
along CSAH 2 to CSAH 27 in Pennington County, north along CSAH 27 to 
STH 1, east along STH 1 to CSAH 28 in Pennington County, north along 
CSAH 28 to CSAH 54 in Marshall County, north along CSAH 54 to CSAH 9 in 
Roseau County, north along CSAH 9 to STH 11, west along STH 11 to STH 
310, and north along STH 310 to the Manitoba border.
    Intensive Harvest Zone--That portion of the State encompassed by a 
line extending east from the junction of US 2 and the North Dakota 
border, US 2 east to MN 32 N, MN 32 N to MN 92 S, MN 92 S to MN 200 E, 
MN 200 E to US 71 S, US 71 S to US 10 E, US 10 E to MN 101 S, MN 101 S 
to Interstate 94 E, Interstate 94 East to US 494 S, US 494 S to US 212 
W, US 212 W to MN 23 S, MN 23 S to US 14 W, US 14 W to the South Dakota 
border, South Dakota Border north to the North Dakota border, North 
Dakota border north to US 2 E.
    Rest of State: Remainder of Minnesota.
Wisconsin
    Early-Season Subzone A--That portion of the State encompassed by a 
line beginning at the intersection of U.S. Highway 141 and the Michigan 
border near Niagara, then south along U.S. 141 to State Highway 22, 
west and southwest along State 22 to U.S. 45, south along U.S. 45 to 
State 22, west and south along State 22 to State 110, south along State 
110 to U.S. 10, south along U.S. 10 to State 49, south along State 49 
to State 23, west along State 23 to State 73, south along State 73 to 
State 60, west along State 60 to State 23, south along State 23 to 
State 11, east along State 11 to State 78, then south along State 78 to 
the Illinois border.
    Early-Season Subzone B--The remainder of the State.

Central Flyway

North Dakota
    Missouri River Canada Goose Zone--The area within and bounded by a 
line starting where ND Hwy 6 crosses the South Dakota border; then 
north on ND Hwy 6 to I-94; then west on I-94 to ND Hwy 49; then north 
on ND Hwy 49 to ND Hwy 200; then north on Mercer County Rd. 21 to the 
section line between sections 8 and 9 (T146N-R87W); then north on that 
section line to the southern shoreline to Lake Sakakawea; then east 
along the southern shoreline (including Mallard Island) of Lake 
Sakakawea to US Hwy 83; then south on US Hwy 83 to ND Hwy 200; then 
east on ND Hwy 200 to ND Hwy 41; then south on ND Hwy 41 to US Hwy 83; 
then south on US Hwy 83 to I-94; then east on I-94 to US Hwy 83; then 
south on US Hwy 83 to the South

[[Page 45399]]

Dakota border; then west along the South Dakota border to ND Hwy 6.
    Rest of State--Remainder of North Dakota.
South Dakota
    Special Early Canada Goose Unit--The Counties of Campbell, 
Marshall, Roberts, Day, Clark, Codington, Grant, Hamlin, Deuel, 
Walworth; that portion of Dewey County north of Bureau of Indian 
Affairs Road 8, Bureau of Indian Affairs Road 9, and the section of 
U.S. Highway 212 east of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Road 8 junction; 
that portion of Potter County east of U.S. Highway 83; that portion of 
Sully County east of U.S. Highway 83; portions of Hyde, Buffalo, Brule, 
and Charles Mix counties north and east of a line beginning at the 
Hughes-Hyde County line on State Highway 34, east to Lees Boulevard, 
southeast to the State Highway 34, east 7 miles to 350th Avenue, south 
to Interstate 90 on 350th Avenue, south and east on State Highway 50 to 
Geddes, east on 285th Street to U.S. Highway 281, and north on U.S. 
Highway 281 to the Charles Mix-Douglas County boundary; that portion of 
Bon Homme County north of State Highway 50; that portion of Fall River 
County west of State Highway 71 and U.S. Highway 385; that portion of 
Custer County west of State Highway 79 and north of French Creek; 
McPherson, Edmunds, Kingsbury, Brookings, Lake, Moody, Miner, Faulk, 
Hand, Jerauld, Douglas, Hutchinson, Turner, Lincoln, Union, Clay, 
Yankton, Aurora, Beadle, Davison, Hanson, Sanborn, Spink, Brown, 
Harding, Butte, Lawrence, Meade, Pennington, Shannon, Jackson, 
Mellette, Todd, Jones, Haakon, Corson, Ziebach, McCook, and Minnehaha 
Counties.
Texas
    Eastern Goose Zone--East of a line from the International Toll 
Bridge at Laredo, north following IH-35 and 35W to Fort Worth, 
northwest along U.S. Hwy. 81 and 287 to Bowie, north along U.S. Hwy. 81 
to the Texas-Oklahoma State line.

Pacific Flyway

Idaho
    East Zone--Bonneville, Caribou, Fremont, and Teton Counties.
Oregon
    Northwest Zone--Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Lane, 
Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk, Multnomah, Tillamook, Washington, and 
Yamhill Counties.
    Southwest Zone--Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, and 
Klamath Counties.
    East Zone--Baker, Gilliam, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, 
Union, and Wasco Counties.
Washington
    Area 1--Skagit, Island, and Snohomish Counties.
    Area 2A (SW Quota Zone)--Clark County, except portions south of the 
Washougal River; Cowlitz County; and Wahkiakum County.
    Area 2B (SW Quota Zone)--Pacific County.
    Area 3--All areas west of the Pacific Crest Trail and west of the 
Big White Salmon River that are not included in Areas 1, 2A, and 2B.
    Area 4--Adams, Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, 
Lincoln, Okanogan, Spokane, and Walla Walla Counties.
    Area 5--All areas east of the Pacific Crest Trail and east of the 
Big White Salmon River that are not included in Area 4.

Ducks

Atlantic Flyway

New York
    Lake Champlain Zone--The U.S. portion of Lake Champlain and that 
area east and north of a line extending along NY 9B from the Canadian 
border to U.S. 9, south along U.S. 9 to NY 22 south of Keesville; south 
along NY 22 to the west shore of South Bay, along and around the 
shoreline of South Bay to NY 22 on the east shore of South Bay; 
southeast along NY 22 to U.S. 4, northeast along U.S. 4 to the Vermont 
border.
    Long Island Zone--That area consisting of Nassau County, Suffolk 
County, that area of Westchester County southeast of I-95, and their 
tidal waters.
    Western Zone--That area west of a line extending from Lake Ontario 
east along the north shore of the Salmon River to I-81, and south along 
I-81 to the Pennsylvania border.
    Northeastern Zone--That area north of a line extending from Lake 
Ontario east along the north shore of the Salmon River to I-81, south 
along I-81 to NY 49, east along NY 49 to NY 365, east along NY 365 to 
NY 28, east along NY 28 to NY 29, east along NY 29 to I-87, north along 
I-87 to U.S. 9 (at Exit 20), north along U.S. 9 to NY 149, east along 
NY 149 to U.S. 4, north along U.S. 4 to the Vermont border, exclusive 
of the Lake Champlain Zone.
    Southeastern Zone--The remaining portion of New York.
Maryland
    Special Teal Season Area-- Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, 
Harford, Kent, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, 
and Worcester Counties; that part of Anne Arundel County east of 
Interstate 895, Interstate 97, and Route 3; that part of Prince Georges 
County east of Route 3 and Route 301; and that part of Charles County 
east of Route 301 to the Virginia State Line.

Mississippi Flyway

Indiana
    North Zone--That part of Indiana north of a line extending east 
from the Illinois border along State Road 18 to U.S. 31; north along 
U.S. 31 to U.S. 24; east along U.S. 24 to Huntington; southeast along 
U.S. 224; south along State Road 5; and east along State Road 124 to 
the Ohio border.
    Central Zone--That part of Indiana south of the North Zone boundary 
and north of the South Zone boundary.
    South Zone--That part of Indiana south of a line extending east 
from the Illinois border along U.S. 40; south along U.S. 41; east along 
State Road 58; south along State Road 37 to Bedford; and east along 
U.S. 50 to the Ohio border.
Iowa
    North Zone--That portion of Iowa north of a line beginning on the 
South Dakota-Iowa border at Interstate 29, southeast along Interstate 
29 to State Highway 175, east along State Highway 175 to State Highway 
37, southeast along State Highway 37 to State Highway 183, northeast 
along State Highway 183 to State Highway 141, east along State Highway 
141 to U.S. Highway 30, and along U.S. Highway 30 to the Illinois 
border.
    Missouri River Zone--That portion of Iowa west of a line beginning 
on the South Dakota-Iowa border at Interstate 29, southeast along 
Interstate 29 to State Highway 175, and west along State Highway 175 to 
the Iowa-Nebraska border.
    South Zone--The remainder of Iowa.
Michigan
    North Zone: The Upper Peninsula.
    Middle Zone: That portion of the Lower Peninsula north of a line 
beginning at the Wisconsin State line in Lake Michigan due west of the 
mouth of Stony Creek in Oceana County; then due east to, and easterly 
and southerly along the south shore of Stony Creek to Scenic Drive, 
easterly and southerly along Scenic Drive to Stony Lake Road, easterly 
along Stony Lake and Garfield Roads to Michigan Highway 20, east along 
Michigan 20 to U.S. Highway 10 Business Route (BR) in the city of 
Midland, easterly along U.S. 10 BR to

[[Page 45400]]

U.S. 10, easterly along U.S. 10 to Interstate Highway 75/U.S. Highway 
23, northerly along I-75/U.S. 23 to the U.S. 23 exit at Standish, 
easterly along U.S. 23 to the centerline of the Au Gres River, then 
southerly along the centerline of the Au Gres River to Saginaw Bay, 
then on a line directly east 10 miles into Saginaw Bay, and from that 
point on a line directly northeast to the Canadian border.
    South Zone: The remainder of Michigan.
Wisconsin
    North Zone: That portion of the State north of a line extending 
east from the Minnesota State line along U.S. Highway 10 into Portage 
County to County Highway HH, east on County Highway HH to State Highway 
66 and then east on State Highway 66 to U.S. Highway 10, continuing 
east on U.S. Highway 10 to U.S. Highway 41, then north on U.S. Highway 
41 to the Michigan State line.
    Mississippi River Zone: That area encompassed by a line beginning 
at the intersection of the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway and 
the Illinois State line in Grant County and extending northerly along 
the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway to the city limit of 
Prescott in Pierce County, then west along the Prescott city limit to 
the Minnesota State line.
    South Zone: The remainder of Wisconsin.

Central Flyway

Colorado
    Special Teal Season Area--Lake and Chaffee Counties and that 
portion of the State east of Interstate Highway 25.
Kansas
    High Plains Zone--That portion of the State west of U.S. 283.
    Early Zone--That part of Kansas bounded by a line from the 
Nebraska-Kansas State line south on K-128 to its junction with U.S.-36, 
then east on U.S.-36 to its junction with K-199, then south on K-199 to 
its junction with Republic County 30 Rd, then south on Republic County 
30 Rd to its junction with K-148, then east on K-148 to its junction 
with Republic County 50 Rd, then south on Republic County 50 Rd to its 
junction with Cloud County 40th Rd, then south on Cloud County 40th Rd 
to its junction with K-9, then west on K-9 to its junction with U.S.-
24, then west on U.S.-24 to its junction with U.S.-281, then north on 
U.S.-281 to its junction with U.S.-36, then west on U.S.-36 to its 
junction with U.S.-183, then south on U.S.-183 to its junction with 
U.S.-24, then west on U.S.-24 to its junction with K-18, then southeast 
on K-18 to its junction with U.S.-183, then south on U.S.-183 to its 
junction with K-4, then east on K-4 to its junction with I-135, then 
south on I-135 to its junction with K-61, then southwest on K-61 to 
McPherson County.
    14th Avenue, then south on McPherson County 14th Avenue to its 
junction with Arapaho Rd, then west on Arapaho Rd to its junction with 
K-61, then southwest on K-61 to its junction with K-96, then northwest 
on K-96 to its junction with U.S.-56, then southwest on U.S.-56 to its 
junction with K-19, then east on K-19 to its junction with U.S.-281, 
then south on U.S.-281 to its junction with U.S.-54, then west on U.S.-
54 to its junction with U.S.-183, then north on U.S.-183 to its 
junction with U.S.-56, then southwest on U.S.-56 to its junction with 
Ford County Rd 126, then south on Ford County Rd 126 to its junction 
with U.S.-400, then northwest on U.S.-400 to its junction with U.S.-
283, then north on U.S.-283 to its junction with the Nebraska-Kansas 
State line, then east along the Nebraska-Kansas State line to its 
junction with K-128.
    Late Zone--That part of Kansas bounded by a line from the Nebraska-
Kansas State line south on K-128 to its junction with U.S.-36, then 
east on U.S.-36 to its junction with K-199, then south on K-199 to its 
junction with Republic County 30 Rd, then south on Republic County 30 
Rd to its junction with K-148, then east on K-148 to its junction with 
Republic County 50 Rd, then south on Republic County 50 Rd to its 
junction with Cloud County 40th Rd, then south on Cloud County 40th Rd 
to its junction with K-9, then west on K-9 to its junction with U.S.-
24, then west on U.S.-24 to its junction with U.S.-281, then north on 
U.S.-281 to its junction with U.S.-36, then west on U.S.-36 to its 
junction with U.S.-183, then south on U.S.-183 to its junction with 
U.S.-24, then west on U.S.-24 to its junction with K-18, then southeast 
on K-18 to its junction with U.S.-183, then south on U.S.-183 to its 
junction with K-4, then east on K-4 to its junction with I-135, then 
south on I-135 to its junction with K-61, then southwest on K-61 to 
14th Avenue, then south on 14th Avenue to its junction with Arapaho Rd, 
then west on Arapaho Rd to its junction with K-61, then southwest on K-
61 to its junction with K-96, then northwest on K-96 to its junction 
with U.S.-56, then southwest on U.S.-56 to its junction with K-19, then 
east on K-19 to its junction with U.S.-281, then south on U.S.-281 to 
its junction with U.S.-54, then west on U.S.-54 to its junction with 
U.S.-183, then north on U.S.-183 to its junction with U.S.-56, then 
southwest on U.S.-56 to its junction with Ford County Rd 126, then 
south on Ford County Rd 126 to its junction with U.S.-400, then 
northwest on U.S.-400 to its junction with U.S.-283, then south on 
U.S.-283 to its junction with the Oklahoma-Kansas State line, then east 
along the Oklahoma-Kansas State line to its junction with U.S.-77, then 
north on U.S.-77 to its junction with Butler County, NE 150th Street, 
then east on Butler County, NE 150th Street to its junction with U.S.-
35, then northeast on U.S.-35 to its junction with K-68, then east on 
K-68 to the Kansas-Missouri State line, then north along the Kansas-
Missouri State line to its junction with the Nebraska State line, then 
west along the Kansas-Nebraska State line to its junction with K-128.
    Southeast Zone--That part of Kansas bounded by a line from the 
Missouri-Kansas State line west on K-68 to its junction with U.S.-35, 
then southwest on U.S.-35 to its junction with Butler County, NE 150th 
Street, then west on NE 150th Street until its junction with K-77, then 
south on K-77 to the Oklahoma-Kansas State line, then east along the 
Kansas-Oklahoma State line to its junction with the Missouri State 
line, then north along the Kansas-Missouri State line to its junction 
with K-68.
Nebraska
    Special Teal Season Area--That portion of the State south of a line 
beginning at the Wyoming State line; east along U.S. 26 to Nebraska 
Highway L62A east to U.S. 385; south to U.S. 26; east to NE 92; east 
along NE 92 to NE 61; south along NE 61 to U.S. 30; east along U.S. 30 
to the Iowa border.
    High Plains--That portion of Nebraska lying west of a line 
beginning at the South Dakota-Nebraska border on U.S. Hwy. 183; south 
on U.S. Hwy. 183 to U.S. Hwy. 20; west on U.S. Hwy. 20 to NE Hwy. 7; 
south on NE Hwy. 7 to NE Hwy. 91; southwest on NE Hwy. 91 to NE Hwy. 2; 
southeast on NE Hwy. 2 to NE Hwy. 92; west on NE Hwy. 92 to NE Hwy. 40; 
south on NE Hwy. 40 to NE Hwy. 47; south on NE Hwy. 47 to NE Hwy. 23; 
east on NE Hwy. 23 to U.S. Hwy. 283; and south on U.S. Hwy. 283 to the 
Kansas-Nebraska border.
    Zone 1--Area bounded by designated Federal and State highways and 
political boundaries beginning at the South Dakota-Nebraska border west 
of NE Hwy. 26E Spur and north of NE Hwy. 12; those portions of Dixon, 
Cedar and Knox Counties north of NE Hwy. 12; that portion of Keya Paha 
County

[[Page 45401]]

east of U.S. Hwy. 183; and all of Boyd County. Both banks of the 
Niobrara River in Keya Paha and Boyd counties east of U.S. Hwy. 183 
shall be included in Zone 1.
    Zone 2--The area south of Zone 1 and north of Zone 3.
    Zone 3--Area bounded by designated Federal and State highways, 
County Roads, and political boundaries beginning at the Wyoming-
Nebraska border at the intersection of the Interstate Canal; east along 
northern borders of Scotts Bluff and Morrill Counties to Broadwater 
Road; south to Morrill County Rd 94; east to County Rd 135; south to 
County Rd 88; southeast to County Rd 151; south to County Rd 80; east 
to County Rd 161; south to County Rd 76; east to County Rd 165; south 
to Country Rd 167; south to U.S. Hwy. 26; east to County Rd 171; north 
to County Rd 68; east to County Rd 183; south to County Rd 64; east to 
County Rd 189; north to County Rd 70; east to County Rd 201; south to 
County Rd 60A; east to County Rd 203; south to County Rd 52; east to 
Keith County Line; east along the northern boundaries of Keith and 
Lincoln Counties to NE Hwy. 97; south to U.S. Hwy 83; south to E Hall 
School Rd; east to N Airport Road; south to U.S. Hwy. 30; east to 
Merrick County Rd 13; north to County Rd O; east to NE Hwy. 14; north 
to NE Hwy. 52; west and north to NE Hwy. 91; west to U.S. Hwy. 281; 
south to NE Hwy. 22; west to NE Hwy. 11; northwest to NE Hwy. 91; west 
to U.S. Hwy. 183; south to Round Valley Rd; west to Sargent River Rd; 
west to Sargent Rd; west to Milburn Rd; north to Blaine County Line; 
east to Loup County Line; north to NE Hwy. 91; west to North Loup Spur 
Rd; north to North Loup River Rd; east to Pleasant Valley/Worth Rd; 
east to Loup County Line; north to Loup-Brown county line; east along 
northern boundaries of Loup and Garfield Counties to Cedar River Rd; 
south to NE Hwy. 70; east to U.S. Hwy. 281; north to NE Hwy. 70; east 
to NE Hwy. 14; south to NE Hwy. 39; southeast to NE Hwy. 22; east to 
U.S. Hwy. 81; southeast to U.S. Hwy. 30; east to U.S. Hwy. 75; north to 
the Washington County line; east to the Iowa-Nebraska border; south to 
the Missouri-Nebraska border; south to Kansas-Nebraska border; west 
along Kansas-Nebraska border to Colorado-Nebraska border; north and 
west to Wyoming-Nebraska border; north to intersection of Interstate 
Canal; and excluding that area in Zone 4.
    Zone 4--Area encompassed by designated Federal and State highways 
and County Roads beginning at the intersection of NE Hwy. 8 and U.S. 
Hwy. 75; north to U.S. Hwy. 136; east to the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 
136 and the Steamboat Trace (Trace); north along the Trace to the 
intersection with Federal Levee R-562; north along Federal Levee R-562 
to the intersection with the Trace; north along the Trace/Burlington 
Northern Railroad right-of-way to NE Hwy. 2; west to U.S. Hwy. 75; 
north to NE Hwy. 2; west to NE Hwy. 43; north to U.S. Hwy. 34; east to 
NE Hwy. 63; north to NE Hwy. 66; north and west to U.S. Hwy. 77; north 
to NE Hwy. 92; west to NE Hwy. Spur 12F; south to Butler County Rd 30; 
east to County Rd X; south to County Rd 27; west to County Rd W; south 
to County Rd 26; east to County Rd X; south to County Rd 21 (Seward 
County Line); west to NE Hwy. 15; north to County Rd 34; west to County 
Rd J; south to NE Hwy. 92; west to U.S. Hwy. 81; south to NE Hwy. 66; 
west to Polk County Rd C; north to NE Hwy. 92; west to U.S. Hwy. 30; 
west to Merrick County Rd 17; south to Hordlake Road; southeast to 
Prairie Island Road; southeast to Hamilton County Rd T; south to NE 
Hwy. 66; west to NE Hwy. 14; south to County Rd 22; west to County Rd 
M; south to County Rd 21; west to County Rd K; south to U.S. Hwy. 34; 
west to NE Hwy. 2; south to U.S. Hwy. I-80; west to Gunbarrel Rd (Hall/
Hamilton county line); south to Giltner Rd; west to U.S. Hwy. 281; 
south to U.S. Hwy. 34; west to NE Hwy. 10; north to Kearney County Rd R 
and Phelps County Rd 742; west to U.S. Hwy. 283; south to U.S. Hwy 34; 
east to U.S. Hwy. 136; east to U.S. Hwy. 183; north to NE Hwy. 4; east 
to NE Hwy. 10; south to U.S. Hwy. 136; east to NE Hwy. 14; south to NE 
Hwy. 8; east to U.S. Hwy. 81; north to NE Hwy. 4; east to NE Hwy. 15; 
south to U.S. Hwy. 136; east to NE Hwy. 103; south to NE Hwy. 8; east 
to U.S. Hwy. 75.
New Mexico (Central Flyway Portion)
    North Zone--That portion of the State north of I-40 and U.S. 54.
    South Zone--The remainder of New Mexico.

Pacific Flyway

California
    Northeastern Zone--In that portion of California lying east and 
north of a line beginning at the intersection of Interstate 5 with the 
California-Oregon line; south along Interstate 5 to its junction with 
Walters Lane south of the town of Yreka; west along Walters Lane to its 
junction with Easy Street; south along Easy Street to the junction with 
Old Highway 99; south along Old Highway 99 to the point of intersection 
with Interstate 5 north of the town of Weed; south along Interstate 5 
to its junction with Highway 89; east and south along Highway 89 to 
Main Street Greenville; north and east to its junction with North 
Valley Road; south to its junction of Diamond Mountain Road; north and 
east to its junction with North Arm Road; south and west to the 
junction of North Valley Road; south to the junction with Arlington 
Road (A22); west to the junction of Highway 89; south and west to the 
junction of Highway 70; east on Highway 70 to Highway 395; south and 
east on Highway 395 to the point of intersection with the California-
Nevada State line; north along the California-Nevada State line to the 
junction of the California-Nevada-Oregon State lines west along the 
California-Oregon State line to the point of origin.
    Colorado River Zone--Those portions of San Bernardino, Riverside, 
and Imperial Counties east of a line extending from the Nevada border 
south along U.S. 95 to Vidal Junction; south on a road known as 
``Aqueduct Road'' in San Bernardino County through the town of Rice to 
the San Bernardino-Riverside County line; south on a road known in 
Riverside County as the ``Desert Center to Rice Road'' to the town of 
Desert Center; east 31 miles on I-10 to the Wiley Well Road; south on 
this road to Wiley Well; southeast along the Army-Milpitas Road to the 
Blythe, Brawley, Davis Lake intersections; south on the Blythe-Brawley 
paved road to the Ogilby and Tumco Mine Road; south on this road to 
U.S. 80; east 7 miles on U.S. 80 to the Andrade-Algodones Road; south 
on this paved road to the Mexican border at Algodones, Mexico.
    Southern Zone--That portion of southern California (but excluding 
the Colorado River Zone) south and east of a line extending from the 
Pacific Ocean east along the Santa Maria River to CA 166 near the City 
of Santa Maria; east on CA 166 to CA 99; south on CA 99 to the crest of 
the Tehachapi Mountains at Tejon Pass; east and north along the crest 
of the Tehachapi Mountains to CA 178 at Walker Pass; east on CA 178 to 
U.S. 395 at the town of Inyokern; south on U.S. 395 to CA 58; east on 
CA 58 to I-15; east on I-15 to CA 127; north on CA 127 to the Nevada 
border.
    Southern San Joaquin Valley Temporary Zone--All of Kings and Tulare 
Counties and that portion of Kern County north of the Southern Zone.
    Balance-of-the-State Zone--The remainder of California not included 
in the Northeastern, Southern, and Colorado River Zones, and the 
Southern San Joaquin Valley Temporary Zone.

[[Page 45402]]

Canada Geese

Michigan
    North Zone--Same as North duck zone.
    Middle Zone--Same as Middle duck zone.
    South Zone--Same as South duck zone.
    Tuscola/Huron Goose Management Unit (GMU): Those portions of 
Tuscola and Huron Counties bounded on the south by Michigan Highway 138 
and Bay City Road, on the east by Colwood and Bay Port Roads, on the 
north by Kilmanagh Road and a line extending directly west off the end 
of Kilmanagh Road into Saginaw Bay to the west boundary, and on the 
west by the Tuscola-Bay County line and a line extending directly north 
off the end of the Tuscola-Bay County line into Saginaw Bay to the 
north boundary.
    Allegan County GMU: That area encompassed by a line beginning at 
the junction of 136th Avenue and Interstate Highway 196 in Lake Town 
Township and extending easterly along 136th Avenue to Michigan Highway 
40, southerly along Michigan 40 through the city of Allegan to 108th 
Avenue in Trowbridge Township, westerly along 108th Avenue to 46th 
Street, northerly along 46th Street to 109th Avenue, westerly along 
109th Avenue to I-196 in Casco Township, then northerly along I-196 to 
the point of beginning.
    Saginaw County GMU: That portion of Saginaw County bounded by 
Michigan Highway 46 on the north; Michigan 52 on the west; Michigan 57 
on the south; and Michigan 13 on the east.
    Muskegon Wastewater GMU: That portion of Muskegon County within the 
boundaries of the Muskegon County wastewater system, east of the 
Muskegon State Game Area, in sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 17, 18, 19, 20, 29, 
30, and 32, T10N R14W, and sections 1, 2, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 24, and 
25, T10N R15W, as posted.
Wisconsin
    Same zones as for ducks but in addition:
    Horicon Zone: That area encompassed by a line beginning at the 
intersection of State Highway 21 and the Fox River in Winnebago County 
and extending westerly along State 21 to the west boundary of Winnebago 
County, southerly along the west boundary of Winnebago County to the 
north boundary of Green Lake County, westerly along the north 
boundaries of Green Lake and Marquette Counties to State 22, southerly 
along State 22 to State 33, westerly along State 33 to Interstate 
Highway 39, southerly along Interstate Highway 39 to Interstate Highway 
90/94, southerly along I-90/94 to State 60, easterly along State 60 to 
State 83, northerly along State 83 to State 175, northerly along State 
175 to State 33, easterly along State 33 to U.S. Highway 45, northerly 
along U.S. 45 to the east shore of the Fond Du Lac River, northerly 
along the east shore of the Fond Du Lac River to Lake Winnebago, 
northerly along the western shoreline of Lake Winnebago to the Fox 
River, then westerly along the Fox River to State 21.
    Exterior Zone: That portion of the State not included in the 
Horicon Zone.
    Mississippi River Subzone: That area encompassed by a line 
beginning at the intersection of the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe 
Railway and the Illinois State line in Grant County and extending 
northerly along the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway to the city 
limit of Prescott in Pierce County, then west along the Prescott city 
limit to the Minnesota State line.
    Brown County Subzone: That area encompassed by a line beginning at 
the intersection of the Fox River with Green Bay in Brown County and 
extending southerly along the Fox River to State Highway 29, 
northwesterly along State 29 to the Brown County line, south, east, and 
north along the Brown County line to Green Bay, due west to the 
midpoint of the Green Bay Ship Channel, then southwesterly along the 
Green Bay Ship Channel to the Fox River.

Sandhill Cranes

Mississippi Flyway

Minnesota
    Northwest Goose Zone--That portion of the State encompassed by a 
line extending east from the North Dakota border along U.S. Highway 2 
to State Trunk Highway (STH) 32, north along STH 32 to STH 92, east 
along STH 92 to County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 2 in Polk County, north 
along CSAH 2 to CSAH 27 in Pennington County, north along CSAH 27 to 
STH 1, east along STH 1 to CSAH 28 in Pennington County, north along 
CSAH 28 to CSAH 54 in Marshall County, north along CSAH 54 to CSAH 9 in 
Roseau County, north along CSAH 9 to STH 11, west along STH 11 to STH 
310, and north along STH 310 to the Manitoba border.
Tennessee
    Hunt Zone--That portion of the State south of Interstate 40 and 
east of State Highway 56.
    Closed Zone--Remainder of the State.

Central Flyway

    Colorado--The Central Flyway portion of the State except the San 
Luis Valley (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Hinsdale, Mineral, Rio Grande, 
and Saguache Counties east of the Continental Divide) and North Park 
(Jackson County).
    Kansas--That portion of the State west of a line beginning at the 
Oklahoma border, north on I-35 to Wichita, north on I-135 to Salina, 
and north on U.S. 81 to the Nebraska border.
    Montana--The Central Flyway portion of the State except for that 
area south and west of Interstate 90, which is closed to sandhill crane 
hunting.
New Mexico
    Regular-Season Open Area--Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Eddy, Lea, Quay, 
and Roosevelt Counties.
    Middle Rio Grande Valley Area--The Central Flyway portion of New 
Mexico in Socorro and Valencia Counties.
    Estancia Valley Area--Those portions of Santa Fe, Torrance and 
Bernallilo Counties within an area bounded on the west by New Mexico 
Highway 55 beginning at Mountainair north to NM 337, north to NM 14, 
north to I-25; on the north by I-25 east to U.S. 285; on the east by 
U.S. 285 south to U.S. 60; and on the south by U.S. 60 from U.S. 285 
west to NM 55 in Mountainair.
    Southwest Zone--Area bounded on the south by the New Mexico/Mexico 
border; on the west by the New Mexico/Arizona border north to 
Interstate 10; on the north by Interstate 10 east to U.S. 180, north to 
N.M. 26, east to N.M. 27, north to N.M. 152, and east to Interstate 25; 
on the east by Interstate 25 south to Interstate 10, west to the Luna 
county line, and south to the New Mexico/Mexico border.
North Dakota
    Area 1--That portion of the State west of U.S. 281.
    Area 2--That portion of the State east of U.S. 281.
    Oklahoma--That portion of the State west of I-35.
    South Dakota--That portion of the State west of U.S. 281.
Texas
    Zone A--That portion of Texas lying west of a line beginning at the 
international toll bridge at Laredo, then northeast along U.S. Highway 
81 to its junction with Interstate Highway 35 in Laredo, then north 
along Interstate Highway 35 to its junction with Interstate Highway 10 
in San Antonio, then northwest along Interstate Highway 10 to its 
junction with U.S. Highway 83 at Junction, then north along U.S.

[[Page 45403]]

Highway 83 to its junction with U.S. Highway 62, 16 miles north of 
Childress, then east along U.S. Highway 62 to the Texas-Oklahoma State 
line.
    Zone B--That portion of Texas lying within boundaries beginning at 
the junction of U.S. Highway 81 and the Texas-Oklahoma State line, then 
southeast along U.S. Highway 81 to its junction with U.S. Highway 287 
in Montague County, then southeast along U.S. Highway 287 to its 
junction with Interstate Highway 35W in Fort Worth, then southwest 
along Interstate Highway 35 to its junction with Interstate Highway 10 
in San Antonio, then northwest along Interstate Highway 10 to its 
junction with U.S. Highway 83 in the town of Junction, then north along 
U.S. Highway 83 to its junction with U.S. Highway 62, 16 miles north of 
Childress, then east along U.S. Highway 62 to the Texas-Oklahoma State 
line, then south along the Texas-Oklahoma State line to the south bank 
of the Red River, then eastward along the vegetation line on the south 
bank of the Red River to U.S. Highway 81.
    Zone C--The remainder of the State, except for the closed areas.
    Closed areas--(A) That portion of the State lying east and north of 
a line beginning at the junction of U.S. Highway 81 and the Texas-
Oklahoma State line, then southeast along U.S. Highway 81 to its 
junction with U.S. Highway 287 in Montague County, then southeast along 
U.S. Highway 287 to its junction with Interstate Highway 35W in Fort 
Worth, then southwest along Interstate Highway 35 to its junction with 
U.S. Highway 290 East in Austin, then east along U.S. Highway 290 to 
its junction with Interstate Loop 610 in Harris County, then south and 
east along Interstate Loop 610 to its junction with Interstate Highway 
45 in Houston, then south on Interstate Highway 45 to State Highway 
342, then to the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, and then north and east 
along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico to the Texas-Louisiana State 
line.
    (B) That portion of the State lying within the boundaries of a line 
beginning at the Kleberg-Nueces County line and the shore of the Gulf 
of Mexico, then west along the County line to Park Road 22 in Nueces 
County, then north and west along Park Road 22 to its junction with 
State Highway 358 in Corpus Christi, then west and north along State 
Highway 358 to its junction with State Highway 286, then north along 
State Highway 286 to its junction with Interstate Highway 37, then east 
along Interstate Highway 37 to its junction with U.S. Highway 181, then 
north and west along U.S. Highway 181 to its junction with U.S. Highway 
77 in Sinton, then north and east along U.S. Highway 77 to its junction 
with U.S. Highway 87 in Victoria, then south and east along U.S. 
Highway 87 to its junction with State Highway 35 at Port Lavaca, then 
north and east along State Highway 35 to the south end of the Lavaca 
Bay Causeway, then south and east along the shore of Lavaca Bay to its 
junction with the Port Lavaca Ship Channel, then south and east along 
the Lavaca Bay Ship Channel to the Gulf of Mexico, and then south and 
west along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico to the Kleberg-Nueces County 
line.
Wyoming
    Regular Season Open Area--Campbell, Converse, Crook, Goshen, 
Laramie, Niobrara, Platte, and Weston Counties, and portions of Johnson 
and Sheridan Counties.
    Riverton-Boysen Unit--Portions of Fremont County.
    Park and Big Horn County Unit--All of Big Horn, Hot Springs, Park 
and Washakie Counties.

Pacific Flyway

Arizona
    Special Season Area--Game Management Units 28, 30A, 30B, 31, and 
32.
Idaho
    Special Season Area--See State regulations.
Montana
    Special Season Area--See State regulations.
Utah
    Special Season Area--Rich, Cache, and Unitah Counties and that 
portion of Box Elder County beginning on the Utah-Idaho State line at 
the Box Elder-Cache County line; west on the State line to the 
Pocatello Valley County Road; south on the Pocatello Valley County Road 
to I-15; southeast on I-15 to SR-83; south on SR-83 to Lamp Junction; 
west and south on the Promontory Point County Road to the tip of 
Promontory Point; south from Promontory Point to the Box Elder-Weber 
County line; east on the Box Elder-Weber County line to the Box Elder-
Cache County line; north on the Box Elder-Cache County line to the 
Utah-Idaho State line.
Wyoming
    Bear River Area--That portion of Lincoln County described in State 
regulations.
    Salt River Area--That portion of Lincoln County described in State 
regulations.
    Farson-Eden Area--Those portions of Sweetwater and Sublette 
Counties described in State regulations.
    Uinta County Area--That portion of Uinta County described in State 
regulations.

All Migratory Game Birds in Alaska

    North Zone--State Game Management Units 11-13 and 17-26.
    Gulf Coast Zone--State Game Management Units 5-7, 9, 14-16, and 10 
(Unimak Island only).
    Southeast Zone--State Game Management Units 1-4.
    Pribilof and Aleutian Islands Zone--State Game Management Unit 10 
(except Unimak Island).
    Kodiak Zone--State Game Management Unit 8.

All Migratory Game Birds in the Virgin Islands

    Ruth Cay Closure Area--The island of Ruth Cay, just south of St. 
Croix.

All Migratory Game Birds in Puerto Rico

    Municipality of Culebra Closure Area--All of the municipality of 
Culebra.
    Desecheo Island Closure Area--All of Desecheo Island.
    Mona Island Closure Area--All of Mona Island.
    Verde Closure Area--Those areas of the municipalities of Rio Grande 
and Loiza delineated as follows: (1) All lands between Routes 956 on 
the west and 186 on the east, from Route 3 on the north to the juncture 
of Routes 956 and 186 (Km 13.2) in the south; (2) all lands between 
Routes 186 and 966 from the juncture of 186 and 966 on the north, to 
the Caribbean National Forest Boundary on the south; (3) all lands 
lying west of Route 186 for 1 kilometer from the juncture of Routes 186 
and 956 south to Km 6 on Route 186; (4) all lands within Km 14 and Km 6 
on the west and the Caribbean National Forest Boundary on the east; and 
(5) all lands within the Caribbean National Forest Boundary whether 
private or public.
    Cidra Municipality and adjacent areas--All of Cidra Municipality 
and portions of Aguas Buenas, Caguas, Cayey, and Comerio Municipalities 
as encompassed within the following boundary: Beginning on Highway 172 
as it leaves the municipality of Cidra on the west edge, north to 
Highway 156, east on Highway 156 to Highway 1, south on Highway 1 to 
Highway 765, south on Highway 765 to Highway 763, south on Highway 763 
to the Rio

[[Page 45404]]

Guavate, west along Rio Guavate to Highway 1, southwest on Highway 1 to 
Highway 14, west on Highway 14 to Highway 729, north on Highway 729 to 
Cidra Municipality boundary to the point of the beginning.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP26JY13.014

[FR Doc. 2013-17876 Filed 7-25-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P