Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations for the 2014-15 Hunting Season; Notice of Meetings, 32417-32420 [2014-12825]

Download as PDF Vol. 79 Wednesday, No. 107 June 4, 2014 Part III Department of the Interior tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 20 Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations for the 2014–15 Hunting Season; Notice of Meetings; Proposed Rule VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:18 Jun 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4717 Sfmt 4717 E:\FR\FM\04JNP2.SGM 04JNP2 32418 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 107 / Wednesday, June 4, 2014 / Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 20 [Docket No. FWS–HQ–MB–2014–0017]; [FF09M21200–134–FXMB1231099BPP0] RIN 1018–AZ80 Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations for the 2014–15 Hunting Season; Notice of Meetings Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule; supplemental. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), proposed in an earlier document to establish annual hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds for the 2014–15 hunting season. This supplement to the proposed rule provides the regulatory schedule, announces the Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee and Flyway Council meetings, and provides Flyway Council recommendations resulting from their March meetings. DATES: Comments: You must submit comments on the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2014–15 duck hunting seasons on or before June 27, 2014. Following subsequent Federal Register notices, you will be given an opportunity to submit comments for proposed early-season frameworks by July 29, 2014, and for proposed lateseason frameworks and subsistence migratory bird seasons in Alaska by August 29, 2014. Meetings: The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet to consider and develop proposed regulations for early-season migratory bird hunting on June 25 and 26, 2014, and for late-season migratory bird hunting and the 2015 spring/summer migratory bird subsistence season in Alaska on July 30 and 31, 2014. 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–2014– 0017. • U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–HQ– MB–2014–0017; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:18 Jun 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 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 Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet at the Holiday Inn Arlington at Ballston, 4610 N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ron W. Kokel, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, MS MBSP–4107–ARLSQ, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240; (703) 358– 1714. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations Schedule for 2014 On April 30, 2014, we published in the Federal Register (79 FR 24512) a proposal to amend 50 CFR part 20. The proposal provided a background and overview of the migratory bird hunting regulations process, and addressed the establishment of seasons, limits, and other regulations for hunting migratory game birds under §§ 20.101 through 20.107, 20.109, and 20.110 of subpart K. This document is the second in a series of proposed, supplemental, and final rules for migratory game bird hunting regulations. We will publish proposed early-season frameworks in early July and late-season frameworks in early August. We will publish final regulatory frameworks for early seasons on or about August 15, 2014, and for late seasons on or about September 19, 2014. Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee Meetings The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee (SRC) will meet June 25–26, 2014, to review information on the current status of migratory shore and upland game birds and develop 2014–15 migratory game bird regulations recommendations for these species, plus regulations for migratory game birds in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The Committee will also develop regulations recommendations for September waterfowl seasons in designated States, special sea duck seasons in the Atlantic Flyway, and extended falconry seasons. In addition, the Committee will review and discuss preliminary information on the status of waterfowl. At the July 30–31, 2014, meetings, the Committee will review information on the current status of waterfowl and develop 2014–15 migratory game bird regulations recommendations for regular waterfowl seasons and other species and seasons not previously discussed at the PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 early-season meetings. In addition, the Committee will develop recommendations for the 2015 spring/ summer migratory bird subsistence season in Alaska. In accordance with Departmental policy, these meetings are open to public observation. You may submit written comments to the Service on the matters discussed. Announcement of Flyway Council Meetings Service representatives will be present at the individual meetings of the four Flyway Councils this July. Although agendas are not yet available, these meetings usually commence at 8 a.m. on the days indicated. Atlantic Flyway Council: July 24–25, Charleston Marriott Town Center, Charleston, WV. Mississippi Flyway Council: July 24– 25, Stoney Creek Inn, Johnston, IA. Central Flyway Council: July 24–25, YO Ranch Hotel and Conference Center, Kerrville, TX. Pacific Flyway Council: July 25, Provo Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Provo, UT. Review of Public Comments This supplemental rulemaking describes Flyway Council recommended changes based on the preliminary proposals published in the April 30, 2014, Federal Register. We have included only those recommendations requiring either new proposals or substantial modification of the preliminary proposals and do not include recommendations that simply support or oppose preliminary proposals and provide no recommended alternatives. Our responses to some Flyway Council recommendations, but not others, are merely a clarification aid to the reader on the overall regulatory process, not a definitive response to the issue. We will publish responses to all proposals and written comments when we develop final frameworks. We seek additional information and comments on the recommendations in this supplemental proposed rule. New proposals and modifications to previously described proposals are discussed below. Wherever possible, they are discussed under headings corresponding to the numbered items identified in the April 30 proposed rule. Only those categories requiring your attention or for which we received Flyway Council recommendations are discussed below. 1. Ducks Duck harvest management categories are: (A) General Harvest Strategy; (B) E:\FR\FM\04JNP2.SGM 04JNP2 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 107 / Wednesday, June 4, 2014 / Proposed Rules Regulatory Alternatives, including specification of framework dates, season length, and bag limits; (C) Zones and Split Seasons; and (D) Special Seasons/ Species Management. A. General Harvest Strategy Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that regulations changes be restricted to one step per year, both when restricting as well as liberalizing hunting regulations. Service Response: As we stated in the April 30 Federal Register, the final adaptive harvest management (AHM) protocol for the 2014–15 season will be detailed in the early-season proposed rule, which will be published in midJuly. 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 2013– 14. Service Response: As we stated in the April 30 Federal Register, the final regulatory alternatives for the 2014–15 season will be detailed in the earlyseason proposed rule, which will be published in mid-July. D. Special Seasons/Species Management tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 i. September Teal Seasons Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin be granted special September teal hunting seasons for an experimental 3-year period beginning in September 2014. The Council recommended that the framework for these seasons follow the established teal harvest strategy (i.e., 9 or 16 days with up to 6 bird daily limits) with sunrise to sunset shooting hours. Further, they recommended that the Service work with these States to develop a mutually acceptable evaluation plan prior to June 2014. In the event that this recommendation is not approved or Iowa declines the opportunity, the Council recommended that Iowa be allowed to retain their early September duck season. The Central Flyway Council recommended that two additional bluewinged teal be allowed in the daily duck bag for the first 16 days of the regular duck season in the production States of North and South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. The season would be evaluated over the first 3 years, beginning with the 2014–15 VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:18 Jun 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 hunting season. The Council also recommended allowing an experimental September teal season in the portion of Nebraska not currently open to September teal hunting. Criteria for the experimental season would be the same as for other non-production States, and the state of Nebraska will work with the Service to develop an evaluation plan for the experiment. ii. September Teal/Wood Duck Seasons Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended that the daily bag limit for teal in Florida during the September teal/wood duck season be a total of 6 birds with no more than 2 wood ducks (the current total bag is 4 birds with no more than 2 wood ducks). The Council further recommended that Florida be permitted to add additional teal-only days to their September teal/wood duck season. In years when the teal harvest strategy calls for a 9-day teal season, Florida would maintain their current 5-day teal/ wood duck season. In years when the teal harvest strategy calls for a 16-day teal season, Florida would add 4 additional teal-only days to their current 5-day teal/wood duck season. The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that the teal bag limit during Kentucky and Tennessee’s September teal/wood duck seasons be the same as that permitted in other States with September teal-only seasons. The Council further recommended that States with September teal/wood duck seasons (Kentucky and Tennessee) be permitted to add additional teal-only days to their September teal/wood duck seasons. In years when the teal harvest strategy calls for a 9-day teal season, those States would maintain their current 5-day wood duck/teal season. In years when the teal harvest strategy calls for a 16-day teal season, those States would add 4 additional teal-only days to their current 5-day teal/wood duck season. 4. Canada Geese A. Special Seasons Council Recommendations: The Pacific Flyway Council recommended increasing the daily bag limit from 5 to 15 Canada geese in Pacific County, Washington. The Council also pointed out the need to eliminate several previously approved framework restrictions in Wyoming and Idaho. B. Regular Seasons Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that the framework opening date for all species of geese for PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 32419 the regular goose seasons in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin be September 16, 2014, and in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan be September 11, 2014. C. Special Late Seasons Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended that Rhode Island be approved for minor expansion of the late season hunting zone boundary for Canada geese. 9. Sandhill Cranes Council Recommendations: The Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway Councils recommended that Kentucky be allowed a 1-year continuation of their sandhill crane season for the 2014–15 season under harvest guidelines approved for their experimental season. The Central and Pacific Flyway Councils recommended the expansion of an existing Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) sandhill crane hunting unit in southwestern Montana (the Dillon/Twin Bridges/Cardwell hunt area to include all of Madison and Gallatin Counties). The Councils also recommended using the 2014 RMP sandhill crane harvest allocation of 676 birds as proposed in the allocation formula using the 3-year running population average for 2011–13. 16. Mourning Doves Council Recommendations: The Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway Councils recommended use of the ‘‘standard’’ season framework comprised of a 90-day season and 15bird daily bag limit for States within the Eastern Management Unit. 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’’ season package of a 15-bird daily bag limit and a 70-day season for the 2014–15 mourning dove season in the States within the Central Management Unit. The Pacific Flyway Council recommended use of the ‘‘standard’’ season framework for States in the Western Management Unit (WMU) population of doves. In Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, the season length would be no more than 60 consecutive days with a daily bag limit of 15 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate. In Arizona and California, the season length would be no more than 60 consecutive days, which could 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 E:\FR\FM\04JNP2.SGM 04JNP2 32420 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 107 / Wednesday, June 4, 2014 / Proposed Rules limit would be 15 mourning and whitewinged doves in the aggregate, of which no more than 10 could be white-winged doves. During the remainder of the season, the daily bag limit would be 15 mourning doves. In California, the daily bag limit would be 15 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate, of which no more than 10 could be whitewinged doves. The Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific Flyway Councils also recommended that the Service use a 3year running average to calculate the predicted dove abundance in the annual assessment of the status of mourning doves in support of the regulationsetting process under the dove harvest strategy beginning with the 2015–16 hunting season. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS2 18. Alaska Council Recommendations: The Pacific Flyway Council recommended several changes in the Alaska early season frameworks. Specifically, they recommended: 1. Splitting the ‘‘Dark Geese’’ framework into separate frameworks for Canada geese and white-fronted geese. 2. For both Canada geese and whitefronted geese, the basic framework for season dates, outside dates, zones, and daily bag and possession limits remains the same as it was under ‘‘Dark Geese.’’ 3. In Unit 18, in western Alaska, white-fronted geese daily bag and possession limits would be increased from a dark goose daily bag limit of 4 birds, 12 in possession, to a whitefronted goose daily bag limit of 8 birds, 24 in possession. 4. In Units 6C and Hawkins and Hinchinbrook Islands in 6D, if dusky Canada geese exceed the population threshold to return to Action Level 1 status (3-year average based on May 2011, 2012, and 2014 survey), then implement Action Level 1 regulations as stated in the Dusky Canada Goose Management Plan and eliminate requirements for a special permit hunt and harvest quota, but maintain VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:18 Jun 03, 2014 Jkt 232001 possession limits at 2 times the daily bag limit. Public Comments The Department of the Interior’s policy is, whenever practicable, 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 promulgation of final migratory game bird hunting regulations, we will take into consideration all comments we receive. Such 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 the proposed rule by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We will not accept comments sent by email or fax or to an address not listed in the ADDRESSES section. Finally, we will not consider hand-delivered comments that we do not receive, or mailed comments that are not postmarked, by the date specified in the DATES section. We will post all comments in their entirety—including your personal identifying information—on 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 the proposed rule, will be available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by appointment, during normal business PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 9990 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 any final rules. Required Determinations Based on our most current data, we are affirming our required determinations made in the proposed rule; for descriptions of our actions to ensure compliance with the following statutes and Executive Orders, see our April 30, 2014, proposed rule (79 FR 24512): • National Environmental Policy Act; • Endangered Species Act; • Regulatory Planning and Review; • Regulatory Flexibility Act; • Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act; • Paperwork Reduction 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. Authority The rules that eventually will be promulgated for the 2014–15 hunting season are authorized under 16 U.S.C. 703–711, 16 U.S.C. 712, and 16 U.S.C. 742 a–j. Dated: May 21, 2014. Rachel Jacobson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2014–12825 Filed 6–3–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P E:\FR\FM\04JNP2.SGM 04JNP2

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 107 (Wednesday, June 4, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 32417-32420]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-12825]



[[Page 32417]]

Vol. 79

Wednesday,

No. 107

June 4, 2014

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; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game Bird 
Hunting Regulations for the 2014-15 Hunting Season; Notice of Meetings; 
Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 79 , No. 107 / Wednesday, June 4, 2014 / 
Proposed Rules

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 20

[Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2014-0017]; [FF09M21200-134-FXMB1231099BPP0]
RIN 1018-AZ80


Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game 
Bird Hunting Regulations for the 2014-15 Hunting Season; Notice of 
Meetings

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; supplemental.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), proposed in 
an earlier document to establish annual hunting regulations for certain 
migratory game birds for the 2014-15 hunting season. This supplement to 
the proposed rule provides the regulatory schedule, announces the 
Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee and Flyway Council 
meetings, and provides Flyway Council recommendations resulting from 
their March meetings.

DATES: Comments: You must submit comments on the proposed regulatory 
alternatives for the 2014-15 duck hunting seasons on or before June 27, 
2014. Following subsequent Federal Register notices, you will be given 
an opportunity to submit comments for proposed early-season frameworks 
by July 29, 2014, and for proposed late-season frameworks and 
subsistence migratory bird seasons in Alaska by August 29, 2014.
    Meetings: The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will 
meet to consider and develop proposed regulations for early-season 
migratory bird hunting on June 25 and 26, 2014, and for late-season 
migratory bird hunting and the 2015 spring/summer migratory bird 
subsistence season in Alaska on July 30 and 31, 2014. 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-2014-0017.
     U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attn: FWS-HQ-MB-2014-0017; 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 Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will 
meet at the Holiday Inn Arlington at Ballston, 4610 N. Fairfax Dr., 
Arlington, VA.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulations Schedule for 2014

    On April 30, 2014, we published in the Federal Register (79 FR 
24512) a proposal to amend 50 CFR part 20. The proposal provided a 
background and overview of the migratory bird hunting regulations 
process, and addressed the establishment of seasons, limits, and other 
regulations for hunting migratory game birds under Sec. Sec.  20.101 
through 20.107, 20.109, and 20.110 of subpart K. This document is the 
second in a series of proposed, supplemental, and final rules for 
migratory game bird hunting regulations. We will publish proposed 
early-season frameworks in early July and late-season frameworks in 
early August. We will publish final regulatory frameworks for early 
seasons on or about August 15, 2014, and for late seasons on or about 
September 19, 2014.

Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee Meetings

    The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee (SRC) will meet 
June 25-26, 2014, to review information on the current status of 
migratory shore and upland game birds and develop 2014-15 migratory 
game bird regulations recommendations for these species, plus 
regulations for migratory game birds in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the 
Virgin Islands. The Committee will also develop regulations 
recommendations for September waterfowl seasons in designated States, 
special sea duck seasons in the Atlantic Flyway, and extended falconry 
seasons. In addition, the Committee will review and discuss preliminary 
information on the status of waterfowl.
    At the July 30-31, 2014, meetings, the Committee will review 
information on the current status of waterfowl and develop 2014-15 
migratory game bird regulations recommendations for regular waterfowl 
seasons and other species and seasons not previously discussed at the 
early-season meetings. In addition, the Committee will develop 
recommendations for the 2015 spring/summer migratory bird subsistence 
season in Alaska.
    In accordance with Departmental policy, these meetings are open to 
public observation. You may submit written comments to the Service on 
the matters discussed.

Announcement of Flyway Council Meetings

    Service representatives will be present at the individual meetings 
of the four Flyway Councils this July. Although agendas are not yet 
available, these meetings usually commence at 8 a.m. on the days 
indicated.
    Atlantic Flyway Council: July 24-25, Charleston Marriott Town 
Center, Charleston, WV.
    Mississippi Flyway Council: July 24-25, Stoney Creek Inn, Johnston, 
IA.
    Central Flyway Council: July 24-25, YO Ranch Hotel and Conference 
Center, Kerrville, TX.
    Pacific Flyway Council: July 25, Provo Marriott Hotel and 
Conference Center, Provo, UT.

Review of Public Comments

    This supplemental rulemaking describes Flyway Council recommended 
changes based on the preliminary proposals published in the April 30, 
2014, Federal Register. We have included only those recommendations 
requiring either new proposals or substantial modification of the 
preliminary proposals and do not include recommendations that simply 
support or oppose preliminary proposals and provide no recommended 
alternatives. Our responses to some Flyway Council recommendations, but 
not others, are merely a clarification aid to the reader on the overall 
regulatory process, not a definitive response to the issue. We will 
publish responses to all proposals and written comments when we develop 
final frameworks.
    We seek additional information and comments on the recommendations 
in this supplemental proposed rule. New proposals and modifications to 
previously described proposals are discussed below. Wherever possible, 
they are discussed under headings corresponding to the numbered items 
identified in the April 30 proposed rule. Only those categories 
requiring your attention or for which we received Flyway Council 
recommendations are discussed below.

1. Ducks

    Duck harvest management categories are: (A) General Harvest 
Strategy; (B)

[[Page 32419]]

Regulatory Alternatives, including specification of framework dates, 
season length, and bag limits; (C) Zones and Split Seasons; and (D) 
Special Seasons/Species Management.

A. General Harvest Strategy

    Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended 
that regulations changes be restricted to one step per year, both when 
restricting as well as liberalizing hunting regulations.
    Service Response: As we stated in the April 30 Federal Register, 
the final adaptive harvest management (AHM) protocol for the 2014-15 
season will be detailed in the early-season proposed rule, which will 
be published in mid-July.

B. Regulatory Alternatives

    Council Recommendations: The Mississippi and Central Flyway 
Councils recommended that regulatory alternatives for duck hunting 
seasons remain the same as those used in 2013-14.
    Service Response: As we stated in the April 30 Federal Register, 
the final regulatory alternatives for the 2014-15 season will be 
detailed in the early-season proposed rule, which will be published in 
mid-July.

D. Special Seasons/Species Management

i. September Teal Seasons
    Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended 
that Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin be granted special 
September teal hunting seasons for an experimental 3-year period 
beginning in September 2014. The Council recommended that the framework 
for these seasons follow the established teal harvest strategy (i.e., 9 
or 16 days with up to 6 bird daily limits) with sunrise to sunset 
shooting hours. Further, they recommended that the Service work with 
these States to develop a mutually acceptable evaluation plan prior to 
June 2014. In the event that this recommendation is not approved or 
Iowa declines the opportunity, the Council recommended that Iowa be 
allowed to retain their early September duck season.
    The Central Flyway Council recommended that two additional blue-
winged teal be allowed in the daily duck bag for the first 16 days of 
the regular duck season in the production States of North and South 
Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. The season would be evaluated over the 
first 3 years, beginning with the 2014-15 hunting season. The Council 
also recommended allowing an experimental September teal season in the 
portion of Nebraska not currently open to September teal hunting. 
Criteria for the experimental season would be the same as for other 
non-production States, and the state of Nebraska will work with the 
Service to develop an evaluation plan for the experiment.
ii. September Teal/Wood Duck Seasons
    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
that the daily bag limit for teal in Florida during the September teal/
wood duck season be a total of 6 birds with no more than 2 wood ducks 
(the current total bag is 4 birds with no more than 2 wood ducks). The 
Council further recommended that Florida be permitted to add additional 
teal-only days to their September teal/wood duck season. In years when 
the teal harvest strategy calls for a 9-day teal season, Florida would 
maintain their current 5-day teal/wood duck season. In years when the 
teal harvest strategy calls for a 16-day teal season, Florida would add 
4 additional teal-only days to their current 5-day teal/wood duck 
season.
    The Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that the teal bag limit 
during Kentucky and Tennessee's September teal/wood duck seasons be the 
same as that permitted in other States with September teal-only 
seasons. The Council further recommended that States with September 
teal/wood duck seasons (Kentucky and Tennessee) be permitted to add 
additional teal-only days to their September teal/wood duck seasons. In 
years when the teal harvest strategy calls for a 9-day teal season, 
those States would maintain their current 5-day wood duck/teal season. 
In years when the teal harvest strategy calls for a 16-day teal season, 
those States would add 4 additional teal-only days to their current 5-
day teal/wood duck season.

4. Canada Geese

A. Special Seasons

    Council Recommendations: The Pacific Flyway Council recommended 
increasing the daily bag limit from 5 to 15 Canada geese in Pacific 
County, Washington. The Council also pointed out the need to eliminate 
several previously approved framework restrictions in Wyoming and 
Idaho.

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, 2014, and in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan be 
September 11, 2014.

C. Special Late Seasons

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
that Rhode Island be approved for minor expansion of the late season 
hunting zone boundary for Canada geese.

9. Sandhill Cranes

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway 
Councils recommended that Kentucky be allowed a 1-year continuation of 
their sandhill crane season for the 2014-15 season under harvest 
guidelines approved for their experimental season.
    The Central and Pacific Flyway Councils recommended the expansion 
of an existing Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) sandhill crane hunting 
unit in southwestern Montana (the Dillon/Twin Bridges/Cardwell hunt 
area to include all of Madison and Gallatin Counties). The Councils 
also recommended using the 2014 RMP sandhill crane harvest allocation 
of 676 birds as proposed in the allocation formula using the 3-year 
running population average for 2011-13.

16. Mourning Doves

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway 
Councils recommended use of the ``standard'' season framework comprised 
of a 90-day season and 15-bird daily bag limit for States within the 
Eastern Management Unit. 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'' season package of a 15-bird daily bag limit and a 70-
day season for the 2014-15 mourning dove season in the States within 
the Central Management Unit.
    The Pacific Flyway Council recommended use of the ``standard'' 
season framework for States in the Western Management Unit (WMU) 
population of doves. In Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, 
the season length would be no more than 60 consecutive days with a 
daily bag limit of 15 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate. 
In Arizona and California, the season length would be no more than 60 
consecutive days, which could 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

[[Page 32420]]

limit would be 15 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate, of 
which no more than 10 could be white-winged doves. During the remainder 
of the season, the daily bag limit would be 15 mourning doves. In 
California, the daily bag limit would be 15 mourning and white-winged 
doves in the aggregate, of which no more than 10 could be white-winged 
doves.
    The Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific Flyway Councils 
also recommended that the Service use a 3-year running average to 
calculate the predicted dove abundance in the annual assessment of the 
status of mourning doves in support of the regulation-setting process 
under the dove harvest strategy beginning with the 2015-16 hunting 
season.

18. Alaska

    Council Recommendations: The Pacific Flyway Council recommended 
several changes in the Alaska early season frameworks. Specifically, 
they recommended:
    1. Splitting the ``Dark Geese'' framework into separate frameworks 
for Canada geese and white-fronted geese.
    2. For both Canada geese and white-fronted geese, the basic 
framework for season dates, outside dates, zones, and daily bag and 
possession limits remains the same as it was under ``Dark Geese.''
    3. In Unit 18, in western Alaska, white-fronted geese daily bag and 
possession limits would be increased from a dark goose daily bag limit 
of 4 birds, 12 in possession, to a white-fronted goose daily bag limit 
of 8 birds, 24 in possession.
    4. In Units 6C and Hawkins and Hinchinbrook Islands in 6D, if dusky 
Canada geese exceed the population threshold to return to Action Level 
1 status (3-year average based on May 2011, 2012, and 2014 survey), 
then implement Action Level 1 regulations as stated in the Dusky Canada 
Goose Management Plan and eliminate requirements for a special permit 
hunt and harvest quota, but maintain possession limits at 2 times the 
daily bag limit.

Public Comments

    The Department of the Interior's policy is, whenever practicable, 
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 promulgation of final migratory game bird hunting 
regulations, we will take into consideration all comments we receive. 
Such 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 the proposed 
rule by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We will not 
accept comments sent by email or fax or to an address not listed in the 
ADDRESSES section. Finally, we will not consider hand-delivered 
comments that we do not receive, or mailed comments that are not 
postmarked, by the date specified in the DATES section.
    We will post all comments in their entirety--including your 
personal identifying information--on 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 the 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 any final rules.

Required Determinations

    Based on our most current data, we are affirming our required 
determinations made in the proposed rule; for descriptions of our 
actions to ensure compliance with the following statutes and Executive 
Orders, see our April 30, 2014, proposed rule (79 FR 24512):
     National Environmental Policy Act;
     Endangered Species Act;
     Regulatory Planning and Review;
     Regulatory Flexibility Act;
     Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act;
     Paperwork Reduction 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.

Authority

    The rules that eventually will be promulgated for the 2014-15 
hunting season are authorized under 16 U.S.C. 703-711, 16 U.S.C. 712, 
and 16 U.S.C. 742 a-j.

    Dated: May 21, 2014.
Rachel Jacobson,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2014-12825 Filed 6-3-14; 8:45 am]
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