Environmental Impact Statement for Predator Damage Management in Idaho, 26809-26810 [2019-12066]

Download as PDF 26809 Notices Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 111 Monday, June 10, 2019 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2019–0005] Environmental Impact Statement for Predator Damage Management in Idaho Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of proposed scope of study. AGENCY: The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service plans to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) analyzing alternatives for predator damage management in Idaho. This notice proposes issues and alternatives for consideration in the EIS and requests public comments to further delineate the scope of the alternatives, the environmental issues, and other issues of public concern to be considered. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before July 10, 2019. SUMMARY: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=APHIS-2019-0005. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Project Manager, Idaho Predator Damage Management EIS, USDA APHIS-Wildlife Services, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building B, Mail Stop 3W9, Fort Collins, CO 80526–8117. Supporting documents and any comments received on this topic may be viewed at https://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=APHIS-2019-0005 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES ADDRESSES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:45 Jun 07, 2019 Jkt 247001 please call (202) 799–7039 before coming. Mr. Kirk Gustad, Idaho Predator Damage EIS Project Manager, USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building B, Mail Stop 3W9, Fort Collins, CO 80526–8117; phone 970–494–7214. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Background On March 4, 2019, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published in the Federal Register (84 FR 7326, Docket No. APHIS–2019–0005) a notice 1 informing the public of APHIS’ intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) analyzing alternatives for predator damage management (PDM) in Idaho. Predators provide many positive ecological, cultural, economic, and aesthetic benefits. However, they may also be involved in conflicts with humans including preying upon or harassing livestock; damaging other agricultural resources and property; and threatening human health and safety. In limited instances, predation may impede wildlife management agency efforts to enhance populations of prey species such as threatened or endangered species or ungulate populations. Over calendar years 2014– 2018, Wildlife Services (WS), a program within APHIS, responded to more than 500 requests per year for information or assistance in reducing conflicts with predators in Idaho. Requests for assistance may come from the public, private entities, other agencies, and Native American Tribes. APHIS–WS in Idaho currently uses an integrated approach to PDM involving access to the full range of legally available nonlethal and lethal PDM methods to reduce conflicts with coyotes, gray wolves, black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions, bobcats, red foxes, striped skunks, raccoons, badgers, feral and free-ranging dogs and cats, western spotted skunks, mink, long-tailed weasels, short-tailed weasels, common ravens, black-billed magpies, American crows, bald eagles, and golden eagles. Assistance may be in the form of advice, depredation investigations, information on sources of PDM materials, training and loan of 1 To view the notice, go to https:// www.regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2019-0005. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 equipment (technical assistance), or hands-on assistance with implementing PDM methods (operational assistance). Methods are applied in accordance with applicable Federal, State, Tribal, and local regulations. Work plans are developed and renewed annually with land management agencies to address specific activities and restrictions required to safely conduct PDM on public lands in a manner consistent with applicable land management agency policies and resource management plans. Methods used or recommended for use by APHIS–WS may include changes to agricultural practices, capture and relocation, livestock guarding animals, habitat modification, exclusion, frightening devices, avian repellents, carcass disposal, human behavior modification (e.g., trash management and not feeding wildlife), shooting from the ground or from aircraft, denning (only for coyote and fox damage management), gas cartridges (only for coyote and fox damage management), snares, traps, the avicide DRC–1339 (only for raven and magpie damage management), and trained decoy and tracking dogs. Preference is given to practical and effective nonlethal methods, but in some cases concurrent use of nonlethal and lethal methods or immediate use of lethal methods may be the most appropriate solution (e.g., threats to human safety). APHIS–WS’ authorization to provide this service was established by Congress in the Acts of March 2, 1931 (7 U.S.C. 8351–8352), as amended, and December 22, 1987 (7 U.S.C. 8353). APHIS–WS’ PDM activities in Idaho also are authorized and coordinated through memoranda of understanding with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Idaho State Department of Agriculture, Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board, Idaho State Animal Damage Control Board, Idaho Department of Lands, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. APHIS–WS’ actions also must be conducted in accordance with applicable Federal, State, and Tribal laws, regulations, species management plans, and land management plans. Proposed Action APHIS–WS is preparing an EIS to evaluate alternatives for agency E:\FR\FM\10JNN1.SGM 10JNN1 26810 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 111 / Monday, June 10, 2019 / Notices involvement in managing damage and conflicts associated with predators in Idaho. Once completed, the EIS will replace APHIS–WS’ environmental assessments on predator damage management in Southern Idaho, predator damage management in Northern and Central Idaho, and gray wolf damage management in Idaho. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Scoping Please review the information in this notice and the supplemental information in our supplement, ‘‘Invitation for Public Involvement,’’ which may be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT and viewed on the Regulations.gov website or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for a link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room). Comments that will assist in further delineating the scope of alternatives, and environmental impacts and other issues of public concern that should be addressed in the analysis are encouraged. Please also submit any scientific data, studies, or research that you feel is relevant to the analysis. Alternatives The EIS will consider a range of reasonable alternatives that will include a ‘‘no action’’ alternative, which can be defined as a continuation of the ongoing management practices described above, in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (7 CFR parts 1500–1508). Suggestions for other alternatives that could be considered are listed below. Additional recommendations for management alternatives to be advanced for detailed analysis are welcome. • Current integrated PDM activities with PDM activities in Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas limited to the protection of human health and safety. • APHIS–WS uses and recommends only nonlethal PDM methods. • APHIS–WS only uses lethal PDM methods after it is confirmed and recorded that reasonable nonlethal methods were employed by APHIS–WS or the cooperator and were ineffective in resolving the problem. • Current integrated PDM activities, with the exception that APHIS–WS would not use toxicants for PDM. • Current integrated PDM activities, but PDM for the protection of natural resources would be limited to protection of species federally listed under the Endangered Species Act. • Option for the use of M–44s under any alternative that allows for the use of VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:45 Jun 07, 2019 Jkt 247001 toxicants for PDM. APHIS–WS currently does not use this method in Idaho. Issues for Detailed Consideration in the Analysis In considering reasonable alternatives, the EIS will study the effects of the project on environmental issues and other issues of public concern identified as important for understanding the impacts of PDM activities. APHIS–WS and the cooperating agencies have identified the following issues for consideration in the EIS. The public is encouraged to submit comments identifying other issues that should be considered. • Impacts on State and regional predator populations; • Effects on nontarget animal populations including species federally listed under the Endangered Species Act; • Impacts of the alternatives on predator-prey relationships and ecosystem processes (e.g., trophic cascades); • Impacts on Special Management Areas, including Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas; • Humaneness and ethical perspectives regarding actions proposed in the alternatives; • Effects on recreation and people’s aesthetic enjoyment of wildlife, including hunting and non-consumptive uses; • Impacts of the alternatives on Native American culture and resource uses; • Economic costs and benefits of the proposed alternatives; and • Risks and benefits to human and pet safety from PDM activities. After the comment period closes, APHIS–WS will review and consider all comments received during the comment period and any other relevant information in the development of the EIS. All comments received will be available for public review as required and allowed by law. Upon completion of the draft EIS, a notice announcing its availability and an opportunity to comment will be published in the Federal Register. The EIS will be prepared in accordance with: (1) NEPA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500–1508); (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b); and (4) APHIS’ NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372). PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Done in Washington, DC, this 4th day of June 2019. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2019–12066 Filed 6–7–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2019–0016] Addition of Mongolia to the List of Regions Affected by African Swine Fever Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: We are advising the public that we have added Mongolia to the list of regions that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service considers to be affected with African swine fever (ASF). We are taking this action because of the confirmation of ASF in Mongolia. DATES: Mongolia was added to the APHIS list of regions considered affected with ASF on January 10, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Rebecca Gordon, Import Risk Analyst, Strategy and Policy, VS, APHIS, 920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27606; (919) 855–7741; email: Rebecca.k.gordon@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The regulations in 9 CFR part 94 (referred to below as the regulations) govern the importation of specified animals and animal products to prevent the introduction into the United States of various animal diseases, including footand-mouth disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, swine vesicular disease, classical swine fever, and African swine fever (ASF). These are dangerous and destructive diseases of ruminants and swine. Section 94.8(a)(3) of the regulations states that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will consider a region to have ASF and add it to the list referenced in § 94.8(a)(2) upon determining ASF exists in the region, based on reports APHIS receives of outbreaks of the disease from veterinary officials of the exporting country, from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), or from other sources the Administrator determines to be reliable. ASF is a highly contagious disease of wild and domestic swine that can spread rapidly in swine populations SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\10JNN1.SGM 10JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 111 (Monday, June 10, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26809-26810]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-12066]


========================================================================
Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 111 / Monday, June 10, 2019 / 
Notices

[[Page 26809]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2019-0005]


Environmental Impact Statement for Predator Damage Management in 
Idaho

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of proposed scope of study.

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

SUMMARY: The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service plans to 
prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) analyzing alternatives 
for predator damage management in Idaho. This notice proposes issues 
and alternatives for consideration in the EIS and requests public 
comments to further delineate the scope of the alternatives, the 
environmental issues, and other issues of public concern to be 
considered.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before July 
10, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2019-0005.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Project Manager, Idaho Predator Damage Management EIS, USDA APHIS-
Wildlife Services, 2150 Centre Avenue, Building B, Mail Stop 3W9, Fort 
Collins, CO 80526-8117.
    Supporting documents and any comments received on this topic may be 
viewed at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2019-0005 or in 
our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South 
Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC. 
Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, 
please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Kirk Gustad, Idaho Predator Damage 
EIS Project Manager, USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services, 2150 Centre Avenue, 
Building B, Mail Stop 3W9, Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117; phone 970-494-
7214.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On March 4, 2019, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) published in the Federal Register (84 FR 7326, Docket No. 
APHIS-2019-0005) a notice \1\ informing the public of APHIS' intent to 
prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) analyzing alternatives 
for predator damage management (PDM) in Idaho. Predators provide many 
positive ecological, cultural, economic, and aesthetic benefits. 
However, they may also be involved in conflicts with humans including 
preying upon or harassing livestock; damaging other agricultural 
resources and property; and threatening human health and safety. In 
limited instances, predation may impede wildlife management agency 
efforts to enhance populations of prey species such as threatened or 
endangered species or ungulate populations. Over calendar years 2014-
2018, Wildlife Services (WS), a program within APHIS, responded to more 
than 500 requests per year for information or assistance in reducing 
conflicts with predators in Idaho. Requests for assistance may come 
from the public, private entities, other agencies, and Native American 
Tribes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ To view the notice, go to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2019-0005.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    APHIS-WS in Idaho currently uses an integrated approach to PDM 
involving access to the full range of legally available nonlethal and 
lethal PDM methods to reduce conflicts with coyotes, gray wolves, black 
bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions, bobcats, red foxes, striped 
skunks, raccoons, badgers, feral and free-ranging dogs and cats, 
western spotted skunks, mink, long-tailed weasels, short-tailed 
weasels, common ravens, black-billed magpies, American crows, bald 
eagles, and golden eagles. Assistance may be in the form of advice, 
depredation investigations, information on sources of PDM materials, 
training and loan of equipment (technical assistance), or hands-on 
assistance with implementing PDM methods (operational assistance). 
Methods are applied in accordance with applicable Federal, State, 
Tribal, and local regulations. Work plans are developed and renewed 
annually with land management agencies to address specific activities 
and restrictions required to safely conduct PDM on public lands in a 
manner consistent with applicable land management agency policies and 
resource management plans.
    Methods used or recommended for use by APHIS-WS may include changes 
to agricultural practices, capture and relocation, livestock guarding 
animals, habitat modification, exclusion, frightening devices, avian 
repellents, carcass disposal, human behavior modification (e.g., trash 
management and not feeding wildlife), shooting from the ground or from 
aircraft, denning (only for coyote and fox damage management), gas 
cartridges (only for coyote and fox damage management), snares, traps, 
the avicide DRC-1339 (only for raven and magpie damage management), and 
trained decoy and tracking dogs. Preference is given to practical and 
effective nonlethal methods, but in some cases concurrent use of 
nonlethal and lethal methods or immediate use of lethal methods may be 
the most appropriate solution (e.g., threats to human safety).
    APHIS-WS' authorization to provide this service was established by 
Congress in the Acts of March 2, 1931 (7 U.S.C. 8351-8352), as amended, 
and December 22, 1987 (7 U.S.C. 8353). APHIS-WS' PDM activities in 
Idaho also are authorized and coordinated through memoranda of 
understanding with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Idaho State 
Department of Agriculture, Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board, Idaho 
State Animal Damage Control Board, Idaho Department of Lands, the U.S. 
Forest Service, and the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of 
Land Management. APHIS-WS' actions also must be conducted in accordance 
with applicable Federal, State, and Tribal laws, regulations, species 
management plans, and land management plans.

Proposed Action

    APHIS-WS is preparing an EIS to evaluate alternatives for agency

[[Page 26810]]

involvement in managing damage and conflicts associated with predators 
in Idaho. Once completed, the EIS will replace APHIS-WS' environmental 
assessments on predator damage management in Southern Idaho, predator 
damage management in Northern and Central Idaho, and gray wolf damage 
management in Idaho.

Scoping

    Please review the information in this notice and the supplemental 
information in our supplement, ``Invitation for Public Involvement,'' 
which may be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT and viewed on the Regulations.gov website or in our 
reading room (see ADDRESSES above for a link to Regulations.gov and 
information on the location and hours of the reading room). Comments 
that will assist in further delineating the scope of alternatives, and 
environmental impacts and other issues of public concern that should be 
addressed in the analysis are encouraged. Please also submit any 
scientific data, studies, or research that you feel is relevant to the 
analysis.

Alternatives

    The EIS will consider a range of reasonable alternatives that will 
include a ``no action'' alternative, which can be defined as a 
continuation of the ongoing management practices described above, in 
accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality's regulations for 
implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) (7 CFR parts 1500-1508). Suggestions for other 
alternatives that could be considered are listed below. Additional 
recommendations for management alternatives to be advanced for detailed 
analysis are welcome.
     Current integrated PDM activities with PDM activities in 
Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas limited to the protection of 
human health and safety.
     APHIS-WS uses and recommends only nonlethal PDM methods.
     APHIS-WS only uses lethal PDM methods after it is 
confirmed and recorded that reasonable nonlethal methods were employed 
by APHIS-WS or the cooperator and were ineffective in resolving the 
problem.
     Current integrated PDM activities, with the exception that 
APHIS-WS would not use toxicants for PDM.
     Current integrated PDM activities, but PDM for the 
protection of natural resources would be limited to protection of 
species federally listed under the Endangered Species Act.
     Option for the use of M-44s under any alternative that 
allows for the use of toxicants for PDM. APHIS-WS currently does not 
use this method in Idaho.

Issues for Detailed Consideration in the Analysis

    In considering reasonable alternatives, the EIS will study the 
effects of the project on environmental issues and other issues of 
public concern identified as important for understanding the impacts of 
PDM activities. APHIS-WS and the cooperating agencies have identified 
the following issues for consideration in the EIS. The public is 
encouraged to submit comments identifying other issues that should be 
considered.
     Impacts on State and regional predator populations;
     Effects on nontarget animal populations including species 
federally listed under the Endangered Species Act;
     Impacts of the alternatives on predator-prey relationships 
and ecosystem processes (e.g., trophic cascades);
     Impacts on Special Management Areas, including Wilderness 
and Wilderness Study Areas;
     Humaneness and ethical perspectives regarding actions 
proposed in the alternatives;
     Effects on recreation and people's aesthetic enjoyment of 
wildlife, including hunting and non-consumptive uses;
     Impacts of the alternatives on Native American culture and 
resource uses;
     Economic costs and benefits of the proposed alternatives; 
and
     Risks and benefits to human and pet safety from PDM 
activities.
    After the comment period closes, APHIS-WS will review and consider 
all comments received during the comment period and any other relevant 
information in the development of the EIS. All comments received will 
be available for public review as required and allowed by law. Upon 
completion of the draft EIS, a notice announcing its availability and 
an opportunity to comment will be published in the Federal Register.
    The EIS will be prepared in accordance with: (1) NEPA, as amended 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.); (2) regulations of the Council on 
Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of 
NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508); (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA 
(7 CFR part 1b); and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR 
part 372).

    Done in Washington, DC, this 4th day of June 2019.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-12066 Filed 6-7-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-34-P