Migratory Bird Permits; Regulations for Managing Resident Canada Goose Populations, 29835-29838 [2019-13485]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 122 / Tuesday, June 25, 2019 / Proposed Rules Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 11510 American Holly Drive, Laurel, MD 20708; (301) 497– 5851. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 21 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: [Docket No. FWS–HQ–MB–2018–0080; FF09M21200–190–FXMB1231099BPP0] Authority and Responsibility RIN 1018–BD74 Migratory Bird Permits; Regulations for Managing Resident Canada Goose Populations Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to amend the depredation order that allows take of resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities by authorized personnel between May 1 and August 31. This time period is too restrictive in portions of the Atlantic Flyway where specific crops are now being planted and depredated prior to May 1. Under this proposal, we would allow take of resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities in the Atlantic Flyway States of 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 between April 1 and August 31. DATES: Comments on this proposed rule must be received by August 26, 2019. ADDRESSES: Document availability: You may obtain copies of the related environmental assessment at http:// www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS–HQ–MB–2018–0080. Comment submission: You may submit comments by either one of the following methods. Please do not submit comments by both. • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS–HQ–MB–2018–0080. • U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–HQ– MB–2018–0080; Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. We will not accept email or faxes. We will post all comments on http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. See Public Comments, below, for more information. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul I. Padding, Atlantic Flyway Representative, Division of Migratory khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:41 Jun 24, 2019 Jkt 247001 Migratory birds are protected under four bilateral migratory bird treaties that the United States entered into with Great Britain (for Canada in 1916, as amended in 1999), the United Mexican States (1936, as amended in 1972 and 1999), Japan (1972, as amended in 1974), and the Soviet Union (1978). Regulations allowing the take of migratory birds are authorized by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (Act; 16 U.S.C. 703¥712), which implements the above-mentioned treaties. The Act provides that, subject to and to carry out the purposes of the treaties, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized and directed to determine when, to what extent, and by what means allowing hunting, killing, and other forms of taking of migratory birds, their nests, and eggs is compatible with the conventions. The Act requires the Secretary to implement a determination by adopting regulations permitting and governing those activities. Canada geese are federally protected by the Act because they are listed as migratory birds in all four treaties. Because Canada geese are covered by all four treaties, regulations must meet the requirements of the most restrictive of the four. For Canada geese, this is the treaty with Canada. All regulations concerning resident Canada geese are compatible with its terms, with particular reference to Articles II, V, and VII. Each treaty not only permits sport hunting, but permits the take of migratory birds for other reasons, including scientific, educational, propagative, or other specific purposes consistent with the conservation principles of the various Conventions. More specifically, Article VII, Article II (paragraph 3), and Article V of ‘‘The Protocol Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada Amending the 1916 Convention between the United Kingdom and the United States of America for the Protection of Migratory Birds in Canada and the United States’’ provides specific limitations on allowing the take of migratory birds for reasons other than sport hunting. Article VII authorizes permitting the take, killing, etc., of migratory birds that, under extraordinary conditions, become seriously injurious to agricultural or other interests. Article V relates to the PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 29835 taking of nests and eggs, and Article II, paragraph 3, states that, in order to ensure the long-term conservation of migratory birds, migratory bird populations shall be managed in accord with listed conservation principles. The other treaties are less restrictive. The treaties with both Japan (Article III, paragraph 1, subparagraph (b)) and the Soviet Union (Article II, paragraph 1, subparagraph (d)) provide specific exceptions to migratory bird take prohibitions for the purpose of protecting persons and property. The treaty with Mexico requires, with regard to migratory game birds, only that there be a ‘‘closed season’’ on hunting and that hunting be limited to 4 months in each year. Regulations governing the issuance of permits to take, capture, kill, possess, and transport migratory birds are promulgated at title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), parts 13, 21, and 22, and are issued by the Service. The Service annually promulgates regulations governing the take, possession, and transportation of migratory game birds under sport hunting seasons at 50 CFR part 20. Regulations regarding all other take of migratory birds (except for eagles) are published at 50 CFR part 21, and typically are not changed annually. Background In November 2005, the Service published a final environmental impact statement (FEIS) on management of resident Canada geese that documented resident Canada goose population levels ‘‘that are increasingly coming into conflict with people and causing personal and public property damage’’ (see the FEIS’ notice of availability at 70 FR 69985; November 18, 2005). On August 10, 2006, we published in the Federal Register (71 FR 45964) a final rule establishing regulations at 50 CFR parts 20 and 21 authorizing State wildlife agencies, private landowners, and airports to conduct (or allow) indirect and/or direct population control management activities to reduce, manage, and control resident Canada goose populations in the continental United States and to reduce related damages. Those activities include a depredation order that allows take of resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities by authorized personnel between May 1 and August 31, and the destruction of resident Canada goose nests and eggs between March 1 and June 30, at 50 CFR 21.51. On June 20, 2019, we published in the Federal Register (84 FR 28769) a final rule to amend our Canada goose depredation and control orders, E:\FR\FM\25JNP1.SGM 25JNP1 khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS 29836 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 122 / Tuesday, June 25, 2019 / Proposed Rules including the depredation order at 50 CFR 21.51, to allow destruction of resident Canada goose nests and eggs at any time of year. The full EA can be found on our website at http://www.fws.gov/birds or at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–HQ–MB–2018–0080. This Proposed Rule Public Comments The time periods set forth at 50 CFR 21.51(d)(4) for take of resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities are too restrictive in portions of the Atlantic Flyway where specific crops are now being planted and depredated prior to May 1. This proposed rule would amend the depredation order at 50 CFR 21.51 to allow authorized personnel to take resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities in the Atlantic Flyway States of 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 between April 1 and August 31, thereby enabling agricultural producers to protect crops planted in early spring from depredation by resident Canada geese. You may submit your comments and supporting materials by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. We will not consider comments sent by email or fax, or written comments sent to an address other than the one listed in ADDRESSES. Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, are available for public inspection at http:// www.regulations.gov. We will post your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—on http://www.regulations.gov. You may request at the top of your document that we withhold personal information such as your street address, phone number, or email address from public review; however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Environmental Assessment Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563) We prepared an environmental assessment (EA) that is tiered to the 2005 FEIS, specifically to the actions pertaining to control of resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities that were proposed under Alternative E (Control and Depredation Order Management; pages II–12–13). Those actions were subsequently implemented through the depredation order at 50 CFR 21.51, under Alternative F (Integrated Damage Management and Population Control; pages II–13–15). The EA analyzed three alternative courses of action to address crop depredation by resident Canada geese in Atlantic Flyway States in April: (1) Maintain the current date restrictions on the take of geese as specified in regulations at 50 CFR 21.51(d)(4) (No action); (2) Expand the time period during which Canada geese may be taken under 50 CFR 21.51(d)(4) to April 1 through August 31, in the Atlantic Flyway States of Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia; and (3) Expand the time period during which Canada geese may be taken under 50 CFR 21.51(d)(4) to April 1 through August 31, in the Atlantic Flyway States of 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 (Proposed action). VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:41 Jun 24, 2019 Jkt 247001 Required Determinations Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not significant. Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation’s regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this proposed rule in a manner consistent with these requirements. Regulatory Flexibility Act Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996 (Pub. L. 104–121)), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effects of the rule on small businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions. However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency certifies the rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Thus, for a regulatory flexibility analysis to be required, impacts must exceed a threshold for ‘‘significant impact’’ and a threshold for a ‘‘substantial number of small entities.’’ See 5 U.S.C. 605(b). The economic impacts of this proposed rule would primarily affect agricultural producers, but the impacts would be beneficial to those entities because their crops would be afforded better protection. Data are not available to estimate the exact number of agricultural facilities that would benefit from this proposed rule, but it is unlikely to be a substantial number at the Atlantic Flyway-wide scale. Therefore, we certify that, if adopted as proposed, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act This proposed rule is not a major rule under SBREFA (5 U.S.C. 804(2)). It would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule would not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. This rule would not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers; individual industries; Federal, State, or local government agencies; or geographic regions. Finally, this rule would not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the abilities of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreignbased enterprises. Executive Order 13771—Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs This proposed rule is expected to be an Executive Order (E.O.) 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017) deregulatory action because it would relieve a restriction in 50 CFR part 21. E:\FR\FM\25JNP1.SGM 25JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 122 / Tuesday, June 25, 2019 / Proposed Rules Unfunded Mandates Reform Act In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.), we have determined the following: a. This proposed rule would not ‘‘significantly or uniquely’’ affect small government activities. A small government agency plan is not required. b. This proposed rule would not produce a Federal mandate on local or State government or private entities. Therefore, this action is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. Takings In accordance with E.O. 12630, this proposed rule does not contain a provision for taking of private property, and would not have significant takings implications. A takings implication assessment is not required. Federalism This proposed rule would not interfere with the States’ abilities to manage themselves or their funds. We do not expect any economic impacts to result from this proposed revision to the regulations. This rule would not have sufficient Federalism effects to warrant preparation of a federalism summary impact statement under E.O. 13132. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Civil Justice Reform In accordance with E.O. 12988, the Office of the Solicitor has determined that the proposed rule will not unduly burden the judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. Paperwork Reduction Act This proposed rule does not contain new collections of information that require approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). OMB has approved the information collection requirements associated with the control and management of resident Canada geese at 50 CFR part 20 and 50 CFR part 21, and assigned OMB Control Number 1018–0133 (expires May 31, 2019, and in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10, an agency may continue to conduct or sponsor this collection of information while the submission is pending at OMB). An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. National Environmental Policy Act We have analyzed this proposed rule in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:41 Jun 24, 2019 Jkt 247001 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and U.S. Department of the Interior regulations at 43 CFR part 46. We have completed an environmental assessment of the proposed amendment of the depredation order that would allow take of resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities in Atlantic Flyway States from April 1 through August 31; that environmental assessment is included in the docket for this proposed rule. We conclude that our proposed action would have the impacts listed below under Environmental Consequences of the Action. The docket for this proposed rule is available at http:// www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–HQ–MB–2018–0080. 29837 assistance of the Secretary, insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out by such agency * * * is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of [critical] habitat’’ (16 U.S.C. 1536(a)(2)). The proposed rule would not affect endangered or threatened species or critical habitats. Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes In accordance with the President’s memorandum of April 29, 1994, ‘‘Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments’’ (59 FR 22951), E.O. 13175, and 512 DM 2, we have evaluated potential effects on federally recognized Indian tribes and have determined that there are no potential effects. This proposed rule would not interfere with the tribes’ abilities to manage themselves or their funds or to regulate migratory bird activities on tribal lands. Environmental Consequences of the Action The expected additional take of resident Canada geese would have minimal impact to the overall population status of resident Canada geese in any participating State or the Atlantic Flyway as a whole. Based on the current average annual take (in the listed States) of 2,233 Canada geese under 50 CFR 21.51, we expect an additional 558 Canada geese to be taken during the month of April in participating States. This is based on an assumed average of a similar number of geese taken each month. There is the potential for take of migrant Canada geese in more northern areas of the flyway. Assuming that 50 percent of the expected additional take in April are migrants, the take of migrant Canada geese under this alternative would be 279 geese. Population-level impacts to any individual population of migrant geese would be minimal. Socioeconomic. This proposed action is expected to have a net positive impact on the socioeconomic environment by reducing crop depredation at localized agricultural sites. Individual agricultural producers in participating States will be afforded some additional relief from injurious Canada geese. Endangered and threatened species. The proposed rule would not affect endangered or threatened species or critical habitats. Clarity of This Proposed Rule We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must: (a) Be logically organized; (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly; (c) Use clear language rather than jargon; (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible. If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc. Compliance With Endangered Species Act Requirements Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires that ‘‘The Secretary [of the Interior] shall review other programs administered by him and utilize such programs in furtherance of the purposes of this Act’’ (16 U.S.C. 1536(a)(1)). It further states that ‘‘[e]ach Federal agency shall, in consultation with and with the Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (E.O. 13211) E.O. 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. This proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 13211, and would not significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action. No Statement of Energy Effects is required. PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\25JNP1.SGM 25JNP1 29838 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 122 / Tuesday, June 25, 2019 / Proposed Rules List of Subjects in 50 CFR part 21 Exports, Hunting, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation, Wildlife. 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below: PART 21—MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS 1. The authority citation for part 21 continues to read as follows: ■ Proposed Regulation Promulgation For the reasons stated in the preamble, we hereby propose to amend part 21, of subchapter B, chapter I, title Authority: 16 U.S.C. 703–712. 2. Amend § 21.51 by revising paragraph (d)(4) to read as follows: ■ § 21.51 Depredation order for resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities. * * * * * (d) * * * (4) Under this section, authorized agricultural producers and their employees and agents may: (i) Conduct management and control activities, involving the take of resident Canada geese, as follows: Where When (A) In the Atlantic Flyway States of 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. (B) In the Mississippi and Central Flyway portions of these States: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Between April 1 and August 31. (ii) Destroy the nests and eggs of resident Canada geese at any time of year. * * * * * Between May 1 and August 31. Dated: June 13, 2019. Karen Budd-Falen, Deputy Solicitor for Parks and Wildlife, exercising the authority of the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2019–13485 Filed 6–24–19; 8:45 am] khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS BILLING CODE 4333–15–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:41 Jun 24, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\25JNP1.SGM 25JNP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 122 (Tuesday, June 25, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 29835-29838]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-13485]



[[Page 29835]]

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 21

[Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2018-0080; FF09M21200-190-FXMB1231099BPP0]
RIN 1018-BD74


Migratory Bird Permits; Regulations for Managing Resident Canada 
Goose Populations

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to 
amend the depredation order that allows take of resident Canada geese 
at agricultural facilities by authorized personnel between May 1 and 
August 31. This time period is too restrictive in portions of the 
Atlantic Flyway where specific crops are now being planted and 
depredated prior to May 1. Under this proposal, we would allow take of 
resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities in the Atlantic Flyway 
States of 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 between April 1 and August 31.

DATES: Comments on this proposed rule must be received by August 26, 
2019.

ADDRESSES: Document availability: You may obtain copies of the related 
environmental assessment at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. 
FWS-HQ-MB-2018-0080.
    Comment submission: You may submit comments by either one of the 
following methods. Please do not submit comments by both.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS-HQ-
MB-2018-0080.
     U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attn: FWS-HQ-MB-2018-0080; Division of Policy, Performance, and 
Management Programs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; MS: BPHC; 5275 
Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.
    We will not accept email or faxes. We will post all comments on 
http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you 
provide. See Public Comments, below, for more information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul I. Padding, Atlantic Flyway 
Representative, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 11510 American Holly Drive, Laurel, MD 20708; (301) 
497-5851.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority and Responsibility

    Migratory birds are protected under four bilateral migratory bird 
treaties that the United States entered into with Great Britain (for 
Canada in 1916, as amended in 1999), the United Mexican States (1936, 
as amended in 1972 and 1999), Japan (1972, as amended in 1974), and the 
Soviet Union (1978). Regulations allowing the take of migratory birds 
are authorized by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (Act; 16 U.S.C. 703-
712), which implements the above-mentioned treaties. The Act provides 
that, subject to and to carry out the purposes of the treaties, the 
Secretary of the Interior is authorized and directed to determine when, 
to what extent, and by what means allowing hunting, killing, and other 
forms of taking of migratory birds, their nests, and eggs is compatible 
with the conventions. The Act requires the Secretary to implement a 
determination by adopting regulations permitting and governing those 
activities.
    Canada geese are federally protected by the Act because they are 
listed as migratory birds in all four treaties. Because Canada geese 
are covered by all four treaties, regulations must meet the 
requirements of the most restrictive of the four. For Canada geese, 
this is the treaty with Canada. All regulations concerning resident 
Canada geese are compatible with its terms, with particular reference 
to Articles II, V, and VII.
    Each treaty not only permits sport hunting, but permits the take of 
migratory birds for other reasons, including scientific, educational, 
propagative, or other specific purposes consistent with the 
conservation principles of the various Conventions. More specifically, 
Article VII, Article II (paragraph 3), and Article V of ``The Protocol 
Between the Government of the United States of America and the 
Government of Canada Amending the 1916 Convention between the United 
Kingdom and the United States of America for the Protection of 
Migratory Birds in Canada and the United States'' provides specific 
limitations on allowing the take of migratory birds for reasons other 
than sport hunting. Article VII authorizes permitting the take, 
killing, etc., of migratory birds that, under extraordinary conditions, 
become seriously injurious to agricultural or other interests. Article 
V relates to the taking of nests and eggs, and Article II, paragraph 3, 
states that, in order to ensure the long-term conservation of migratory 
birds, migratory bird populations shall be managed in accord with 
listed conservation principles.
    The other treaties are less restrictive. The treaties with both 
Japan (Article III, paragraph 1, subparagraph (b)) and the Soviet Union 
(Article II, paragraph 1, subparagraph (d)) provide specific exceptions 
to migratory bird take prohibitions for the purpose of protecting 
persons and property. The treaty with Mexico requires, with regard to 
migratory game birds, only that there be a ``closed season'' on hunting 
and that hunting be limited to 4 months in each year.
    Regulations governing the issuance of permits to take, capture, 
kill, possess, and transport migratory birds are promulgated at title 
50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), parts 13, 21, and 22, and 
are issued by the Service. The Service annually promulgates regulations 
governing the take, possession, and transportation of migratory game 
birds under sport hunting seasons at 50 CFR part 20. Regulations 
regarding all other take of migratory birds (except for eagles) are 
published at 50 CFR part 21, and typically are not changed annually.

Background

    In November 2005, the Service published a final environmental 
impact statement (FEIS) on management of resident Canada geese that 
documented resident Canada goose population levels ``that are 
increasingly coming into conflict with people and causing personal and 
public property damage'' (see the FEIS' notice of availability at 70 FR 
69985; November 18, 2005).
    On August 10, 2006, we published in the Federal Register (71 FR 
45964) a final rule establishing regulations at 50 CFR parts 20 and 21 
authorizing State wildlife agencies, private landowners, and airports 
to conduct (or allow) indirect and/or direct population control 
management activities to reduce, manage, and control resident Canada 
goose populations in the continental United States and to reduce 
related damages. Those activities include a depredation order that 
allows take of resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities by 
authorized personnel between May 1 and August 31, and the destruction 
of resident Canada goose nests and eggs between March 1 and June 30, at 
50 CFR 21.51.
    On June 20, 2019, we published in the Federal Register (84 FR 
28769) a final rule to amend our Canada goose depredation and control 
orders,

[[Page 29836]]

including the depredation order at 50 CFR 21.51, to allow destruction 
of resident Canada goose nests and eggs at any time of year.

This Proposed Rule

    The time periods set forth at 50 CFR 21.51(d)(4) for take of 
resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities are too restrictive in 
portions of the Atlantic Flyway where specific crops are now being 
planted and depredated prior to May 1. This proposed rule would amend 
the depredation order at 50 CFR 21.51 to allow authorized personnel to 
take resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities in the Atlantic 
Flyway States of 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 between April 1 and August 31, thereby 
enabling agricultural producers to protect crops planted in early 
spring from depredation by resident Canada geese.

Environmental Assessment

    We prepared an environmental assessment (EA) that is tiered to the 
2005 FEIS, specifically to the actions pertaining to control of 
resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities that were proposed 
under Alternative E (Control and Depredation Order Management; pages 
II-12-13). Those actions were subsequently implemented through the 
depredation order at 50 CFR 21.51, under Alternative F (Integrated 
Damage Management and Population Control; pages II-13-15). The EA 
analyzed three alternative courses of action to address crop 
depredation by resident Canada geese in Atlantic Flyway States in 
April:
    (1) Maintain the current date restrictions on the take of geese as 
specified in regulations at 50 CFR 21.51(d)(4) (No action);
    (2) Expand the time period during which Canada geese may be taken 
under 50 CFR 21.51(d)(4) to April 1 through August 31, in the Atlantic 
Flyway States of Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, 
South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia; and
    (3) Expand the time period during which Canada geese may be taken 
under 50 CFR 21.51(d)(4) to April 1 through August 31, in the Atlantic 
Flyway States of 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 (Proposed action).
    The full EA can be found on our website at http://www.fws.gov/birds 
or at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2018-0080.

Public Comments

    You may submit your comments and supporting materials by one of the 
methods listed in ADDRESSES. We will not consider comments sent by 
email or fax, or written comments sent to an address other than the one 
listed in ADDRESSES. Comments and materials we receive, as well as 
supporting documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, are 
available for public inspection at http://www.regulations.gov. We will 
post your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--on http://www.regulations.gov. You may request at the top 
of your document that we withhold personal information such as your 
street address, phone number, or email address from public review; 
however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined 
that this rule is not significant.
    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while 
calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches 
that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for 
the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and 
consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further 
that regulations must be based on the best available science and that 
the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open 
exchange of ideas. We have developed this proposed rule in a manner 
consistent with these requirements.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as 
amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA) of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121)), whenever an agency is required to 
publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must 
prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility 
analysis that describes the effects of the rule on small businesses, 
small organizations, and small government jurisdictions. However, no 
regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency 
certifies the rule would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.
    SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal 
agencies to provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying 
that a rule would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. Thus, for a regulatory 
flexibility analysis to be required, impacts must exceed a threshold 
for ``significant impact'' and a threshold for a ``substantial number 
of small entities.'' See 5 U.S.C. 605(b).
    The economic impacts of this proposed rule would primarily affect 
agricultural producers, but the impacts would be beneficial to those 
entities because their crops would be afforded better protection. Data 
are not available to estimate the exact number of agricultural 
facilities that would benefit from this proposed rule, but it is 
unlikely to be a substantial number at the Atlantic Flyway-wide scale. 
Therefore, we certify that, if adopted as proposed, this rule will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This proposed rule is not a major rule under SBREFA (5 U.S.C. 
804(2)). It would not have a significant impact on a substantial number 
of small entities.
    This rule would not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 
million or more. This rule would not cause a major increase in costs or 
prices for consumers; individual industries; Federal, State, or local 
government agencies; or geographic regions. Finally, this rule would 
not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, 
investment, productivity, innovation, or the abilities of U.S.-based 
enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

Executive Order 13771--Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory 
Costs

    This proposed rule is expected to be an Executive Order (E.O.) 
13771 (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017) deregulatory action because it 
would relieve a restriction in 50 CFR part 21.

[[Page 29837]]

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 
et seq.), we have determined the following:
    a. This proposed rule would not ``significantly or uniquely'' 
affect small government activities. A small government agency plan is 
not required.
    b. This proposed rule would not produce a Federal mandate on local 
or State government or private entities. Therefore, this action is not 
a ``significant regulatory action'' under the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

Takings

    In accordance with E.O. 12630, this proposed rule does not contain 
a provision for taking of private property, and would not have 
significant takings implications. A takings implication assessment is 
not required.

Federalism

    This proposed rule would not interfere with the States' abilities 
to manage themselves or their funds. We do not expect any economic 
impacts to result from this proposed revision to the regulations. This 
rule would not have sufficient Federalism effects to warrant 
preparation of a federalism summary impact statement under E.O. 13132.

Civil Justice Reform

    In accordance with E.O. 12988, the Office of the Solicitor has 
determined that the proposed rule will not unduly burden the judicial 
system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the 
Order.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule does not contain new collections of information 
that require approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). OMB 
has approved the information collection requirements associated with 
the control and management of resident Canada geese at 50 CFR part 20 
and 50 CFR part 21, and assigned OMB Control Number 1018-0133 (expires 
May 31, 2019, and in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10, an agency may 
continue to conduct or sponsor this collection of information while the 
submission is pending at OMB). An agency may not conduct or sponsor, 
and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information 
unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

National Environmental Policy Act

    We have analyzed this proposed rule in accordance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and U.S. 
Department of the Interior regulations at 43 CFR part 46. We have 
completed an environmental assessment of the proposed amendment of the 
depredation order that would allow take of resident Canada geese at 
agricultural facilities in Atlantic Flyway States from April 1 through 
August 31; that environmental assessment is included in the docket for 
this proposed rule. We conclude that our proposed action would have the 
impacts listed below under Environmental Consequences of the Action. 
The docket for this proposed rule is available at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2018-0080.

Environmental Consequences of the Action

    The expected additional take of resident Canada geese would have 
minimal impact to the overall population status of resident Canada 
geese in any participating State or the Atlantic Flyway as a whole. 
Based on the current average annual take (in the listed States) of 
2,233 Canada geese under 50 CFR 21.51, we expect an additional 558 
Canada geese to be taken during the month of April in participating 
States. This is based on an assumed average of a similar number of 
geese taken each month. There is the potential for take of migrant 
Canada geese in more northern areas of the flyway. Assuming that 50 
percent of the expected additional take in April are migrants, the take 
of migrant Canada geese under this alternative would be 279 geese. 
Population-level impacts to any individual population of migrant geese 
would be minimal.
    Socioeconomic. This proposed action is expected to have a net 
positive impact on the socioeconomic environment by reducing crop 
depredation at localized agricultural sites. Individual agricultural 
producers in participating States will be afforded some additional 
relief from injurious Canada geese.
    Endangered and threatened species. The proposed rule would not 
affect endangered or threatened species or critical habitats.

Compliance With Endangered Species Act Requirements

    Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 
16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires that ``The Secretary [of the 
Interior] shall review other programs administered by him and utilize 
such programs in furtherance of the purposes of this Act'' (16 U.S.C. 
1536(a)(1)). It further states that ``[e]ach Federal agency shall, in 
consultation with and with the assistance of the Secretary, insure that 
any action authorized, funded, or carried out by such agency * * * is 
not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered 
species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse 
modification of [critical] habitat'' (16 U.S.C. 1536(a)(2)). The 
proposed rule would not affect endangered or threatened species or 
critical habitats.

Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, 
``Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments'' (59 FR 22951), E.O. 13175, and 512 DM 2, we have 
evaluated potential effects on federally recognized Indian tribes and 
have determined that there are no potential effects. This proposed rule 
would not interfere with the tribes' abilities to manage themselves or 
their funds or to regulate migratory bird activities on tribal lands.

Clarity of This Proposed Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the 
Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain 
language. This means that each rule we publish must:
    (a) Be logically organized;
    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;
    (c) Use clear language rather than jargon;
    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and
    (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.
    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us 
comments by one of the methods listed in ADDRESSES. To better help us 
revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For 
example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs 
that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, 
the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (E.O. 13211)

    E.O. 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy 
Effects when undertaking certain actions. This proposed rule is not a 
significant regulatory action under E.O. 13211, and would not 
significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, 
this action is not a significant energy action. No Statement of Energy 
Effects is required.

[[Page 29838]]

List of Subjects in 50 CFR part 21

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

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, we hereby propose to amend 
part 21, of subchapter B, chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations, as set forth below:

PART 21--MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS

0
1. The authority citation for part 21 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 703-712.

0
2. Amend Sec.  21.51 by revising paragraph (d)(4) to read as follows:


Sec.  21.51  Depredation order for resident Canada geese at 
agricultural facilities.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (4) Under this section, authorized agricultural producers and their 
employees and agents may:

    (i) Conduct management and control activities, involving the take 
of resident Canada geese, as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Where                                 When
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(A) In the Atlantic Flyway States of           Between April 1 and
 Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia,       August 31.
 Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New
 Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North
 Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South
 Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West
 Virginia.
(B) In the Mississippi and Central Flyway      Between May 1 and August
 portions of these States: Alabama, Arkansas,   31.
 Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,
 Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota,
 Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska,
 New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma,
 South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin,
 and Wyoming.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (ii) Destroy the nests and eggs of resident Canada geese at any 
time of year.
* * * * *

    Dated: June 13, 2019.
Karen Budd-Falen,
Deputy Solicitor for Parks and Wildlife, exercising the authority of 
the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2019-13485 Filed 6-24-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P