Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest in Alaska; Harvest Regulations for Migratory Birds in Alaska During the 2022 Season, 14232-14236 [2022-05251]

Download as PDF 14232 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 49 / Monday, March 14, 2022 / Proposed Rules salamander is not a valid taxonomic entity and, accordingly, does not meet the statutory definition of a listable entity under the Act. Additionally, even if our conclusion is incorrect and the Blanco blind salamander was a valid taxonomic entity, it has not been collected in over 70 years despite survey efforts; thus, we have no evidence it has remained extant. Because the Blanco blind salamander either does not meet the definition of a listable entity or is extinct, it does not warrant listing under the Act. A detailed discussion of the basis for this finding can be found in the Blanco blind salamander species assessment form and other supporting documents (see ADDRESSES, above). New Information We request that you submit any new information concerning the taxonomy of, biology of, ecology of, status of, or stressors to Blanco blind salamander, Georgia bully, or Rio Grande cooter to the appropriate person, as specified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, whenever it becomes available. New information will help us monitor these species and make appropriate decisions about their conservation and status. We encourage local agencies and stakeholders to continue cooperative monitoring and conservation efforts. References Cited A list of the references cited in this petition finding is available in the relevant species assessment form, which is available on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov in the appropriate docket (see ADDRESSES, above) and upon request from the appropriate person (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above). Authors The primary authors of this document are the staff members of the Species Assessment Team, Ecological Services Program. jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Authority The authority for this action is section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Martha Williams, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2022–05331 Filed 3–11–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Mar 11, 2022 Jkt 256001 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 92 [Docket No. FWS–R7–MB–2021–0172; FXMB12610700000–201–FF07M01000] RIN 1018 BF65 Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest in Alaska; Harvest Regulations for Migratory Birds in Alaska During the 2022 Season Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or USFWS), are proposing changes to the migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations in Alaska. These regulations allow for the continuation of customary and traditional subsistence uses of migratory birds in Alaska and prescribe regional information on when and where the harvesting of birds may occur. These regulations were developed under a comanagement process involving the Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Alaska Native representatives. The proposed changes would update the regulations to incorporate revisions requested by these partners. DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before April 13, 2022. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS–R7–MB–2021–0172. • U.S. Mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R7–MB–2021– 0172, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: JAO/3W, 5275 Leesburg Place, Falls Church, VA 22041 3803. We will post all comments on https:// www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us (see the Public Comment Procedures section, below, for more information). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eric J. Taylor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 E Tudor Road, Mail Stop 201, Anchorage, AK 99503; (907) 903 7210. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Public Comment Procedures To ensure that any action resulting from this proposed rule will be as accurate and as effective as possible, we request that you send relevant information for our consideration. The PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 comments that will be most useful and likely to influence our decisions are those that you support by quantitative information or studies and those that include citations to, and analyses of, the applicable laws and regulations. Please make your comments as specific as possible and explain the basis for them. In addition, please include sufficient information with your comments to allow us to authenticate any scientific or commercial data you include. You must submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed rule by one of the methods listed above in ADDRESSES. We will not accept comments sent by email or fax or to an address not listed in ADDRESSES. If you submit a comment via https:// www.regulations.gov, your entire comment—including any personal identifying information, such as your address, telephone number, or email address—will be posted on the website. When you submit a comment, the system receives it immediately. However, the comment will not be publicly viewable until we post it, which might not occur until several days after submission. If you mail a hardcopy comment directly to us that includes personal information, you may request at the top of your document that we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. All comments and materials we receive will be available for public inspection via https:// www.regulations.gov. Search for FWS– R7–MB–2021–0172, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Background The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (MBTA, 16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.) was enacted to conserve certain species of migratory birds and gives the Secretary of the Interior the authority to regulate the harvest of these birds. The law further authorizes the Secretary to issue regulations to ensure that the indigenous inhabitants of the State of Alaska may take migratory birds and collect their eggs for nutritional and other essential needs during seasons established by the Secretary so as to provide for the preservation and maintenance of stocks of migratory birds (16 U.S.C. 712(1)). The take of migratory birds for subsistence uses in Alaska occurs during the spring and summer, during which timeframe when the annual fall/ winter harvest of migratory birds is not allowed. Regulations governing the subsistence harvest of migratory birds in Alaska are located in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in part 92. E:\FR\FM\14MRP1.SGM 14MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 49 / Monday, March 14, 2022 / Proposed Rules These regulations allow for the continuation of customary and traditional subsistence uses of migratory birds and prescribe regional information on when and where the harvesting of birds in Alaska may occur. The migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations are developed cooperatively. The Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council (Council or AMBCC) consists of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), and representatives of Alaska’s Native population. The Council’s primary purpose is to develop recommendations pertaining to the subsistence harvest of migratory birds. The Council generally holds an annual spring meeting to develop recommendations for migratory bird subsistence-harvest regulations in Alaska that would take effect in the spring of the next year. In 2021, the inperson spring meeting did not occur due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the Council met virtually via teleconference on April 5, 2021, to approve subsistence harvest regulations that would take effect during the 2022 harvest season. The Council’s recommendations were presented to the Pacific Flyway Council for review and subsequent submission to the Service Regulations Committee (SRC) for approval at the SRC meeting on September 28 and 29, 2021. jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Proposed Revisions to the Regulations Per the collaborative process described above, this document proposes the following revisions to the regulations for the taking of migratory birds for subsistence uses in Alaska during the spring and summer. Proposed Revisions to Subpart A In part 92, subpart A (general provisions), we propose to clarify the regulations defining excluded areas, which are those areas that are closed to subsistence harvest. First, we propose revisions to clarify that subsistence hunters whose communities petitioned successfully to be added to the list of included areas appearing at 50 CFR 92.5(a)(2) may harvest migratory birds within the entirety of the subsistence harvest areas designated for their community, including portions of harvest areas that occur within designated excluded areas. For example, portions of the subsistence harvest areas selected by communities in the Upper Copper River Region listed as eligible under 50 CFR 92.5(a)(2)(i) occur within the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, an excluded area that is otherwise closed to VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Mar 11, 2022 Jkt 256001 harvest (50 CFR 92.5(b)(2)). The regulations do not specify that these portions of designated harvest areas that occur in excluded areas are, in fact, open to subsistence hunting. To address this issue, we propose to amend 50 CFR 92.5(b) to make an exception to harvest closures in those portions of excluded areas that fall within subsistence harvest areas designated for specific communities that petitioned to be listed as eligible for participation in the spring-summer subsistence hunt (50 CFR 92.5(a)(2)). This exception would not apply to subsistence harvest areas that have been generally designated for regions (e.g., Bering Strait Norton Sound Region) or subregions (e.g., Bering Strait Norton Sound Stebbins/St. Michael Area) listed as included areas at 50 CFR 92.5(a). Second, to clarify the boundaries of areas that are closed to subsistence harvest, we propose to address an apparent inconsistency in some terms used in part 92. The regulations governing subsistence harvest of migratory birds were set forth August 16, 2002 (67 FR 53511). That rule defined the term ‘‘village’’ at 50 CFR 92.4 and also set forth provisions regarding areas that are excluded from eligibility to participate in the subsistence harvest of migratory birds. Under 50 CFR 92.5(b)(2), excluded areas include ‘‘[v]illage areas’’ located in Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the Kenai Peninsula roaded area, the Gulf of Alaska roaded area, Southeast Alaska, and the Central Interior Excluded Area. The definition of ‘‘village’’ at 50 CFR 92.4 and use of the term ‘‘village areas’’ at 50 CFR 92.5(b)(2) to describe excluded areas has created confusion in determining the boundaries of closed areas. We never intended for the excluded areas set forth at 50 CFR 92.5(b)(2) to be only those portions of those areas that meet the definition of ‘‘village’’ at 50 CFR 92.4. Therefore, we propose to remove the term ‘‘village areas’’ from 50 CFR 92.5(b)(2) to clarify that excluded areas are closed to harvest in their entirety, except those portions that occur within a harvest area that has been designated for a specific community. Third, we would clarify the language defining boundaries of the excluded areas of the Kenai Peninsula roaded area and the Gulf of Alaska roaded area. The geographic boundaries of the Kenai Peninsula roaded area and the Gulf of Alaska roaded area are undefined in the regulations, making the development of usable hunt maps imprecise and ambiguous. The proposed changes to the regulations would allow publication of maps that are accurate and PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 14233 reproducible into the future and interpretable by subsistence hunters and law enforcement officials. Finally, we are including in this proposed rule a needed correction. The Chugach Community of Cordova should have been included in the list of included areas for the Gulf of Alaska region in subpart A following Council action in 2014. The omission of this community from the regulations was the result of an inadvertent oversight. The Chugach Community of Cordova does appropriately appear in the regulations for eligible subsistence-harvest areas in 50 CFR 92.31(j)(2). Therefore, we are proposing to add the Chugach Community of Cordova to the current list of included areas in 50 CFR 92.5(a)(2)(ii). These proposed revisions to the regulations in subpart A are not anticipated to result in a significant increase in harvest of birds and eggs because spring and summer subsistence practices likely occur in these areas at the present time. Proposed Revisions to Subpart D In 50 CFR 92.31, we propose to clarify the designated harvest area boundaries for the communities of Port Graham and Nanwalek in the Gulf of Alaska Region and for the community of Tyonek in the Cook Inlet Region. Current harvest area definitions in the regulations for these communities are incomplete (that is, they do not describe a complete polygon), and only partially define the boundaries of the harvest areas. The proposed revisions would allow publication of maps that are accurate and reproducible into the future and provide a clear definition of the harvest areas designated for the communities that subsistence hunters and law enforcement officials can interpret and follow in the field. Compliance With the MBTA and the Endangered Species Act The Service has dual objectives and responsibilities for authorizing a subsistence harvest while protecting migratory birds and threatened species. Although these objectives continue to be challenging, they are not irreconcilable, provided that: (1) Regulations continue to protect threatened species, (2) measures to address documented threats are implemented, and (3) the subsistence community and other conservation partners commit to working together. Mortality, sickness, and poisoning from lead exposure have been documented in many waterfowl species, including threatened spectacled eiders (Somateria fischeri) and the Alaska- E:\FR\FM\14MRP1.SGM 14MRP1 14234 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 49 / Monday, March 14, 2022 / Proposed Rules breeding population of Steller’s eiders (Polysticta stelleri). While lead shot has been banned nationally for waterfowl hunting since 1991, Service staff have documented the availability of lead shot in waterfowl rounds for sale in communities on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and North Slope. The Service will work with partners to increase our education, outreach, and enforcement efforts to ensure that subsistence waterfowl hunting is conducted using nontoxic shot. jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Conservation Under the MBTA We have monitored subsistence harvest for the past 25 years through the use of household surveys in the most heavily used subsistence harvest areas, such as the Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta. Based on our monitoring of the migratory bird species and populations taken for subsistence, we find that this rule will provide for the preservation and maintenance of migratory bird stocks as required by the MBTA. Communication and coordination between the Service, the AMBCC, and the Pacific Flyway Council have allowed us to set harvest regulations to ensure the long-term viability of the migratory bird stocks. Endangered Species Act Consideration Spectacled eiders and the Alaskabreeding population of Steller’s eiders are listed as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Their migration and breeding distribution overlap with areas where the spring and summer subsistence migratory bird hunt is open in Alaska. Neither species is included in the list of subsistence migratory bird species at 50 CFR 92.22; therefore, both species are closed to subsistence harvest. Under 50 CFR 92.21 and 92.32, the Service may implement emergency closures, if necessary, to protect Steller’s eiders or any other endangered or threatened species or migratory bird population. Section 7 of the ESA requires the Secretary of the Interior to review other programs administered by the Department of the Interior and utilize such programs in furtherance of the purposes of the ESA. The Secretary is further required to insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out by the Department of the Interior 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. The Service’s Alaska Region Migratory Bird Management Program is conducting an intra-agency consultation VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Mar 11, 2022 Jkt 256001 with the Service’s Fairbanks Fish and Wildlife Field Office on this proposed rule. A biological opinion will be updated based on new information to ensure this rulemaking action is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat. Therefore, we expect this rule will comply with the ESA. Comment Period Implementation of the Service’s 2013 Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) on the hunting of migratory birds resulted in changes to the overall timing of the annual regulatory schedule for the establishment of migratory bird hunting regulations and the Alaska migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations. The programmatic document, ‘‘Second Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement: Issuance of Annual Regulations Permitting the Hunting of Migratory Birds (SEIS 20130139),’’ filed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 24, 2013, addresses compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act by the Service for issuance of the annual framework regulations for hunting of migratory game bird species. We published a notice of availability of the SEIS in the Federal Register on May 31, 2013 (78 FR 32686), and our Record of Decision on July 26, 2013 (78 FR 45376). The 2013 SEIS moved the annual SRC meeting from July to October, and this procedural change has greatly shortened our period each year to publish the proposed regulations and solicit comments. We are further bounded by a subsistence harvest start date of April 2, 2022. Thus, we have established a 30day comment period for this proposed rule (see DATES, above), and we will be conducting Tribal consultations within Alaska simultaneously. We believe a 30day comment period gives the public adequate time to provide meaningful comments. Required Determinations Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563) Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this proposed 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, PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 The Department of the Interior certifies that, if adopted as proposed, this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). A regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. Accordingly, a small entity compliance guide is not required. This proposed rule would legalize a preexisting subsistence activity, and the resources harvested will be consumed. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act This proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This proposed rule: (a) Would not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. It would legalize and regulate a traditional subsistence activity. It would not result in a substantial increase in subsistence harvest or a significant change in harvesting patterns. The commodities that would be regulated under this rule are migratory birds. This proposed rule deals with legalizing the subsistence harvest of migratory birds and, as such, does not involve commodities traded in the marketplace. A small economic benefit from this rule would derive from the sale of equipment and ammunition to carry out subsistence hunting. Most, if not all, businesses that sell hunting equipment in rural Alaska qualify as small businesses. We have no reason to believe that this proposed rule would lead to a disproportionate distribution of benefits. (b) Would not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers; individual industries; Federal, State, or local government agencies; or geographic regions. This proposed rule does not deal with traded commodities and, therefore, would not have an impact on prices for consumers. E:\FR\FM\14MRP1.SGM 14MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 49 / Monday, March 14, 2022 / Proposed Rules (c) Would not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. This proposed rule deals with the harvesting of wildlife for personal consumption. It would not regulate the marketplace in any way to generate substantial effects on the economy or the ability of businesses to compete. jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Unfunded Mandates Reform Act We have determined and certified under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) that this rule would not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local, State, or Tribal governments or private entities. The proposed rule would not have a significant or unique effect on local, State, or Tribal governments or the private sector. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act is not required. Participation on regional management bodies and the Council requires travel expenses for some Alaska Native organizations and local governments. In addition, they assume some expenses related to coordinating involvement of village councils in the regulatory process. Total coordination and travel expenses for all Alaska Native organizations are estimated to be less than $300,000 per year. In a notice of decision (65 FR 16405; March 28, 2000), we identified 7 to 12 partner organizations (Alaska Native nonprofits and local governments) to administer the regional programs. The ADFG also incurs expenses for travel to Council and regional management body meetings. In addition, the State of Alaska would be required to provide technical staff support to each of the regional management bodies and to the Council. Expenses for the State’s involvement may exceed $100,000 per year but should not exceed $150,000 per year. When funding permits, we make annual grant agreements available to the partner organizations and the ADFG to help offset their expenses. Takings (Executive Order 12630) Under the criteria in Executive Order 12630, this proposed rule would not have significant takings implications. This proposed rule is not specific to particular land ownership, but instead applies to the harvesting of migratory bird resources throughout Alaska. A takings implication assessment is not required. Federalism (Executive Order 13132) Under the criteria in Executive Order 13132, this proposed rule does not have VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Mar 11, 2022 Jkt 256001 sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. We discuss effects of this rule on the State of Alaska in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act section, above. We worked with the State of Alaska to develop these proposed regulations. Therefore, a federalism summary impact statement is not required. Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988) The Department, in promulgating this proposed rule, has determined that it would not unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988. Government-to-Government Relations With Native American Tribal Governments Consistent with Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249; November 9, 2000), ‘‘Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments,’’ and Department of the Interior policy on Consultation with Indian Tribes (December 1, 2011), we will send letters via electronic mail to all 229 Alaska federally recognized Indian Tribes. Consistent with Congressional direction (Pub. L. 108–199, div. H, Sec. 161, Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 452, as amended by Pub. L. 108–447, div. H, title V, Sec. 518, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3267), we also will send letters to approximately 200 Alaska Native corporations and other Tribal entities in Alaska soliciting their input as to whether or not they would like the Service to consult with them on the 2022 migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations. We implemented the amended treaty with Canada with a focus on local involvement. The treaty calls for the creation of management bodies to ensure an effective and meaningful role for Alaska’s indigenous inhabitants in the conservation of migratory birds. According to the Letter of Submittal, management bodies are to include Alaska Native, Federal, and State of Alaska representatives as equals. They develop recommendations for, among other things: Seasons and bag limits, methods and means of take, law enforcement policies, population and harvest monitoring, educational programs, research and use of traditional knowledge, and habitat protection. The management bodies involve village councils to the maximum extent possible in all aspects of management. To ensure maximum input at the village level, we required each of the 11 participating regions to create regional management bodies PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 14235 consisting of at least one representative from the participating villages. The regional management bodies meet twice annually to review and/or submit proposals to the Statewide body. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) This rule does not contain any new collection of information that requires approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). 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. OMB has previously approved the information collection requirements associated with subsistence harvest reporting and assigned the following OMB control numbers: • Alaska Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest Household Survey, OMB Control Number 1018–0124 (expires 04/ 30/2024), and • Regulations for the Taking of Migratory Birds for Subsistence Uses in Alaska, 50 CFR part 92, OMB Control Number 1018–0178 (expires 04/30/ 2024). National Environmental Policy Act Consideration (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) The annual regulations and options are considered in the January 2022 Environmental Assessment, ‘‘Managing Migratory Bird Subsistence Hunting in Alaska: Hunting Regulations for the 2022 Spring/Summer Harvest.’’ Copies are available from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or at https:// www.regulations.gov. Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (Executive Order 13211) Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare statements of energy effects when undertaking certain actions. This is not a significant regulatory action under this Executive Order; it allows only for traditional subsistence harvest and improves conservation of migratory birds by allowing effective regulation of this harvest. Further, this proposed rule is not expected to significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action under Executive Order 13211, and a statement of energy effects is not required. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 92 Hunting, Treaties, Wildlife. E:\FR\FM\14MRP1.SGM 14MRP1 14236 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 49 / Monday, March 14, 2022 / Proposed Rules Proposed Regulation Promulgation For the reasons set out in the preamble, we propose to amend 50 CFR part 92 as set forth below: PART 92—MIGRATORY BIRD SUBSISTENCE HARVEST IN ALASKA 1. The authority citation for part 92 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 703–712. 2. Amend § 92.5 by: a. Revising paragraph (a)(2)(ii), the first full sentence of the introductory text of paragraph (b), and paragraphs (b)(2) and (3); and ■ b. Adding paragraphs (b)(4) and (5). The revisions and additions read as follows: ■ ■ § 92.5 Who is eligible to participate? * * * * (a) * * * (2) * * * (ii) Gulf of Alaska Region—Chugach Community of Chenega, Chugach Community of Cordova, Chugach Community of Nanwalek, Chugach Community of Port Graham, and Chugach Community of Tatitlek. * * * * * (b) Excluded areas. Excluded areas are not subsistence harvest areas and are closed to harvest, with the exception of any portion of an excluded area that falls within a harvest area that has been designated for a specific community under paragraph (a)(2) of this section. * * * * * * * * (2) The Municipality of Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the Kenai Peninsula roaded area (as described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section), the Gulf of Alaska roaded area (as described in paragraph (b)(4) of this section), Southeast Alaska, and the Central Interior Excluded Area (as jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 * VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Mar 11, 2022 Jkt 256001 described in paragraph (b)(5) of this section) do not qualify for a spring and summer harvest. (3) The Kenai Peninsula roaded area comprises the following: Game Management Unit (Unit) 7, Unit 15(A), Unit 15(B), and that portion of Unit 15(C) east and north of a line beginning at the northern boundary of Unit 15(C) and mouth of the Kasilof River at 60°23′19″ N; 151°18′37″ W, extending south along the coastline of Cook Inlet to Bluff Point (59°40′00″ N), then south along longitude line 151°41′48″ W to latitude 59°35′56″ N, then east to the tip of Homer Spit (excluding any land of the Homer Spit), then northeast to the north bank of Fox River (59°48′57″ N; 150°58′44″ W), and then east to the eastern boundary of Unit 15(C) at 150°19′59″ W. (4) The Gulf of Alaska roaded area comprises the incorporated city boundaries of Valdez and Whittier, Alaska. (5) The Central Interior Excluded Area comprises the following: The Fairbanks North Star Borough and that portion of Unit 20(A) east of the Wood River drainage and south of Rex Trail, including the upper Wood River drainage south of its confluence with Chicken Creek; that portion of Unit 20(C) east of Denali National Park north to Rock Creek and east to Unit 20(A); and that portion of Unit 20(D) west of the Tanana River between its confluence with the Johnson and Delta Rivers, west of the east bank of the Johnson River, and north and west of the Volkmar drainage, including the Goodpaster River drainage. The following communities are within the Excluded Area: Delta Junction/Big Delta/Fort Greely, McKinley Park/Village, Healy, Ferry, and all residents of the formerly named Fairbanks North Star Borough Excluded Area. * * * * * PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 3. Amend § 92.31 by revising paragraphs (j)(3) and (k)(1) to read as follows: ■ § 92.31 Region-specific regulations. * * * * * (j) * * * (3) Kachemak Bay Area (Harvest area: That portion of Game Management Unit [Unit] 15[C] west and south of a line beginning at the northern boundary of Unit 15[C] and mouth of the Kasilof River at 60°23′19″ N; 151°18′37″ W, extending south along the coastline of Cook Inlet to Bluff Point [59°40′00″ N], then south along longitude line 151°41′48″ W to latitude 59°35′56″ N, then east to the tip of Homer Spit [excluding any land of the Homer Spit], then northeast to the north bank of the Fox River [59°48′57″ N; 150°58′44″ W], and then east to the eastern boundary of Unit 15[C] at 150°19′59″ W) (Eligible Chugach Communities: Port Graham, Nanwalek): * * * * * (k) * * * (1) Season: April 2–May 31—That portion of Game Management Unit 16(B) west of the east bank of the Yentna River, south of the north bank of the Skwentna River, and south of the north bank of Portage Creek to the boundary of Game Management Unit 16(B) at Portage Pass; and August 1–31—That portion of Game Management Unit 16(B) west of longitude line 150° 56′ W, south of the north banks of the Beluga River and Beluga Lake, then south of latitude line 61°26′08″ N. * * * * * Shannon A. Estenoz, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. [FR Doc. 2022–05251 Filed 3–11–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P E:\FR\FM\14MRP1.SGM 14MRP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 49 (Monday, March 14, 2022)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 14232-14236]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-05251]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 92

[Docket No. FWS-R7-MB-2021-0172; FXMB12610700000-201-FF07M01000]
RIN 1018 BF65


Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest in Alaska; Harvest Regulations 
for Migratory Birds in Alaska During the 2022 Season

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or USFWS), are 
proposing changes to the migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations 
in Alaska. These regulations allow for the continuation of customary 
and traditional subsistence uses of migratory birds in Alaska and 
prescribe regional information on when and where the harvesting of 
birds may occur. These regulations were developed under a co-management 
process involving the Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 
and Alaska Native representatives. The proposed changes would update 
the regulations to incorporate revisions requested by these partners.

DATES: We will accept comments received or postmarked on or before 
April 13, 2022.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. FWS-R7-
MB-2021-0172.
     U.S. Mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R7-MB-
2021-0172, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: JAO/3W, 5275 Leesburg 
Place, Falls Church, VA 22041 3803.
    We will post all comments on https://www.regulations.gov. This 
generally means that we will post any personal information you provide 
us (see the Public Comment Procedures section, below, for more 
information).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eric J. Taylor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 1011 E Tudor Road, Mail Stop 201, Anchorage, AK 99503; (907) 
903 7210.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Public Comment Procedures

    To ensure that any action resulting from this proposed rule will be 
as accurate and as effective as possible, we request that you send 
relevant information for our consideration. The comments that will be 
most useful and likely to influence our decisions are those that you 
support by quantitative information or studies and those that include 
citations to, and analyses of, the applicable laws and regulations. 
Please make your comments as specific as possible and explain the basis 
for them. In addition, please include sufficient information with your 
comments to allow us to authenticate any scientific or commercial data 
you include.
    You must submit your comments and materials concerning this 
proposed rule by one of the methods listed above in ADDRESSES. We will 
not accept comments sent by email or fax or to an address not listed in 
ADDRESSES. If you submit a comment via https://www.regulations.gov, 
your entire comment--including any personal identifying information, 
such as your address, telephone number, or email address--will be 
posted on the website. When you submit a comment, the system receives 
it immediately. However, the comment will not be publicly viewable 
until we post it, which might not occur until several days after 
submission.
    If you mail a hardcopy comment directly to us that includes 
personal information, you may request at the top of your document that 
we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so. All comments and materials we 
receive will be available for public inspection via https://www.regulations.gov. Search for FWS-R7-MB-2021-0172, which is the 
docket number for this rulemaking.

Background

    The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (MBTA, 16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.) 
was enacted to conserve certain species of migratory birds and gives 
the Secretary of the Interior the authority to regulate the harvest of 
these birds. The law further authorizes the Secretary to issue 
regulations to ensure that the indigenous inhabitants of the State of 
Alaska may take migratory birds and collect their eggs for nutritional 
and other essential needs during seasons established by the Secretary 
so as to provide for the preservation and maintenance of stocks of 
migratory birds (16 U.S.C. 712(1)).
    The take of migratory birds for subsistence uses in Alaska occurs 
during the spring and summer, during which timeframe when the annual 
fall/winter harvest of migratory birds is not allowed. Regulations 
governing the subsistence harvest of migratory birds in Alaska are 
located in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in part 
92.

[[Page 14233]]

These regulations allow for the continuation of customary and 
traditional subsistence uses of migratory birds and prescribe regional 
information on when and where the harvesting of birds in Alaska may 
occur.
    The migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations are developed 
cooperatively. The Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council (Council 
or AMBCC) consists of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Alaska 
Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), and representatives of Alaska's 
Native population. The Council's primary purpose is to develop 
recommendations pertaining to the subsistence harvest of migratory 
birds.
    The Council generally holds an annual spring meeting to develop 
recommendations for migratory bird subsistence-harvest regulations in 
Alaska that would take effect in the spring of the next year. In 2021, 
the in-person spring meeting did not occur due to the coronavirus 
pandemic. Instead, the Council met virtually via teleconference on 
April 5, 2021, to approve subsistence harvest regulations that would 
take effect during the 2022 harvest season. The Council's 
recommendations were presented to the Pacific Flyway Council for review 
and subsequent submission to the Service Regulations Committee (SRC) 
for approval at the SRC meeting on September 28 and 29, 2021.

Proposed Revisions to the Regulations

    Per the collaborative process described above, this document 
proposes the following revisions to the regulations for the taking of 
migratory birds for subsistence uses in Alaska during the spring and 
summer.

Proposed Revisions to Subpart A

    In part 92, subpart A (general provisions), we propose to clarify 
the regulations defining excluded areas, which are those areas that are 
closed to subsistence harvest.
    First, we propose revisions to clarify that subsistence hunters 
whose communities petitioned successfully to be added to the list of 
included areas appearing at 50 CFR 92.5(a)(2) may harvest migratory 
birds within the entirety of the subsistence harvest areas designated 
for their community, including portions of harvest areas that occur 
within designated excluded areas.
    For example, portions of the subsistence harvest areas selected by 
communities in the Upper Copper River Region listed as eligible under 
50 CFR 92.5(a)(2)(i) occur within the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, an 
excluded area that is otherwise closed to harvest (50 CFR 92.5(b)(2)). 
The regulations do not specify that these portions of designated 
harvest areas that occur in excluded areas are, in fact, open to 
subsistence hunting. To address this issue, we propose to amend 50 CFR 
92.5(b) to make an exception to harvest closures in those portions of 
excluded areas that fall within subsistence harvest areas designated 
for specific communities that petitioned to be listed as eligible for 
participation in the spring-summer subsistence hunt (50 CFR 
92.5(a)(2)).
    This exception would not apply to subsistence harvest areas that 
have been generally designated for regions (e.g., Bering Strait Norton 
Sound Region) or subregions (e.g., Bering Strait Norton Sound Stebbins/
St. Michael Area) listed as included areas at 50 CFR 92.5(a).
    Second, to clarify the boundaries of areas that are closed to 
subsistence harvest, we propose to address an apparent inconsistency in 
some terms used in part 92. The regulations governing subsistence 
harvest of migratory birds were set forth August 16, 2002 (67 FR 
53511). That rule defined the term ``village'' at 50 CFR 92.4 and also 
set forth provisions regarding areas that are excluded from eligibility 
to participate in the subsistence harvest of migratory birds. Under 50 
CFR 92.5(b)(2), excluded areas include ``[v]illage areas'' located in 
Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the Kenai Peninsula roaded 
area, the Gulf of Alaska roaded area, Southeast Alaska, and the Central 
Interior Excluded Area. The definition of ``village'' at 50 CFR 92.4 
and use of the term ``village areas'' at 50 CFR 92.5(b)(2) to describe 
excluded areas has created confusion in determining the boundaries of 
closed areas. We never intended for the excluded areas set forth at 50 
CFR 92.5(b)(2) to be only those portions of those areas that meet the 
definition of ``village'' at 50 CFR 92.4. Therefore, we propose to 
remove the term ``village areas'' from 50 CFR 92.5(b)(2) to clarify 
that excluded areas are closed to harvest in their entirety, except 
those portions that occur within a harvest area that has been 
designated for a specific community.
    Third, we would clarify the language defining boundaries of the 
excluded areas of the Kenai Peninsula roaded area and the Gulf of 
Alaska roaded area. The geographic boundaries of the Kenai Peninsula 
roaded area and the Gulf of Alaska roaded area are undefined in the 
regulations, making the development of usable hunt maps imprecise and 
ambiguous. The proposed changes to the regulations would allow 
publication of maps that are accurate and reproducible into the future 
and interpretable by subsistence hunters and law enforcement officials.
    Finally, we are including in this proposed rule a needed 
correction. The Chugach Community of Cordova should have been included 
in the list of included areas for the Gulf of Alaska region in subpart 
A following Council action in 2014. The omission of this community from 
the regulations was the result of an inadvertent oversight. The Chugach 
Community of Cordova does appropriately appear in the regulations for 
eligible subsistence-harvest areas in 50 CFR 92.31(j)(2). Therefore, we 
are proposing to add the Chugach Community of Cordova to the current 
list of included areas in 50 CFR 92.5(a)(2)(ii).
    These proposed revisions to the regulations in subpart A are not 
anticipated to result in a significant increase in harvest of birds and 
eggs because spring and summer subsistence practices likely occur in 
these areas at the present time.

Proposed Revisions to Subpart D

    In 50 CFR 92.31, we propose to clarify the designated harvest area 
boundaries for the communities of Port Graham and Nanwalek in the Gulf 
of Alaska Region and for the community of Tyonek in the Cook Inlet 
Region. Current harvest area definitions in the regulations for these 
communities are incomplete (that is, they do not describe a complete 
polygon), and only partially define the boundaries of the harvest 
areas. The proposed revisions would allow publication of maps that are 
accurate and reproducible into the future and provide a clear 
definition of the harvest areas designated for the communities that 
subsistence hunters and law enforcement officials can interpret and 
follow in the field.

Compliance With the MBTA and the Endangered Species Act

    The Service has dual objectives and responsibilities for 
authorizing a subsistence harvest while protecting migratory birds and 
threatened species. Although these objectives continue to be 
challenging, they are not irreconcilable, provided that: (1) 
Regulations continue to protect threatened species, (2) measures to 
address documented threats are implemented, and (3) the subsistence 
community and other conservation partners commit to working together.
    Mortality, sickness, and poisoning from lead exposure have been 
documented in many waterfowl species, including threatened spectacled 
eiders (Somateria fischeri) and the Alaska-

[[Page 14234]]

breeding population of Steller's eiders (Polysticta stelleri). While 
lead shot has been banned nationally for waterfowl hunting since 1991, 
Service staff have documented the availability of lead shot in 
waterfowl rounds for sale in communities on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta 
and North Slope. The Service will work with partners to increase our 
education, outreach, and enforcement efforts to ensure that subsistence 
waterfowl hunting is conducted using nontoxic shot.

Conservation Under the MBTA

    We have monitored subsistence harvest for the past 25 years through 
the use of household surveys in the most heavily used subsistence 
harvest areas, such as the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Based on our 
monitoring of the migratory bird species and populations taken for 
subsistence, we find that this rule will provide for the preservation 
and maintenance of migratory bird stocks as required by the MBTA. 
Communication and coordination between the Service, the AMBCC, and the 
Pacific Flyway Council have allowed us to set harvest regulations to 
ensure the long-term viability of the migratory bird stocks.

Endangered Species Act Consideration

    Spectacled eiders and the Alaska-breeding population of Steller's 
eiders are listed as threatened species under the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Their migration 
and breeding distribution overlap with areas where the spring and 
summer subsistence migratory bird hunt is open in Alaska. Neither 
species is included in the list of subsistence migratory bird species 
at 50 CFR 92.22; therefore, both species are closed to subsistence 
harvest. Under 50 CFR 92.21 and 92.32, the Service may implement 
emergency closures, if necessary, to protect Steller's eiders or any 
other endangered or threatened species or migratory bird population.
    Section 7 of the ESA requires the Secretary of the Interior to 
review other programs administered by the Department of the Interior 
and utilize such programs in furtherance of the purposes of the ESA. 
The Secretary is further required to insure that any action authorized, 
funded, or carried out by the Department of the Interior 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.
    The Service's Alaska Region Migratory Bird Management Program is 
conducting an intra-agency consultation with the Service's Fairbanks 
Fish and Wildlife Field Office on this proposed rule. A biological 
opinion will be updated based on new information to ensure this 
rulemaking action is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence 
of endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or 
adverse modification of designated critical habitat. Therefore, we 
expect this rule will comply with the ESA.

Comment Period

    Implementation of the Service's 2013 Supplemental Environmental 
Impact Statement (SEIS) on the hunting of migratory birds resulted in 
changes to the overall timing of the annual regulatory schedule for the 
establishment of migratory bird hunting regulations and the Alaska 
migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations. The programmatic 
document, ``Second Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement: 
Issuance of Annual Regulations Permitting the Hunting of Migratory 
Birds (SEIS 20130139),'' filed with the Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) on May 24, 2013, addresses compliance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act by the Service for issuance of the annual 
framework regulations for hunting of migratory game bird species. We 
published a notice of availability of the SEIS in the Federal Register 
on May 31, 2013 (78 FR 32686), and our Record of Decision on July 26, 
2013 (78 FR 45376).
    The 2013 SEIS moved the annual SRC meeting from July to October, 
and this procedural change has greatly shortened our period each year 
to publish the proposed regulations and solicit comments. We are 
further bounded by a subsistence harvest start date of April 2, 2022. 
Thus, we have established a 30-day comment period for this proposed 
rule (see DATES, above), and we will be conducting Tribal consultations 
within Alaska simultaneously. We believe a 30-day comment period gives 
the public adequate time to provide meaningful comments.

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. OIRA has 
determined that this proposed 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

    The Department of the Interior certifies that, if adopted as 
proposed, this proposed rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). A regulatory 
flexibility analysis is not required. Accordingly, a small entity 
compliance guide is not required. This proposed rule would legalize a 
preexisting subsistence activity, and the resources harvested will be 
consumed.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This proposed rule:
    (a) Would not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more. It would legalize and regulate a traditional subsistence 
activity. It would not result in a substantial increase in subsistence 
harvest or a significant change in harvesting patterns. The commodities 
that would be regulated under this rule are migratory birds. This 
proposed rule deals with legalizing the subsistence harvest of 
migratory birds and, as such, does not involve commodities traded in 
the marketplace. A small economic benefit from this rule would derive 
from the sale of equipment and ammunition to carry out subsistence 
hunting. Most, if not all, businesses that sell hunting equipment in 
rural Alaska qualify as small businesses. We have no reason to believe 
that this proposed rule would lead to a disproportionate distribution 
of benefits.
    (b) Would not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers; individual industries; Federal, State, or local government 
agencies; or geographic regions. This proposed rule does not deal with 
traded commodities and, therefore, would not have an impact on prices 
for consumers.

[[Page 14235]]

    (c) Would not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. This 
proposed rule deals with the harvesting of wildlife for personal 
consumption. It would not regulate the marketplace in any way to 
generate substantial effects on the economy or the ability of 
businesses to compete.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    We have determined and certified under the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) that this rule would not impose a cost of 
$100 million or more in any given year on local, State, or Tribal 
governments or private entities. The proposed rule would not have a 
significant or unique effect on local, State, or Tribal governments or 
the private sector. A statement containing the information required by 
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act is not required. Participation on 
regional management bodies and the Council requires travel expenses for 
some Alaska Native organizations and local governments. In addition, 
they assume some expenses related to coordinating involvement of 
village councils in the regulatory process. Total coordination and 
travel expenses for all Alaska Native organizations are estimated to be 
less than $300,000 per year. In a notice of decision (65 FR 16405; 
March 28, 2000), we identified 7 to 12 partner organizations (Alaska 
Native nonprofits and local governments) to administer the regional 
programs. The ADFG also incurs expenses for travel to Council and 
regional management body meetings. In addition, the State of Alaska 
would be required to provide technical staff support to each of the 
regional management bodies and to the Council. Expenses for the State's 
involvement may exceed $100,000 per year but should not exceed $150,000 
per year. When funding permits, we make annual grant agreements 
available to the partner organizations and the ADFG to help offset 
their expenses.

Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    Under the criteria in Executive Order 12630, this proposed rule 
would not have significant takings implications. This proposed rule is 
not specific to particular land ownership, but instead applies to the 
harvesting of migratory bird resources throughout Alaska. A takings 
implication assessment is not required.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    Under the criteria in Executive Order 13132, this proposed rule 
does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the 
preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. We discuss 
effects of this rule on the State of Alaska in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act section, above. We worked with the State of Alaska to 
develop these proposed regulations. Therefore, a federalism summary 
impact statement is not required.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    The Department, in promulgating this proposed rule, has determined 
that it would not unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets 
the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

Government-to-Government Relations With Native American Tribal 
Governments

    Consistent with Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249; November 9, 
2000), ``Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal 
Governments,'' and Department of the Interior policy on Consultation 
with Indian Tribes (December 1, 2011), we will send letters via 
electronic mail to all 229 Alaska federally recognized Indian Tribes. 
Consistent with Congressional direction (Pub. L. 108-199, div. H, Sec. 
161, Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 452, as amended by Pub. L. 108-447, div. 
H, title V, Sec. 518, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3267), we also will send 
letters to approximately 200 Alaska Native corporations and other 
Tribal entities in Alaska soliciting their input as to whether or not 
they would like the Service to consult with them on the 2022 migratory 
bird subsistence harvest regulations.
    We implemented the amended treaty with Canada with a focus on local 
involvement. The treaty calls for the creation of management bodies to 
ensure an effective and meaningful role for Alaska's indigenous 
inhabitants in the conservation of migratory birds. According to the 
Letter of Submittal, management bodies are to include Alaska Native, 
Federal, and State of Alaska representatives as equals. They develop 
recommendations for, among other things: Seasons and bag limits, 
methods and means of take, law enforcement policies, population and 
harvest monitoring, educational programs, research and use of 
traditional knowledge, and habitat protection. The management bodies 
involve village councils to the maximum extent possible in all aspects 
of management. To ensure maximum input at the village level, we 
required each of the 11 participating regions to create regional 
management bodies consisting of at least one representative from the 
participating villages. The regional management bodies meet twice 
annually to review and/or submit proposals to the Statewide body.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA)

    This rule does not contain any new collection of information that 
requires approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). 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. OMB has previously approved the information collection 
requirements associated with subsistence harvest reporting and assigned 
the following OMB control numbers:
     Alaska Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest Household 
Survey, OMB Control Number 1018-0124 (expires 04/30/2024), and
     Regulations for the Taking of Migratory Birds for 
Subsistence Uses in Alaska, 50 CFR part 92, OMB Control Number 1018-
0178 (expires 04/30/2024).

National Environmental Policy Act Consideration (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq.)

    The annual regulations and options are considered in the January 
2022 Environmental Assessment, ``Managing Migratory Bird Subsistence 
Hunting in Alaska: Hunting Regulations for the 2022 Spring/Summer 
Harvest.'' Copies are available from the person listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or at https://www.regulations.gov.

Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (Executive Order 13211)

    Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare statements of 
energy effects when undertaking certain actions. This is not a 
significant regulatory action under this Executive Order; it allows 
only for traditional subsistence harvest and improves conservation of 
migratory birds by allowing effective regulation of this harvest. 
Further, this proposed rule is not expected to significantly affect 
energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a 
significant energy action under Executive Order 13211, and a statement 
of energy effects is not required.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 92

    Hunting, Treaties, Wildlife.

[[Page 14236]]

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, we propose to amend 50 CFR 
part 92 as set forth below:

PART 92--MIGRATORY BIRD SUBSISTENCE HARVEST IN ALASKA

0
1. The authority citation for part 92 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. Amend Sec.  92.5 by:
0
a. Revising paragraph (a)(2)(ii), the first full sentence of the 
introductory text of paragraph (b), and paragraphs (b)(2) and (3); and
0
b. Adding paragraphs (b)(4) and (5).
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  92.5   Who is eligible to participate?

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ii) Gulf of Alaska Region--Chugach Community of Chenega, Chugach 
Community of Cordova, Chugach Community of Nanwalek, Chugach Community 
of Port Graham, and Chugach Community of Tatitlek.
* * * * *
    (b) Excluded areas. Excluded areas are not subsistence harvest 
areas and are closed to harvest, with the exception of any portion of 
an excluded area that falls within a harvest area that has been 
designated for a specific community under paragraph (a)(2) of this 
section. * * *
* * * * *
    (2) The Municipality of Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, 
the Kenai Peninsula roaded area (as described in paragraph (b)(3) of 
this section), the Gulf of Alaska roaded area (as described in 
paragraph (b)(4) of this section), Southeast Alaska, and the Central 
Interior Excluded Area (as described in paragraph (b)(5) of this 
section) do not qualify for a spring and summer harvest.
    (3) The Kenai Peninsula roaded area comprises the following: Game 
Management Unit (Unit) 7, Unit 15(A), Unit 15(B), and that portion of 
Unit 15(C) east and north of a line beginning at the northern boundary 
of Unit 15(C) and mouth of the Kasilof River at 60[deg]23'19'' N; 
151[deg]18'37'' W, extending south along the coastline of Cook Inlet to 
Bluff Point (59[deg]40'00'' N), then south along longitude line 
151[deg]41'48'' W to latitude 59[deg]35'56'' N, then east to the tip of 
Homer Spit (excluding any land of the Homer Spit), then northeast to 
the north bank of Fox River (59[deg]48'57'' N; 150[deg]58'44'' W), and 
then east to the eastern boundary of Unit 15(C) at 150[deg]19'59'' W.
    (4) The Gulf of Alaska roaded area comprises the incorporated city 
boundaries of Valdez and Whittier, Alaska.
    (5) The Central Interior Excluded Area comprises the following: The 
Fairbanks North Star Borough and that portion of Unit 20(A) east of the 
Wood River drainage and south of Rex Trail, including the upper Wood 
River drainage south of its confluence with Chicken Creek; that portion 
of Unit 20(C) east of Denali National Park north to Rock Creek and east 
to Unit 20(A); and that portion of Unit 20(D) west of the Tanana River 
between its confluence with the Johnson and Delta Rivers, west of the 
east bank of the Johnson River, and north and west of the Volkmar 
drainage, including the Goodpaster River drainage. The following 
communities are within the Excluded Area: Delta Junction/Big Delta/Fort 
Greely, McKinley Park/Village, Healy, Ferry, and all residents of the 
formerly named Fairbanks North Star Borough Excluded Area.
* * * * *
0
3. Amend Sec.  92.31 by revising paragraphs (j)(3) and (k)(1) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  92.31   Region-specific regulations.

* * * * *
    (j) * * *
    (3) Kachemak Bay Area (Harvest area: That portion of Game 
Management Unit [Unit] 15[C] west and south of a line beginning at the 
northern boundary of Unit 15[C] and mouth of the Kasilof River at 
60[deg]23'19'' N; 151[deg]18'37'' W, extending south along the 
coastline of Cook Inlet to Bluff Point [59[deg]40'00'' N], then south 
along longitude line 151[deg]41'48'' W to latitude 59[deg]35'56'' N, 
then east to the tip of Homer Spit [excluding any land of the Homer 
Spit], then northeast to the north bank of the Fox River 
[59[deg]48'57'' N; 150[deg]58'44'' W], and then east to the eastern 
boundary of Unit 15[C] at 150[deg]19'59'' W) (Eligible Chugach 
Communities: Port Graham, Nanwalek):
* * * * *
    (k) * * *
    (1) Season: April 2-May 31--That portion of Game Management Unit 
16(B) west of the east bank of the Yentna River, south of the north 
bank of the Skwentna River, and south of the north bank of Portage 
Creek to the boundary of Game Management Unit 16(B) at Portage Pass; 
and August 1-31--That portion of Game Management Unit 16(B) west of 
longitude line 150[deg] 56' W, south of the north banks of the Beluga 
River and Beluga Lake, then south of latitude line 61[deg]26'08'' N.
* * * * *

Shannon A. Estenoz,
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2022-05251 Filed 3-11-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4333-15-P