Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Issuance of Depredation Permits for Double-Crested Cormorants
This notice advises the public of the completion of an environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI). The EA analyzed the potential impacts of a proposal to make decisions on depredation permit applications for the annual take (i.e., lethal removal) of up to 51,571 double-crested cormorants, Phalcrocorax auritus, across 37 central and eastern States and the District of Columbia. The EA considered two alternatives: The proposed action; and the reduced take alternative (which is the preferred alternative). The scope of the EA is to issue permits to manage cormorant damage at aquaculture facilities, protect human health and safety, protect threatened and endangered wildlife, and alleviate damage to property. Based on the analysis contained in the EA, the Service finds that the preferred alternative would not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, as outlined in the accompanying FONSI.