Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed 2021-22 Frameworks, and Special Procedures for Issuance of Annual Hunting Regulations
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we) is proposing to establish the 2021-22 hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds, and make a minor change to the special procedures for issuance of annual hunting regulations. We annually prescribe outside limits, frameworks, within which States may select hunting seasons. Frameworks specify the outside dates, season lengths, shooting hours, bag and possession limits, and areas where migratory game bird hunting may occur. These frameworks are necessary to allow State selections of seasons and limits and to allow harvest at levels compatible with migratory game bird population status and habitat conditions. Migratory game bird hunting seasons provide opportunities for recreation and sustenance, and aid Federal, State, and Tribal governments in the management of migratory game birds.
Regulations Governing Take of Migratory Birds; Delay of Effective Date
On January 7, 2021, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, published a final rule (``MBTA rule'') defining the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) as it applies to conduct resulting in the injury or death of migratory birds protected by the MBTA. We are delaying the MBTA rule's effective date until March 8, 2021, in conformity with the Congressional Review Act (CRA). We request public comments to inform our review of this final rule and to determine whether the further extension of the effective date is necessary.
Endangered and Threatened Species; Receipt of Recovery Permit Applications
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have received applications for permits to conduct activities intended to enhance the propagation or survival of endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. We invite the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal agencies to comment on these applications. Before issuing any of the requested permits, we will take into consideration any information that we receive during the public comment period.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Regulations Pertaining to the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS or Service), are proposing to amend regulations concerning American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) by revising provisions pertaining to interstate and foreign commerce. We are proposing these changes to increase clarity and eliminate unnecessary regulation while at the same time maintaining what is necessary and advisable for the conservation of this and other endangered or threatened crocodilian species under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Recovery Permit Applications
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following applications for a permit to conduct activities intended to recover and enhance endangered species survival. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), prohibits certain activities that may impact endangered species unless a Federal permit allows such activity. The ESA also requires that we invite public comment before issuing these permits.
Streamlining U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Permitting of Rights-of-Way
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), propose to revise and streamline FWS regulations for permitting of rights-of-way by aligning FWS processes more closely with those of other Department of the Interior bureaus, consistent with applicable law and to the extent practicable. The proposed rule would require a pre-application meeting and use of a standard application, the SF-299, Application for Transportation and Utility Systems and Facilities on Federal Lands; allow electronic submission of applications; and provide FWS with additional flexibility, as appropriate, to determine the fair market value or fair market rental value of rights-of-way across FWS-managed lands. This proposed rule would reduce the time and cost necessary to determine a right-of-way's fair market value or fair market rental value, and also reduce an applicant's time and cost to obtain a right- of-way permit. The proposed rule would also simplify the procedures that applicants must follow to reimburse the United States for costs that FWS incurs while processing right-of-way applications and monitoring permitted rights-of-way.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Interior Least Tern From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are removing the inland population of the least tern (Interior least tern) (Sterna (now Sternula) antillarum), from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife due to recovery. This determination is based on a thorough review of the best available scientific and commercial data, which indicates that the Interior least tern has recovered and the threats to the Interior least tern have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species no longer meets the definition of an endangered species or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Accordingly, the prohibitions and protections provided by the Act will no longer apply to the Interior least tern.
Incidental Take Permit Application; Habitat Conservation Plan and Categorical Exclusion for the Threatened Grizzly Bear; Flathead, Glacier, Lincoln, and Toole Counties, Montana
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of documents related to an application for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. BNSF Railway (BNSF) has applied for an ITP, which, if granted, would authorize take of the federally threatened grizzly bear that is likely to occur incidental to railroad operations and maintenance. The documents available for review and comment are the applicant's habitat conservation plan, which is part of the ITP application, and our draft environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, which support a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act. We invite comments from the public and Federal, Tribal, State, and local governments.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of 7 Species in the Mountain-Prairie Region
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are initiating 5-year status reviews of 7 species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission of any new information on these species that has become available since the last review of the species.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for Jones Cycladenia
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of a draft recovery plan for Jones cycladenia (Cycladenia humilis var. Jonesii), a plant listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. We are requesting review and comment from the public on this draft plan. The draft recovery plan includes objective, measurable criteria, and site-specific management actions as may be necessary to remove it from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Regulations for Interagency Cooperation
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively referred to as the ``Services'' or ``we'') propose to amend the Services' consultation regulations under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, pertaining to the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The proposed revisions would clarify that reinitiation of consultation would not be required for these agencies' previously approved land management plans when new information reveals that effects of a plan may affect listed species or critical habitat in a manner or to an extent not previously considered, provided that any authorized actions for which the new information is relevant will be addressed through a separate action-specific consultation. The proposed revisions would also replace the existing regulation's temporary instructions concerning National Forest System lands with permanent instructions. The Services are proposing this change to improve and clarify the interagency cooperation procedures by making them more efficient and consistent.
Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan, Klamath, Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook, Wasco, and Sherman Counties, Oregon
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of a record of decision (ROD) for the proposed issuance of an Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit for the Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The ROD documents the Service's decision to issue an incidental take permit (ITP) to the Deschutes Basin Board of Control (DBBC)'s eight-member irrigation districts, and the City of Prineville (applicants). As summarized in the ROD, the Service has selected Alternative 2the Proposed Action, which includes implementation of the HCP and issuance of a 30-year ITP authorizing take of two threatened species listed under the ESA that may occur incidental to covered activities in the plan area over the permit term.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Online Program Management System for Carbon Dioxide-Carp
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing a new information collection.
Regulations Governing Take of Migratory Birds
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS, Service, we), define the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA or Act) as it applies to conduct resulting in the injury or death of migratory birds protected by the Act. We determine that the MBTA's prohibitions on pursuing, hunting, taking, capturing, killing, or attempting to do the same, apply only to actions directed at migratory birds, their nests, or their eggs.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Concessions
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing a new information collection in use without an OMB Control Number.
Agency Information Collection Activities; Online Eastern Population Sandhill Crane Survey Data Entry Portal
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing a new information collection.
John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System; Okaloosa and Walton Counties, FL; Beaufort and Charleston Counties, SC; Availability of Draft Revised Boundaries and Request for Comments
The Coastal Barrier Resources Reauthorization Act of 2006 requires the Secretary of the Interior to prepare digital versions of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) maps and make recommendations for the expansion of the CBRS. We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have prepared draft revised boundaries for two existing CBRS units in Okaloosa and Walton Counties, Florida, and for four existing units and two proposed new units in Beaufort and Charleston Counties, South Carolina. This notice announces the availability of the proposed boundaries for public review and comment.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of the Endangered June Sucker to Threatened With a Section 4(d) Rule
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are reclassifying the June sucker (Chasmistes liorus) from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), due to substantial improvements in the species' overall status since its original listing as endangered in 1986. This action is based on a thorough review of the best scientific and commercial data available, which indicates that the June sucker no longer meets the definition of an endangered species under the Act. The June sucker will remain protected as a threatened species under the Act. We are also finalizing a rule under section 4(d) of the Act that provides for the conservation of the June sucker.