What is the Migratory Bird Permit? (5) How will the Service ensure that persons conducting control activities have the authority to do so? You may also use birds you possess under an educational permit to foster juveniles. While every effort has been made to ensure that The private property owner or occupant should also allow access at all reasonable times, including during actual operations, to any Service special agent or refuge officer, State or Tribal wildlife or deputy wildlife agent, warden, protector, or other wildlife law enforcement officer on the premises where they are, or were, conducting activities. E.O. The following limitations apply: (i) Nothing in this section applies to any Federal land within a State's or Tribe's boundaries without written permission of the Federal agency with jurisdiction. and State-listed species of management concern, and personal property (under the 2017 EA, take of cormorants to protect wild and publicly stocked fisheries would only be allowed to protect threatened or endangered species). By establishing an annual sustainable take threshold, and ensuring systems are in place to keep take below that threshold, the Service will implement the robust tool needed to assess the effects of take on cormorant populations to address potential legal challenges. Monitoring can also improve future decisions regarding allowable take and how that allowable take could be determined. Richkus. The protocols will detail agency-specific responsibilities and estimated annual costs associated with monitoring. (7) The name and telephone number of the individual in your agency who will oversee the double-crested cormorant management activities authorized under the permit. At that time, the Service defined a public resource as a natural resource managed and conserved by public agencies, which included fish (i.e., wild fish and stocked fish at Federal, State, and Tribal hatcheries that are intended for release in public or Tribal waters), wildlife, plants, and their habitats. Allocation and Scope of Authorized Take: Several commenters submitted questions pertaining to how the Service would manage overall allocation of authorized take of cormorants. While it is feasible that this rule could have localized effects on recreational fisheries, data do not exist to predict where those effects could occur. Download a permit application or report form. on NARA's archives.gov. The Service has difficulties estimating impacts to recreational fisheries because few studies have investigated direct economic impacts of cormorant management on recreational fisheries. The documents posted on this site are XML renditions of published Federal Many of the conflicts with cormorants involve depredations of sport fish by cormorants, for which there is no relief under current Federal regulations unless warranted to reduce impacts to threatened and endangered fish species listed under the ESA. Mail the two blue copies to the Regional FWS Migratory Bird Permit Office responsible for your State before the end of the month in which you transfer the birds or eggs. documents in the last year, 656 Separately, one State agency requested that the Service provide standardized population monitoring and reporting protocols needed to evaluate impacts of authorized take on cormorant populations, as well as criteria to be used to assess the cost and benefit of take on wild fish stocks, aquaculture facilities, human health and safety, property, and species of conservation concern. On June 5, 2020, the Service published a DEIS, and the comment period ended on July 20, 2020. of the issuing agency. The private property owner or occupant should also allow access at all reasonable times, including during actual operations, to any Service special agent or refuge officer, State or Tribal wildlife or deputy wildlife agent, warden, protector, or other wildlife law enforcement officer on the premises where they are, or were, conducting activities. 1. NOAA Fisheries. Commenters also expressed concern regarding the Service's commitment to producing a report every 5 years. [1] 2009. Two Tribal entities provided comments, and they have been addressed in this final rule. Impacts may involve competition for Start Printed Page 85551nest sites, competition for food, reducing available nesting space and nesting material for co-nesting species, habitat degradation, and nest abandonment resulting from habitat degradation. Airport. Frequency of Collection: On occasion for applications, recordkeeping, and designations of subpermittees; and annually for annual reports. Therefore, the Service included new language within the scope of the preferred alternative, which now states, “listed species identified in State- or Tribal-specific legislation as threatened or endangered) or those listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need in State Wildlife Action Plans, where take activities to prevent depredation on aquatic Species of Greatest Conservation Need may occur only in natural or public waters.”. and steelhead (O. mykiss) migrating to the Pacific Ocean. View the list of MBTA protected birds. Since the Court's vacating of the depredation orders in May 2016 as discussed above, the Service has been reviewing and issuing individual depredation permits in the central and eastern lower 48 States pursuant to two separate analyses conducted under NEPA. 01/08/2021, 390 However, landowners taking such actions would face the possibility of being cited for violations of the MBTA, as well as fines for such violations. Subsequently, the Service developed an EA pursuant to NEPA in 2009 and again in 2014 that determined that a 5-year extension of the expiration date of the two depredation orders would not threaten cormorant populations and that activities conducted under the two depredation orders would not have a significant impact on the human environment. On January 22, 2020 (85 FR 3601-3603), the Service published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) and announced our intent to prepare a NEPA document indicating that the Service intended to establish new regulations regarding the management of double-crested cormorants. . The conflicts with these Start Printed Page 85540managed fisheries are increasingly causing concerns with State and Tribal fish and wildlife agencies, particularly those involved with providing recreational fishing opportunities. The new permit also provides States and Tribes with the ability to address conflicts between cormorants and wild and publicly stocked fish managed by State fish and wildlife agencies or federally recognized Tribes, which was not previously available to them under the scope of individual depredation permits per 50 CFR 21.41. USGS. 7. Specifically, the no action alternative does not fully address the need for Tribes in the western region of the United States (excluding Alaska), to address cormorant impacts on fisheries—especially on hatchery-raised salmonids. One State agency requested that the Service provide States seeking permits with a guide or Best Management Practices on nonlethal methods of resource protection. Separately, another State agency recommended that the Service provide detailed criteria regarding the annual reporting requirements. Entities requested that the Service provide an outline of a cormorant population monitoring regime as a foundation for current consideration by stakeholders and as the basis for stakeholder meetings with the Service following the publication of the record of decision. Similarly, the Service is rejecting the no action alternative because it could potentially have a negative effect on wild and publicly stocked fish, as it would not allow for take of cormorants found to be heavily depredating a fishery. The Service added specific permit conditions for piping plover (Charadrius melodus), interior least tern (Sterna antillarum), and wood stork (Mycteria americana): (1) A buffer zone for wood storks for all activities; (2) a buffer zone for these three birds when discharging firearms; and (3) a buffer zone for these three birds for egg oiling, CO2 asphyxiation, egg destruction, or nest destruction. (5) Landowner Notifications: If a State or Tribe must enter private property to access State and Tribal lands or waters where take is approved in their permit, the State or Tribe must obtain authorization from the private property owner. The new special permit would not apply to private landowners. The reduction would be the result of fewer requests by States and Tribes for individual depredation permits previously needed compared to single State or Tribal permits that could be used; hence, total costs associated with permit applications and biological assessments of those applications likely will be lower. The Service regularly uses PTL models to determine sustainable levels of take and has concluded that if this level of take were to be authorized, it would be biologically sustainable based on knowledge of cormorant population dynamics. States, Tribes, and other stakeholders can provide assistance and information. This error was propagated in estimating PTL. Codifying a new permit for the management of double-crested cormorants provides an additional tool for States and Tribes to appropriately manage conflicts on lands or in waters managed by their respective fish and wildlife agencies within their jurisdictions, while maintaining overall authority for the take of birds within the Service. The conditions that dictate this outcome are often site-specific and variable throughout any given year. Such a tool would reduce the likelihood of exceeding the annual take threshold or reaching the annual take threshold prior to the end of the year. Several States, organizations, and individuals commented on the need for more clarity and details from the Service with regard to the development of a cormorant population monitoring program, and how adaptive management will be incorporated. The equation as written estimates the number of nonbreeders as a percentage of breeders, whereas it should have estimated the number of nonbreeders as a percentage of the total population. When conditions warrant, the USFWS can issue an individual or group the needed Permit to address damage caused by migratory birds by capturing or lethally removing the birds. ), and (d) changes in management practices (e.g., water level management, fish release timing, etc. Commenters assert that the Service failed to demonstrate how States and Tribes would satisfy the requirement that people first use nonlethal methods to address conflicts. The US Army Corps of Engineers Portland District site has... 2003 USA Double-crested cormorant management - Final USFWS EIS, Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563), Compliance With Endangered Species Act Requirements, Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes, https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2020-28742, MODS: Government Publishing Office metadata, https://www.fws.gov/​birds/​management/​managed-species/​double-crested-cormorants.php, https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/​resource/​document/​consultation-remand-operation-federal-columbia-river-power-system, https://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/​bbs/​bbs.html, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Division of Resources Management, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Fish and Wildlife Management Board, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Pacific Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. As requests to take cormorants increase, the use of multiple individual depredation permits to address conflicts within State and Tribal jurisdictions will become increasingly time-consuming and burdensome. Take of double-crested cormorants may occur by means of humane lethal take or active nest take. Reducing their overall abundance does not guarantee that conflicts in specific areas will decrease. Cormorants are migratory waterbirds protected by the MBTA. Numerous nonlethal means, such as harassment, use of effigies, habitat modification, and others, are available to landowners who maintain animals in natural-like environments. The new special cormorant permit would be optional and available to State and Tribal fish and wildlife agencies in the 48 contiguous States to manage conflicts specifically associated with cormorants. The State or Tribe must submit the annual report to the appropriate Migratory Bird Permit Office (see § 2.2 of this subchapter). USFWS Migratory Bird, Ecological Services, and Law Enforcement programs will be required before a permit may be issued. This Commission further states Alternative D is ideal to maximize flexibility in protecting out-migrating juvenile salmon and steelhead as it includes all lands where cormorants impact fisheries resources throughout the Columbia River basin. ), (c) habitat management (e.g., vegetative barriers, grass management, prey management, etc. include documents scheduled for later issues, at the request These methods, such as habitat management and dispersal, must be tried or deemed likely to be ineffective. 3. The Central Flyway Council recommended annual reporting of control activities conducted under each permit, similar to what was required in the past, and a periodic cormorant population assessment at a decadal interval while encouraging the Service to explore the efficacy of existing monitoring programs. This permit does not apply to any efforts to prevent depredation or harm to privately owned animals (e.g., hobby animals, pets, or similar categories of animals) that are raised free-range or otherwise released to the wild. USFWS. The Service determined this threshold by using a Potential Take Limit (PTL) model, which uses underlying cormorant population metrics (productive rates, survival rates, etc.) documents in the last year, 355 This site is also protected by an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate that’s been signed by the U.S. government. Regarding the comment suggesting that some landowners may unlawfully take cormorants if they do not receive authorization to do so from the Service, we recognize that this activity may occur, but we can neither prevent unlawful activity nor predict where and when unlawful activity would occur in such cases. Any State or Tribal fish and wildlife agency wishing to obtain a permit must submit an application (FWS Form 3-200-90) to the appropriate Regional Director containing the general information and certification required by 50 CFR 13.12(a) plus the following information: a. Available at: https://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/​bbs/​bbs.html. 2003. Any State or federally recognized Tribal fish and wildlife agency wishing to obtain a permit must submit an application (FWS Form 3-200-90) to the appropriate Regional Director (see § 13.11(b) of this subchapter) containing the general information and certification required by § 13.12(a) of this subchapter plus the following information: (1) A description of your State's or Tribe's double-crested cormorant conflicts, including physical location(s) and type of conflict specified in paragraph (a) of this section; (2) A detailed description of the nonlethal methods (i.e., active hazing, passive hazing, habitat management, and changes in management practices) you have and/or will implement and how take activities will address one or more of the issues specified in paragraph (a) of this section; (3) The requested annual take of double-crested cormorants by life-stage, including eggs and nests; (4) A description of long-term plans to eliminate or significantly reduce continued need to take double-crested cormorants; (5) A statement indicating that the State or Tribe will inform and brief all employees and subpermittees of the requirements of these regulations and permit conditions; (6) A list of all subpermittees who may conduct activities under the special double-crested cormorant permit, including their names, addresses, and telephone numbers; and. Permittees may also consult with USDA Wildlife Services for additional assistance to determine when nonlethal methods are insufficient. This permit does not allow for birds or their parts or nests/eggs to be sold, offered for sale, bartered, or shipped for the purpose of sale or barter. For example, two State agencies recommended rewording “wild and publicly stocked fish stocked by State agencies or Tribes” to “wild and stocked fish managed by State agencies or Tribes.” Another separate State agency stated that a State agency may need to apply control of cormorants on public waters, which can occur in cases where a State does not own the land, and recommends the final rule language be revised from, “Lands under the jurisdiction of the State,” to “Lands and/or public waters under the jurisdiction of the State.” Similarly, another State agency sought clarification on the language used in the proposed rule, and referenced “state or tribal lands” and “respective jurisdiction.”. The Service will make every effort to align coordination with the Flyway Councils around their meetings throughout the calendar year. State and Tribal employees and approved subpermittees may conduct management activities, including lethal take, at any time of year. Often, a combination of measures is the most effective way to address conflicts associated with cormorants. Crows are migratory birds and as such, are a federally-protected species. This permit would provide State and Tribal fish and wildlife agencies flexibility within predefined guidelines to address conflicts caused by cormorants within their jurisdictions. Private landowners may apply for a depredation permit (50 CFR 21.41) to alleviate damage to some types of property (i.e., buildings and infrastructure; vehicles and equipment; some types of vegetation; and display animals, such as those in zoo exhibits). 13211 and would not significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. 12. 4321-4347). The Service's purpose and need for this action, however, is to provide the flexibility for a State or Tribe to address spatial and temporal complexity of conflicts. Permittees need not submit a Form 37 for renewal applications unless requested by the regional Migratory Bird Permit Office. By authorizing conflict-management activities at the State or Tribal level, instead of at the Department of the Interior Regional level, management activities will be more responsive and timely than is currently the case. Comments and our responses pertaining to information collection are also set forth below in this document in Required Determinations, under Paperwork Reduction Act, as a majority of those comments pertained to information collection issues. In expanding authority given to the States and Tribes via this permit, workload burdens may shift with more being borne by the States and Tribes and less by the Service. Apply for a bird banding permit. 14. The 2020 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permits (valid from August 1, 2020 until June 30, 2021) will be sent to the purchaser by e-mail within a few minutes following your online purchase. It was viewed 12 times while on Public Inspection. Existing research findings and publications detailing appropriate nonlethal methods and/or models for reducing conflicts should be used to justify activities. One State agency recommended that the Service include private recreational pond owners in the scope of the new permit. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) had previously determined that a reduced cormorant population of 5,380 to 5,939 breeding pairs on East Sand Island in the Columbia River Estuary would restore juvenile steelhead survival to the environmental baseline levels (NOAA Fisheries 2014), and the Service authorized lethal take at levels that attempted to achieve that colony abundance. The depredation order for public resources was previously located at 50 CFR 21.48. With respect to the comments on the error in the pre-breeding multiplier, two errors were found in the formula. This repetition of headings to form internal navigation links The Court concluded that the Service failed to consider a reasonable range of alternatives in its 2014 environmental assessment (EA) and directed the Service to take “a hard look” at the effects of the depredation orders on double-crested cormorant populations and other affected resources. Agency Response to Geographic and Temporal Scope Comments: The new permit would be available to all States and federally recognized Tribes in the contiguous 48 States. Ziolkowski, Jr., K.L. by the Federal Housing Finance Agency Commercial aquaculture facilities would continue to have the ability to apply for individual depredation permits (50 CFR 21.41) from the Service. Cormorants may be able to stay and forage longer in northern portions of the Interior and Atlantic subpopulations, and it is possible that breeding seasons may lengthen. North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS). Any other species of bird taken incidentally to double-crested cormorant management activities under this permit, along with the numbers of birds taken of those species, also must be reported. This document has been published in the Federal Register. The regulations became effective in November 2003. Management of cormorants in the western United States (Western population, P. albociliatus) is also through site-specific, case-by-case permits. This rule is not an E.O. Another State agency noted that it does not desire the authority to issue take permits to other entities within their State to address aquaculture conflicts, property damage, nuisance, or human safety issues. offers a preview of documents scheduled to appear in the next day's The Service must be capable of tracking take by all authorization mechanisms available throughout the year. This alternative would provide State wildlife management agencies and Tribes flexibility within predefined guidelines to address conflicts caused by cormorants within their jurisdictions. Since a tracking system is not currently in place, this alternative is not ripe for decision. We evaluated this regulation in accordance with the criteria of NEPA, the Department of the Interior regulations on implementation of NEPA (43 CFR 46.10-46.450), and the Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 8). 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