Therefore, creating a new State and Tribal cormorant permit would enable the Service to more efficiently respond to the needs of States and Tribes seeking relief from conflicts associated with Start Printed Page 85538cormorants. Any individual or entity conducting lethal take of cormorants under Start Printed Page 85537depredation permits or the depredation order was required to submit a report detailing the take to the Service annually. 2020. https://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/​. Box 25486, DFC 60154 Denver, CO 80225-0486 CORE Project Number 19-004 . 01/08/2021, 860 In response to increasing requests for depredation permits to alleviate damage and conflicts associated with cormorants, the Service issued a final environmental impact statement (FEIS) pursuant to NEPA and made changes to the regulations governing the take of cormorants in 2003. Actions may occur only when cormorants are committing or are about to commit depredations. 911 N.E. Lethal management should be considered as part of an integrated approach to managing cormorant conflicts and used only when other methods are insufficient to resolve conflicts. Exploitation. 2012. That rule was located at 50 CFR 21.47. Based on information received during the public comment period, the PTL model for the western subpopulation may not have captured complex and changing population dynamics precipitated by cormorant management in the Columbia River Estuary. 01/08/2021, 148 Agency Response to Development of Guidelines Concerns: The Service received many comments either in favor of or opposed to using nonlethal methods in all situations. Kendall, and J.D. Make note of the effective and expiration dates, number of wildlife allowed to be taken, approved disposal methods, approved subpermitees (if any), reporting requirements etc. ), (c) habitat management (e.g., vegetative barriers, grass management, prey management, etc. 13211 and would not significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. (4) How the agency might minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of response. States and Tribes and their subpermittees must make efforts to avoid disturbance to co-nesting species. g. The name and telephone number of the individual in your agency who will oversee the double-crested cormorant management activities authorized under the permit. Several entities and State agencies commented in support of an aquaculture depredation order in conjunction with a new special State and Tribal permit addressing conflicts associated with cormorants. 15. Journal of Wildlife Management 73:556-565. Specifically, some commenters requested that the Service require that permittees (individual or a new special permit for States and Tribes) “make progress” toward nonlethal solutions to conflicts as a condition of any permit. Another commenter asserted that nonlethal measures may work for a limited time period, but some birds may become habituated. Another State agency recommended that the Service develop and provide States with sampling protocols to assist with collecting and analyzing fish population data where cormorant control activities occur. documents in the last year, 776 The Pacific Flyway Council also noted a concern that the costs of permit management, reporting, and monitoring will detract from other species conservation work, which is already difficult due to limited funding. (3) How must States and Tribes dispose of or utilize cormorants taken under this permit? daily Federal Register on FederalRegister.gov will remain an unofficial However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of the agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Commercial entities, such as privately managed aquaculture facilities, would continue to have the opportunity to apply for individual depredation permits to address site-specific conflicts. Private property owners may apply for a depredation permit (50 CFR 21.41) to the Service to alleviate damage to some types of property (i.e., buildings and infrastructure, vehicles and equipment, and some types of vegetation). The application process involves the following steps: Step 1. Double-crested cormorants must be disposed of by donation to an entity authorized by permit or regulation to receive migratory birds, such as a public museum or public institution for scientific or educational purposes, or be destroyed completely by burial or incineration in accordance with Federal, State, and/or local laws and ordinances. The Service initiated development of the FEIS prior to the establishment of updated Council on Environmental Quality regulations on September 14, 2020, and, therefore, the FEIS is written to comply with the previous regulations. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or Tribal governments or the private sector, and the permit is optional to States and Tribes. Our DEIS discussed climate change, and we noted that there remains some uncertainty regarding effects of climate change, but the Service can estimate that there will likely be less water available in the Great Basin, and cormorant colonies may shift locations. Commercial aquaculture facilities would continue to have the ability to apply for individual depredation permits (50 CFR 21.41) from the Service. Comments from the Flyway Councils indicated an interest in being involved in the development of the Service's monitoring plans. Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 711. 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. 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. For example, the regional office to which a commercial aquaculture producer would apply can issue a permit for more than one State and across regional boundaries. Permittees are required to submit an annual report by January 31 for activities conducted during the preceding calendar year. NOAA Fisheries. Information sheet (PDF; 430.5 KB) FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE - MIGRATORY BIRD PERMIT OFFICE Return to: U.S. Information Collection Requirements: Written comments and suggestions on the information collection requirements should be submitted within 30 days of publication of this document to www.reginfo.gov/​public/​do/​PRAMain. 1531 et seq.) conducting your transaction by mail, 1. Document page views are updated periodically throughout the day and are cumulative counts for this document. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center—Bird Population Studies. SBA further stated that individual depredation permit applications are a significant burden for small businesses, citing lower take limits for cormorants and complications among Service regions in issuing permits. Only 100 percent corn oil, a substance exempted from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, may be used to oil eggs. U.S. Under the no action alternative, the Service expects continued or enhanced conflict between cormorants and some economically important fisheries across the nation, as well as at some hatchery release sites. This take can include any migratory birds -- except for eagles and threatened and endangered species. 5. In providing clarity to potential permittees about the necessary information applicants need to provide in the application, the Service clarifies that the application does not include language that permittees gather data to assess the efficacy of take. The OFR/GPO partnership is committed to presenting accurate and reliable Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways double-crested cormorant management plan. Take activities to prevent depredation on aquatic Species of Greatest Conservation Need may occur only in natural or public waters. The status of the population can be reassessed at 5-year intervals, and additionally as necessary, and there is a sound monitoring program in place for the western subpopulation, which can estimate how the western subpopulation responds to take subsequent to the habitat management in the Columbia River Estuary. Agency Response to Impact on Small Businesses Concerns: This collection associated with the new permit affects only State and Tribal governments, and does not impact small businesses. There are many levels of training that vary widely across the country that may be appropriate. Unless exempt under regulations at 50 CFR 21.12, you must o… Join Facebook to connect with Tammy Jones and others you may know. In addition, permittees must adhere to these provisions: (i) States and Tribes must implement nonlethal methods, and independently determine that those methods are insufficient at resolving depredation conflicts, before taking double-crested cormorants. The number of birds authorized for take for each subpopulation will depend on (a) the number of States that request a State permit, and (b) the number of birds each State/Tribe requests to take in order to minimize their particular conflict. The State or Tribe must submit an annual report (FWS Form 3-202-56) detailing activities and purpose for take, including the date birds were taken, numbers, and locations and life stage of birds, eggs, and nests taken and nonlethal techniques utilized, by January 31 for activities conducted during the preceding calendar year. This rule would not interfere with the States' or Tribes' abilities to manage themselves or their funds. 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. It also authorized USDA Wildlife Services' employees to take cormorants at roost sites in the vicinity of aquaculture facilities during October, November, December, January, February, March, and April. The Service does not have empirical information to quantify the changes in costs as a result of this new permit, because we do not know how many States and Tribes would avail themselves of this permit and the extent to which conflicts would be addressed using it. USFWS Migratory Bird, Ecological Services, and Law Enforcement programs will be required before a permit may be issued. Wildlife Services provides a “Form 37 Permit Review”. This table of contents is a navigational tool, processed from the Form Numbers: FWS Forms 3-200-90 and 3-202-56. The planned 5-year assessment will address this issue. 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, and require that the private property owner or occupant provide free and unrestricted access. Here's how you know. Agency Response to Permit Conditions: The Service views lethal control methods as a last resort for addressing conflicts between avian species and human interests. Take of double-crested cormorants under this section may not exceed the number authorized by the permit. States and Tribes must use nonlethal methods, and independently determine that those methods are insufficient in controlling the depredation conflict, before lethally taking double-crested cormorants. One State agency requested that the Service provide States seeking permits with a guide or Best Management Practices on nonlethal methods of resource protection. However, the Service understands that States and Tribes need clarity on the Service's expectations for an acceptable level of requested take in an application for a new permit. A separate State agency expressed concerns about the burden that the proposed permit will place on States to develop and maintain programs to manage allowable take (i.e., population monitoring, permitting, and reporting). WS provides technical assistance, or information and guidance, to callers with migratory bird conflicts. In addition to timing, the lack of reliable annual take from information under the previous depredation orders complicated our ability to assess the impacts of the orders on cormorant populations. Falconry permittees in States that have converted to the new State-permit-only regulations … This prototype edition of the 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. Lethal take of adults during the breeding season must occur prior to hatching of eggs to avoid the loss of adults that likely would result in orphaning chicks and their ultimate death due to starvation. 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. . WS will assist in making your request for a Migratory Bird Depredation Permit (Permit) when migratory birds cause site-specific damage. Double-crested cormorants killed and nests/eggs destroyed under the authority of this permit must be properly disposed of by donation to an entity authorized by permit or regulation to receive migratory birds, or be destroyed completely in accordance with Federal, State, and/or local laws and ordinances. (6) What are the reporting requirements of the permit? We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Of the 1,047 public comments submitted in response to the proposed rule and DEIS, we received 49 comments from the following entities in response to the DEIS that address the information collection requirements: As mentioned previously, we incorporate by reference comments and our responses in the 2020 FEIS associated with this rulemaking action, and address below those comments directly relevant to this rule. Please reference OMB Control Number 1018-0175 in the subject line of your comments. This permit would provide State wildlife management agencies and Tribes flexibility within predefined guidelines to address conflicts caused by cormorants within their jurisdictions. The Service will execute a Record of Decision no sooner than 30 days from the date of publication of the notice of availability of the FEIS by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Service therefore revised the language in the Start Printed Page 85550final rule to better encompass the lands and waters managed by State and Tribal fish and wildlife management agencies stating that, under this (special double-crested cormorant) permit, the Service authorizes State and Tribal fish and wildlife agencies to conduct lethal take of double-crested cormorants that is normally prohibited and is intended to relieve or prevent impacts from cormorants on lands or in waters managed by those agencies within their respective jurisdictions. Therefore, from October 2003 through May 2016, the Service authorized the take of cormorants pursuant to the two depredation orders (which covered certain States), through the issuance of depredation permits for activities in States not addressed in the two depredation orders, and through the issuance of scientific collecting permits (50 CFR 21.23). Specifically, the Service authorized approximately 2,300 cormorants to be lethally taken each year under depredation permits, scientific collecting permits, and special purpose permits. Take of double-crested cormorants may occur by means of humane lethal take or active nest take. The Service has difficulties estimating impacts to recreational fisheries because few studies have investigated direct economic impacts of cormorant management on recreational fisheries. As fish-eating birds, cormorant predation of fish occurs not only at aquaculture facilities, but also in private recreational ponds and large aquatic ecosystems. Lethal take may occur by firearm in accordance with paragraph (5) above or lethal or live traps. 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