[Federal Register: January 6, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 3)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 821-822]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 20

RIN 1018-AF25

Extension of Comment Period: Migratory Bird Hunting; Regulations 
To Increase Harvest of Mid-Continent Light Geese

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period.


SUMMARY: The Service is extending the comment period on the Federal 
Register rule dated November 9, 1998 (63 FR 60271). The rule invites 
public comments on the proposed changes to the migratory bird hunting 
regulations that authorize additional hunting methods (electronic 
callers and unplugged shotguns) during a normal open mid-continent 
light goose hunting season when all other migratory bird hunting 
seasons are closed.

DATES: The deadline for receipt of comments is extended from January 8, 
1999 to January 15, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be mailed to Chief, Office of Migratory Bird 
Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Interior, Ms 
634--ARLSQ, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, D.C. 20240. The public may 
inspect comments during normal business hours in room 634--Arlington 
Square Building, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia.

[[Page 822]]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Blohm, Acting Chief, Office of 
Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (703) 358-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Mid-continent lesser snow goose and 
Ross' goose population has nearly quadrupled in the last 30 years. The 
Western Central Flyway lesser snow and Ross' goose population also has 
quadrupled in the last 23 years. Collectively, these central and 
eastern arctic and subarctic-nesting light goose populations are 
referred to as Mid-continent light geese (MCLG). Due to high population 
growth rates, a decline in adult mortality, and an increase in winter 
survival, MCLG are now seriously injurious to their habitat and habitat 
important to other migratory birds which poses a serious threat to the 
short and long-term health and status of migratory bird populations. 
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or ``we'') believes that 
MCLG populations exceed long-term sustainable levels for their arctic 
and subarctic breeding habitats and the populations must be reduced.
    In a Federal Register notice dated November 9, 1998, we proposed to 
amend 50 CFR Part 21 to authorize the use of additional hunting methods 
(electronic callers and unplugged shotguns) during a normal open light-
goose hunting season when all other migratory bird hunting seasons are 
closed. We are concurrently proposing an additional but separate 
population reduction strategy. In addition to this proposed rule to 
amend 50 CFR Part 20, we are also proposing to amend 50 CFR Part 21 to 
authorize the use of a conservation order to increase take of MCLG. 
This proposal is also in the nature of a proposed rule and the 
extension of the comment period on the rule is published in this issue 
of the Federal Register. The combination of these two proposals is 
designed to increase MCLG harvest and to provide a biologically sound 
and cost effective and efficient method for the reduction and 
management of overabundant MCLG populations.
    We have received a request to extend the comment period on this 
rule. The Service invites careful consideration by all parties, and 
welcomes serious scrutiny from those committed to the long-term 
conservation of migratory birds. Therefore, to facilitate substantive 
public review, we are extending the comment period to January 15, 1999.

    Dated: December 30, 1998.
Thomas O. Melius,
Acting Director.
[FR Doc. 99-145 Filed 1-5-99; 8:45 am]