[Federal Register: August 20, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 161)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 43554-43555]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 14

RIN 1018-AH75

Conferring Designated Port Status on Anchorage, AK

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of hearing.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, propose to make 
Anchorage, Alaska, a designated port under section 9(f) of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973. This action would allow the direct 
importation and exportation of wildlife through this growing 
international port. We are proposing to amend the regulations in 50 CFR 
Part 14 to reflect this designation. We will hold a public hearing to 
collect comments on this change. We also seek written comments from the 

DATES: Submit comments on or before September 19, 2001. A public 
hearing will be held at 6 PM, September 17, 2001. Submit requests to 
present oral testimony at this hearing on or before August 30, 2001. 
See Supplementary Information section for more information on the 
public hearing.

ADDRESSES: Comments and materials concerning this proposal should be 
sent to: SAC-Branch of Investigations, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Office of Law Enforcement, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 500, 
Arlington, Virginia 22203. Comments and materials may be hand-delivered 
to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 
500, Arlington, Virginia, between the hours of 8 A.M. and 4 P.M., 
Monday through Friday. For public hearing comments or testimony, see 
Supplementary Information section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Special Agent Steve Oberholtzer (703) 
358-1949, or Special Agent Stanley Pruszenski, Assistant Regional 
Director for Law Enforcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Anchorage, Alaska (907) 786-3311.



    The Endangered Species Act requires that all fish and wildlife, 
with only limited exceptions, be imported and exported through 
designated ports. Designated ports facilitate U.S. efforts to monitor 
wildlife trade and enforce wildlife protection laws and regulations by 
funneling wildlife shipments through a limited number of locations. The 
Secretary of the Interior, with approval of the Secretary of the 
Treasury, designates ports for wildlife trade by regulation after 
holding a public hearing and collecting and considering public 
comments. The Service presently has 13 designated ports of entry for 
the importation and exportation of wildlife: Los Angeles, California; 
San Francisco, California; Miami, Florida; Honolulu, Hawaii; Chicago, 
Illinois; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York, New York; Seattle, 
Washington; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; Portland, Oregon; Baltimore, 
Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; and Atlanta, Georgia. The Service 
maintains a staff of wildlife inspectors at each designated port to 
inspect and clear wildlife shipments.
    Regulatory exceptions allow certain types of wildlife shipments to 
enter or leave the country through ports which are not designated. 
Under certain conditions, importers and exporters can obtain a permit 
from the Service authorizing their use of non-designated ports. The 
importer or exporter will accrue additional fees associated with the 
inspection and permit authorizing use of a non-designated port.

Need for Proposed Rulemaking

    The proximity of Anchorage to the Asian continent has prompted the 
State of Alaska, the City of Anchorage, and private groups such as 
international express carriers, the Alaskan tourism industry, and the 
outdoor recreational industry to target foreign trade markets as a way 
to bring increased economic growth to Anchorage. Stevens International 
Airport is expanding and a 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse is being 
constructed to accommodate both the growth in airline passengers and 
the 20 million tons of air freight that already pass through Anchorage 
each year. This volume is one of the highest for any airport in the 
United States, and future increases of 11.1 percent per year are 
projected. International cargo off loaded in Anchorage has been 
estimated at 341 million pounds for the year 2000.
    Two large Anchorage international express carriers have regional 
hubs in Anchorage. The volume of international shipments handled by 
these facilities has increased from 18 to 22 percent each year over the 
last five years. Parallel growth has occurred in the number of wildlife 
shipments. Since the Service charges higher fees for inspecting and 
clearing shipments at Anchorage and other non-designated ports, 
wildlife importers using these facilities have asked that over 70 
percent of their shipments be cleared at designated ports of entry in 
the lower 48 states. Making Anchorage a designated port will facilitate 
clearance of these shipments and reduce costs for all importers and 
exporters bringing wildlife through this city.
    Increases in international visitors to Alaska have also affected 
the number of wildlife shipments requiring clearance. The number of 
U.S. and foreign hunters requesting clearance of wildlife trophies in 
Anchorage has increased by nearly 300 percent in the last five years. 
The number of foreign hunters exporting Alaskan big game trophies has 
jumped by 73 percent, adding substantially to the total number of 
wildlife shipments cleared in Anchorage.
    The Service's data for fiscal year 2000 show that the port of 
Anchorage handled a total of 3,555 wildlife shipments with a declared 
value of $9.3 million. Anchorage has the highest number of declared 
wildlife shipments per wildlife inspector of any port in the Nation. 
The Service projects that the number of wildlife shipments will triple 
over the next three to five years following the establishment of 
Anchorage as a designated port. This projection is based on trends 
associated with the designation of the ports of Dallas-Fort Worth, 
Portland, and Atlanta.
    Existing and projected increases in air and express cargo along 
with substantial growth in the number of airline passengers, 
international visitors, and hunters seeking clearance of wildlife

[[Page 43555]]

imports and exports justify the proposed designation of the port of 
Anchorage. This change will improve service to international mail 
carriers, small businesses, and the public while maintaining effective 
regulation of U.S. wildlife trade.

Notice of Public Hearing

    Section 9(f) of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1538(f)(1), 
requires that the public be given an opportunity to comment at a public 
hearing before the Secretary of the Interior confers designated port 
status on any port. Accordingly, the Service has scheduled a public 
hearing for September 17, 2001, from 6 PM to 8 PM. The hearing will be 
held at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conference room located at 
1011 East Tudor Road, Room 157, Anchorage, Alaska, 99503, (907) 786-
3311. All interested persons wishing to present oral or written 
comments at this hearing should request approval in writing by August 
30, 2001. The address for requesting approval is: Assistant Regional 
Director for Law Enforcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 East 
Tudor Road, Room 155, Anchorage, Alaska 99503. If they desire, persons 
requesting approval may submit a written copy of their proposed oral 

Required Determinations

    This rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866. In accordance with the 
criteria in Executive Order 12866, this proposed rule is not a 
significant regulatory action.
    The Department of the Interior (Department) has determined that 
this proposed rule will not have a significant economic effect on a 
substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The Service anticipates that the addition 
of the port of Anchorage to the list of Service designated ports for 
the importation and exportation of wildlife will have no adverse effect 
upon individual industries and cause no demographic changes in 
populations. In addition, the Service anticipates that this proposal 
will not increase direct costs for small entities and will have no 
effect upon information collection and record keeping requirements. In 
light of this analysis, the Service has determined that the proposed 
rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial 
number of small entities as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 
5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.
    This proposed rule has no private property takings implications as 
defined in Executive Order 12630. The only effect of this rule will be 
to make it easier for businesses to import and export wildlife directly 
through Anchorage, Alaska.
    This action does not contain any federalism impacts as described in 
Executive Order 13132.
    This proposed rule does not contain any information collection 
requirements that require approval by the Office of Management and 
Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.
    The proposed changes in the regulations in part 14 are regulatory 
and enforcement actions covered by a categorical exclusion from 
National Environmental Policy Act procedures under 516 Department 
Manual, Chapter 2, Appendix 1.10.
    The proposed changes have no environmental justice implications 
under Executive Order 12988.
    A determination has been made under Section 7 of the Endangered 
Species Act that the proposed revision of Part 14 will not affect 
federally listed species.
    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 
et seq.), this rule, as proposed, will not ``significantly or 
uniquely'' affect small governments.
    This proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Act.
    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, 
``Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal 
Governments'' (59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175, and 512 DM 2, we 
have evaluated possible effects on Federally recognized Indian tribes 
and have determined that there are no effects. Individual tribal 
members are subject to the same regulatory requirements as other 
individuals who engage in the import and export of wildlife.


    The originator of this proposed rule is Special Agent Steve 
Oberholtzer, Division of Law Enforcement , U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Washington, DC.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 14

    Animal welfare, Exports, Fish, Imports, Labeling, Reporting and 
record keeping requirements, Transportation, Wildlife.

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Service proposes to 
amend Chapter I, subchapter B of Title 50 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations as set forth below.


    1. The authority citation for Part 14 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 668, 704, 712, 1382, 1538(d)-(f), 1540(f), 
3371-3378, 4223-4244, and 4901-4916; 18 U.S.C. 42; 31 U.S.C. 9701.

    2. Amend Sec. 14.12 by adding paragraph (n) to read as follows:

Sec. 14.12  Designated ports.

* * * * *
    (n) Anchorage, Alaska.

    Dated: July 20, 2001.
Joseph E. Doddridge,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 01-20870 Filed 8-17-01; 8:45 am]