[Federal Register: December 19, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 244)]
[Page 65510-65511]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Migratory Bird Permits; Draft Environmental Impact Statement on 
Double-crested Cormorant Management

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of meetings; extension of comment period.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we) invites 
public participation in public meetings associated with the comment 
period for a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on double-
crested cormorant management. The DEIS has been prepared under the 
authority of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Migratory 
Bird Treaty Act and analyzes the potential environmental impacts of 
several management alternatives to address conflicts associated with 
double-crested cormorants. This notice describes the proposed action 
and the other five management alternatives analyzed in the DEIS; 
identifies the locations, dates, and times of public meetings; and 
identifies the Service official to whom comments may be directed.

DATES: Written comments regarding the DEIS should be submitted by 
February 28, 2002, to the address below. Dates and times for ten public 
meetings are listed in the table under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

ADDRESSES: Requests for copies of the DEIS should be mailed to Chief, 
Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
4401 N. Fairfax Dr., Room 634, Arlington, VA 22203. Written comments on 
the DEIS can be sent by the following two methods:
    (1) By mail to the above address; or
    (2) By email to: cormorant_eis@fws.gov.
    Please include your name and mailing address in all comments 
submitted; anonymous comments will not be considered. The public 
meetings will be held at the locations listed in the table under 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jon Andrew, Division of Migratory Bird 
Management, (703) 358-1714.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 8, 1999, we published a notice 
of intent in the Federal Register (64 FR 60826) to prepare an EIS and 
national management plan for double-crested cormorants in the 
contiguous United States. This notice began the public scoping period, 
during which we received over 1,400 written comments and held scoping 
meetings attended by over 700 individuals. On December 3, 2001, we 
notified the public of the availability of the DEIS in the Federal 
Register (66 FR 60218). In this notice, we indicated that the comment 
period would end on January 15, 2002. However, due to the timing of 
public meetings and requests from the public, we are extending the 
comment period to February 28, 2002. In preparation of the Final 
Environmental Impact Statement, we will consider all public comments 
received on or before this date.
    All comments received, including names and addresses, will become 
part of the public record. The public may inspect comments during 
normal business hours in Room 634, Arlington Square Building, 4401 N. 
Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia. Such requests will be handled in 
accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and the Council on 
Environmental Quality's National Environmental Policy Act regulations 
(40 CFR 1506.6(f)). Individual respondents may request that we withhold 
their name and/or home address from the record, which we will honor to 
the extent allowable by law. If a respondent wishes us to withhold his/
her name and/or address, this must be stated prominently at the 
beginning of the document.


    The DEIS describes and evaluates six alternatives for the purposes 
of reducing conflicts associated with cormorants, enhancing the 
flexibility of natural resource agencies to deal with cormorant 
conflicts, and ensuring the health and viability of cormorant 
populations. Alternatives, including the proposed action, were analyzed 
with regard to their potential impacts on cormorant populations, fish, 
other birds, vegetation, federally listed threatened and endangered 
species, water quality and human health, economic impacts (including 
aquaculture and sport fishing-related economies), fish hatcheries and 
environmental justice, property losses, and existence and aesthetic 
values. We analyzed the anticipated environmental effects of the 
following management alternatives: (1) Continue current cormorant 
management practices (No Action); (2) implement only non-lethal 
management techniques; (3) expand current cormorant damage management 
practices; (4) establish a new Depredation Order to address public 
resource conflicts (PROPOSED ACTION); (5) reduce regional cormorant 
populations; and (6) establish frameworks for a cormorant hunting 
    The proposed action would establish a Public Resource Depredation 
Order that allows State, Federal, and Tribal land management agencies 
to manage cormorants that are injurious to public resources such as 
fisheries, vegetation, and other wildlife species. Thus, control 
actions could take place without a federal permit on the agency's lands 
and waters or nearby private lands and waters (with appropriate 
landowner permission). Agencies that conduct control activities under 
the Public Resource Depredation Order would be subject to reporting and 
monitoring requirements, overseen by the Service. Additionally, under 
the proposed action, the current Aquaculture Depredation Order would be 
expanded to allow control of cormorants by wildlife damage 
professionals at winter roost sites; and Director's Order 27, 
restricting the use of depredation permits at public fish cultural 
facilities, would be revoked.

Public Meetings

    Ten public meetings will be held at the locations and times listed 

                  Date                               City                         Location                Time
January 7, 2002.........................  Green Bay, Wisconsin......  Ramada Plaza Hotel, 2750 Ramada    7:00 PM
January 8, 2002.........................  Mackinaw City, Michigan...  Hamilton Inn Select, 701 S.        7:00 PM
                                                                       Huron Avenue.
January 16, 2002........................  Washington, DC............  Main Interior Building            10:00 AM
                                                                       Auditorium, 1849 C Street, NW.
January 28, 2002........................  Jackson, Mississippi......  Ramada Inn Southwest, 1525         7:00 PM
                                                                       Ellis Avenue.
January 29, 2002........................  Little Rock, Arkansas.....  University of Arkansas,            7:00 PM
                                                                       Division of Agriculture,
                                                                       Cooperative Extension Service,
                                                                       2301 S. University Avenue.

[[Page 65511]]

February 4, 2002........................  Athens, Texas.............  Texas Freshwater Fisheries         7:00 PM
                                                                       Center, 5550 Flat Creek Road
                                                                       (Farm Road 2495).
February 11, 2001.......................  South Burlington, Vermont.  Clarion Hotel, 1117 Williston      7:00 PM
February 12, 2002.......................  Watertown, New York.......  Dulles State Office Building,      7:00 PM
                                                                       317 Washington Street.
February 13, 2002.......................  Syracuse, New York........  Sheraton University Hotel, 801     7:00 PM
                                                                       University Avenue.
February 19, 2002.......................  Portland, Oregon..........  Doubletree Hotel-Lloyd Center,     7:00 PM
                                                                       1000 NE Multnomah.

    Dated: December 13, 2001.
Marshall Jones,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 01-31272 Filed 12-18-01; 8:45 am]