[Federal Register: August 21, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 162)]
[Page 50546-50547]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Notice of Availability; Draft Environmental Impact Statement on 
Resident Canada Goose Management; Reopening of Comment Period

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability for public comment; reopening of comment 


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is reopening the 
comment period on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) which 
is available for public review. The DEIS analyzes the potential 
environmental impacts of alternative strategies to reduce, manage, and 
control resident Canada goose populations in the continental United 
States and to reduce goose-related damages. The analysis provided in 
the DEIS is intended to accomplish the following: inform the public of 
the proposed action and alternatives; address public comment received 
during the scoping period; and disclose the direct, indirect, and 
cumulative environmental effects of the proposed actions and each of 
the alternatives. The Service invites the public to comment on the 

DATES: Written comments on the DEIS must be received on or before 
October 20, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Requests for copies of the DEIS should be mailed to Chief, 
Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Department of the Interior, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, MBSP-4107, 
Arlington, Virginia 22203. Copies of the DEIS can be downloaded from 
the Division of Migratory Bird Management Web site at http://migratorybirds.fws.gov.
 Comments on the DEIS should be sent to the 
above address. Alternatively, comments may be submitted electronically 
to the following address: canada_goose_eis@fws.gov.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Millsap, Chief, Division of 
Migratory Bird Management, or Ron Kokel (703) 358-1714.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 1, 2002 (67 FR 9448), and March 7, 
2002 (67 FR 10431), notices were published in the Federal Register 
announcing the availability of our DEIS on resident Canada goose 
management. On March 26, 2002 (67 FR 13792), we published a notice in 
the Federal Register to announce the schedule of public hearings to 
invite further public participation in the DEIS review process.
    The DEIS evaluates alternative strategies to reduce, manage, and 
control resident Canada goose populations in the continental United 
States and to reduce goose-related damages. The objective of the DEIS 
is to provide a regulatory mechanism that would allow State and local 
agencies, other Federal agencies, and groups and individuals to respond 
to damage complaints or damages by resident Canada geese. The DEIS is a 
comprehensive programmatic plan intended to guide and intended to guide 
and direct resident Canada goose population growth and management 
activities in the conterminous United States. The DEIS analyzes seven 
management alternatives: (1) No Action (Alternative A); (2) Increase 
Use of Nonlethal Control and Management (excludes all permitted 
activities) (Alternative B); (3) Increase Use of Nonlethal Control and 
Management (continue permitting of those activities generally 
considered nonlethal) (Alternative C); (4) New Regulatory Options to 
Expand Hunting Methods and Opportunities (Alternative D); (5) 
Integrated Depredation Order Management (consisting of an Airport 
Depredation Order, a Nest and Egg Depredation Order, an Agricultural 
Depredation Order, and a Public Health Depredation Order) (Alternative 
E); (6) State Empowerment (Proposed Action) (Alternative F); and (7) 
General Depredation Order (Alternative G). Alternatives were analyzed 
with regard to their potential impacts on resident Canada geese, other 
wildlife species, natural resources, special status species, 
socioeconomics, historical resources, and cultural resources.
    Our proposed action (Alternative F) would establish a regulation 
authorizing State wildlife agencies (or their authorized agents) to 
conduct (or allow) management activities, including the take of birds, 
on resident Canada goose populations when necessary to protect human 
health and safety; protect personal property, agricultural crops, and 
other interests from injury; and allow resolution or prevention of 
injury to people, property, agricultural crops, or other interests from 
resident Canada geese; and to reduce resident Canada goose populations 
within management objectives. Control and management activities include 
indirect and/or direct population control strategies such as aggressive 
harassment, trapping and relocation, nest and egg destruction, gosling 
and adult trapping and culling programs, or other general population 
reduction strategies. The intent of

[[Page 50547]]

Alternative F is to allow State wildlife management agencies sufficient 
flexibility, within predefined guidelines, to deal with problems caused 
by resident Canada geese within their respective States. Other 
guidelines under Alternative F would include criteria for such 
activities as control options for taking geese during the portion of 
the Migratory Bird Treaty closed period (August 1-31), airport, 
agricultural, and public health control, and the non-permitted take of 
nests and eggs.
    We are publishing simultaneously a proposed rule in the Federal 
Register that would implement our preferred alternative. Because of the 
publishing of the proposed rule, we have reopened the comment period on 
the DEIS. The Service invites careful consideration by all parties, and 
welcomes serious scrutiny from those committed to the long-term 
conservation of migratory birds.
    In order to be considered, electronic submission of comments must 
include your name and postal mailing address; we will not consider 
anonymous comments. All comments received including names and 
addresses, will become part of the public record. The public may 
inspect comments during normal business hours at the Service's office 
in Room 4701, 4501 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia. Requests 
for such comments 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)]. Our practice 
is to make all comments available for public inspection during regular 
business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold 
their 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 

    Dated: July 1, 2003.
Steve Williams,
[FR Doc. 03-21269 Filed 8-20-03; 8:45 am]