[Federal Register: December 20, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 243)]

[Proposed Rules]               

[Page 75892-75895]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]





Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 21

RIN 1018-AT63


Migratory Bird Permits; Determination That the State of 

Connecticut Meets Federal Falconry Standards

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: We propose to add the State of Connecticut to the list of 

States whose falconry laws meet or exceed Federal falconry standards. 

We have reviewed the Connecticut falconry regulations and have 

determined that they are in compliance with the regulations governing 

falconry. This action will enable citizens to apply for Federal and 

State falconry permits and to practice falconry in Connecticut.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed rule no later than 

January 19, 2005.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by RIN 1018-AT63, by any 

of the following methods:

     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 

Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

     Agency Web Site: http://migratorybirds.fws.gov. Follow the 

links to submit a comment.

     E-mail: connfalconryregs@fws.gov.

     Fax: 703-358-2217.

     Mail: Chief, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. 

Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop MBSP-

4107, Arlington, Virginia 22203-1610. You may inspect comments during 

normal business hours at the same address.

     Hand Delivery/Courier: Division of Migratory Bird 

Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4501 North Fairfax Drive, 

Room 4091, Arlington, Virginia 22203-1610.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include Regulatory 

Information Number (RIN) 1018-AT63 at the beginning. All comments 

received, including any personal information provided, will be 

available for public inspection at the above (``Hand Delivery/

Courier'') address. For detailed instructions on submitting comments 

and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the ``Public 

Participation'' heading in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of 

this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Millsap, Chief, Division of 

Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 703-358-

1714; Dr. George Allen, Wildlife Biologist, 703-358-1825; or Diane 

Pence, Regional Migratory Bird Coordinator, Hadley, Massachusetts, 413-




    The Fish and Wildlife Service is the Federal agency with the 

primary responsibility for managing migratory birds. Our authority is 

based on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) (16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.), 

which implements conventions with Great Britain (for Canada), Mexico, 

Japan, and the Soviet Union (Russia). Raptors (birds of prey) are 

afforded Federal protection by the 1972 amendment to the Convention for 

the Protection of Migratory Birds and Game Animals, February 7, 1936, 

United States--Mexico, as amended; the Convention between the United 

States and Japan for the Protection of Migratory Birds in Danger of 

Extinction and Their Environment, September 19, 1974; and the 

Convention Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet 

Socialist Republics (Russia) Concerning the Conservation of Migratory 

Birds and Their Environment, November 26, 1976.

    The taking and possession of raptors for falconry are strictly 

prohibited except as permitted under regulations implementing the MBTA. 

Raptors also may be protected by State regulations. Regulations 

governing the issuance of permits for migratory birds are authorized by 

the MBTA and subsequent regulations. They are in title 50, Code of 

Federal Regulations, parts 10, 13, 21, and (for eagle falconry) 22.

    Regulations in 50 CFR part 21 provide for review and approval of 

State falconry laws by the Fish and Wildlife Service. A list of States 

whose falconry laws are approved by the Service is found in 50 CFR 

21.29(k). The practice of falconry is authorized in those States. As 

provided in 50 CFR 21.29(a) and (c), the Director has reviewed 

certified copies of the falconry regulations

[[Page 75893]]

adopted by the State of Connecticut and has determined that they meet 

or exceed Federal falconry standards. Federal falconry standards 

contained in 50 CFR 21.29(d) through (i) include permit requirements, 

classes of permits, examination procedures, facilities and equipment 

standards, raptor marking restrictions, and raptor taking restrictions. 

Connecticut regulations also meet or exceed all restrictions or 

conditions found in 50 CFR 21.29(j), which include requirements on the 

number, species, acquisition, and marking of raptors. Therefore, we are 

proposing that the State of Connecticut be listed under Sec.  21.29(k) 

as a State that meets Federal falconry standards. Inclusion of 

Connecticut in this list would eliminate the current restriction that 

prohibits falconry in that State.

Why Is This Rulemaking Needed?

    The need for the proposed changes to 50 CFR 21.29(k) arose from the 

desire of the State of Connecticut to institute a falconry program for 

the benefit of citizens interested in the sport of falconry. 

Accordingly, the State promulgated regulations that we have concluded 

meet the Federal requirements protecting migratory birds. The proposed 

changes to 50 CFR 21.29(k) are necessary to allow persons in the State 

of Connecticut to practice falconry under the regulations the State 

submitted for approval.

Changes in the Regulations Governing Falconry

    We propose to add the State of Connecticut to the list of States 

with approved falconry regulations that will enable citizens to 

practice falconry in the State.

    Clarity of This Regulation. Executive Order 12866 requires each 

agency to write regulations that are easy to understand. We invite your 

comments on how to make this rule easier to understand, including 

answers to questions such as the following: (1) Are the requirements in 

the rule clearly stated? (2) Does the rule contain technical language 

or jargon that interferes with its clarity? (3) Does the format of the 

rule (grouping and order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing, 

etc.) aid or reduce its clarity? (4) Would the rule be easier to 

understand if it were divided into more (but shorter) sections? (A 

``section'' appears in bold type and is preceded by the symbol ``Sec.  

'' and a numbered heading; for example, ``Sec.  21.29 Falconry 

standards and falconry permitting.'') (5) Does the description of the 

rule in the ``Supplementary Information'' section of the preamble help 

you to understand the proposed rule? What else could we do to make the 

rule easier to understand?

    Send a copy of any comments that concern how we could make this 

rule easier to understand to: Office of Regulatory Affairs, Department 

of the Interior, Room 7229, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240. 

You also may e-mail comments to Exsec@ios.doi.gov.

    Regulatory Planning and Review. In accordance with the criteria in 

Executive Order 12866, this rule is not a significant regulatory 


    a. This rule will not have an annual economic effect of $100 

million or more or adversely affect an economic sector, productivity, 

jobs, the environment, or other units of government. A cost-benefit and 

economic analysis is not required. This rule will affect a limited 

number of potential falconers in Connecticut.

    b. This rule will not create inconsistencies with other agencies' 

actions. The rule deals solely with governance of falconry in 

Connecticut. No other Federal agency has any role in regulating 


    c. This rule will not materially affect entitlements, grants, user 

fees, loan programs, or the rights and obligations of their recipients. 

There are no entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs 

associated with the regulation of falconry.

    d. This rule will not raise novel legal or policy issues. This rule 

simply adds Connecticut to the list of States with approved falconry 


Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as 

amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 

(SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice 

of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make 

available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that 

describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small 

businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions). 

However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of 

an agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic 

impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. SBREFA amended 

the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a 

statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule will not have 

a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 

entities. We have examined this rule's potential effects on small 

entities as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and have 

determined that this action will not have a significant economic impact 

on a substantial number of small entities because the change will 

merely approve the falconry regulations for Connecticut and allow the 

practice of falconry there. This determination is based on the fact 

that we are simply adding one State to the list of States with approved 

falconry regulations. This rule will have no significant economic 

effect on a substantial number of small entities, and no regulatory 

flexibility analysis is required.

    This rule is not a major rule under SBREFA, 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    a. This rule does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 

million or more. Approval of the Connecticut regulations will have only 

a very small effect on the economy. We estimate that 20 individuals 

would obtain falconry permits as a result of this rule, and many of the 

expenditures of those permittees would accrue to small businesses. The 

maximum number of birds allowed by a falconer is three, so the maximum 

number of birds likely to be possessed is 60. Some birds would be taken 

from the wild, but others could be purchased. Using one of the more 

expensive birds, the northern goshawk, as an estimate, the cost to 

procure a single bird is less than $5,000, which, with an upper limit 

of 60 birds, translates into $300,000. Expenditures for building 

facilities would be less than $32,000 for 60 birds, and for care and 

feeding less than $60,000. These expenditures, totaling less than 

$400,000, represent an upper limit of potential economic impact from 

the addition of Connecticut to the list of approved States.

    b. This rule will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 

consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 

agencies, or geographic regions. The practice of falconry does not 

significantly affect costs or prices in any sector of the economy.

    c. This rule will not have significant adverse effects on 

competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the 

ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based 

enterprises. Falconry is an endeavor of private individuals. Neither 

regulation nor practice of falconry significantly affects business 


    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. In accordance with the Unfunded 

Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

[[Page 75894]]

    a. This rule will not ``significantly or uniquely'' affect small 

governments. A Small Government Agency Plan is not required. Falconry 

is an endeavor of private individuals. Neither regulation nor practice 

of falconry affects small government activities in any significant way.

    b. This rule will not produce a Federal mandate of $100 million or 

greater in any year, i.e., it is not a ``significant regulatory 

action'' under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

    Takings. In accordance with Executive Order 12630, the rule does 

not have significant takings implications. A takings implication 

assessment is not required. This rule does not contain a provision for 

taking of private property.

    Federalism. This rule does not have sufficient Federalism effects 

to warrant preparation of a Federalism assessment under Executive Order 

13132. It will not interfere with the State's ability to manage itself 

or its funds.

    Civil Justice Reform. In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the 

Office of the Solicitor has determined that the rule does not unduly 

burden the judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) 

and 3(b)(2) of the Order.

    Paperwork Reduction Act. We examined these regulations under the 

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. OMB has approved the information 

collection requirements of the Migratory Bird Permits Program and 

assigned clearance number 1018-0022, which expires 7/31/2007. This 

regulation does not change or add to the approved information 

collection. Information from the collection is used to document take of 

wild raptors for use in falconry and to document transfers of birds 

held for falconry between permittees. A Federal agency may not conduct 

or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of 

information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    National Environmental Policy Act. We have analyzed this rule in 

accordance with the criteria of the National Environmental Policy Act 

(NEPA) and Part 516 of the Department of the Interior Manual (DM). This 

rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting 

the quality of the human environment, and does not require the 

preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement or an Environmental 

Assessment (EA). We prepared an EA in July 1988 to support 

establishment of simpler, less restrictive regulations governing the 

use of most raptors in falconry. You can obtain a copy of the EA by 

contacting us at the address in the ADDRESSES section. This rule simply 

adds Connecticut to the list of States with approved falconry 

regulations. In the last five years we have added several States to the 

list of those with approved falconry regulations. Those additions 

generated few public or agency comments. We view this action as a 

routine action with precedent. Therefore, the action is categorically 

excluded under Department of the Interior NEPA procedures as an 

``amendment to an approved action when such changes have no or minor 

potential environmental impact'' (516 DM 6, Appendix 1.4 (A)(1)).

    Government-to-Government Relationship with Tribes. 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 

potential effects on Federally recognized Indian tribes and have 

determined that there are no potential effects. This rule will not 

interfere with the Tribes' ability to manage themselves or their funds 

or to regulate falconry on tribal lands.

    Energy Supply, Distribution or Use (Executive Order 13211). On May 

18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 on regulations 

that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and use. 

Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy 

Effects when undertaking certain actions. Because this rule only 

affects the practice of falconry in the United States, it is not a 

significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, and will not 

significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, 

this action is not a significant energy action and no Statement of 

Energy Effects is required.

Are There Environmental Consequences of the Proposed Action?

    The environmental impacts of this action are extremely limited.

    Socioeconomic. We do not expect this action to have discernible 

socioeconomic impacts.

    Raptor populations. This rule does not significantly alter the 

conduct of falconry in the United States. We believe that there only 

about 10 falconers or individuals interested in being falconers in 

Connecticut, and take of raptors for falconry in the State will be 

prohibited by the State falconry regulations. Therefore, this rule will 

have a negligible effect on raptor populations.

    Endangered and Threatened Species. The regulation change will not 

affect threatened or endangered species in Connecticut for the reasons 

set forth below.

Is This Rule in Compliance With Endangered Species Act Requirements?

    Yes. Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as 

amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires that ``The Secretary [of the 

Interior] shall review other programs administered by him and utilize 

such programs in furtherance of the purposes of this Act.'' It further 

states that the Secretary must ``insure that any action authorized, 

funded, or carried out * * * is not likely to jeopardize the continued 

existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in 

the destruction or adverse modification of [critical] habitat * * * '' 

The Division of Threatened and Endangered Species concurred with our 

finding that the revised regulations will not affect listed species.

    Author. The author of this rulemaking is Dr. George T. Allen, U.S. 

Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Bird Management, 4401 

North Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop MBSP-4107, Arlington, Virginia 22203-


    Public Participation. You may submit written comments on this rule 

to the location identified in the ADDRESSES section, or you may submit 

electronic comments to any of the electronic comments addresses listed 

in the ADDRESSES section. We must receive your comments before the date 

listed in the DATES section. All comments will become part of the 

Administrative Record for the review of the approval. When submitting 

electronic or written comments, refer to the file number RIN 1018-AT63.

    When submitting your electronic comment, please include your name 

and return address in your message, identify it as comments on the 

falconry regulations change, and submit your message as an ASCII file. 

Do not use special characters or any encryption. If you do not receive 

a confirmation from the system that we have received your electronic 

comments, you can contact us directly at 703-358-1714.

    When submitting written comments, please include your name and 

return address in your letter and identify it as comments on the 

falconry regulations change. To facilitate our compilation of the 

Administrative Record for this action, you must submit written comments 

on 8\1/2\ inch by 11 inch paper.

    All comments on the proposed rule will be available for public 

inspection during normal business hours at Room 4091 at the Fish and 

Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Bird Management,

[[Page 75895]]

4501 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22203-1610. The complete 

file for this proposed rule is available, by appointment, during normal 

business hours at the same address. You may call 703-358-1825 to make 

an appointment to view the files.

    Our practice is to make comments, including names and home 

addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular 

business hours. An individual respondent may request that we withhold 

his or her home address from the rulemaking record, which we will honor 

to the extent allowable by law. There also may be circumstances in 

which we would withhold from the rulemaking record a respondent's 

identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name 

and/or address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of 

your comment. We will make all submissions from organizations or 

businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as 

representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, available 

for public inspection in their entirety. We will not consider anonymous 


List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 21

    Exports, Hunting, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping 

requirements, Transportation, Wildlife.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, we propose to amend part 

21, subpart C, subchapter B, chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal 

Regulations, as set forth below:


    1. The authority citation for part 21 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 703-712; Pub. L. 106-108; 16 U.S.C. 668a.

Sec.  21.29  [Amended]

    2. Amend Sec.  21.29 by adding to paragraph (k) the word 

``Connecticut,'' between the words ``*Colorado,'' and ``*Delaware,''.

    Dated: December 10, 2004.

Craig Manson,

Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

[FR Doc. 04-27775 Filed 12-17-04; 8:45 am]