[Federal Register: November 18, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 222)]
[Page 69985-69986]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement on Resident 
Canada Goose Management

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

[[Page 69986]]

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: This notice is to announce the availability of a Final 
Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on resident Canada goose 
management. We published the Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
(DEIS) in March 2002. We considered over 2,700 public comments in 
revising the document.

DATES: The public inspection period for the FEIS will last 30 days and 
will end on December 19, 2005.

ADDRESSES: The document is available from the Division of Migratory 
Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax 
Drive, Mail Stop 4107--MBSP, Arlington, Virginia 22203-1610. It is also 
available on the Division of Migratory Bird Management Web page at 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ron W. Kokel, Division of Migratory 
Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, at 703-358-1967.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FEIS 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 FEIS 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 FEIS is a comprehensive programmatic plan intended to 
guide and direct resident Canada goose population growth and management 
activities in the conterminous United States. The FEIS 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 (continued permitting of those activities generally 
considered nonlethal) (Alternative C); (4) Expanded Hunting Methods and 
Opportunities (Alternative D); (5) Control and Depredation Order 
Management (consisting of an Airport Control Order, a Nest and Egg 
Depredation Order, an Agricultural Depredation Order, and a Public 
Health Control Order) (Alternative E); (6) Integrated Damage Management 
and Population Control (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 new 
regulation with three main program components. The first component 
would be targeted to address resident Canada goose depredation, damage, 
and conflict management by authorizing or establishing specific 
resident Canada goose Control and Depredation Orders. The second 
component would be targeted to increase the sport harvest of resident 
Canada geese by providing new regulatory options to State wildlife 
management agencies and Tribal entities by authorizing the use of 
additional hunting methods. The third component would consist of a new 
regulation authorizing a resident Canada goose population control 
program, or management take. Management take is defined as a special 
management action that is needed to reduce certain wildlife populations 
when traditional management programs are unsuccessful in preventing 
overabundance of the population. The management take program would be 
implemented under the authority of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to 
reduce and stabilize resident Canada goose populations. The intent of 
the program is to reduce resident Canada goose populations in order to 
protect personal property and agricultural crops, protect other 
interests from injury, resolve or prevent injury to people, property, 
agricultural crops, or other interests from resident Canada geese, and 
contribute to potential concerns about human health.
    On March 1, 2002 (67 FR 9448), the Environmental Protection Agency 
published a Notice of Availability of our DEIS. On March 7, 2002 (67 FR 
10431), we published our own Notice of Availability of the DEIS. We 
published a Notice of Meetings on the DEIS on March 26, 2002 (67 FR 
13792). Initial comments were accepted until May 30, 2002. We 
subsequently published another Notice of Availability reopening the 
comment period on August 21, 2003 (68 FR 50546). Also on August 21, 
2003, we published a proposed rule regarding control and management of 
resident Canada goose populations (68 FR 50496). Comments were accepted 
on both the DEIS and the proposed rule until October 20, 2003.
    We received public comments on the DEIS from 2,657 private 
individuals, 33 State wildlife resource agencies, 37 nongovernmental 
organizations, 29 local governments, 5 Federal or State legislators, 4 
Flyway Councils, 4 Federal agencies, 3 tribes, 3 businesses, and 2 
State agricultural agencies. Of the 2,657 comments received from 
private individuals, 56% opposed the preferred alternative and 
supported only nonlethal control and management alternatives, while 40% 
supported either the proposed alternative or a general depredation 
    We modified the DEIS to respond to concerns and issues expressed by 
individuals, agencies, and organizations. Most notably, we excluded 
States in the Pacific Flyway from some of the available management 
components and shifted implementation and responsibility on some of the 
program components from the State to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service. Our proposed action remains Alternative F. A Record of 
Decision and final rule will be published after the inspection period 
(see DATES section).

    Dated: October 17, 2005.
Matt Hogan,
Deputy Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 05-22813 Filed 11-17-05; 8:45 am]