[Federal Register: July 18, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 137)]
[Page 39439-39440]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Final Environmental Impact Statement on Light Goose Management

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of final environmental impact statement 
on light goose management.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public of the availability of the 
Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on light goose management. 
The FEIS follows publication of the Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement (DEIS) and a proposed rule, each of which had extensive 
public comments periods. The FEIS analyzes the potential environmental 
impacts of several management alternatives for addressing problems 
associated with overabundant light goose populations. The FEIS analyzes 
the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts related to several 
management alternatives and provides the public with responses to 
comments received on the DEIS.

DATES: The public review period for the FEIS will end August 13, 2007. 
After that date, we will publish a Record of Decision and a final rule.

ADDRESSES: You can obtain a copy of the FEIS by writing to the Division 
of Migratory Bird Management, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MBSP-4107, 
Arlington, VA 22203; by e-mailing us at: LightGooseEIS@fws.gov; or by 
calling us at (703) 358-1714. We will also post the FEIS on our Web 
site at: http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/issues/snowgse/tblcont.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Blohm, Chief, Division of 
Migratory Bird Management, (703) 358-1714; or James Kelley (612) 713-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 13, 1999, we published a notice in 
the Federal Register announcing our intent to prepare an EIS to address 
population expansion by light goose populations (64 FR 26268). On 
September 28, 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published 
a notice of availability of our DEIS on light goose management (66 FR 
49668). We followed the EPA notice with our own notice of availability 
of the DEIS on October 5, 2001, and provided for a public comment 
period that ended on November 28, 2001 (66 FR 51274). On December 10, 
2001, we published a notice extending the public comment period to 
January 25, 2002 (66 FR 63723). On July 13, 2007, EPA published a 
notice of availability of our FEIS (72 FR 38576).
    The DEIS evaluated four management alternatives to address habitat 
destruction and agricultural depredations caused by light geese on 
various breeding, migration, and wintering areas: (1) Take no Action, 
or a continuation to manage light goose populations through existing 
wildlife management policies and practices (Alternative A); (2) Modify 
harvest regulation options and refuge management (Alternative B) 
(proposed action); (3) Implement direct agency control of light goose 
populations on migration and wintering areas in the U.S. (Alternative 
C); or (4) Seek direct light goose population control on breeding 
grounds in Canada (Alternative D). Our proposed alternative 
(Alternative B) would modify existing light goose hunting regulations 
to expand methods of take during normal hunting season frameworks. In 
addition, we proposed to create a conservation order to allow take of 
light geese outside of normal hunting season frameworks. We would also 
modify management practices on certain National Wildlife Refuges to 
alter the availability of food and sanctuary to light geese. On October 
12, 2001, we published a proposed rule that summarized these 
alternatives in more detail, and outlined how we proposed to amend 
parts 20 and 21 of subchapter B, chapter I, title 50 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (66 FR 52077).
    In response to public comments that the alternatives we analyzed in 
the DEIS were mutually exclusive and did not represent a comprehensive 
management approach, we created a new alternative (Alternative E) in 
the FEIS that combined Alternatives B, C, and D. Alternative E would 
achieve light goose control using an integrated, two-phased approach 
involving increased harvest resulting from new regulatory tools (e.g. 
conservation order), changes in refuge management, and direct agency 
control. Phase 1 of Alternative E is identical to Alternative B, 
whereas phase 2 includes elements of Alternatives C and D. We envision 
that no more than 5 years would elapse in phase 1 before we evaluate 
the effectiveness of the light goose management program and assess the 
potential need for proceeding to phase 2. Because we have no 
jurisdiction over management actions in Canada (Alternative D), we 
would begin phase 2 with the actions outlined in Alternative C. If 
additional population control actions are required to achieve 
management goals, we would approach the Canadian Wildlife Service and 
urge implementation of actions outlined in

[[Page 39440]]

Alternative D. The FEIS describes Alternatives A-E in more detail and 
analyzes the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts related to each 
alternative. The FEIS also provides the public with responses to 
comments received on the DEIS.

    Dated: June 4, 2007.
Kenneth Stansell,
Acting Director.
[FR Doc. E7-13935 Filed 7-17-07; 8:45 am]