[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 83 (Wednesday, April 30, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 24511-24522]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-09572]

[[Page 24511]]

Vol. 79


No. 83

April 30, 2014

Part II

Department of the Interior


Fish and Wildlife Service


50 CFR Part 20

Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed 2014-15 Migratory Game Bird Hunting 
Regulations (Preliminary) With Requests for Indian Tribal Proposals and 
Requests for 2016 Spring and Summer Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest 
Proposals in Alaska; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 79 , No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 24512]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 20

[Docket No. FWS-R9-HQ-2014-00017; FF09M21200-134-FXMB1231099BPP0]
RIN 1018-AZ80

Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed 2014-15 Migratory Game Bird 
Hunting Regulations (Preliminary) With Requests for Indian Tribal 
Proposals and Requests for 2016 Spring and Summer Migratory Bird 
Subsistence Harvest Proposals in Alaska

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; availability of supplemental information.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (hereinafter the Service or 
we) proposes to establish annual hunting regulations for certain 
migratory game birds for the 2014-15 hunting season. We annually 
prescribe outside limits (frameworks) within which States may select 
hunting seasons. This proposed rule provides the regulatory schedule, 
describes the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2014-15 duck 
hunting seasons, requests proposals from Indian tribes that wish to 
establish special migratory game bird hunting regulations on Federal 
Indian reservations and ceded lands, and requests proposals for the 
2016 spring and summer migratory bird subsistence season in Alaska. 
Migratory game bird hunting seasons provide opportunities for 
recreation and sustenance; aid Federal, State, and tribal governments 
in the management of migratory game birds; and permit harvests at 
levels compatible with migratory game bird population status and 
habitat conditions.

DATES: You must submit comments on the proposed regulatory alternatives 
for the 2014-15 duck hunting seasons on or before June 27, 2014. 
Following subsequent Federal Register notices, you will be given an 
opportunity to submit comments for proposed early-season frameworks by 
July 29, 2014, and for proposed late-season frameworks and subsistence 
migratory bird seasons in Alaska by August 29, 2014. Tribes must submit 
proposals and related comments on or before June 5, 2014. Proposals 
from the Co-management Council for the 2016 spring and summer migratory 
bird subsistence harvest season must be submitted to the Flyway 
Councils and the Service on or before June 13, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposals by one of the 
following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS-HQ-
     U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, 
Attn: FWS-HQ-MB-2014-0017; Division of Policy and Directives 
Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 
2042-PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.
    We will not accept emailed or faxed comments. We will post all 
comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we 
will post any personal information you provide us (see the Public 
Comments section below for more information).
    Send your proposals for the 2016 spring and summer migratory bird 
subsistence season in Alaska to the Executive Director of the Co-
management Council, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1011 E. Tudor Road, 
Anchorage, AK 99503; or fax to (907) 786-3306; or email to 

Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department 
of the Interior, MS MBSP-4107-ARLSQ, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 
20240; (703) 358-1714. For information on the migratory bird 
subsistence season in Alaska, contact Donna Dewhurst, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 1011 E. Tudor Road, Mail Stop 201, Anchorage, AK 
99503; (907) 786-3499.


Background and Overview

    Migratory game birds are those bird species so designated in 
conventions between the United States and several foreign nations for 
the protection and management of these birds. Under the Migratory Bird 
Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-712), the Secretary of the Interior is 
authorized to determine when ``hunting, taking, capture, killing, 
possession, sale, purchase, shipment, transportation, carriage, or 
export of any * * * bird, or any part, nest, or egg'' of migratory game 
birds can take place, and to adopt regulations for this purpose. These 
regulations are written after giving due regard to ``the zones of 
temperature and to the distribution, abundance, economic value, 
breeding habits, and times and lines of migratory flight of such 
birds'' and are updated annually (16 U.S.C. 704(a)). This 
responsibility has been delegated to the Service as the lead Federal 
agency for managing and conserving migratory birds in the United 
States. However, migratory game bird management is a cooperative effort 
of State, Tribal, and Federal governments.
    The Service develops migratory game bird hunting regulations by 
establishing the frameworks, or outside limits, for season lengths, bag 
limits, and areas for migratory game bird hunting. Acknowledging 
regional differences in hunting conditions, the Service has 
administratively divided the Nation into four Flyways for the primary 
purpose of managing migratory game birds. Each Flyway (Atlantic, 
Mississippi, Central, and Pacific) has a Flyway Council, a formal 
organization generally composed of one member from each State and 
Province in that Flyway. The Flyway Councils, established through the 
International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (IAFWA), also 
assist in researching and providing migratory game bird management 
information for Federal, State, and Provincial governments, as well as 
private conservation agencies and the general public.
    The process for adopting migratory game bird hunting regulations, 
located at 50 CFR part 20, is constrained by three primary factors. 
Legal and administrative considerations dictate how long the rulemaking 
process will last. Most importantly, however, the biological cycle of 
migratory game birds controls the timing of data-gathering activities 
and thus the dates on which these results are available for 
consideration and deliberation.
    The process includes two separate regulations-development 
schedules, based on early and late hunting season regulations. Early 
hunting seasons pertain to all migratory game bird species in Alaska, 
Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; migratory game birds other 
than waterfowl (i.e., dove, woodcock, etc.); and special early 
waterfowl seasons, such as teal or resident Canada geese. Early hunting 
seasons generally begin before October 1. Late hunting seasons 
generally start on or after October 1 and include most waterfowl 
seasons not already established.
    There are basically no differences in the processes for 
establishing either early or late hunting seasons. For each cycle, 
Service biologists gather, analyze, and interpret biological survey 
data and provide this information to all those involved in the process 
through a series of published status reports and presentations to 
Flyway Councils and other interested parties. Because the Service is 
required to take abundance of migratory game birds and other factors 
into consideration, the Service

[[Page 24513]]

undertakes a number of surveys throughout the year in conjunction with 
Service Regional Offices, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and State and 
Provincial wildlife management agencies. To determine the appropriate 
frameworks for each species, we consider factors such as population 
size and trend, geographical distribution, annual breeding effort, the 
condition of breeding and wintering habitat, the number of hunters, and 
the anticipated harvest.
    After frameworks are established for season lengths, bag limits, 
and areas for migratory game bird hunting, States may select season 
dates, bag limits, and other regulatory options for the hunting 
seasons. States may always be more conservative in their selections 
than the Federal frameworks but never more liberal.

Notice of Intent To Establish Open Seasons

    This document announces our intent to establish open hunting 
seasons and daily bag and possession limits for certain designated 
groups or species of migratory game birds for 2014-15 in the contiguous 
United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, 
under Sec. Sec.  20.101 through 20.107, 20.109, and 20.110 of subpart K 
of 50 CFR part 20.
    For the 2014-15 migratory game bird hunting season, we will propose 
regulations for certain designated members of the avian families 
Anatidae (ducks, geese, and swans); Columbidae (doves and pigeons); 
Gruidae (cranes); Rallidae (rails, coots, moorhens, and gallinules); 
and Scolopacidae (woodcock and snipe). We describe these proposals 
under Proposed 2014-15 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations 
(Preliminary) in this document. We published definitions of waterfowl 
flyways and mourning dove management units, and a description of the 
data used in and the factors affecting the regulatory process, in the 
March 14, 1990, Federal Register (55 FR 9618).

Regulatory Schedule for 2014-15

    This document is the first in a series of proposed, supplemental, 
and final rulemaking documents for migratory game bird hunting 
regulations. We will publish additional supplemental proposals for 
public comment in the Federal Register as population, habitat, harvest, 
and other information become available. Because of the late dates when 
certain portions of these data become available, we anticipate 
abbreviated comment periods on some proposals. Special circumstances 
limit the amount of time we can allow for public comment on these 
    Specifically, two considerations compress the time for the 
rulemaking process: the need, on one hand, to establish final rules 
early enough in the summer to allow resource agencies to select and 
publish season dates and bag limits before the beginning of hunting 
seasons and, on the other hand, the lack of current status data on most 
migratory game birds until later in the summer. Because the regulatory 
process is strongly influenced by the times when information is 
available for consideration, we divide the regulatory process into two 
segments: early seasons and late seasons (further described and 
discussed above in the Background and Overview section).
    Major steps in the 2014-15 regulatory cycle relating to open public 
meetings and Federal Register notifications are illustrated in the 
diagram at the end of this proposed rule. All publication dates of 
Federal Register documents are target dates.
    All sections of this and subsequent documents outlining hunting 
frameworks and guidelines are organized under numbered headings. These 
headings are:

1. Ducks
    A. General Harvest Strategy
    B. Regulatory Alternatives
    C. Zones and Split Seasons
    D. Special Seasons/Species Management
    i. September Teal Seasons
    ii. September Teal/Wood Duck Seasons
    iii. Black Ducks
    iv. Canvasbacks
    v. Pintails
    vi. Scaup
    vii. Mottled Ducks
    viii. Wood Ducks
    ix. Youth Hunt
    x. Mallard Management Units
    xi. Other
2. Sea Ducks
3. Mergansers
4. Canada Geese
    A. Special Seasons
    B. Regular Seasons
    C. Special Late Seasons
5. White-Fronted Geese
6. Brant
7. Snow and Ross's (Light) Geese
8. Swans
9. Sandhill Cranes
10. Coots
11. Moorhens and Gallinules
12. Rails
13. Snipe
14. Woodcock
15. Band-Tailed Pigeons
16. Mourning Doves
17. White-Winged and White-Tipped Doves
18. Alaska
19. Hawaii
20. Puerto Rico
21. Virgin Islands
22. Falconry
23. Other

    Later sections of this and subsequent documents will refer only to 
numbered items requiring your attention. Therefore, it is important to 
note that we will omit those items requiring no attention, and 
remaining numbered items will be discontinuous and appear incomplete.
    We will publish final regulatory alternatives for the 2014-15 duck 
hunting seasons in mid-July. We will publish proposed early season 
frameworks in mid-July and late season frameworks in mid-August. We 
will publish final regulatory frameworks for early seasons on or about 
August 15, 2014, and those for late seasons on or about September 19, 

Request for 2016 Spring and Summer Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest 
Proposals in Alaska


    The 1916 Convention for the Protection of Migratory Birds between 
the United States and Great Britain (for Canada) established a closed 
season for the taking of migratory birds between March 10 and September 
1. Residents of northern Alaska and Canada traditionally harvested 
migratory birds for nutritional purposes during the spring and summer 
months. The 1916 Convention and the subsequent 1936 Mexico Convention 
for the Protection of Migratory Birds and Game Mammals provide for the 
legal subsistence harvest of migratory birds and their eggs in Alaska 
and Canada during the closed season by indigenous inhabitants.
    On August 16, 2002, we published in the Federal Register (67 FR 
53511) a final rule that established procedures for incorporating 
subsistence management into the continental migratory bird management 
program. These regulations, developed under a new co-management process 
involving the Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and 
Alaska Native representatives, established an annual procedure to 
develop harvest guidelines for implementation of a spring and summer 
migratory bird subsistence harvest. Eligibility and inclusion 
requirements necessary to participate in the spring and summer 
migratory bird subsistence season in Alaska are outlined in 50 CFR part 
    This proposed rule calls for proposals for regulations that will 
expire on August 31, 2016, for the spring and summer subsistence 
harvest of migratory birds in Alaska. Each year, seasons will open on 
or after March 11 and close before September 1.

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Alaska Spring and Summer Subsistence Harvest Proposal Procedures

    We will publish details of the Alaska spring and summer subsistence 
harvest proposals in later Federal Register documents under 50 CFR part 
92. The general relationship to the process for developing national 
hunting regulations for migratory game birds is as follows:
    (a) Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council. The public may 
submit proposals to the Co-management Council during the period of 
November 1-December 15, 2014, to be acted upon for the 2016 migratory 
bird subsistence harvest season. Proposals should be submitted to the 
Executive Director of the Co-management Council, listed above under the 
caption ADDRESSES.
    (b) Flyway Councils.
    (1) The Co-management Council will submit proposed 2016 regulations 
to all Flyway Councils for review and comment. The Council's 
recommendations must be submitted before the Service Regulations 
Committee's last regular meeting of the calendar year in order to be 
approved for spring and summer harvest beginning April 2 of the 
following calendar year.
    (2) Alaska Native representatives may be appointed by the Co-
management Council to attend meetings of one or more of the four Flyway 
Councils to discuss recommended regulations or other proposed 
management actions.
    (c) Service Regulations Committee. The Co-management Council will 
submit proposed annual regulations to the Service Regulations Committee 
(SRC) for their review and recommendation to the Service Director. 
Following the Service Director's review and recommendation, the 
proposals will be forwarded to the Department of the Interior for 
approval. Proposed annual regulations will then be published in the 
Federal Register for public review and comment, similar to the annual 
migratory game bird hunting regulations. Final spring and summer 
regulations for Alaska will be published in the Federal Register in the 
preceding winter after review and consideration of any public comments 
    Because of the time required for review by us and the public, 
proposals from the Co-management Council for the 2016 spring and summer 
migratory bird subsistence harvest season must be submitted to the 
Flyway Councils and the Service by June 15, 2015, for Council comments 
and Service action at the late-season SRC meeting.

Review of Public Comments

    This proposed rulemaking contains the proposed regulatory 
alternatives for the 2014-15 duck hunting seasons. This proposed 
rulemaking also describes other recommended changes or specific 
preliminary proposals that vary from the 2013-14 final frameworks (see 
August 23, 2013, Federal Register (78 FR 52658) for early seasons and 
September 20, 2013, Federal Register (78 FR 58124) for late seasons) 
and issues requiring early discussion, action, or the attention of the 
States or tribes. We will publish responses to all proposals and 
written comments when we develop final frameworks for the 2014-15 
season. We seek additional information and comments on this proposed 

Consolidation of Notices

    For administrative purposes, this document consolidates the notice 
of intent to establish open migratory game bird hunting seasons, the 
request for tribal proposals, and the request for Alaska migratory bird 
subsistence seasons with the preliminary proposals for the annual 
hunting regulations-development process. We will publish the remaining 
proposed and final rulemaking documents separately. For inquiries on 
tribal guidelines and proposals, tribes should contact the following 
    Region 1 (Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and the Pacific 
Islands)--Nanette Seto, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 911 NE 11th 
Avenue, Portland, OR 97232-4181; (503) 231-6164.
    Region 2 (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas)--Greg Hughes, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 1306, Albuquerque, NM 87103; 
(505) 248-7885.
    Region 3 (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, 
Ohio, and Wisconsin)--Dave Scott, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5600 
American Blvd. West, Suite 990, Bloomington, MN 55437-1458; (612) 713-
    Region 4 (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, 
Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, South 
Carolina, and Tennessee)--E. J. Williams, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, 1875 Century Boulevard, Room 324, Atlanta, GA 30345; (404) 
    Region 5 (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, 
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, 
Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia)--Chris Dwyer, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 300 Westgate Center Drive, Hadley, MA 01035-9589; 
(413) 253-8576.
    Region 6 (Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South 
Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming)--Casey Stemler, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, P.O. Box 25486, Denver Federal Building, Denver, CO 80225; 
(303) 236-8145.
    Region 7 (Alaska)--Pete Probasco, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, AK 99503; (907) 786-3423.
    Region 8 (California and Nevada)--Marie Strassburger, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825-1846; (916) 

Requests for Tribal Proposals


    Beginning with the 1985-86 hunting season, we have employed 
guidelines described in the June 4, 1985, Federal Register (50 FR 
23467) to establish special migratory game bird hunting regulations on 
Federal Indian reservations (including off-reservation trust lands) and 
ceded lands. We developed these guidelines in response to tribal 
requests for our recognition of their reserved hunting rights, and for 
some tribes, recognition of their authority to regulate hunting by both 
tribal and nontribal members throughout their reservations. The 
guidelines include possibilities for:
    (1) On-reservation hunting by both tribal and nontribal members, 
with hunting by nontribal members on some reservations to take place 
within Federal frameworks, but on dates different from those selected 
by the surrounding State(s);
    (2) On-reservation hunting by tribal members only, outside of usual 
Federal frameworks for season dates and length, and for daily bag and 
possession limits; and
    (3) Off-reservation hunting by tribal members on ceded lands, 
outside of usual framework dates and season length, with some added 
flexibility in daily bag and possession limits.
    In all cases, tribal regulations established under the guidelines 
must be consistent with the annual March 10 to September 1 closed 
season mandated by the 1916 Convention Between the United States and 
Great Britain (for Canada) for the Protection of Migratory Birds 
(Convention). The guidelines are applicable to those tribes that have 
reserved hunting rights on Federal Indian reservations (including off-
reservation trust lands) and ceded lands. They also may be applied to 
the establishment of migratory game bird hunting regulations for 
nontribal members on all lands within the exterior boundaries of 
reservations where tribes have full wildlife management authority over 
such hunting, or where the tribes and affected States otherwise have 

[[Page 24515]]

agreement over hunting by nontribal members on non-Indian lands.
    Tribes usually have the authority to regulate migratory game bird 
hunting by nonmembers on Indian-owned reservation lands, subject to our 
approval. The question of jurisdiction is more complex on reservations 
that include lands owned by non-Indians, especially when the 
surrounding States have established or intend to establish regulations 
governing migratory bird hunting by non-Indians on these lands. In such 
cases, we encourage the tribes and States to reach agreement on 
regulations that would apply throughout the reservations. When 
appropriate, we will consult with a tribe and State with the aim of 
facilitating an accord. We also will consult jointly with tribal and 
State officials in the affected States where tribes may wish to 
establish special hunting regulations for tribal members on ceded 
lands. It is incumbent upon the tribe and/or the State to request 
consultation as a result of the proposal being published in the Federal 
Register. We will not presume to make a determination, without being 
advised by either a tribe or a State, that any issue is or is not 
worthy of formal consultation.
    One of the guidelines provides for the continuation of tribal 
members' harvest of migratory game birds on reservations where such 
harvest is a customary practice. We do not oppose this harvest, 
provided it does not take place during the closed season required by 
the Convention, and it is not so large as to adversely affect the 
status of the migratory game bird resource. Since the inception of 
these guidelines, we have reached annual agreement with tribes for 
migratory game bird hunting by tribal members on their lands or on 
lands where they have reserved hunting rights. We will continue to 
consult with tribes that wish to reach a mutual agreement on hunting 
regulations for on-reservation hunting by tribal members.
    Tribes should not view the guidelines as inflexible. We believe 
that they provide appropriate opportunity to accommodate the reserved 
hunting rights and management authority of Indian tribes while also 
ensuring that the migratory game bird resource receives necessary 
protection. The conservation of this important international resource 
is paramount. Use of the guidelines is not required if a tribe wishes 
to observe the hunting regulations established by the State(s) in which 
the reservation is located.

Details Needed in Tribal Proposals

    Tribes that wish to use the guidelines to establish special hunting 
regulations for the 2014-15 migratory game bird hunting season should 
submit a proposal that includes:
    (1) The requested migratory game bird hunting season dates and 
other details regarding the proposed regulations;
    (2) Harvest anticipated under the proposed regulations; and
    (3) Tribal capabilities to enforce migratory game bird hunting 
    For those situations where it could be shown that failure to limit 
Tribal harvest could seriously impact the migratory game bird resource, 
we also request information on the methods employed to monitor harvest 
and any potential steps taken to limit level of harvest.
    A tribe that desires the earliest possible opening of the migratory 
game bird season for nontribal members should specify this request in 
its proposal, rather than request a date that might not be within the 
final Federal frameworks. Similarly, unless a tribe wishes to set more 
restrictive regulations than Federal regulations will permit for 
nontribal members, the proposal should request the same daily bag and 
possession limits and season length for migratory game birds that 
Federal regulations are likely to permit the States in the Flyway in 
which the reservation is located.

Tribal Proposal Procedures

    We will publish details of tribal proposals for public review in 
later Federal Register documents. Because of the time required for 
review by us and the public, Indian tribes that desire special 
migratory game bird hunting regulations for the 2014-15 hunting season 
should submit their proposals as soon as possible, but no later than 
June 5, 2014.
    Tribes should direct inquiries regarding the guidelines and 
proposals to the appropriate Service Regional Office listed above under 
the caption Consolidation of Notices. Tribes that request special 
migratory game bird hunting regulations for tribal members on ceded 
lands should send a courtesy copy of the proposal to officials in the 
affected State(s).

Public Comments

    The Department of the Interior's policy is, whenever practicable, 
to afford the public an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking 
process. Accordingly, we invite interested persons to submit written 
comments, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the proposed 
regulations. Before promulgation of final migratory game bird hunting 
regulations, we will take into consideration all comments we receive. 
Such comments, and any additional information we receive, may lead to 
final regulations that differ from these proposals.
    You may submit your comments and materials concerning this proposed 
rule by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. We will not 
accept comments sent by email or fax or to an address not listed in the 
ADDRESSES section. Finally, we will not consider hand-delivered 
comments that we do not receive, or mailed comments that are not 
postmarked, by the date specified in the DATES section.
    We will post all comments in their entirety--including your 
personal identifying information--on http://www.regulations.gov. Before 
including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal 
identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your 
entire comment--including your personal identifying information--may be 
made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your 
comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public 
review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
    Comments and materials we receive, as well as supporting 
documentation we used in preparing this proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection on http://www.regulations.gov, or by 
appointment, during normal business hours, at the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Division of Migratory Bird Management, Room 4107, 
4501 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203.
    For each series of proposed rulemakings, we will establish specific 
comment periods. We will consider, but may not respond in detail to, 
each comment. As in the past, we will summarize all comments we receive 
during the comment period and respond to them after the closing date in 
any final rules.

NEPA Consideration

    The programmatic document, ``Second Final Supplemental 
Environmental Impact Statement: Issuance of Annual Regulations 
Permitting the Sport Hunting of Migratory Birds (EIS 20130139),'' filed 
with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 24, 2013, 
addresses NEPA compliance by the Service for issuance of the annual 
framework regulations for hunting of migratory game bird species. We

[[Page 24516]]

published a notice of availability in the Federal Register on May 31, 
2013 (78 FR 32686), and our Record of Decision on July 26, 2013 (78 FR 
45376). We also address NEPA compliance for waterfowl hunting 
frameworks through the annual preparation of separate environmental 
assessments, the most recent being ``Duck Hunting Regulations for 2013-
14,'' with its corresponding August 19, 2013, finding of no significant 
impact. In addition, an August 1985 environmental assessment entitled 
``Guidelines for Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Federal Indian 
Reservations and Ceded Lands'' is available from the address indicated 

Endangered Species Act Consideration

    Before issuance of the 2014-15 migratory game bird hunting 
regulations, we will comply with provisions of the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531-1543; hereinafter the Act), to 
ensure that hunting is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence 
of any species designated as endangered or threatened or modify or 
destroy its critical habitat and is consistent with conservation 
programs for those species. Consultations under section 7 of the Act 
may cause us to change proposals in this and future supplemental 
proposed rulemaking documents.

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant 
rules. OIRA has reviewed this rule and has determined that this rule is 
significant because it would have an annual effect of $100 million or 
more on the economy.
    E.O. 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for 
improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches 
that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for 
the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and 
consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further 
that regulations must be based on the best available science and that 
the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open 
exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent 
with these requirements.
    An economic analysis was prepared for the 2013-14 season. This 
analysis was based on data from the 2011 National Hunting and Fishing 
Survey, the most recent year for which data are available (see 
discussion in Regulatory Flexibility Act section below). We will use 
this analysis again for the 2014-15 season. This analysis estimated 
consumer surplus for three alternatives for duck hunting (estimates for 
other species are not quantified due to lack of data). The alternatives 
are (1) issue restrictive regulations allowing fewer days than those 
issued during the 2012-13 season, (2) issue moderate regulations 
allowing more days than those in alternative 1, and (3) issue liberal 
regulations identical to the regulations in the 2012-13 season. For the 
2013-14 season, we chose Alternative 3, with an estimated consumer 
surplus across all flyways of $317.8-$416.8 million. We also chose 
alternative 3 for the 2009-10, the 2010-11, the 2011-12, and the 2012-
13 seasons. The 2013-14 analysis is part of the record for this rule 
and is available at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The annual migratory bird hunting regulations have a significant 
economic impact on substantial numbers of small entities under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). We analyzed the 
economic impacts of the annual hunting regulations on small business 
entities in detail as part of the 1981 cost-benefit analysis. This 
analysis was revised annually from 1990-95. In 1995, the Service issued 
a Small Entity Flexibility Analysis (Analysis), which was subsequently 
updated in 1996, 1998, 2004, 2008, and 2013. The primary source of 
information about hunter expenditures for migratory game bird hunting 
is the National Hunting and Fishing Survey, which is conducted at 5-
year intervals. The 2013 Analysis was based on the 2011 National 
Hunting and Fishing Survey and the U.S. Department of Commerce's County 
Business Patterns, from which it was estimated that migratory bird 
hunters would spend approximately $1.5 billion at small businesses in 
2013. Copies of the Analysis are available upon request from the 
Division of Migratory Bird Management (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT) or from our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewReportsPublications/SpecialTopics/SpecialTopics.html#HuntingRegs or 
at http://www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2014-0017.

Clarity of the Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and by the 
Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain 
language. This means that each rule we publish must:
    (a) Be logically organized;
    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;
    (c) Use clear language rather than jargon;
    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and
    (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.
    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us 
comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To 
better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as 
possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections 
or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences 
are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be 
useful, etc.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This proposed rule is a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. For the reasons outlined 
above, this rule would have an annual effect on the economy of $100 
million or more. However, because this rule would establish hunting 
seasons, we do not plan to defer the effective date under the exemption 
contained in 5 U.S.C. 808(1).

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule does not contain any new information collection 
that requires approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not 
required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB control number. OMB has reviewed and approved the 
information collection requirements associated with migratory bird 
surveys and assigned the following OMB control numbers:
     1018-0010--Mourning Dove Call Count Survey (expires 4/30/
     1018-0019--North American Woodcock Singing Ground Survey 
(expires 4/30/2015).
     1018-0023--Migratory Bird Surveys (expires 4/30/2014). 
Includes Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program, Migratory Bird 
Hunter Surveys, Sandhill Crane Survey, and Parts Collection Survey.

[[Page 24517]]

     1018-0124--Alaska Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest 
Household Survey (expires 6/30/2016).

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    We have determined and certify, in compliance with the requirements 
of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. 1502 et seq., that this 
proposed rulemaking would not impose a cost of $100 million or more in 
any given year on local or State government or private entities. 
Therefore, this rule is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under 
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

Civil Justice Reform--Executive Order 12988

    The Department, in promulgating this proposed rule, has determined 
that this proposed rule will not unduly burden the judicial system and 
that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of E.O. 

Takings Implication Assessment

    In accordance with E.O. 12630, this proposed rule, authorized by 
the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, does not have significant takings 
implications and does not affect any constitutionally protected 
property rights. This rule would not result in the physical occupancy 
of property, the physical invasion of property, or the regulatory 
taking of any property. In fact, these rules would allow hunters to 
exercise otherwise unavailable privileges and, therefore, reduce 
restrictions on the use of private and public property.

Energy Effects--Executive Order 13211

    E.O. 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy 
Effects when undertaking certain actions. While this proposed rule is a 
significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866, it is not expected to 
adversely affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this 
action is not a significant energy action and no Statement of Energy 
Effects is required.

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), E.O. 13175, and 512 DM 2, we have 
evaluated possible effects on Federally-recognized Indian tribes and 
have determined that there are no effects on Indian trust resources. 
However, in this proposed rule, we solicit proposals for special 
migratory bird hunting regulations for certain Tribes on Federal Indian 
reservations, off-reservation trust lands, and ceded lands for the 
2014-15 migratory bird hunting season. The resulting proposals will be 
contained in a separate proposed rule. By virtue of these actions, we 
have consulted with Tribes affected by this rule.

Federalism Effects

    Due to the migratory nature of certain species of birds, the 
Federal Government has been given responsibility over these species by 
the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. We annually prescribe frameworks from 
which the States make selections regarding the hunting of migratory 
birds, and we employ guidelines to establish special regulations on 
Federal Indian reservations and ceded lands. This process preserves the 
ability of the States and tribes to determine which seasons meet their 
individual needs. Any State or Indian tribe may be more restrictive 
than the Federal frameworks at any time. The frameworks are developed 
in a cooperative process with the States and the Flyway Councils. This 
process allows States to participate in the development of frameworks 
from which they will make selections, thereby having an influence on 
their own regulations. These rules do not have a substantial direct 
effect on fiscal capacity, change the roles or responsibilities of 
Federal or State governments, or intrude on State policy or 
administration. Therefore, in accordance with E.O. 13132, these 
regulations do not have significant federalism effects and do not have 
sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 
federalism summary impact statement.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20

    Exports, Hunting, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Transportation, Wildlife.

    Authority: The rules that eventually will be promulgated for the 
2014-15 hunting season are authorized under 16 U.S.C. 703-711, 16 
U.S.C. 712, and 16 U.S.C. 742 a-j.

    Dated: April 16, 2014.
Michael J. Bean,
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and 

Proposed 2014-15 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations (Preliminary)

    Pending current information on populations, harvest, and habitat 
conditions, and receipt of recommendations from the four Flyway 
Councils, we may defer specific regulatory proposals. No changes from 
the final 2013-14 frameworks established on August 23 and September 20, 
2013 (78 FR 52658 and 78 FR 58124) are being proposed at this time. 
Other issues requiring early discussion, action, or the attention of 
the States or tribes are contained below:

1. Ducks

    Categories used to discuss issues related to duck harvest 
management are: (A) General Harvest Strategy, (B) Regulatory 
Alternatives, (C) Zones and Split Seasons, and (D) Special Seasons/
Species Management. Only those containing substantial recommendations 
are discussed below.
A. General Harvest Strategy
    We propose to continue using adaptive harvest management (AHM) to 
help determine appropriate duck-hunting regulations for the 2014-15 
season. AHM permits sound resource decisions in the face of uncertain 
regulatory impacts and provides a mechanism for reducing that 
uncertainty over time. We use AHM to evaluate four alternative 
regulatory levels for duck hunting based on the population status of 
mallards. (We enact special hunting restrictions for species of special 
concern, such as canvasbacks, scaup, and pintails).
Pacific, Central and Mississippi Flyways
    The prescribed regulatory alternative for the Pacific, Central, and 
Mississippi Flyways is based on the status of mallards that contributes 
primarily to each Flyway. In the Pacific Flyway, we set hunting 
regulations based on the status and dynamics of western mallards. 
Western mallards are those breeding in Alaska and the northern Yukon 
Territory (as based on Federal surveys in strata 1-12), and in 
California and Oregon (as based on State-conducted surveys). In the 
Central and Mississippi Flyways, we set hunting regulations based on 
the status and dynamics of mid-continent mallards. Mid-continent 
mallards are those breeding in central North America (Federal survey 
strata 13-18, 20-50, and 75-77, and State surveys in Minnesota, 
Wisconsin, and Michigan).
    For the 2014-15 season, we recommend continuing to use independent 
optimization to determine the optimal regulatory choice for each 
mallard stock. This means that we would develop regulations for mid-
continent mallards and western mallards independently, based upon the 
breeding stock that contributes primarily to each Flyway. We detailed 
implementation of this new AHM decision framework in the July 24, 2008, 
Federal Register (73 FR 43290).

[[Page 24518]]

Atlantic Flyway
    The prescribed regulatory alternative for the Atlantic Flyway is 
determined annually based on the population status of mallards breeding 
in eastern North America (Federal survey strata 51-54 and 56, and State 
surveys in New England and the mid-Atlantic region). In 2012, we 
proposed and subsequently implemented several changes related to the 
population models used in the eastern mallard AHM protocol (77 FR 
42920; July 20, 2012). We propose continuation of the AHM process for 
the 2014-15 season using the revised model set to inform eastern 
mallard harvest regulations until a fully revised AHM protocol is 
finalized. Further details on the revised models and results of 
simulations of this interim harvest policy are available on our Web 
site at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds, or at http://www.regulations.gov.
Final 2014-15 AHM Protocol
    We will detail the final AHM protocol for the 2014-15 season in the 
early-season proposed rule, which we will publish in mid-July (see 2014 
Schedule of Regulations Meetings and Federal Register Publications at 
the end of this proposed rule for further information). We will propose 
a specific regulatory alternative for each of the Flyways during the 
2014-15 season after survey information becomes available in late 
summer. More information on AHM is located at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/CurrentBirdIssues/Management/AHM/AHM-intro.htm.
B. Regulatory Alternatives
    The basic structure of the current regulatory alternatives for AHM 
was adopted in 1997. In 2002, based upon recommendations from the 
Flyway Councils, we extended framework dates in the ``moderate'' and 
``liberal'' regulatory alternatives by changing the opening date from 
the Saturday nearest October 1 to the Saturday nearest September 24, 
and by changing the closing date from the Sunday nearest January 20 to 
the last Sunday in January. These extended dates were made available 
with no associated penalty in season length or bag limits. At that time 
we stated our desire to keep these changes in place for 3 years to 
allow for a reasonable opportunity to monitor the impacts of framework-
date extensions on harvest distribution and rates of harvest before 
considering any subsequent use (67 FR 12501; March 19, 2002).
    For 2014-15, we are proposing to maintain the same regulatory 
alternatives that were in effect last year (see accompanying table for 
specifics of the proposed regulatory alternatives). Alternatives are 
specified for each Flyway and are designated as ``RES'' for the 
restrictive, ``MOD'' for the moderate, and ``LIB'' for the liberal 
alternative. We will announce final regulatory alternatives in mid-
July. We will accept public comments until June 27, 2014, and you 
should send your comments to an address listed under the caption 
D. Special Seasons/Species Management
i. September Teal Seasons
    We realize and appreciate the long-standing interest by the Flyway 
Councils to pursue additional teal harvest opportunity. With this 
interest in mind, in 2009, the Flyways and Service began to assess the 
collective results of all teal harvest, including harvest during 
special September seasons. The Teal Harvest Potential Working Group 
conducted this assessment work, which included a thorough assessment of 
the harvest potential for both blue-winged and green-winged teal, as 
well as an assessment of the impacts of current special September 
seasons on these two species. Cinnamon teal were subsequently included 
in this assessment.
    In the April 9, 2013, Federal Register (78 FR 21200), we stated 
that the final report of the Teal Harvest Potential Working Group 
indicated that additional opportunity could be provided for blue-winged 
teal and green-winged teal. Therefore, last year, we supported 
recommendations from the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyway 
Councils to increase the daily bag limit from 4 to 6 teal in the 
aggregate during the special September teal season (78 FR 52658; August 
23, 2013). However, we also stated that we did not support additional 
changes to the structure of the September teal season until specific 
management objectives for teal have been articulated and a 
comprehensive, cross-flyway approach to developing and evaluating other 
potential avenues by which additional teal harvest opportunity can be 
provided has been completed. Further, we recognized that this 
comprehensive approach could potentially include the addition of new 
hunting seasons (e.g., September teal seasons in northern States), as 
well as expanded hunting opportunities (e.g., season lengths, bag 
limits) in States with existing teal seasons. In order to assess the 
overall effects of these potential changes, we reiterated the need for 
an evaluation plan that includes specific objectives and is tailored to 
appropriately address concerns about potential impacts resulting from 
the type of opportunity offered. Lastly, we noted that detailed 
guidance for conducting special season evaluations is provided in 
Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) 88 (Controlled Use 
of Special Regulations, pp. 82-83), and reaffirmed in SEIS 2013 
(Special Regulations, pp. 239-241).
    At that time, we recognized that additional technical and 
coordination work would need to be accomplished to complete this task, 
and as such, a small technical group comprised of members from the 
Flyway Councils and Service should be convened. Further, in the 
interest of guiding State and Federal workloads and facilitating a 
timely process for providing additional teal harvest opportunity, we 
provided the Flyway Councils with initial considerations. In summary, 
we stated that any proposal to increase teal harvest, in order to be 
consistent with the intent of special regulations, should direct 
harvest primarily at blue-winged teal, and further that if Flyway 
Councils wish to pursue past regulatory approaches such as bonus teal, 
special September duck seasons, and Special September teal/wood duck 
seasons to provide additional teal harvest opportunity, we requested 
that they provide compelling information as to why such policies and 
approaches should be reinstated (i.e., bonus teal) or expanded/modified 
(i.e., September duck seasons or September teal/wood duck seasons). A 
more detailed discussion of this guidance and considerations is 
contained in the August 23, 2013, Federal Register (78 FR 52658).
    Progress on such work was discussed at the February 2014 SRC 
meeting. During that meeting, the SRC provided further general guidance 
on preferred approaches to providing additional teal harvest 
opportunity. The SRC indicated they were willing to consider proposals 
to conduct experimental September teal seasons in production States if 
fully evaluated for impacts to teal and non-target species. Further, 
the SRC indicated a willingness to provide technical assistance to 
Flyway Councils to develop an evaluation plan to assess the impact to 
teal as well as non-target species. However, the SRC indicated they 
likely would not consider proposals to reinstate bonus teal, expand 
September duck seasons, or modify September teal/wood duck seasons. The 
SRC reiterated that they prefer a consistent approach toward providing 
additional teal opportunities

[[Page 24519]]

in northern States, and instead support exploring September teal 
seasons in those States. While the SRC realizes that there are inherent 
problems with such an approach, they believe that a consistent approach 
across Flyways provides the best opportunity for an adequate evaluation 
of impacts to both teal and non-target species. Such an evaluation is 
necessary for any revision of the teal harvest strategy in the future 
and for meeting the Service's statutory responsibilities for the long-
term conservation of the resource. The SRC also was concerned that 
reinstatement of bonus teal regulations could result in requests 
extending bonus bag limits to other species/stocks that are above 
objective levels and that potential changes to the regular season 
structure could become more difficult to implement if bonus bag limits 
were reinstated.
    We look forward to receiving the Flyway Councils' recommendations 
and discussing the issues further at the June 2014 meeting.

15. Band-Tailed Pigeons

    The Interior population of band-tailed pigeons north of Mexico 
occurs primarily in the States of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and 
Arizona. Last year, the Pacific Flyway Council recommended reducing the 
daily bag limit for Interior population of band-tailed pigeons from 5 
birds to 2 (season length was unchanged at about 30 days), and the 
Central Flyway Council recommended no change. The Pacific Flyway 
Council also expressed concern about the status of the population and 
what an appropriate framework may be, and expressed concern about the 
inequity between frameworks between the Pacific Coast and Interior 
populations given similar population trajectories.
    While we did not change the federal frameworks, we did reiterate 
our long-standing practice of giving considerable deference to harvest 
strategies developed in cooperative Flyway management plans. We further 
stated that a harvest strategy does not exist for the Interior 
Population of band-tailed pigeons even though the development of one 
was identified as a high priority when the management plan was adopted 
in 2001. Thus, we recommended that the two Flyway Councils discuss this 
issue and advise us of the results of these deliberations at our June 
2014 regulatory meeting. It is our desire to see adoption of a mutually 
acceptable harvest strategy for this population as soon as possible.
    We also note that both Arizona and Utah opted for more restrictive 
regulations last year than the Federal frameworks allow. While we 
recognize the pro-active nature of these voluntary State restrictions 
in part of the species' range, the actions do not fully address 
population-wide concerns expressed by the Pacific Flyway Council. We 
look forward to hearing from the Flyway Councils and discussing the 
issue further at the June 2014 meeting.

16. Mourning Doves

    In 2003, all four Flyway Councils approved the Mourning Dove 
National Strategic Harvest Plan (Plan). The Plan represented a new, 
more informed means of decision-making for dove harvest management 
besides relying solely on traditional roadside counts of mourning doves 
as indicators of population trend. However, recognizing that a more 
comprehensive, national approach would take time to develop, we 
requested the development of interim harvest strategies, by management 
unit, until the elements of the Plan could be fully implemented. In 
2004, each management unit submitted its respective strategy, but the 
strategies used different datasets and different approaches or methods. 
After initial submittal and review in 2006, we requested that the 
strategies be revised, using similar, existing datasets among the 
management units along with similar decision-making criteria. In 2008, 
we accepted and endorsed the interim mourning dove harvest strategies 
for the Central, Eastern, and Western Management Units (73 FR 50678; 
August 27, 2008). In 2009, the interim harvest strategies were 
successfully employed and implemented in all three Management Units (74 
FR 36870; July 24, 2009). Last year, we approved implementation of the 
national mourning dove harvest strategy, as developed by the Mourning 
Dove Task Force, in the 2014-15 hunting season (78 FR 52658; August 23, 
2013). This strategy replaces the interim harvest strategies that have 
been in place since 2009. A copy of the new strategy is available at 
available on our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewReportsPublications/Dove/MODO%20Harvest%20Strategy%202014.pdf, or at 

23. Other

    In a July 26, 2013, Federal Register (78 FR 45376), the Service 
issued its Record of Decision (ROD) for the migratory bird hunting 
program, prepared pursuant to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 
42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) regulations at 40 CFR 1505.2. An integral 
component of that ROD was the decision to promulgate annual migratory 
bird hunting regulations using a single process for early and late 
seasons based on predictions derived from long-term biological 
information and established harvest strategies. We believe this single 
process is the most effective alternative for addressing key issues 
identified during the planning process and will best achieve the 
purposes and goals of the Service and States. At that time, we stated 
that implementation of the new process was targeted for the 2015-16 
regulations cycle.
    Under this new process, the current early and late season 
regulatory actions (illustrated in the diagram at the end of this 
proposed rule) will be combined into a new single process. Regulatory 
proposals will be developed using biological data from the preceding 
year(s), model predictions, or most recently accumulated data that are 
available at the time the proposals are being formulated. Individual 
harvest strategies will be modified using either data from the previous 
year(s) or model predictions because the current year's data would not 
be available for many of the strategies. Considerable technical work 
will be necessary over a period of years to adjust the underlying 
biological models to the new regulatory time scale. During this 
transition period, harvest strategies and prescriptions will be 
modified to fit into the new regulatory schedule. These adjustments 
could be accomplished immediately upon adoption of the new process. 
Many existing regulatory prescriptions used for Canada geese, sandhill 
cranes, mourning doves, and American woodcock currently work on this 
basis. The process will be somewhat less precise in some instances 
because population projections would be used instead of current-year 
status information. The use of population projections rather than 
current-year population estimates would add variability to the 
population estimate from which the regulations are based. However, the 
uncertainty associated with these status predictions will be accounted 
for and incorporated into the process. This uncertainty will not result 
in a disproportionately higher harvest rate for any stock, nor 
substantially diminish harvest opportunities, either annually or on a 
cumulative basis. Reducing the number of meetings could lower 
administrative costs by 40 percent per year and substantially lower the 
Service's carbon footprint due to a decrease in travel and a reduction 
in the costs associated with the additional meetings.

[[Page 24520]]

    Obviously, under this new process, the administrative, meeting, and 
Federal Register schedule will all change significantly. In the ROD, we 
described a meeting schedule consisting of SRC regulatory meetings in 
March or April. At the latest, proposed frameworks would be available 
for public review by early June and final frameworks published by mid-
August. The new schedule also allows 30-60 days for public input and 
comments (currently, the comment period can be as short as 10 days). 
Further, the ROD stated that the four Flyway Councils may need to meet 
only once instead of twice per year, and the SRC would meet twice a 
year, once sometime during fall or early winter (September through 
January) and once thereafter, instead of the three times they currently 
    At this time, we do not anticipate implementation of the new 
process until the 2016-17 season at the earliest. As we previously 
stated, there is considerable technical work necessary over a period of 
years to adjust the underlying biological models to the new regulatory 
time scale. We are currently working with the Flyway Councils on a 
number of administrative, meeting, and Federal Register schedule timing 
options to implement the new regulatory process. This ultimately may 
involve a regulatory schedule that begins earlier than was envisioned 
in the ROD. Over the course of the next year, we look forward to 
working with the Councils to find a mutually agreeable process.

[[Page 24521]]


[[Page 24522]]


[FR Doc. 2014-09572 Filed 4-29-14; 8:45 am]