[Federal Register: September 28, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 189)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 49747-49772]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

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Part II

Department of the Interior


Fish and Wildlife Service


50 CFR Part 20

Migratory Bird Hunting; Late Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits for 
Certain Migratory Game Birds; Final Rule

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Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 20

RIN 1018-AH79

Migratory Bird Hunting; Late Seasons and Bag and Possession 
Limits for Certain Migratory Game Birds

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: This rule prescribes the hunting seasons, hours, areas, and 
daily bag and possession limits for general waterfowl seasons and those 
early seasons for which States previously deferred selection. Taking of 
migratory birds is prohibited unless specifically provided for by 
annual regulations. This rule permits the taking of designated species 
during the 2001-02 season.

DATES: This rule is effective on September 29, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathan Andrew, Chief, or Ron W. 
Kokel, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, (703) 358-1714.


Regulations Schedule for 2001

    On April 30, 2001, we published in the Federal Register (66 FR 
21298) a proposal to amend 50 CFR part 20. The proposal dealt with the 
establishment of seasons, limits, and other regulations for migratory 
game birds under Secs. 20.101 through 20.107, 20.109, and 20.110 of 
subpart K. On June 14, 2001, we published in the Federal Register (66 
FR 32297) a second document providing supplemental proposals for early- 
and late-season migratory bird hunting regulations frameworks and the 
proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2001-02 duck hunting season. 
The June 14 supplement also provided detailed information on the 2001-
02 regulatory schedule and announced the Service Migratory Bird 
Regulations Committee and Flyway Council meetings.
    On June 20-21, we held meetings that reviewed information on the 
current status of migratory shore and upland game birds and developed 
2001-02 migratory game bird regulations recommendations for these 
species plus regulations for migratory game birds in Alaska, Puerto 
Rico, and the Virgin Islands, special September waterfowl seasons in 
designated States, special sea duck seasons in the Atlantic Flyway, and 
extended falconry seasons. In addition, we reviewed and discussed 
preliminary information on the status of waterfowl as it relates to the 
development and selection of the regulatory packages for the 2001-02 
regular waterfowl seasons. On July 24, we published in the Federal 
Register (66 FR 38494) a third document specifically dealing with the 
proposed frameworks for early-season regulations and final regulatory 
alternatives for the 2001-02 duck hunting season. On August 21, 2001, 
we published in the Federal Register (66 FR 44010) a final rule that 
contained final frameworks for early migratory bird hunting seasons 
from which wildlife conservation agency officials from the States, 
Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands selected early-season hunting 
dates, hours, areas, and limits. On August 29, 2001, we published in 
the Federal Register (66 FR 45730) a final rule amending subpart K of 
title 50 CFR part 20 to set hunting seasons, hours, areas, and limits 
for early seasons.
    On August 1-2, 2001, we held a public meeting in Washington, DC, as 
announced in the April 30, and June 14 Federal Registers, to review the 
status of waterfowl. Proposed hunting regulations were discussed for 
late seasons. We published proposed frameworks for the 2001-02 late-
season migratory bird hunting regulations on August 28, 2001, in the 
Federal Register (66 FR 45516). We published final late-season 
frameworks for migratory game bird hunting regulations, from which 
State wildlife conservation agency officials selected late-season 
hunting dates, hours, areas, and limits for 2001-02 in the September 
27, 2001, Federal Register.
    The final rule described here is the eighth and final in the series 
of proposed, supplemental, and final rulemaking documents for migratory 
game bird hunting regulations for 2001-02 and deals specifically with 
amending subpart K of 50 CFR part 20. It sets hunting seasons, hours, 
areas, and limits for species subject to late-season regulations and 
those for early seasons that States previously deferred.

NEPA Consideration

    NEPA considerations are covered by the programmatic document, 
``Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement: Issuance of Annual 
Regulations Permitting the Sport Hunting of Migratory Birds (FSES 88-
14),'' filed with the Environmental Protection Agency on June 9, 1988. 
We published a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register on June 
16, 1988 (53 FR 22582). We published our Record of Decision on August 
18, 1988 (53 FR 31341). Copies are available from the address indicated 
under the caption ADDRESSES.

Endangered Species Act Consideration

    We have considered 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 that the action is consistent with conservation 
programs for those species.

Executive Order (E.O.) 12866

    This rule was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB). The migratory bird hunting regulations are economically 
significant and are annually reviewed by OMB under E.O. 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    These 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 and issued a 
Small Entity Flexibility Analysis (Analysis) in 1998. The Analysis 
documented the significant beneficial economic effect on a substantial 
number of small entities. 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 
Analysis was based on the 1996 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 between $429 
million and $1.084 billion at small businesses in 1998. Copies of the 
Analysis are available upon request from the address indicated under 
the caption ADDRESSES.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This 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 has an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. 
However, because this rule establishes 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

    We examined these regulations under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 

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We utilize the various recordkeeping and reporting requirements imposed 
under regulations established in 50 CFR part 20, Subpart K, in the 
formulation of migratory game bird hunting regulations. Specifically, 
OMB has approved the information collection requirements of the 
Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program and assigned control number 
1018-0015 (expires 9/30/2001). This information is used to provide a 
sampling frame for voluntary national surveys to improve our harvest 
estimates for all migratory game birds in order to better manage these 
populations. OMB has also approved the information collection 
requirements of the Sandhill Crane Harvest Questionnaire and assigned 
control number 1018-0023 (expires 7/31/2003). The information from this 
survey is used to estimate the magnitude and the geographical and 
temporal distribution of harvest, and the portion it constitutes of the 
total population. 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.

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 
rulemaking will not ``significantly or uniquely'' affect small 
governments, and will not produce a Federal mandate 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 rule, has determined that this 
rule will not unduly burden the judicial system and meets the 
requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of E.O. 12988.

Takings Implication Assessment

    In accordance with E.O. 12630, this 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 will not result in the physical occupancy of 
property, the physical invasion of property, or the regulatory taking 
of any property. In fact, this rule will allow hunters to exercise 
otherwise unavailable privileges, and, therefore, reduces restrictions 
on the use of private and public property.

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 and 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 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 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 Assessment.

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.

Energy Effects--E.O. 13211

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued E.O. 13211 on regulations 
that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and use. E.O. 
13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when 
undertaking certain actions. While this 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 

Regulations Promulgation

    The rulemaking process for migratory game bird hunting must, by its 
nature, operate under severe time constraints. However, we intend that 
the public be given the greatest possible opportunity to comment on the 
regulations. Thus, when the preliminary proposed rulemaking was 
published, we established what we believed were the longest periods 
possible for public comment. In doing this, we recognized that, when 
the comment period closed, time would be of the essence. That is, if 
there were a delay in the effective date of these regulations after 
this final rulemaking, the States would have insufficient time to 
implement their selected season dates and limits and start their 
seasons in a timely manner.
    We therefore find that ``good cause'' exists, within the terms of 5 
U.S.C. 553(d)(3) of the Administrative Procedure Act, and these 
regulations will, therefore, take effect immediately upon publication. 
Accordingly, with each conservation agency having had an opportunity to 
participate in selecting the hunting seasons desired for its State or 
Territory on those species of migratory birds for which open seasons 
are now prescribed, and consideration having been given to all other 
relevant matters presented, certain sections of title 50, chapter I, 
subchapter B, part 20, subpart K, are hereby amended as set forth 

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20

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

    Dated: September 19, 2001.
Joseph E. Doddridge,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, title 50, chapter I, 
subchapter B, Part 20, subpart K of the Code of Federal Regulations is 
amended as follows:


    1. The authority citation for Part 20 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 703-712 and 16 U.S.C. 742 a--j, Pub. L. 

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[FR Doc. 01-24292 Filed 9-27-01; 8:45 am]