[Federal Register: June 24, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 121)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 36793-36799]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 36793]]


Part IV

Department of the Interior


Fish and Wildlife Service


50 CFR Part 20

Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game Bird 
Hunting Regulations for the 2005-06 Hunting Season; Notice of Meetings; 
Proposed Rule

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Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 20

RIN 1018-AT76

Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game 
Bird Hunting Regulations for the 2005-06 Hunting Season; Notice of 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; supplemental.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (hereinafter, Service or 
we) proposed in an earlier document to establish annual hunting 
regulations for certain migratory game birds for the 2005-06 hunting 
season. This supplement to the proposed rule provides the regulatory 
schedule; announces the Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee 
and Flyway Council meetings; provides Flyway Council recommendations 
resulting from their March meetings; and provides regulatory 
alternatives for the 2005-06 duck hunting seasons.

DATES: The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet to 
consider and develop proposed regulations for early-season migratory 
bird hunting on June 22 and 23, 2005, and for late-season migratory 
bird hunting and the 2006 spring/summer migratory bird subsistence 
seasons in Alaska on July 27 and 28, 2005. All meetings will commence 
at approximately 8:30 a.m. Following later Federal Register notices, 
you will be given an opportunity to submit comments for proposed early-
season frameworks by July 30, 2005, and for proposed late-season 
frameworks and subsistence migratory bird seasons in Alaska by August 
30, 2005.

ADDRESSES: The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet 
in room 200 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Arlington Square 
Building, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia. Send your 
comments on the proposals to the Chief, Division of Migratory Bird 
Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, 
MS MBSP-4107-ARLSQ, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20240. All 
comments received, including names and addresses, will become part of 
the public record. You may inspect comments during normal business 
hours in room 4107, Arlington Square Building, 4501 North Fairfax 
Drive, Arlington, Virginia.

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.


Regulations Schedule for 2005

    On April 6, 2005, we published in the Federal Register (70 FR 
17574) a proposal to amend 50 CFR part 20. The proposal provided a 
background and overview of the migratory bird hunting regulations 
process, and dealt with the establishment of seasons, limits, and other 
regulations for hunting migratory game birds under Sec. Sec.  20.101 
through 20.107, 20.109, and 20.110 of subpart K. This document is the 
second in a series of proposed, supplemental, and final rules for 
migratory game bird hunting regulations. We will publish proposed 
early-season frameworks in early July and late-season frameworks in 
early August. We will publish final regulatory frameworks for early 
seasons on or about August 20, 2005, and for late seasons on or about 
September 15, 2005.

Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee Meetings

    The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet June 22-
23, 2005, to review information on the current status of migratory 
shore and upland game birds and develop 2005-06 migratory game bird 
regulations recommendations for these species plus regulations for 
migratory game birds in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. 
The Committee will also develop regulations recommendations for special 
September waterfowl seasons in designated States, special sea duck 
seasons in the Atlantic Flyway, and extended falconry seasons. In 
addition, the Committee will review and discuss preliminary information 
on the status of waterfowl.
    At the July 27-28, 2005, meetings, the Committee will review 
information on the current status of waterfowl and develop 2005-06 
migratory game bird regulations recommendations for regular waterfowl 
seasons and other species and seasons not previously discussed at the 
early-season meetings. In addition, the Committee will develop 
recommendations for the 2006 spring/summer migratory bird subsistence 
season in Alaska.
    In accordance with Departmental policy, these meetings are open to 
public observation. You may submit written comments to the Service on 
the matters discussed.

Announcement of Flyway Council Meetings

    Service representatives will be present at the individual meetings 
of the four Flyway Councils this July. Although agendas are not yet 
available, these meetings usually commence at 8 a.m. on the days 
    Atlantic Flyway Council: July 24-25, Regency and Harborside Hotels, 
Bar Harbor, Maine.
    Mississippi Flyway Council: July 23-24, The Grand Casino, Tunica, 
    Central Flyway Council: July 21-22, Radisson Hotel and Suites, 
Helena, Montana.
    Pacific Flyway Council: July 20, Utah Division of Wildlife 
Resources, 1594 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Review of Public Comments

    This supplemental rulemaking describes Flyway Council recommended 
changes based on the preliminary proposals published in the April 6, 
2005, Federal Register. We have included only those recommendations 
requiring either new proposals or substantial modification of the 
preliminary proposals. This supplement does not include recommendations 
that simply support or oppose preliminary proposals and provide no 
recommended alternatives. We will consider these recommendations later 
in the regulations-development process. We will publish responses to 
all proposals and written comments when we develop final frameworks. In 
addition, this supplemental rulemaking contains the regulatory 
alternatives for the 2005-06 duck hunting seasons. We have included all 
Flyway Council recommendations received relating to the development of 
these alternatives.
    We seek additional information and comments on the recommendations 
in this supplemental proposed rule. New proposals and modifications to 
previously described proposals are discussed below. Wherever possible, 
they are discussed under headings corresponding to the numbered items 
identified in the April 6, 2005, proposed rule. Only those categories 
requiring your attention or for which we received Flyway Council 
recommendations are discussed below.

1. Ducks

    Categories used to discuss issues related to duck harvest 
management are: (A) General Harvest Strategy, (B) Regulatory 
Alternatives, including specification of framework dates, season 
length, and bag limits, (C) Zones and Split Seasons, and (D) Special 
Seasons/Species Management.

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A. General Harvest Strategy

    Council Recommendations: The Upper- and Lower-Region Regulations 
Committees of the Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that 
regulations changes be restricted to one step per year, both when 
restricting as well as liberalizing hunting regulations.
    Service Response: Incorporation of a one-step constraint into the 
Adaptive Harvest Management (AHM) process was addressed by the AHM Task 
Force of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 
(IAFWA) in its report and recommendations. This recommendation will be 
included in considerations of potential changes to the set of 
regulatory alternatives at a later time. See also our response under B. 
Regulatory Alternatives.

B. Regulatory Alternatives

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
the use of the same regulatory alternatives for duck hunting seasons in 
2005-06 as were used in 2004-05, except that: (1) black duck bag limits 
should be specified as ``To be determined based on current status 
information''; and (2) all possession limits should be increased to 
four times the daily limit.
    The Upper- and Lower-Region Regulations Committees of the 
Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that regulatory alternatives for 
duck-hunting seasons remain the same as those used in 2004.
    The Central Flyway Council recommended that the Service adopt 
Adaptive Harvest Management (AHM) duck regulations packages and 
additional species/sex restrictions for the Central Flyway in 2005-2006 
that are the same as those used in the 2004-2005 season, with the 
following exception: for pintails and canvasbacks, regulations be 
implemented as described in their Hunter's Choice evaluation proposal 
(i.e., during 2005-06, a 39-day season length concurrent with the 
regular season zones and splits, one-bird daily bag limit for both 
    Service Response: On March 11, 2005 the AHM Task Force submitted a 
draft final report (http://migratorybirds.fws.gov/mgmt/ahm/taskforce/taskforce.htm
) to the IAFWA Executive Committee concerning the future 

development and direction of AHM. The Task Force endeavored to develop 
a strategic approach that was comprehensive and integrative, that 
recognized the diverse perspectives and desires of stakeholders, that 
was consistent with resource monitoring and assessment capabilities, 
and that hopefully could be embraced by all four Flyways Councils. We 
appreciate the extensive discussion the report received at the Flyway 
Council meetings in Arlington, Virginia in March 2005 and look forward 
to continuing dialogue concerning the future strategic course for AHM.
    Among the most widely debated issues now, as in the past, is the 
nature of the regulatory alternatives. The Task Force recommended a 
simpler and more conservative approach than is reflected in the 
regulatory alternatives used since 1997, which are essentially those 
proposed by the Service for the 2005-06 hunting season (April 6 Federal 
Register). As yet, however, no consensus has emerged among the Flyway 
Councils concerning modifications to the regulatory alternatives, and 
it seems clear that no such consensus will be achieved in time to 
select a regulatory alternative for the 2005-06 hunting season. 
Therefore, the regulatory alternatives proposed in the April 6 Federal 
Register will be used for the 2005-06 hunting season, with the 
following exception. Beginning this year, the AHM regulatory 
alternatives will consist only of the maximum season lengths, framework 
dates, and bag limits for total ducks and mallards. Restrictions for 
certain species within these frameworks that are not covered by 
existing harvest strategies, and the request from the Central Flyway 
Council concerning its desire to begin implementation of the ``Hunters' 
Choice'' bag-limit experiment, will be addressed during the late-season 
regulations process. For those species with existing harvest strategies 
(canvasbacks and pintails), the strategies to be used for the 2005-06 
hunting season will be established during the early-season regulations 

C. Zones and Split Seasons

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
that the Service allow three zones, with two-way splits in each zone, 
as an additional option for duck season configurations in 2006-2010. 
Guidelines for zone-split configurations should be finalized by 
September 2005 so that States have adequate opportunity to consider 
possible changes for 2006.
    The Upper-Region Regulations Committee of the Mississippi Flyway 
Council recommended that the Service allow three zones, with two-way 
splits in each zone, and four zones with no splits, as additional 
options for duck season configurations in 2006-2010. In addition, the 
Committee recommended that States with existing grandfathered status be 
allowed to retain that status.

D. Special Seasons/Species Management

iii. Black Ducks
    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council requests the 
Service, in cooperation with the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway 
Councils, develop a process to stratify black duck harvest using 
existing biological and harvest data to consider differential 
regulations among the Mississippi Flyway and appropriate regions of the 
Atlantic Flyway for the 2005 regulatory cycle.
    Service Response: In 2003, we began working with the Atlantic 
Flyway Council and others to develop assessment methods that could be 
used to better inform black duck harvest management in the United 
States. Our goal is to assess the biological implications of any 
proposed changes to hunting regulations, as well as to complement the 
ongoing effort to develop an international program for the adaptive 
management of black duck harvests. The key components of the assessment 
methods would be: (1) A determination of sustainable harvest rates on a 
single, range-wide population of black ducks; and (2) a prediction of 
changes in harvest rates accompanying any regulatory proposals. The 
first task has largely been completed, but there have been technical 
obstacles in completing the second. We believe that successful 
completion of this technical work is a prerequisite to any effort to 
re-distribute the black duck harvest in the U.S.
    We also wish to reiterate our obligate focus on a single, range-
wide population of black ducks due to the limitations of current 
population monitoring programs. Moreover, the extent to which hunting 
regulations can be stratified to account for spatial variation in the 
harvest potential of black ducks is likely limited due to the mixing of 
birds from various breeding areas during the hunting seasons in the 
U.S. We are continuing to conduct technical assessment in cooperation 
with the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway Councils that should help 
address this issue.

4. Canada Geese

A. Special Seasons

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
that Connecticut's September goose season framework dates of 1 
September to 30 September become operational. The Council further 

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raising the possession limit of geese to four times the daily bag 
limit, except where currently more liberal.
    The Central Flyway Council recommended that Oklahoma's Experimental 
September Canada Goose Hunting Season become operational for the time 
period beginning September 16-25, beginning with the September 2005 
hunting season.
    The Pacific Flyway Council recommended extending Idaho's 
geographically limited September season framework to a Statewide 

B. Regular Seasons

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
raising the possession limit of geese to four times the daily bag 
limit, except where currently more liberal.
    The Upper- and Lower-Region Regulations Committees of the 
Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that the framework opening date 
for all species of geese for the regular goose seasons be September 16 
in 2005 and future years. If this recommendation is not approved, the 
Committees recommended that the framework opening date for all species 
of geese for the regular goose seasons in Michigan and Wisconsin be 
September 16, 2005.

5. White-Fronted Geese

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
that the Service include white-fronted geese as part of Canada goose 
hunting regulation frameworks in the Atlantic Flyway to allow the legal 
take of this species.
    The Upper- and Lower-Region Regulations Committees of the 
Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that the 2005-06 white-fronted 
goose regulations be consistent with the ``base'' regulations in the 
current White-fronted Goose Management Plan. This would result in 
regulations options of 72 days with two white-fronted geese per day or 
86 days with one white-fronted goose per day. Their recommendation is 
contingent upon the same regulations being implemented in the eastern 
portion of the Central Flyway.
    The Central Flyway Council recommended a season framework of 72 
days with a daily bag limit of two white-fronted geese, or an 
alternative season of 86 days with a daily bag limit of one goose, in 
all East-tier States. States could split the season once, and the 
possession limit would be twice the daily bag limit. In the West-tier 
States, the Council recommended a season framework of 107 days with a 
daily bag limit of five white-fronted geese, except in the Western 
Goose Zone of Texas where the daily bag limit would be one white-
fronted goose. States could split the season once, and the possession 
limit would be twice the daily bag limit.

7. Snow and Ross's (Light) Geese

    Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended 
raising the possession limit of geese to four times the daily bag 
limit, except where currently more liberal.

9. Sandhill Cranes

    Council Recommendations: The Central Flyway Council recommended 
using the 2005 Rocky Mountain Population sandhill crane harvest 
allocation of 906 birds as proposed in the allocation formula using the 
2002-2004 three-year running average. In addition, the Council 
recommended no changes in the Mid-continent Population sandhill crane 
hunting frameworks.

16. Mourning Doves

    Council Recommendations: The Upper- and Lower-Region Regulations 
Committees of the Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that zoning 
remain an option for States in their management of mourning dove 
harvest. The Council recommends the following elements should be noted 
or made part of any change in zoning policy by the Service:
    (1) There is no strong biological basis to establish a latitudinal 
line below which zoning is mandatory in the Eastern Management Unit;
    (2) Use of September 20th as the earliest opening date for a South 
Zone has no biological basis; and
    (3) Limiting the frequency that a State can select or change zoning 
options is supported, but the time period between changes should not 
exceed 5 years and States selecting zoning should be able to revert 
back to a non-zoning option for any remaining years left before zoning 
is again a regulatory option.
    The Central Flyway Council recommends the following guidelines for 
mourning dove hunting zones and periods in the Central Management Unit 
    (1) The time interval between changes in zone boundaries or periods 
within States in the CMU should not exceed 5 years consistent with the 
review schedule for duck zones and periods (i.e., 2006-2010, 2011-2015, 
    (2) States may select two zones and three segments except Texas has 
the option to select three zones and two segments; and
    (3) The opening date of September 20 in the South Zone in Texas 
with the three zone option will remain unchanged.
    The Council further recommends adopting the document, 
``Implementation of Mourning Dove National Strategic Harvest Management 
Plan.'' The document provides guidance for addressing priority 
information needs referenced in the ``National Mourning Dove Strategic 
Harvest Management Plan'' (National Plan).

17. White-Winged and White-Tipped Doves

    Council Recommendations: The Central Flyway Council recommends the 
boundary for the White-winged Dove Area in Texas be extended to include 
the area south and west of Interstate Highway 37 and U.S. Highway 90 
with an aggregate daily bag limit of 12 doves, no more than 3 of which 
may be mourning doves. All other regulations would remain unchanged.

18. Alaska

    Council Recommendations: The Pacific Flyway Council recommended 
that the Canvasback Harvest Strategy include a statement to the effect 
that, ``In general, Alaska may annually select a canvasback season with 
limits of one daily, three in possession in lieu of annual 
prescriptions from this strategy. In the event that the breeding 
population declines to a level that indicates seasons will be closed 
for several years, the Service will consult with the Pacific Flyway 
Council to decide whether Alaska seasons should be closed.'' The 
Council and Service should appreciate that if season closure decisions 
are made during the late season process, Alaska will have to implement 
regulation changes by emergency orders, which will conflict with widely 
distributed public regulations summaries produced in July.
    Further, the Council recommended removal of the Canada goose 
closure in the Aleutian Islands (Unit 10), reduction of dark goose 
limits in Units 18 and 9(E) to four daily with no more than two 
cackling/Canada geese, and reduction in the brant season length in Unit 
9(D) from 107 days to 30 days. The Council's latter two recommendations 
are contingent on concomitant restrictions on primary migration and 
wintering areas in the lower 48 states.

Public Comment Invited

    The Department of the Interior's policy is, whenever practicable, 
to afford the public an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking 
process. We intend that adopted final rules be as

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responsive as possible to all concerned interests and, therefore, seek 
the comments and suggestions of the public, other concerned 
governmental agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and other private 
interests on these proposals. Accordingly, we invite interested persons 
to submit written comments, suggestions, or recommendations regarding 
the proposed regulations to the address indicated under the caption 
    Special circumstances involved in the establishment of these 
regulations limit the amount of time that we can allow for public 
comment. Specifically, two considerations compress the time in which 
the rulemaking process must operate: (1) The need to establish final 
rules at a point early enough in the summer to allow affected State 
agencies to appropriately adjust their licensing and regulatory 
mechanisms; and (2) the unavailability, before mid-June, of specific, 
reliable data on this year's status of some waterfowl and migratory 
shore and upland game bird populations. Therefore, we believe that to 
allow comment periods past the dates specified is contrary to the 
public interest. Before promulgation of final migratory game bird 
hunting regulations, we will take into consideration all comments 
received. Such comments, and any additional information received, may 
lead to final regulations that differ from these proposals.
    You may inspect comments received on the proposed annual 
regulations during normal business hours at the Service's office in 
room 4107, 4501 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia. For each 
series of proposed rulemakings, we will establish specific comment 
periods. We will consider, but possibly may not respond in detail to, 
each comment. As in the past, we will summarize all comments received 
during the comment period and respond to them after the closing date.

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 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). 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 under the caption ADDRESSES.
    In a proposed rule published in the April 30, 2001, Federal 
Register (66 FR 21298), we expressed our intent to begin the process of 
developing a new Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the 
migratory bird hunting program. We plan to begin the public scoping 
process in 2005.

Endangered Species Act Consideration

    Prior to issuance of the 2005-06 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.

Executive Order 12866

    The migratory bird hunting regulations are economically significant 
and were reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under 
Executive Order 12866. As such, a cost/benefit analysis was initially 
prepared in 1981. This analysis was subsequently revised annually from 
1990-96, updated in 1998, and updated again in 2004. It is further 
discussed below under the heading Regulatory Flexibility Act. Results 
from the 2004 analysis indicate that the expected welfare benefit of 
the annual migratory bird hunting frameworks is on the order of $734 
million to $1.064 billion, with a mid-point estimate of $899 million. 
Copies of the cost/benefit analysis are available upon request from the 
address indicated under ADDRESSES or from our Web site at 

    Executive Order 12866 also requires each agency to write 
regulations that are easy to understand. We invite 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?
    (5) Is the description of the rule in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
section of the preamble helpful in understanding the rule?
    (6) 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 may also e-mail the comments to this address: Exsec@ios.doi.gov.

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 as part of the 
1981 cost-benefit analysis discussed under Executive Order 12866. 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, and 2004. 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 2004 Analysis was based on the 2001 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 $481 million and $1.2 billion at small businesses in 
2004. Copies of the Analysis are available upon request from the 
address indicated under ADDRESSES or from our Web site at http://www.migratorybirds.gov

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. 

Paperwork Reduction Act

    We examined these regulations under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995 (PRA). There are no new information collections in this proposed 
rule that

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would require OMB approval under the PRA. OMB has approved the 
information collection requirements of the surveys associated with the 
Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program and assigned clearance 
number 1018-0015 (expires 2/29/2008). 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 Survey and 
assigned clearance number 1018-0023 (expires 11/30/2007). The 
information from this survey is used to estimate the magnitude and the 
geographical and temporal distribution of the 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 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 
Executive Order 12988.

Takings Implication Assessment

    In accordance with Executive Order 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 will not result in the physical occupancy of 
property, the physical invasion of property, or the regulatory taking 
of any property. In fact, these rules allow hunters to exercise 
otherwise unavailable privileges and, therefore, reduce restrictions on 
the use of private and public property.

Energy Effects--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. While this proposed 
rule is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 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.

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 Executive Order 13132, 
these regulations do not have significant federalism effects and do not 
have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 
Federalism Assessment.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20

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

    The rules that eventually will be promulgated for the 2005-06 
hunting season are authorized under 16 U.S.C. 703-712 and 16 U.S.C. 742 

    Dated: June 10, 2005.
Paul Hoffman,
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

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[FR Doc. 05-12554 Filed 6-23-05; 8:45 am]