[Federal Register: June 21, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 119)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 35599-35600]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Parts 21 and 22

RINs 1018-AG11 and 1018-AT60

Migratory Bird Permits; Changes in the Regulations Governing 
Falconry and Raptor Propagation; Draft Environmental Assessment on Take 
of Raptors From the Wild for Falconry and Raptor Propagation

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the 
availability of a Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) evaluating the 
take of raptors from the wild for use in falconry and in raptor 
propagation. We have prepared this DEA as part of the process we must 
follow to finalize two rules under the National Environmental Policy 

DATES: Send comments on the DEA by September 19, 2006.

ADDRESSES: You may pick up a copy of the DEA or hand-deliver your 
comments to the Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and 

[[Page 35600]]

Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop 4107, Arlington, Virginia 
22203-1610. The DEA also is available on the Division of Migratory Bird 
Management Web pages at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. George T. Allen, Division of 
Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, at 703-358-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We have prepared this DEA as part of the 
process we must follow under the National Environmental Policy Act (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) as we move toward finalizing two proposed rules on 
falconry and raptor propagation. We published proposed falconry 
regulations on February 9, 2005 (70 FR 6978), in which we proposed 
numerous changes governing the practice of falconry. We published 
proposed raptor propagation regulations on October 14, 2005 (70 FR 
60052). We proposed few significant changes to the falconry 
regulations, but for both proposed rules we changed to simpler language 
for the regulations. We now make available our DEA on the effects of 
take from the wild for these two activities.
    In the DEA, we considered three alternatives for take of raptors 
from the wild for use in falconry and in raptor propagation. The first, 
the No Action Alternative, would leave take regulated as it is now; 
take limits for falconry would not be established. Neither the dual 
Federal/State permitting system for falconry nor the permitting system 
for raptor propagation would be changed.
    Under Alternative 2, we would establish upper limits on take of 
raptor species based on the published data for, and biology of, each 
species. We would not change falconry or captive propagation 
permitting; neither the dual Federal/State permitting system for 
falconry nor the permitting system for raptor propagation would be 
changed. Under this alternative, we would base allowed take on 
published data and evaluations of the effects of take for falconry and 
raptor propagation. Harvest of juvenile raptors would be limited to 
levels that would not harm wild populations.
    Our preferred choice is Alternative 3. Under this alternative, we 
would establish upper limits on take of raptor species based on the 
published data for, and biology of, each species. We would eliminate 
Federal permitting for falconry, but would not change the captive 
propagation regulations in a manner that would impact take of raptors 
from the wild. We would base allowed take on published data and 
evaluations of the effects of take for falconry and raptor propagation. 
Harvest of juvenile raptors would be limited to levels that would not 
harm wild populations. The Federal/State permitting system for falconry 
would be changed, with the responsibility for falconry permitting 
resting with the States, subject to the requirements of revised 
falconry regulations. The current permitting for raptor propagation 
would be maintained.
    Based on our modeling of raptor populations using the best 
available survival data, we have concluded that the impact of any of 
these alternatives on raptor populations would be imperceptible. Our 
analyses indicate that most raptor populations can sustain 
significantly more take for falconry and raptor propagation than will 
occur under any reasonable take scenario.

Public Comments

    We welcome comments on the DEA. When submitting written comments, 
please include your name and return address in your letter and identify 
it as comments on the DEA. To facilitate our compilation of the 
Administrative Record for this action, you must submit written comments 
on 8\1/2\ inch by 11 inch paper. Or, you may submit comments 
electronically via the Migratory Bird Management Web page at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/
, where a link for comments will be 

available. Please submit comments by only one method, do not send 
duplicate submissions. All comments received, including any personal 
information provided, will be available for public inspection at the 
address given above for hand delivery of comments. We will not consider 
anonymous comments.

    Dated: June 12, 2006.
H. Dale Hall,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E6-9725 Filed 6-20-06; 8:45 am]