[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 244 (Friday, December 18, 2020)]
[Pages 82501-82503]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-27887]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-HQ-MB-2020-N151; FF09M21200-201-FXMB1231099BPP0; OMB Control 
Number 1018-0171]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the 
Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Establishment 
of Annual Migratory Bird Hunting Seasons

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we, 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing to renew an 
information collection.

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 
January 19, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Written comments and recommendations for the proposed 
information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of 
this notice to www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. Find this particular 
information collection by selecting ``Currently under Review--Open for 
Public Comments'' or by using the search function. Please provide a 
copy of your comments to the Service Information Collection Clearance 
Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB (JAO/3W), 5275 
Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 (mail); or by email to 
Info_Coll@fws.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number 1018-0171 in the 
subject line of your comments.

[[Page 82502]]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Madonna L. Baucum, Service Information 
Collection Clearance Officer, by email at Info_Coll@fws.gov, or by 
telephone at (703) 358-2503. Individuals who are hearing or speech 
impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 for TTY 
assistance. You may also view the information collection request (ICR) 
at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995 (PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1), we 
provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an 
opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing 
collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our 
information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting 
burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection 
requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.
    On April 2, 2020, we published in the Federal Register (85 FR 
18532) a proposed rule to begin the process of establishing migratory 
bird hunting regulations for certain Tribes on Federal Indian 
reservations, off-reservation trust lands, and ceded lands for the 
2020-21 migratory bird hunting season. That Federal Register document 
also contained notice of our intent to request that OMB approve this 
related information collection. In that notice, we solicited comments 
for 60 days, ending on June 1, 2020. We did not receive any comments in 
response to that proposed rule.
    Additionally, on May 1, 2020, the Migratory Bird Program shared the 
proposed rule document with the Flyway Council representatives to 
solicit their feedback on the information collection requirements. We 
extended the comment period for the Flyway Councils to provide comments 
until October 30, 2020, so that they could share the information during 
their annual August/September Flyway Council meetings. We did not 
receive any comments in response to that additional comment 
    As part of our continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent 
burdens, we are again soliciting comments from the public and other 
Federal agencies on the proposed information collection request (ICR) 
that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment 
addressing the following:
    (1) Whether or not the collection of information is necessary for 
the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including 
whether or not the information will have practical utility;
    (2) The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection 
of information, including the validity of the methodology and 
assumptions used;
    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
    (4) How might the agency minimize the burden of the collection of 
information on those who are to respond, including through the use of 
appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological 
collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., 
permitting electronic submission of response.
    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of 
public record. 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.
    Abstract: 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. 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.
    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 
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, also assist in researching 
and providing migratory game bird management information for Federal, 
State, and Provincial governments, as well as private conservation 
entities and the general public.
    We request the following information to establish annual migratory 
bird hunting seasons:

Information Requested To Establish Annual Migratory Bird Hunting 

    As a result of the incremental annual rulemaking process explained 
above, the information requested from States is solicited during a 
different point in the overall rulemaking process than the information 
requested from Tribal governments. However, the final rules published 
at the end of the rulemaking process each year incorporate all 
information received from the State and Tribal governments. Therefore, 
this ICR incorporates both the annual requests for Tribal proposals in 
the proposed rules and the information requested annually from the 
States during subsequent proposed rules (all under the same Regulatory 
Identifier Number; we post all rules electronically on the Service's 
website (https://www.fws.gov/policy/frsystem/default.cfm). State and 
Tribal governments are aware of this process that affords them the 
opportunity to provide comments on the information collection 
requirements identified in the PRA section of each rule.
    The information identified below, necessary to establish annual 
migratory bird hunting seasons, is solicited annually from State 
(including U.S. territory) and Tribal governments. The required 
information, received at various times in the year prior to the actual 
hunting season as part of the rulemaking process described above, is 
used by the Service as part of the final rulemaking process necessary 
to open

[[Page 82503]]

annual hunting seasons otherwise closed by law.

Details Needed From States and U.S. Territories

    State and U.S. territory governments that wish to establish annual 
migratory game bird hunting seasons are required to provide the 
requested dates and other details for hunting seasons in their 
respective States or Territories. The information is provided to the 
Service in a non-form format, usually via letter or spreadsheet, in 
response to solicitations for the information sent to the State 
governments each year via an emailed letter and as part of the first 
final rule (for the frameworks).

Details Needed From Tribal Governments

    Tribes that wish to use the guidelines (published June 4, 1985, 50 
FR 23459--copy uploaded to ROCIS) to establish special hunting 
regulations for the annual migratory game bird hunting season are 
required to 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.
    Reports (50 CFR part 20): The following reports are requested from 
the States and are submitted either annually or every 3 years as 
explained in the following text.

Reports From Experimental Hunting Seasons and Season Structure Changes 

Atlantic Flyway Council

     Delaware--Experimental tundra swan season (Yearly updates 
and Final report).
     Florida (Completed)--Experimental teal-only season (Yearly 
updates and Final report).

Mississippi Flyway Council

     Alabama--Experimental sandhill crane season (Yearly 
updates and Final report).

Central Flyway Council

     Nebraska (Completed)--Experimental teal season (Yearly 
updates and Final report).
     New Mexico--Sandhill crane season in Estancia Valley: 
Yearly updates and Final report. This report was changed from 
experimental to operational. Annual data are still required, but there 
is not a final report, since this monitoring will occur in perpetuity 
(or as long as the State has that hunt area).
     Wyoming--Split (three-way) season for Canada geese (Final 
report only).

Pacific Flyway Council

     California--Zones and split season for white-fronted geese 
(Final report only).

Additional State-Specific Annual Reports


     Arizona--Sandhill crane racial composition of the harvest 
conducted at 3-year intervals.
     North Carolina and Virginia--Tundra swan harvest and 
hunter participation data (Yearly).
     Montana (Central Flyway portion), North Dakota, and South 
Dakota--Tundra swan harvest and hunter participation data (Yearly).
     Montana (Pacific Flyway portion)--Swan harvest-monitoring 
program to measure species composition (Yearly).
     Montana (Pacific Flyway portion), Utah, and Nevada--Swan 
harvest-monitoring program to measure the species composition and 
report detailing swan harvest, hunter participation, reporting 
compliance, and monitoring of swam populations in designated hunt areas 
    Reports and monitoring are used for a variety of reasons. Some are 
used to monitor species composition of the harvest for those areas 
where species intermingling can confound harvest management, and 
potential overharvest of one species can be of management concern. 
Others are used to determine overall harvest for those species and/or 
areas that are not sampled well by our overall harvest surveys due to 
either the limited nature/area of the hunt or season, or where the 
harvest needs to closely monitored. Experimental season reports are 
used to determine whether the experimental season is achieving its 
intended goals and objectives, without causing unintended harm to other 
species and ultimately whether the experimental season should proceed 
to operational status. Most experimental seasons are 3-year trials with 
yearly reports and a final report. Most of the other reports and 
monitoring are conducted either annually or at 3-year intervals.
    Title of Collection: Establishment of Annual Migratory Bird Hunting 
Seasons, 50 CFR part 20.
    OMB Control Number: 1018-0171.
    Form Numbers: None.
    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.
    Respondents/Affected Public: State and Tribal governments.
    Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 82 (from 52 State 
governments and Territories and 30 Tribal governments).
    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 99 (includes State and 
Tribal governments and additional reports from States).
    Estimated Completion Time per Response: Varies from 4 hours to 650 
hours, depending on activity.
    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 9,878.
    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit.
    Frequency of Collection: Annually.
    Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: None.
    An 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.
    The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

Madonna Baucum,
Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
[FR Doc. 2020-27887 Filed 12-17-20; 8:45 am]