[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 118 (Wednesday, June 23, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 32878-32881]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-13476]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 91

[Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2021-0048; FXMB12330900000//212//FF09M13000]
RIN 1018-BF62

Revision of Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp 
(Duck Stamp) Contest Regulations

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to 
revise the regulations governing the annual Migratory Bird Hunting and 
Conservation Stamp Contest (also known as the Federal Duck Stamp 
Contest (Contest)). Our proposed amendments would remove the previously 
specified permanent theme and the mandatory inclusion of an appropriate 
hunting element within all Contest entries and revise the 
qualifications of the judging panel to reflect this change. This change 
would be scheduled to begin with the 2022 Contest.

DATES: We will accept comments that we receive on or before July 23, 
2021. Please note that if you are using the Federal eRulemaking Portal 
(see ADDRESSES, below), the deadline for submitting an electronic 
comment is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments 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: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-HQ-MB-
2021-0048, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: JAO/
3W, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.
    We will not accept hand-delivered, emailed, or faxed comments. We 
will post all comments on https://www.regulations.gov. This generally 
means that your entire submission--including any personal identifying 
information--will be posted on the website. See Public Comments 
Procedures and Public Availability of Comments, below, for more 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jerome Ford, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, Department of the Interior, (202) 208-1050.



History of the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp 
(Duck Stamp) Program

    On March 16, 1934, Congress passed and President Franklin D. 
Roosevelt signed the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act, which was later 
amended to become the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act 
(16 U.S.C. 718-718j, 48 Stat. 452). Popularly known as the Duck Stamp 
Act, the law requires all waterfowl hunters who have attained the age 
of 16 to buy an annual stamp. Funds generated from Duck Stamp sales are 
used to protect waterfowl and wetland habitat that is incorporated into 
the National Wildlife Refuge System from willing sellers and those 
interested in obtaining conservation easements.
    Over 1.5 million stamps are sold each year, and, as of 2021, 
Federal Duck Stamps have generated more than $1.1 billion for the 
conservation of more than 6 million acres of waterfowl habitat in the 
United States. In addition to waterfowl, numerous other birds, mammals, 
fish, reptiles, and amphibians benefit from habitat protected by the 
Duck Stamp revenues, including an estimated one-third of the nation's 
endangered and threatened species. The healthy wetlands protected by 
Duck Stamp funding sequester carbon and contribute to addressing the 
impacts of climate change, including absorbing flood waters and storm 
surge. These wetlands purify water supplies and provide economic 
support to local communities as they attract outdoor recreationists 
from many different backgrounds.

History of the Duck Stamp Contest

    The first Federal Duck Stamp was designed at President Roosevelt's 
request by Jay N. ``Ding'' Darling, a nationally known political 
cartoonist for the Des Moines Register and a hunter and wildlife 
conservationist. In subsequent years, noted wildlife artists were asked 
to submit designs for the stamp. The first Contest was opened in 1949 
to any U.S. artist who wished to enter. Since then, the Contest has 
attracted large numbers of entrants, and it remains the only art 
competition of its kind sponsored by the U.S. Government. The Secretary 
of the Interior appoints a panel of judges who have expertise in the 
area of art, waterfowl, or philately to select each year's winning 
design. Winners receive no compensation for the work, except a pane of 
Duck Stamps, based on their winning design, signed

[[Page 32879]]

by the Secretary of the Interior. However, winners maintain the 
copyright to their artwork and may sell prints of their designs, which 
are sought by hunters, conservationists, and art collectors.
    Waterfowl hunters have been the greatest contributors to the 
program, as they are required to purchase Duck Stamps in order to hunt 
waterfowl. Many individuals not engaged in hunting also purchase Duck 
Stamps to contribute to conservation or for the stamp's artistic value.

The 2020 Final Rule and 2021 Contest

    On May 8, 2020, the Service published a final rule (85 FR 27313) 
revising the regulations at 50 CFR part 91 governing the annual Federal 
Duck Stamp Contest. The Contest regulations made permanent the theme 
``celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage'' for all future Contests. 
The regulations require the inclusion of a waterfowl hunting-related 
scene or accessory in every entry but do not specify what accessories 
to include. Requirements for the judging panel specified that all 
judges would have one or more prerequisite qualifications, which could 
include the ability to recognize waterfowl hunting accessories. An 
image of a drake lesser scaup with a lanyard and duck calls was chosen 
as the winner of the 2020 Contest, and this image will appear on the 
2021-2022 Federal Duck Stamp when it is released for sale in July 2021.
    The 2021 Contest species and regulations, with the permanent theme 
and mandatory inclusion of waterfowl hunting-related accessories or 
scenes in all entries, have been widely publicized and remain in effect 
for the 2021 Contest with the entry period beginning on June 1, 2021. 
The Service encourages artists to continue with their entries for the 
2021 Contest and to adhere to the theme, entry qualifications, and 
judging requirements as published in the current regulations. This 
proposed rule, even if finalized before the 2021 Contest, will be 
applicable beginning with the 2022 Contest and each Contest thereafter.

Proposed Changes to the Regulations at 50 CFR Part 91

    With this proposed rule, we propose to remove the permanent 
``celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage'' theme and the mandatory 
inclusion of an appropriate hunting-related element in Contest entries, 
and accordingly revise the qualifications for selection as a judge and 
the scoring criteria for the Contest, beginning with the 2022 Contest, 
as described below. Since the implementation of the 2020 rule requiring 
the inclusion of a mandatory hunting-related element, many Duck Stamp 
Contest artists have continued to express their dissatisfaction with 
this element being a requirement for all entries. The Service has 
proposed this change to allow artists more freedom of expression when 
designing their entries.
    Currently, Sec.  91.14 explains that a live portrayal of any 
bird(s) of the five or fewer identified eligible waterfowl species must 
be the dominant feature of the design. In the May 8, 2020, final rule, 
we added to Sec.  91.14 a paragraph (b) containing an additional 
permanent requirement that all Contest entries must also include one or 
more elements that reflect the theme ``celebrating our waterfowl 
hunting heritage.'' We propose to remove this requirement. Removing 
this requirement would not preclude artists from including other 
appropriate elements (e.g., hunting dogs, decoys, and hunting scenes) 
in their artwork as long as an eligible waterfowl species is in the 
foreground, portrayed alive, and is clearly the focus of attention.
    Paragraph (b) of Sec.  91.21 outlines the qualifications of the 
judging panel. In the May 8, 2020, final rule, we revised Sec.  
91.21(b) to add ``an understanding and appreciation of the waterfowl 
hunting heritage and ability to recognize waterfowl hunting 
accessories'' as a prerequisite for the judges, among the other 
qualifications. We propose to remove that prerequisite from the 
qualifications of Contest judges.
    Finally, Sec.  91.23 sets forth the scoring criteria for the 
competition. In the May 8, 2020, final rule, we revised the criteria to 
include that Contest entries would also be judged on how well they 
illustrate the theme of ``celebrating our waterfowl hunting heritage.'' 
We propose to remove that judging requirement.

Public Comments Procedures

    To ensure that any final action resulting from this proposed rule 
will be as accurate and as effective as possible, we request that you 
send relevant information for our consideration. We will accept public 
comments we receive on or before the date listed above in DATES. We are 
striving to ensure that any final rule resulting from this proposed 
rule would allow sufficient time for artists to prepare their 
submissions by the June 1, 2022, opening of the 2022 Contest entry 
submission period. The comments that will be most useful are those 
supported by quantitative information or studies and those that include 
citations to, and analyses of, the applicable laws and regulations. 
Please make your comments as specific as possible and explain the basis 
for them. In addition, please include sufficient information with your 
comments to allow us to authenticate any scientific or commercial data 
you include.
    You must submit your comments and materials concerning this 
proposed rule by one of the methods listed above in ADDRESSES. We will 
not accept comments hand-delivered or those sent by email or fax or to 
an address not listed in ADDRESSES. If you submit a comment via http://www.regulations.gov, your entire comment--including any personal 
identifying information, such as your address, telephone number, or 
email address--will be posted on the website. Please note that comments 
submitted to this website are not immediately viewable. When you submit 
a comment, the system receives it immediately. However, the comment 
will not be publicly viewable until we post it, which might not occur 
until several days after submission.
    If you mail a hardcopy comment directly to us that includes 
personal information, you may request at the top of your document that 
we withhold this information from public review. However, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so. To ensure that the electronic 
docket for this rulemaking is complete and all comments we receive are 
publicly available, we will post all hardcopy comments on http://www.regulations.gov.
    In addition, all comments and materials we receive, as well as 
supporting documentation used in preparing this proposed rule, will be 
available for public inspection via http://www.regulations.gov. Search 
for FWS-HQ-MB-2021-0048, which is the docket number for this 

Public Availability of Comments

    As stated above in more detail, 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.

Required Determinations

National Environmental Policy Act

    This proposed rule is categorically excluded. It reflects an 
administrative modification of procedures and the

[[Page 32880]]

impacts are limited to administrative effects (516 DM 8.5(a)(3)). A 
detailed statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) is therefore not required.

Endangered Species Act Consideration

    Of the species on our List of Eligible Species, only two species 
are currently listed as endangered or threatened under section 4 of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.). No legal complications arise from the dual listing as the two 
lists are developed under separate authorities and for different 
purposes. Because this proposed rule is strictly administrative in 
nature, it has no effect on endangered or threatened species. Thus, it 
does not require consultation under section 7 of the ESA.

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. OIRA has 
determined that this proposed rule is not significant.
    Executive Order (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.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (as amended by the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996), 
whenever a Federal agency is required to publish a notice of rulemaking 
for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for 
public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the 
effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small 
organizations, and small government jurisdictions) (5 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the 
head of an agency certifies that the rule would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Thus, for a 
regulatory flexibility analysis to be required, impacts must exceed a 
threshold for ``significant impact'' and a threshold for a 
``substantial number of small entities.'' See 5 U.S.C. 605(b). SBREFA 
amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to 
provide a statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule 
would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. The changes we propose are intended primarily to 
clarify the requirements for the Contest. These changes would affect 
individuals, not businesses or other small entities as defined in the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act. Currently, Duck Stamp sales average 
approximately 1.5 million each year. Active waterfowl hunters, the only 
people required to purchase an annual stamp, number approximately 1.1 
million each year. Duck Stamps are also purchased by stamp and wildlife 
art collectors, bird watchers, and other conservationists, and a 
current stamp can be used for access at any national wildlife refuge 
that has an entry fee. Many hunters also purchase multiple stamps for 
different purposes. We are currently unable to quantify numbers of 
stamps purchased by each user group; we do not anticipate being able to 
attribute any variability in sales due to the proposed changes in the 
Contest. In recent years, when no theme is required, we have received 
an average of 200 entries per year to the Contest. We anticipate that 
the number of entries into the Federal Duck Stamp Contest will range 
between 140 and 250 in any given year.
    We therefore certify that, if adopted, this proposed rule would not 
have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small 
entities as defined under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. A Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis is not required. Accordingly, a Small Entity 
Compliance Guide is not required.

Clarity of This 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 ADDRESSES. To better help us 
revise the rulemaking, 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, 

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA)

    This rulemaking is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This proposed rule:
    (a) Would not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more.
    (b) Would not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers; individual industries; Federal, State, or local government 
agencies; or geographic regions.
    (c) Would not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA)

    This rule does not contain any new collections of information that 
require approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). OMB has 
previously approved the information collection requirements associated 
with the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck 
Stamp) Contest and assigned OMB Control Number 1018-0172. You may view 
the information collection request(s) at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. 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.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This proposed rule would not impose an unfunded mandate on State, 
local, or Tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 
million per year. The rulemaking does not have a significant or unique 
effect on State, local, or Tribal governments or the private sector. A 
statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

[[Page 32881]]

Civil Justice Reform

    In accordance with E.O. 12988, the Office of the Solicitor has 
determined that this proposed rule does not unduly burden the judicial 
system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of the Order.


    In accordance with E.O. 12630, this proposed rule does not have 
significant takings implications. A takings implication assessment is 
not required.

Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 on 
regulations that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, or 
use. This proposed rule would revise the current regulations at 50 CFR 
part 91 that govern the Federal Duck Stamp Contest. This rule would not 
significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, 
this action is a not a significant energy action and no Statement of 
Energy Effects is required.

Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    Under the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, ``Government-
to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments'' (59 
FR 22951), and 512 DM 2, we have evaluated possible effects on 
federally recognized Indian Tribes and have determined that there are 
no effects. Individual Tribal members must meet the same regulatory 
requirements as other individuals who enter the Federal Duck Stamp 


    These proposed revisions to part 91 do not contain significant 
Federalism implications. A federalism summary impact statement under 
Executive Order 13132 is not required.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 91

    Hunting, Wildlife.

Proposed Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we propose to amend part 91, subchapter G of chapter 
I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:


1. The authority citation for part 91 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 16 U.S.C. 718j; 31 U.S.C. 9701.

2. Revise Sec.  91.14 to read as follows:

Sec.  91.14   Restrictions on subject matter for entry.

    A live portrayal of any bird(s) of the five or fewer identified 
eligible waterfowl species must be the dominant feature of the design. 
The design may depict more than one of the eligible species. The 
judges' overall mandate is to select the best design that will make an 
interesting, useful, and attractive duck stamp that will be accepted 
and prized by hunters, stamp collectors, conservationists, and others. 
The design must be the contestant's original hand-drawn creation. The 
entry design may not be copied or duplicated from previously published 
art, including photographs, or from images in any format published on 
the internet. Photographs, computer-generated art, or art produced from 
a computer printer or other computer/mechanical output device (airbrush 
method excepted) are not eligible to be entered into the contest and 
will be disqualified. An entry submitted in a prior contest that was 
not selected for a Federal or State stamp design may be submitted in 
the current contest if the entry meets the criteria set forth in this 
3. Amend Sec.  91.21 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:

Sec.  91.21   Selection and qualification of contest judges.

* * * * *
    (b) Qualifications. The panel of five judges will comprise 
individuals who have one or more of the following prerequisites: 
Recognized art credentials, knowledge of the anatomical makeup and the 
natural habitat of the eligible waterfowl species, an understanding of 
the wildlife sporting world in which the Duck Stamp is used, an 
awareness of philately and the role the Duck Stamp plays in stamp 
collecting, and demonstrated support for the conservation of waterfowl 
and wetlands through active involvement in the conservation community.
* * * * *
4. Revise Sec.  91.23 to read as follows:

Sec.  91.23   Scoring criteria for contest.

    Entries will be judged on the basis of anatomical accuracy, 
artistic composition, and suitability for reduction in the production 
of a stamp.

Shannon A. Estenoz,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, 
Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Assistant Secretary for Fish 
and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2021-13476 Filed 6-22-21; 8:45 am]