Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Frameworks for Early-Season Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations and Regulatory Alternatives for the 2002-03 Duck Hunting Season; Notice of Meetings

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble Start Printed Page 47224

AGENCY:

Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Proposed rule; supplemental.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (hereinafter Service or we) is proposing to establish the 2002-03 early-season hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds. We annually prescribe frameworks, or outer limits, for dates and times when hunting may occur and the maximum number of birds that may be taken and possessed in early seasons. Early seasons may open as early as September 1, and include seasons in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These frameworks are necessary to allow State selections of specific final seasons and limits and to allow recreational harvest at levels compatible with population status and habitat conditions. This supplement to the proposed rule of March 19, 2002, also provides the final regulatory alternatives for the 2002-03 duck hunting season.

DATES:

We will accept all comments on the proposed migratory bird hunting-season frameworks for Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and other early seasons that are postmarked or received in our office by July 30, 2002, and for the forthcoming proposed late-season frameworks by August 30, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Send your comments on these proposals to the Chief, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, room 634-Arlington Square, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20240 or fax comments to (703) 358-2272. All comments received, including names and addresses, will become part of the public record. You may inspect comments during normal business hours in room 634, Arlington Square Building, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert Blohm, Acting Chief, or Ron W. Kokel, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (703) 358-1714.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulations Schedule for 2002

On March 19, 2002, we published in the Federal Register (67 FR 12501) 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, the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2002-03 duck hunting season, and other regulations for migratory game birds under §§ 20.101 through 20.107, 20.109, and 20.110 of subpart K. On June 11, 2002, we published in the Federal Register (67 FR 40128) a second document providing supplemental proposals for early- and late-season migratory bird hunting regulations frameworks and the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2002-03 duck hunting season. The June 11 supplement also provided detailed information on the 2002-03 regulatory schedule and announced the Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee (SRC) and Flyway Council meetings.

This document, the third in a series of proposed, supplemental, and final rulemaking documents for migratory bird hunting regulations, deals specifically with proposed frameworks for early-season regulations and the final regulatory alternatives for the 2002-03 duck hunting season. It will lead to final frameworks from which States may select season dates, shooting hours, and daily bag and possession limits for the 2002-03 season. We have considered all pertinent comments received through June 21, 2002, on the March 19 and June 11, 2002, rulemaking documents in developing this document. In addition, new proposals for certain early-season regulations are provided for public comment. Comment periods are specified above under DATES. We will publish final regulatory frameworks for early seasons in the Federal Register on or about August 20, 2002.

Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee Meetings

Participants at the June 19-20, 2002, meetings reviewed information on the current status of migratory shore and upland game birds and developed 2002-03 migratory game bird regulations recommendations for these species plus regulations for migratory game birds in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. 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. Participants at the previously announced July 31 and August 1, 2002, meetings will review information on the current status of waterfowl and develop recommendations for the 2002-03 regulations pertaining to regular waterfowl seasons and other species and seasons not previously discussed at the early-season meetings. In accordance with Department of the Interior policy, these meetings are open to public observation and you may submit written comments to the Director of the Service on the matters discussed.

Population Status and Harvest

The following paragraphs provide preliminary information on the status of waterfowl and information on the status and harvest of migratory shore and upland game birds.

May Breeding Waterfowl and Habitat Survey

The May Breeding Waterfowl and Habitat Survey was delayed and extended due to the unusually cold and late spring and only recently completed. Thus, this information is preliminary and population estimates are not yet available. Habitat conditions in May for breeding waterfowl in Canada and the U.S. are generally worse this year than they were last year, due primarily to lack of water in the prairies and cold spring temperatures in the East.

Most survey areas started this spring with a water deficit left over from the winter. Spring rains helped recharge wetlands in the most of northeast, but conditions remained very dry in the west. Conditions in the southern Saskatchewan prairies were the driest in over 30 years. Much of southern Manitoba also was dry this year, and drought continued in most of Alberta. There were fewer wetlands available to birds, because most temporary and seasonal wetlands were dry. In the Dakotas, Montana, and southern Saskatchewan, birds were forced to crowd onto the remaining semi-permanent and permanent ponds. A bright spot in the prairies was the Dakotas, where permanent wetlands remained in good condition from the wet period of 1993-2001. Preliminary reports and survey results suggest that many ducks over-flew these dry areas in the prairies to the boreal forest, where water levels are more stable.

A further negative impact on nesting waterfowl this year was the cold spring temperatures. Winter-like conditions hit the entire surveyed area in early May, and snowstorms and cold temperatures caused birds to halt migration. Migration was delayed for several weeks, as many birds waited for Start Printed Page 47225temperatures to warm up and ice to thaw. Snow and cold may have caused some nest loss in the prairies. In many of the northern survey areas, survey biologists reported that this was the latest spring ice break-up in memory. Break-up was so late in northern Ontario, northern Quebec, and Labrador that survey biologists suspected that it came too late for waterfowl to breed in these northeastern areas. However, spring break-up was not too late to prevent breeding in the northwestern areas, from the northern portions of the prairie provinces to Alaska. Conditions there were generally good, but the cold temperatures likely had a negative impact on early-nesting species such as mallards, green-winged teal, and pintails. The only region where habitat conditions for breeding waterfowl are better this year than they were last year is Alaska, where conditions went from poor/fair in 2001 to fair/good in 2002. This improvement is a result of the warmer post-thaw temperatures this year than last year. However, because the ice-melt was very rapid when it finally happened, nests may have been flooded out in parts of Alaska and Labrador.

Since the surveys were flown, water conditions have improved in Montana, the western Dakotas, southern Saskatchewan, and southern Alberta. These areas have received from several inches to a foot or more of rain and/or snow. However, this amount of moisture in such a short period of time has resulted in a lot of flooding, and most biologists think that the rain was probably too late to help nesting waterfowl this year. These improved conditions may help some broods, and may lead to improved water conditions next year.

In summary, waterfowl production is expected to be below normal in most southwestern survey areas, except for the Dakotas, where conditions are better. Production in the northwestern survey areas is harder to assess, because habitat conditions are good but cold spring temperatures likely will have a negative impact on early-nesting species. In the eastern survey areas, conditions ranged from good to excellent in the southern regions, to poor in the north where ice-thaw came too late.

Status of Teal

Preliminary estimates for blue-winged teal from surveyed areas total 4.2 million blue-winged teal, which is below the 4.7 million needed to trigger the 16-day teal season in the Central and Mississippi Flyways.

The 2001-02 season was the fourth consecutive year of an extended (16 days vs. 9 days) September teal season in the Central and Mississippi Flyways. The Atlantic Flyway also had a 9-day teal season. Harvest estimates are not available at this time.

The Division of Migratory Bird Management is working with the Central, Mississippi, and Atlantic Flyways on a comprehensive review of teal population and harvest information. The purposes of this review are to (1) evaluate the effects of extending the September teal season from 9 to 16 days in the Central and Mississippi Flyways, (2) evaluate the effects of the 9 day teal season in the Atlantic Flyway (implemented in 1998), and (3) evaluate the effect of all (September and regular season) harvest on teal populations. Progress is continuing on this review.

Sandhill Cranes

The Mid-Continent Population of Sandhill Cranes has generally stabilized at comparatively high levels, following increases in the 1970s. The Central Platte River Valley, Nebraska, spring index for 2002, uncorrected for visibility, was 313,600 cranes. The photo-corrected 3-year average for 1999-2001 was 396,167, which is within the established population-objective range of 343,000-465,000 cranes. All Central Flyway States, except Nebraska, allowed crane hunting in portions of their respective States in 2001-02. About 8,650 hunters participated in these seasons, which was 24 percent higher than the number participating in the previous year. An estimated 13,964 cranes were harvested in the Central Flyway during 2001-02 seasons, which was similar to the previous year's estimate. Retrieved harvests in the Pacific Flyway, Canada, and Mexico were estimated to be about 12,381 cranes for the 2001-02 period. The total North American sport harvest, including crippling losses, was estimated at 28,821, about 13 percent lower than the previous year's estimate. The long-term trend analysis for the Mid-Continent Population during 1982-2000 indicates that harvests have been increasing at a higher rate than the trend in population growth over the same period.

The fall 2001 pre-migration survey estimate for the Rocky Mountain Population of sandhill cranes was 16,559, which was similar to the previous year's estimate of 19,990. Limited special seasons were held during 2001 in portions of Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, resulting in a record high harvest of 898 cranes.

Woodcock

Singing-ground and wing-collection surveys were conducted to assess the population status of the American woodcock (Scolopax minor). Singing-ground Survey data for 2002 indicate that the number of displaying woodcock in the Eastern Region was 1.3 percent lower than levels observed in 2001; however, this decrease was not significant (P>0.10). In the Central Region, there was a 7.9 percent decrease in the number of woodcock heard displaying; however, this change was also not significant. Trends from the Singing-ground Survey during 1992-2002 were -2.1 and -1.5 percent change per year for the Eastern and Central regions, respectively (P<0.01). There were long-term (1968-02) declines (P<0.01) of 2.3 percent per year in the Eastern Region and 1.6 percent per year in the Central Region.

The 2001 recruitment index for the Eastern Region (1.4 immatures per adult female) was the same as the 2000 index, but was 18 percent below the long-term regional average. The recruitment index for the Central Region (1.3 immatures per adult females) was slightly higher than the 2000 index of 1.2 immatures per female, but was 23 percent below the long-term regional average. The index of daily hunting success in the Eastern Region was 2.0 woodcock per successful hunt in both 2000 and 2001, and seasonal hunting success was 8.7 woodcock per successful hunter in both years. In the Central Region, the daily success index increased slightly from 2.0 woodcock per successful hunt in 2000 to 2.1 in 2001; but seasonal hunting success decreased from 10.7 to 10.5 woodcock per successful hunter.

Band-tailed Pigeons and Doves

A significant decline in the Coastal population of band-tailed pigeons occurred during 1968-2001, as indicated by the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS); however, no trend was noted over the most recent 10 years. Additionally, mineral-site counts at 10 selected sites in Oregon indicate a general increase over the most recent 10 years. Call-count surveys conducted in Washington showed a significant increase during 1997-01 and a non-significant increase during 1975-01. The Interior band-tailed pigeon population is stable with no trend indicated by the BBS over the short- or long-term periods.

Analyses of Mourning Dove Call-count Survey data indicated significant declines in doves heard over both the most recent 10 years and the entire 37 years of the survey in the Central and Start Printed Page 47226Western Management Units. In the Eastern Unit, a significant decline was detected over 37 years but no significant trend was indicated over the most recent 10 years. In contrast, a significant increase was found for doves seen over the 10-year period, in the Eastern Unit, while no trends were found in the Central and Western Units. Over the 37-year period, no trend was found for doves seen in the Eastern and Central Units, while a decline was indicated for the Western Unit. A project is under way to develop mourning dove population models for each unit to provide guidance for improving our decision-making process with respect to harvest management. Additionally, a small-scale banding study is being planned to obtain additional information.

The number of white-winged doves in Arizona has been fairly stable since the 1970s. The average number of doves heard per route in 2002 was 26.7. Estimated harvests (99,900 in 2001) are low compared to those occurring several decades ago. In Texas, the range and density of white-winged doves continue to expand. In 2002, the whitewing population in Texas was estimated to be 2,329,000 birds, an increase of 5.7 percent from 2001. A more inclusive count in San Antonio documented more than 1 million birds. An estimated 197,000 whitewings were taken during the special whitewing season in south Texas, with an additional 986,000 birds taken statewide during the regular mourning dove season. The expansion of whitewings northward and eastward from Texas has led to nesting being reported in Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. They have been sighted in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota. Whitewings are believed to be expanding northward from Florida and have been seen in Georgia, the Carolinas, and Pennsylvania.

White-tipped doves are maintaining a relatively stable population in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. They are most abundant in cities and, for the most part, are not available to hunting. The count in 2002 averaged 0.97 birds per stop, a 43 percent increase over the count in 2001. The estimated harvest during the special 4-day whitewing season was about 2,400 birds.

Review of Public Comments

The preliminary proposed rulemaking (March 19 Federal Register) opened the public comment period for migratory game bird hunting regulations and the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2002-03 duck hunting season. The supplemental proposed rule (June 11 Federal Register) re-opened the public comment period for the proposed regulatory alternatives until June 21, 2002. Comments concerning early-season issues and the proposed alternatives are summarized below and numbered in the order used in the March 19 Federal Register document. Only the numbered items pertaining to early-seasons issues and the proposed regulatory alternatives for which written comments were received are included. Consequently, the issues do not follow in direct numerical or alphabetical order.

We received recommendations from all four Flyway Councils. Some recommendations supported continuation of last year's frameworks. Due to the comprehensive nature of the annual review of the frameworks performed by the Councils, support for continuation of last year's frameworks is assumed for items for which no recommendations were received. Council recommendations for changes in the frameworks are summarized below. 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 in the March 19, 2002, Federal Register document.

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. The categories correspond to previously published issues/discussion, and only those containing substantial recommendations are discussed below.

A. General Harvest Strategy

Council Recommendations: The Mississippi Flyway Council supported the proposed correction factor for biases in predicted annual growth rates and revision to the procedure for comparing predicted and observed population sizes.

Written Comments: The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks cited numerous complaints with the Adaptive Harvest Management (AHM) process, and recommended that the Service temper their use of AHM as the primary decision tool because of its current uncertainty and variability.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and 3 individual commented in support of the proposed correction for the bias in predicted mallard growth rates and revision to the procedure for comparing predicted and observed population sizes.

The Mississippi Flyway Council reiterated their support for the proposed correction factor for biases in predicted annual growth rates and revision to the procedure for comparing predicted and observed population sizes.

An organization expressed concern about the AHM population models and the reliance on inaccurate population data and models.

Service Response: AHM was developed cooperatively by the Service, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Flyway Councils, and the States, and since its implementation in 1995 has enjoyed widespread support among both federal and state waterfowl technicians and administrators. Moreover, the AHM process has been subject to extensive, ongoing review from the scientific community since its development in the early 1990's, and no credible technical arguments have been presented that would cause us to abandon the process. AHM represents state-of-the-art science, and its predictive capabilities provide greater insights to population dynamics than that of most other natural-resource management programs. Moreover, AHM's iterative process of resource monitoring, assessment, and decision-making provides a formal mechanism for learning from experience, thus improving future regulatory decisions.

The essential elements of AHM are: (a) unambiguous management objectives; (b) a finite set of regulatory alternatives; (c) alternative models (or hypotheses) of population dynamics, which predict the effect of hunting regulations and uncontrolled environmental factors; and (d) a resource monitoring program. The alternative models are the product of over 50 years of waterfowl research and assessment, and represent descriptions of duck biology that are plausible given the limits of current understanding. The alternative models influence the choice of hunting regulations to the extent that their respective predictions agree with observations from the resource monitoring program. Because of the scrutiny these population models receive, the Service and USGS were able to identify a bias common to all models Start Printed Page 47227that resulted in overly optimistic projections of population growth. This bias has now been corrected, and we appreciate the support we have received for implementing this revision.

While the AHM population models are a product of science, the specification of harvest-management objectives and regulatory alternatives involve value-based judgements. While decisions regarding management objectives and regulatory alternatives certainly have biological implications, the decisions are inherently subjective. The AHM process merely provides a way to combine these subjective elements with population biology to produce hunting opportunities consistent with the long-term viability of the waterfowl resource.

To help chart the future course of AHM with as much of a consensus among stakeholders as possible relative to the subjective elements of AHM, we are proposing to convene a task force comprised of recognized state and federal leaders in waterfowl management, whose charge will be to collaborate with the AHM Working Group and Flyway Councils to examine current harvest-management goals, objectives, constraints, and the set of regulatory alternatives and develop policy-level guidance for the Service regarding these non-technical aspects of AHM.

B. Regulatory Alternatives

Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended that regulatory alternatives for duck hunting seasons in the Atlantic Flyway for 2002-03 should be the same as those used in 1997-2001, except that the “liberal” and “moderate” regulatory alternatives should have an opening date of the Saturday nearest September 24th and a closing date of the last Sunday in January on an experimental basis. The Atlantic Flyway Council also recommended that annual changes in regulations should be limited to no more than one step up or down among the regulatory alternatives (e.g., from “liberal” to “moderate,” “moderate” to “restrictive”).

The Upper- and Lower-Region Regulations Committees of the Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that the AHM regulatory alternatives be modified as follows, beginning in 2002-03: (a) Eliminate the “very restrictive” alternative; (b) limit increments of year-to-year change to single regulation steps; and (c) replace closed seasons for some combinations of population size and pond numbers with the “restrictive” alternative so that seasons could be open at similar mallard population levels that were hunted in the past.

The Upper-Region Regulations Committee of the Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that duck season framework dates for 2002-03 be the Saturday nearest September 24th and the last Sunday in January in the “moderate” and “liberal” regulatory alternatives, as noted in the March 19th Federal Register, provided that if the extended framework dates result in a more conservative hunting season, mid-latitude States (all States in the Upper Region except Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan) would be allowed an additional 7 days in season length. The Lower-Region Regulations Committee of the Mississippi Flyway Council recommended the outside framework dates for the regular duck season in the “moderate” and “liberal” alternatives be the Saturday nearest September 24 and the last Sunday in January with no penalty in season length, and that this option be available either Statewide or in individual zones.

The Central Flyway Council recommended the elimination of the “very restrictive” regulatory alternative and the replacement of closed-season cells for some combinations of mallard breeding population size and pond numbers with the “restrictive” alternative in order that seasons could be opened when similar population levels were hunted in the past. The Central Flyway Council also recommended that the Service adopt the proposed 2002-03 regulatory alternatives and species/sex restrictions for the Central Flyway, except for the following modifications: (a) The opening date will be the Saturday closest to September 24th in the “liberal” and “moderate” AHM regulation alternatives, there will be no offset penalties (reduced or restricted bag limits or reduction in season length), and the framework closing date in the Central Flyway will remain the Sunday closest to January 20th; and (b) if the earlier framework dates are selected, the Central Flyway Council recommends the Special September Teal Season be allowed according to established criteria throughout September without penalty (using regular season days).

The Pacific Flyway Council recommended that the Service examine how eliminating the closed season and the “very restrictive” alternative from the set of regulatory alternatives may influence optimal regulations decisions, considering proposed model revisions. If the results of this evaluation are consistent with past analyses conducted by the Mississippi Flyway, the Council would support elimination of the “very restrictive” alternative. The Council believes closed seasons should not be considered when breeding populations and pond numbers exist at levels at which seasons have been offered in the past. The Pacific Flyway Council also supports duck season framework extensions and evaluation of their impacts to harvest distribution and rates as outlined in the Service's March 19, 2002, Federal Register.

Written Comments: The Mississippi Flyway Council reiterated their previous recommendations to eliminate the “very restrictive” alternative, limit increments of year-to-year change to single regulation steps, and replace closed seasons for some combinations of population size and pond numbers with the “restrictive” alternative so that seasons could be open at similar mallard population levels that were hunted in the past.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources supported elimination of the “very restrictive” alternative and providing for open seasons at similar mallard population levels that were hunted in the past, but opposed limiting increments of year-to-year change to single regulations steps.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Missouri Department of Conservation, one organization, and one individual supported the recommendations to eliminate the “very restrictive” regulatory alternative, limit increments of year-to-year change to single regulations steps, and provide for open seasons at similar mallard population levels that were hunted in the past.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources supported limiting increments of year-to-year change to single regulations steps.

The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks supported elimination of the “very restrictive” alternative and providing for open seasons at similar mallard population levels that were hunted in the past.

One individual supported providing for open seasons at similar mallard population levels that were hunted in the past, but did not support elimination of the “very restrictive” alternative or limiting increments of year-to-year change to single regulations steps. Start Printed Page 47228

An organization supported tabling the proposed recommendations from the Flyway Councils until a more solid understanding of the various outcomes can be generated.

One individual opposed the recommendations to eliminate the “very restrictive” regulatory alternative, limit increments of year-to-year change to single regulations steps, and provide for open seasons at similar mallard population levels that were hunted in the past.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, Pennsylvania Game Commission, two organizations, and five individuals supported the proposal to extend the duck hunting framework opening and closing dates to the Saturday nearest September 24 and the last Sunday in January.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Missouri Department of Conservation, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 10 organizations, and 39 individuals opposed the extension of framework opening and closing dates. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources also indicates that if the Service decides to extend framework dates, they recommend that mid-latitude states be offered 7 additional days in season length for “restrictive” and “moderate” packages.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recommended a fixed framework closing date of January 31.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources recommended fixed framework dates of an October 1 opening, a January 31 closing in the “liberal” regulatory alternative, and a January 20 closing in the other alternatives.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources supported the extension of framework dates, except that the closing date should be a fixed date of January 31.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and 1 individual supported the proposed extension of the framework opening date, but opposed extension of the closing date.

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection opposed the extension of the framework opening date and recommended that any framework-date changes be limited to the “liberal” regulatory alternative.

One organization and one individual opposed the extension of the framework opening date. Three individuals opposed any reductions in season length. Eight individuals requested that both season length and bag limit be reduced. One individual requested that the “liberal” regulatory alternative not be used. Four individuals requested a longer duck season with a lower daily bag limit. One individual requested a lower daily bag limit. Five individuals recommended several season-length and/or bag-limit modifications to the regulatory alternatives.

Service Response: We have decided to implement the framework-date extensions for the “moderate” and “liberal” regulatory alternatives as proposed in the March 19, 2002 Federal Register. In the absence of more definitive information, we are assuming that harvest rates of mid-continent and eastern mallards will increase by 15 percent and 5 percent, respectively. These projected increases will be taken into account in the selection of a regulatory alternative for the 2002-03 hunting season. Projected changes in mallard harvest rates will be revised next year after estimates of harvest rates resulting from implementation of the framework-date extensions become available. Our ability to predict changes in the mortality and reproductive rates of other duck stocks that might occur as a result of the framework-date extensions is limited. However, changes in harvest of all duck stocks will be closely monitored and regulatory action will be taken if adverse impacts are perceived.

We also considered the requests to modify the set of regulatory alternatives in other ways. However, we have decided not to implement any of these changes until a more comprehensive review of the regulatory alternatives and harvest-management objectives has been completed (see our response under A. General Harvest Strategy).

Therefore, for the 2002-03 hunting season, there will be no modifications to the four regulatory alternatives proposed in the March 19 Federal Register (see accompanying table for specifics). Alternatives are specified for each Flyway and are designated as “VERY RES” for the very restrictive, “RES” for the restrictive, “MOD” for the moderate, and “LIB” for the liberal alternative. We will propose the choice of regulatory alternative for the 2002-03 hunting season in August.

D. Special Seasons/Species Management

i. September Teal Seasons

Council Recommendations: The Central Flyway Council recommended that the geographic boundaries for the September teal season in Colorado be amended to include Lake and Chaffee Counties and all lands east of I-25.

Service Response: We concur with the Central Flyway Council's recommendation for a geographic boundary change for the September teal season in the Central Flyway portion of Colorado. The change is included in the framework proposed.

iv. Canvasbacks

Council Recommendations: The Pacific Flyway Council recommended annotation in the Service's Canvasback Harvest Strategy that Alaska will retain fixed frameworks in lieu of annual prescriptions.

Service Response: We concur with the Pacific Flyway Council's recommendation.

4. Canada Geese

A. Special Seasons

Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended that Georgia and Lake Seminole in Florida be offered an early Canada goose hunting season not to exceed 30 days between September 1-30, with a bag limit not to exceed 5 geese daily (10 in possession). They further recommended that Connecticut's Special September Canada goose season framework be extended from September 25 to September 30.

The Upper- and Lower-Region Regulations Committees of the Mississippi Flyway Council recommended that Minnesota be allowed to continue their experimental special September experimental Canada goose season (1-week extension) in 2002 while the 3-year evaluation is being completed.

Service Response: We concur with the Atlantic Flyway Council's recommended changes. The addition of Georgia and Lake Seminole in Florida will have no impact to migrant Canada geese and would allow the harvest of resident Canada geese during their September teal season. Regarding Connecticut's special September Canada goose season, leg-band recoveries and neck-collar observations suggest few migrants are available. Additionally, this season would be experimental.

We also concur with the extension of Minnesota's experimental special season to allow completion of the evaluation. Start Printed Page 47229

B. Regular Seasons

Council Recommendations: 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 in Michigan and Wisconsin be September 16, 2002.

Service Response: We concur with the earlier regular Canada goose season opening dates in Michigan and Wisconsin.

9. Sandhill Cranes

Council Recommendations: The Central Flyway Council recommended accepting the 2002 Rocky Mountain sandhill crane population harvest allocation of 833 birds as proposed by the Pacific Flyway. However, during the next revision of the Cooperative Population Management Plan, the Council desires a better definition of what factors will be used to determine when a survey should be considered unreliable.

The Pacific Flyway Council recommended establishing an experimental season for Rocky Mountain Population sandhill cranes for 2002-03, in Uintah County, Utah. The framework for the 30-day season would be September 1 to January 31, 2003, with a bag limit not to exceed 3 daily and 9 per season. Participants must have a valid permit, issued by the appropriate State, in their possession while hunting. Numbers of permits, open areas, season dates, protection plans for other species, and other provisions of seasons must be consistent with the management plan and approved by the Central and Pacific Flyway Councils.

Service Response: The Service concurs with the recommended changes.

14. Woodcock

Council Recommendations: The Atlantic Flyway Council recommended that the hunting regulations framework dates for American woodcock in the Eastern Region be changed back to the pre-1997 dates of October 1 to January 31.

Service Response: In 1997, the framework opening date for American woodcock in the Eastern Region was changed from October 1 to October 6. This change, coupled with a reduction in the season length from 45 days to 30 days, was made in an effort to reduce overall harvest. An analysis of daily wing-receipt data suggests that changing the framework opening date back to October 1 likely will not result in a meaningful increase in harvest, given that the season length is only 30 days. Therefore, we concur with the Council's recommendation.

17. White-Winged and White-Tipped Doves

Council Recommendations: The Central Flyway Council recommended that the hunting area for white-winged doves be expanded from its current area in New Mexico and Texas to include the remainder of the Central Flyway States that are in the Central Management Unit. The white-winged dove season should run concurrently with the mourning dove season with an aggregate bag.

Service Response: We concur with the Council's recommendation to allow all Central-Flyway states in the Central Management Unit to select a white-winged dove season that runs concurrently with the mourning dove season with an aggregate bag limit. However, we believe that this change should apply to all States in the Central Management Unit, rather than just those in the Central-Flyway portion of the unit.

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 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 ADDRESSES.

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 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 634, 4401 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. However, as in the past, we will summarize all comments received during the comment period and respond to them in the final rule.

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

Prior to issuance of the 2002-03 migratory game bird hunting regulations, we will consider 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 proposed action is consistent with conservation programs for those species. Consultations under Section 7 of this Act may cause us to change proposals in this and future supplemental proposed rulemakings.

Executive Order 12866

While this individual supplemental rule was not reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the migratory bird hunting regulations are economically significant and are annually reviewed by OMB under Executive Order 12866. Executive Order 12866 requires each agency to write regulations that are easy to understand. We invite comments on how to make this rule easier to understand, including Start Printed Page 47230answers 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? What else could we do to make the rule easier to understand?

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 1995. The various recordkeeping and reporting requirements imposed under regulations established in 50 CFR part 20, Subpart K, are utilized 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 10/31/2004). 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 07/31/2003). 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 proposed 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 rule will not unduly burden the judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

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. As this supplemental proposed rule is not expected to significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use, this proposed action is not a significant energy action and no Statement of Energy Effects is required.

Takings Implication Assessment

In accordance with Executive Order 12630, this proposed rule 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 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20

End List of Subjects

The rules that eventually will be promulgated for the 2002-03 hunting season are authorized under 16 U.S.C. 703-712 and 16 U.S.C. 742 a-j.

Start Signature

Dated: July 9, 2002.

Paul Hoffman,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

End Signature

Proposed Regulations Frameworks for 2002-03 Early Hunting Seasons on Certain Migratory Game Birds

Pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and delegated authorities, the Department of the Interior approved the following proposed frameworks, which prescribe season lengths, bag limits, shooting hours, and outside dates Start Printed Page 47231within which States may select hunting seasons for certain migratory game birds between September 1, 2002, and March 10, 2003.

General

Dates: All outside dates noted below are inclusive.

Shooting and Hawking (taking by falconry) Hours: Unless otherwise specified, from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset daily.

Possession Limits: Unless otherwise specified, possession limits are twice the daily bag limit.

Flyways and Management Units

Waterfowl Flyways

Atlantic Flyway—includes Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Mississippi Flyway—includes Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Central Flyway—includes Colorado (east of the Continental Divide), Kansas, Montana (Counties of Blaine, Carbon, Fergus, Judith Basin, Stillwater, Sweetgrass, Wheatland, and all counties east thereof), Nebraska, New Mexico (east of the Continental Divide except the Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation), North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming (east of the Continental Divide).

Pacific Flyway—includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and those portions of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming not included in the Central Flyway.

Management Units

Mourning Dove Management Units

Eastern Management Unit—All States east of the Mississippi River, and Louisiana.

Central Management Unit—Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.

Western Management Unit—Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Woodcock Management Regions

Eastern Management Region—Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Central Management Region—Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Other geographic descriptions are contained in a later portion of this document.

Compensatory Days in the Atlantic Flyway: In the Atlantic Flyway States of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, where Sunday hunting is prohibited statewide by State law, all Sundays are closed to all take of migratory waterfowl (including mergansers and coots).

Special September Teal Season

Outside Dates: Between September 1 and September 30, an open season on all species of teal may be selected by the following States in areas delineated by State regulations:

Atlantic Flyway—Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. All seasons are experimental.

Mississippi Flyway—Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Central Flyway—Colorado (part), Kansas, Nebraska (part), New Mexico (part), Oklahoma, and Texas. The season in Nebraska is experimental.

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not to exceed 9 consecutive days. The daily bag limit is 4 teal.

Shooting Hours

Atlantic Flyway—One-half hour before sunrise to sunset except in Maryland, where the hours are from sunrise to sunset.

Mississippi and Central Flyways—One-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except in the States of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio, where the hours are from sunrise to sunset.

Special September Duck Seasons

Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee: In lieu of a special September teal season, a 5-consecutive-day season may be selected in September. The daily bag limit may not exceed 4 teal and wood ducks in the aggregate, of which no more than 2 may be wood ducks.

Iowa: Iowa may hold up to 5 days of its regular duck hunting season in September. All ducks that are legal during the regular duck season may be taken during the September segment of the season. The September season segment may commence no earlier than the Saturday nearest September 20 (September 21). The daily bag and possession limits will be the same as those in effect last year, but are subject to change during the late-season regulations process. The remainder of the regular duck season may not begin before October 10.

Special Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days

Outside Dates: States may select two consecutive days (hunting days in Atlantic Flyway States with compensatory days) per duck-hunting zone, designated as “Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days,” in addition to their regular duck seasons. The days must be held outside any regular duck season on a weekend, holidays, or other non-school days when youth hunters would have the maximum opportunity to participate. The days may be held up to 14 days before or after any regular duck-season frameworks or within any split of a regular duck season, or within any other open season on migratory birds.

Daily Bag Limits: The daily bag limits may include ducks, geese, mergansers, coots, moorhens, and gallinules and would be the same as those allowed in the regular season. Flyway species and area restrictions would remain in effect.

Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Participation Restrictions: Youth hunters must be 15 years of age or younger. In addition, an adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the youth hunter into the field. This adult could not duck hunt but may participate in other seasons that are open on the special youth day.

Scoter, Eider, and Oldsquaw Ducks (Atlantic Flyway)

Outside Dates: Between September 15 and January 20.

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not to exceed 107 days, with a daily bag limit of 7, singly or in the aggregate of the listed sea-duck species, of which no more than 4 may be scoters.

Daily Bag Limits During the Regular Duck Season: Within the special sea duck areas, during the regular duck season in the Atlantic Flyway, States may choose to allow the above sea duck limits in addition to the limits applying to other ducks during the regular duck season. In all other areas, sea ducks may be taken only during the regular open season for ducks and are part of the regular duck season daily bag (not to exceed 4 scoters) and possession limits.

Areas: In all coastal waters and all waters of rivers and streams seaward Start Printed Page 47232from the first upstream bridge in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York; in any waters of the Atlantic Ocean and in any tidal waters of any bay which are separated by at least 1 mile of open water from any shore, island, and emergent vegetation in New Jersey, South Carolina, and Georgia; and in any waters of the Atlantic Ocean and in any tidal waters of any bay which are separated by at least 800 yards of open water from any shore, island, and emergent vegetation in Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia; and provided that any such areas have been described, delineated, and designated as special sea-duck hunting areas under the hunting regulations adopted by the respective States.

Special Early Canada Goose Seasons

Atlantic Flyway

General Seasons

Canada goose seasons of up to 15 days during September 1-15 may be selected for the Eastern Unit of Maryland and Delaware. Seasons not to exceed 20 days during September 1-20 may be selected for the Northeast Hunt Unit of North Carolina. Seasons not to exceed 30 days during September 1-30 may be selected by New Jersey. Except for experimental seasons described below, seasons may not exceed 25 days during September 1-25 in the remainder of the Flyway. Areas open to the hunting of Canada geese must be described, delineated, and designated as such in each State's hunting regulations.

Daily Bag Limits: Not to exceed 5 Canada geese.

Experimental Seasons

Experimental Canada goose seasons of up to 25 days during September 1-25 may be selected for the Montezuma Region of New York and the Lake Champlain Region of New York and Vermont. Experimental seasons of up to 30 days during September 1-30 may be selected by Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New York (Long Island Zone), North Carolina (except in the Northeast Hunt Unit), Rhode Island, and South Carolina. Areas open to the hunting of Canada geese must be described, delineated, and designated as such in each State's hunting regulations.

Daily Bag Limits: Not to exceed 5 Canada geese.

Mississippi Flyway

General Seasons

Canada goose seasons of up to 15 days during September 1-15 may be selected, except in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, where the season may not extend beyond September 10. The daily bag limit may not exceed 5 Canada geese. Areas open to the hunting of Canada geese must be described, delineated, and designated as such in each State's hunting regulations.

Experimental Seasons

An experimental Canada goose season of up to 7 consecutive days during September 16-22 may be selected by Minnesota, except in the Northwest Goose Zone. The daily bag limit may not exceed 5 Canada geese.

An experimental Canada goose season of up to 10 consecutive days during September 1-10 may be selected by Michigan for Huron, Saginaw, and Tuscola Counties, except that the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, Shiawassee River State Game Area Refuge, and the Fish Point Wildlife Area Refuge will remain closed. The daily bag limit may not exceed 2 Canada geese.

Central Flyway

General Seasons

Canada goose seasons of up to 15 days during September 1-15 may be selected. The daily bag limit may not exceed 5 Canada geese. Areas open to the hunting of Canada geese must be described, delineated, and designated as such in each State's hunting regulations.

Experimental Seasons

An experimental Canada goose season of up to 14 consecutive days during September 16-27 may be selected by South Dakota. The daily bag limit may not exceed 5 Canada geese.

An experimental Canada goose season of up to 10 consecutive days during September 22-30 may be selected by Oklahoma. The daily bag limit may not exceed 5 Canada geese.

An experimental Canada goose season of up to 7 consecutive days during September 16-20 may be selected by North Dakota. The daily bag limit may not exceed 5 Canada geese.

Pacific Flyway

General Seasons

California may select a 9-day season in Humboldt County during the period September 1-15. The daily bag limit is 2.

Colorado may select a 9-day season during the period of September 1-15 in Grand County, excluding Shadow Mountain Reservoir, and that portion of Summit County north of U.S. Interstate 70. The daily bag limit is 3.

Oregon may select a special Canada goose season of up to 15 days during the period September 1-15. In addition, in the NW goose management zone in Oregon, a 15-day season may be selected during the period September 1-20. Daily bag limits may not exceed 5 Canada geese.

Idaho may select a 7-day season in the special East Canada Goose Zone, as described in State regulations, during the period September 1-15. All participants must have a valid State permit, and the total number of permits issued is not to exceed 110 for this zone. The daily bag limit is 2.

Idaho may select a 7-day Canada Goose Season during the period September 1-15 in Nez Perce County, with a bag limit of 4.

Washington may select a special Canada goose season of up to 15 days during the period September 1-15. Daily bag limits may not exceed 5 Canada geese.

Wyoming may select an 8-day season on Canada geese between September 1-15. This season is subject to the following conditions:

1. Where applicable, the season must be concurrent with the September portion of the sandhill crane season.

2. All participants must have a valid State permit for the special season.

3. A daily bag limit of 3, with season and possession limits of 6, will apply to the special season.

Areas open to hunting of Canada geese in each State must be described, delineated, and designated as such in each State's hunting regulations.

Regular Goose Seasons

Regular goose seasons may open as early as September 16 in Wisconsin and Michigan. Season lengths, bag and possession limits, and other provisions will be established during the late-season regulations process.

Sandhill Cranes

Regular Seasons in the Central Flyway:

Outside Dates: Between September 1 and February 28.

Hunting Seasons: Seasons not to exceed 37 consecutive days may be selected in designated portions of North Dakota (Area 2) and Texas (Area 2). Seasons not to exceed 58 consecutive days may be selected in designated portions of the following States: Colorado, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Seasons not to exceed 93 consecutive days may be selected in designated portions of the following States: New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Daily Bag Limits: 3 sandhill cranes, except 2 sandhill cranes in designated portions of North Dakota (Area 2) and Texas (Area 2). Start Printed Page 47233

Permits: Each person participating in the regular sandhill crane seasons must have a valid Federal sandhill crane hunting permit and/or, in those States where a Federal sandhill crane permit is not issued, a State-issued Harvest Information Survey Program (HIP) certification for game bird hunting in their possession while hunting.

Special Seasons in the Central and Pacific Flyways: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming may select seasons for hunting sandhill cranes within the range of the Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) subject to the following conditions:

Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 31.

Hunting Seasons: The season in any State or zone may not exceed 30 days.

Bag limits: Not to exceed 3 daily and 9 per season.

Permits: Participants must have a valid permit, issued by the appropriate State, in their possession while hunting.

Other provisions: Numbers of permits, open areas, season dates, protection plans for other species, and other provisions of seasons must be consistent with the management plan and approved by the Central and Pacific Flyway Councils with the following exceptions:

1. In Utah, the requirement for monitoring the racial composition of the harvest in the experimental season is waived, and 100 percent of the harvest will be assigned to the RMP quota;

2. In Arizona, the annual requirement for monitoring the racial composition of the harvest is changed to once every 3 years;

3. In Idaho, seasons are experimental, and the requirement for monitoring the racial composition of the harvest is waived; 100 percent of the harvest will be assigned to the RMP quota; and

4. In New Mexico, the season in the Estancia Valley is experimental, with a requirement to monitor the level and racial composition of the harvest; greater sandhill cranes in the harvest will be assigned to the RMP quota.

Common Moorhens and Purple Gallinules

Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 20 in the Atlantic Flyway, and between September 1 and the Sunday nearest January 20 (January 19) in the Mississippi and Central Flyways. States in the Pacific Flyway have been allowed to select their hunting seasons between the outside dates for the season on ducks; therefore, they are late-season frameworks, and no frameworks are provided in this document.

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Seasons may not exceed 70 days in the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyways. Seasons may be split into 2 segments. The daily bag limit is 15 common moorhens and purple gallinules, singly or in the aggregate of the two species.

Zoning: Seasons may be selected by zones established for duck hunting.

Rails

Outside Dates: States included herein may select seasons between September 1 and January 20 on clapper, king, sora, and Virginia rails.

Hunting Seasons: The season may not exceed 70 days, and may be split into 2 segments.

Daily Bag Limits: Clapper and King Rails—In Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, 10, singly or in the aggregate of the two species. In Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, 15, singly or in the aggregate of the two species.

Sora and Virginia Rails—In the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyways and the Pacific-Flyway portions of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming, 25 daily and 25 in possession, singly or in the aggregate of the two species. The season is closed in the remainder of the Pacific Flyway.

Common Snipe

Outside Dates: Between September 1 and February 28, except in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, where the season must end no later than January 31.

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Seasons may not exceed 107 days and may be split into two segments. The daily bag limit is 8 snipe.

Zoning: Seasons may be selected by zones established for duck hunting.

American Woodcock

Outside Dates: States in the Eastern Management Region may select hunting seasons between October 1 and January 31. States in the Central Management Region may select hunting seasons between the Saturday nearest September 22 (September 21) and January 31.

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Seasons may not exceed 30 days in the Eastern Region and 45 days in the Central Region. The daily bag limit is 3. Seasons may be split into two segments.

Zoning: New Jersey may select seasons in each of two zones. The season in each zone may not exceed 24 days.

Band-Tailed Pigeons

Pacific Coast States (California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada)

Outside Dates: Between September 15 and January 1.

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 9 consecutive days, with a daily bag limit of 2 band-tailed pigeons.

Zoning: California may select hunting seasons not to exceed 9 consecutive days in each of two zones. The season in the North Zone must close by October 3.

Four-Corners States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah)

Outside Dates: Between September 1 and November 30.

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 30 consecutive days, with a daily bag limit of 5 band-tailed pigeons.

Zoning: New Mexico may select hunting seasons not to exceed 20 consecutive days in each of two zones. The season in the South Zone may not open until October 1.

Mourning Doves

Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 15, except as otherwise provided, States may select hunting seasons and daily bag limits as follows:

Eastern Management Unit

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 70 days with a daily bag limit of 12, or not more than 60 days with a daily bag limit of 15.

Zoning and Split Seasons: States may select hunting seasons in each of two zones. The season within each zone may be split into not more than three periods. The hunting seasons in the South Zones of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana, may commence no earlier than September 20. Regulations for bag and possession limits, season length, and shooting hours must be uniform within specific hunting zones.

Central Management Unit

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 70 days with a daily bag limit of 12, or not more than 60 days with a daily bag limit of 15 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate.

Zoning and Split Seasons: States may select hunting seasons in each of two zones. The season within each zone may be split into not more than three periods. Start Printed Page 47234

Texas may select hunting seasons for each of three zones subject to the following conditions:

A. The hunting season may be split into not more than two periods, except in that portion of Texas in which the special white-winged dove season is allowed, where a limited mourning dove season may be held concurrently with that special season (see white-winged dove frameworks).

B. A season may be selected for the North and Central Zones between September 1 and January 25; and for the South Zone between September 20 and January 25.

C. Daily bag limits are aggregate bag limits with mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves (see white-winged dove frameworks for specific daily bag limit restrictions).

D. Except as noted above, regulations for bag and possession limits, season length, and shooting hours must be uniform within each hunting zone.

Western Management Unit

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington—Not more than 30 consecutive days with a daily bag limit of 10 mourning doves.

Nevada—Not more than 30 consecutive days with a daily bag limit of 10 mourning doves, except in Clark and Nye Counties where the daily bag limit may not exceed 10 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate.

Arizona and California—Not more than 60 days, which may be split between two periods, September 1-15 and November 1-January 15. In Arizona, during the first segment of the season, the daily bag limit is 10 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate, of which no more than 6 may be white-winged doves. During the remainder of the season, the daily bag limit is 10 mourning doves. In California, the daily bag limit is 10 mourning doves, except in Imperial, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties where the daily bag limit may not exceed 10 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate.

White-Winged and White-Tipped Doves

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits

Except as shown below, seasons must be concurrent with mourning dove seasons.

Eastern Management Unit

In Florida, the daily bag limit may not exceed 12 mourning and white-winged doves (15 under the alternative) in the aggregate, of which no more than 4 may be white-winged doves.

In the remainder of the Eastern Management Unit, the season is closed.

Central Management Unit

In Texas, the daily bag limit may not exceed 12 mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves (15 under the alternative) in the aggregate, of which no more than 2 may be white-tipped doves. In addition, Texas also may select a hunting season of not more than 4 days for the special white-winged dove area of the South Zone between September 1 and September 19. The daily bag limit may not exceed 10 white-winged, mourning, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate, of which no more than 5 may be mourning doves and 2 may be white-tipped doves.

In the remainder of the Central Management Unit, the daily bag limit may not exceed 12 (15 under the alternative) mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate.

Western Management Unit

Arizona may select a hunting season of not more than 30 consecutive days, running concurrently with the first segment of the mourning dove season. The daily bag limit may not exceed 10 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate, of which no more than 6 may be white-winged doves.

In the Nevada Counties of Clark and Nye, and in the California Counties of Imperial, Riverside, and San Bernardino, the daily bag limit may not exceed 10 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate.

In the remainder of the Western Management Unit, the season is closed.

Alaska

Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 26.

Hunting Seasons: Alaska may select 107 consecutive days for waterfowl, sandhill cranes, and common snipe in each of five zones. The season may be split without penalty in the Kodiak Zone. The seasons in each zone must be concurrent.

Closures: The season is closed on Canada geese from Unimak Pass westward in the Aleutian Island chain. The hunting season is closed on emperor geese, spectacled eiders, and Steller's eiders.

Daily Bag and Possession Limits

Ducks—Except as noted, a basic daily bag limit of 7 and a possession limit of 21 ducks. Daily bag and possession limits in the North Zone are 10 and 30, and in the Gulf Coast Zone, they are 8 and 24, respectively. The basic limits may include no more than 1 canvasback daily and 3 in possession and may not include sea ducks.

In addition to the basic duck limits, Alaska may select sea duck limits of 10 daily, 20 in possession, singly or in the aggregate, including no more than 6 each of either harlequin or long-tailed ducks. Sea ducks include scoters, common and king eiders, harlequin ducks, long-tailed ducks, and common and red-breasted mergansers.

Light Geese—A basic daily bag limit of 3 and a possession limit of 6.

Dark Geese—A basic daily bag limit of 4 and a possession limit of 8.

Dark-goose seasons are subject to the following exceptions:

1. In Units 5 and 6, the taking of Canada geese is permitted from September 28 through December 16. A special, permit-only Canada goose season may be offered on Middleton Island. No more than 10 permits can be issued. A mandatory goose identification class is required. Hunters must check-in and check-out. Bag limit of 1 daily and 1 in possession. Season to close if incidental harvest includes 5 dusky Canada geese. A dusky Canada goose is any dark-breasted Canada goose (Munsell 10 YR color value five or less) with a bill length between 40 and 50 millimeters.

2. In Unit 10 (except Unimak Island), the taking of Canada geese is prohibited.

3. In Unit 9(D) and the Unimak Island portion of Unit 10, the limits for dark geese are 6 daily and 12 in possession.

Brant—A daily bag limit of 2.

Common snipe—A daily bag limit of 8.

Sandhill cranes—Bag and possession limits of 2 and 4, respectively, in the Southeast, Gulf Coast, Kodiak, and Aleutian Zones, and Unit 17 in the Northern Zone. In the remainder of the Northern Zone (outside Unit 17), bag and possession limits of 3 and 6, respectively.

Tundra Swans—Open seasons for tundra swans may be selected subject to the following conditions:

1. All seasons are by registration permit only.

2. All season framework dates are September 1-October 31.

3. In Game Management Unit (GMU) 17, an experimental season may be selected. No more than 200 permits may be issued for this during the experimental season. No more than 3 tundra swans may be authorized per permit with no more than 1 permit issued per hunter per season. An evaluation of the season must be completed, adhering to the guidelines for experimental seasons as described in the Pacific Flyway Management Plan for Start Printed Page 47235the Western Population of (tundra) Swans.

4. In Game Management Unit (GMU) 18, no more than 500 permits may be issued during the operational season. Up to 3 tundra swans may be authorized per permit. No more than 1 permit may be issued per hunter per season.

5. In GMU 22, no more than 300 permits may be issued during the operational season. Each permittee may be authorized to take up to 3 tundra swan per permit. No more than 1 permit may be issued per hunter per season.

6. In GMU 23, no more than 300 permits may be issued during the operational season. No more than 3 tundra swans may be authorized per permit with no more than 1 permit issued per hunter per season.

Hawaii

Outside Dates: Between October 1 and January 31.

Hunting Seasons: Not more than 65 days (75 under the alternative) for mourning doves.

Bag Limits: Not to exceed 15 (12 under the alternative) mourning doves.

Note:

Mourning doves may be taken in Hawaii in accordance with shooting hours and other regulations set by the State of Hawaii, and subject to the applicable provisions of 50 CFR part 20.

Puerto Rico

Doves and Pigeons

Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 15.

Hunting Seasons: Not more than 60 days.

Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Not to exceed 10 Zenaida, mourning, and white-winged doves in the aggregate. Not to exceed 5 scaly-naped pigeons.

Closed Areas: There is no open season on doves or pigeons in the following areas: Municipality of Culebra, Desecheo Island, Mona Island, El Verde Closure Area, and Cidra Municipality and adjacent areas.

Ducks, Coots, Moorhens, Gallinules, and Snipe

Outside Dates: Between October 1 and January 31.

Hunting Seasons: Not more than 55 days may be selected for hunting ducks, common moorhens, and common snipe. The season may be split into two segments.

Daily Bag Limits

Ducks—Not to exceed 6.

Common moorhens—Not to exceed 6.

Common snipe—Not to exceed 8.

Closed Seasons: The season is closed on the ruddy duck, white-cheeked pintail, West Indian whistling duck, fulvous whistling duck, and masked duck, which are protected by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The season also is closed on the purple gallinule, American coot, and Caribbean coot.

Closed Areas: There is no open season on ducks, common moorhens, and common snipe in the Municipality of Culebra and on Desecheo Island.

Virgin Islands

Doves and Pigeons

Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 15.

Hunting Seasons: Not more than 60 days for Zenaida doves.

Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Not to exceed 10 Zenaida doves.

Closed Seasons: No open season is prescribed for ground or quail doves, or pigeons in the Virgin Islands.

Closed Areas: There is no open season for migratory game birds on Ruth Cay (just south of St. Croix).

Local Names for Certain Birds: Zenaida dove, also known as mountain dove; bridled quail-dove, also known as Barbary dove or partridge; Common ground-dove, also known as stone dove, tobacco dove, rola, or tortolita; scaly-naped pigeon, also known as red-necked or scaled pigeon.

Ducks

Outside Dates: Between December 1 and January 31.

Hunting Seasons: Not more than 55 consecutive days.

Daily Bag Limits: Not to exceed 6.

Closed Seasons: The season is closed on the ruddy duck, white-cheeked pintail, West Indian whistling duck, fulvous whistling duck, and masked duck.

Special Falconry Regulations

Falconry is a permitted means of taking migratory game birds in any State meeting Federal falconry standards in 50 CFR 21.29(k). These States may select an extended season for taking migratory game birds in accordance with the following:

Extended Seasons: For all hunting methods combined, the combined length of the extended season, regular season, and any special or experimental seasons shall not exceed 107 days for any species or group of species in a geographical area. Each extended season may be divided into a maximum of 3 segments.

Framework Dates: Seasons must fall between September 1 and March 10.

Daily Bag and Possession Limits: Falconry daily bag and possession limits for all permitted migratory game birds shall not exceed 3 and 6 birds, respectively, singly or in the aggregate, during extended falconry seasons, any special or experimental seasons, and regular hunting seasons in all States, including those that do not select an extended falconry season.

Regular Seasons: General hunting regulations, including seasons and hunting hours, apply to falconry in each State listed in 50 CFR 21.29(k). Regular-season bag and possession limits do not apply to falconry. The falconry bag limit is not in addition to gun limits.

Area, Unit, and Zone Descriptions

Mourning and White-Winged Doves

Alabama

South Zone—Baldwin, Barbour, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, and Mobile Counties.

North Zone—Remainder of the State.

California

White-winged Dove Open Areas—Imperial, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.

Florida

Northwest Zone—The Counties of Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, Washington, Leon (except that portion north of U.S. 27 and east of State Road 155), Jefferson (south of U.S. 27, west of State Road 59 and north of U.S. 98), and Wakulla (except that portion south of U.S. 98 and east of the St. Marks River).

South Zone—Remainder of State.

Georgia

Northern Zone—That portion of the State lying north of a line running west to east along U.S. Highway 280 from Columbus to Wilcox County, thence southward along the western border of Wilcox County; thence east along the southern border of Wilcox County to the Ocmulgee River, thence north along the Ocmulgee River to Highway 280, thence east along Highway 280 to the Little Ocmulgee River; thence southward along the Little Ocmulgee River to the Ocmulgee River; thence southwesterly along the Ocmulgee River to the western border of Jeff Davis County; thence south along the western border of Jeff Davis County; thence east along the southern border of Jeff Davis and Appling Counties; thence north along the eastern border of Appling County, to the Altamaha River; thence east to the eastern border of Tattnall County; thence north along the eastern border of Tattnall County; thence north along the Start Printed Page 47236western border of Evans to Candler County; thence east along the northern border of Evans County to U.S. Highway 301; thence northeast along U.S. Highway 301 to the South Carolina line.

South Zone—Remainder of the State.

Louisiana

North Zone—That portion of the State north of Interstate Highway 10 from the Texas State line to Baton Rouge, Interstate Highway 12 from Baton Rouge to Slidell and Interstate Highway 10 from Slidell to the Mississippi State line.

South Zone—The remainder of the State.

Nevada

White-winged Dove Open Areas—Clark and Nye Counties.

Texas

North Zone—That portion of the State north of a line beginning at the International Bridge south of Fort Hancock; north along FM 1088 to TX 20; west along TX 20 to TX 148; north along TX 148 to I-10 at Fort Hancock; east along I-10 to I-20; northeast along I-20 to I-30 at Fort Worth; northeast along I-30 to the Texas-Arkansas State line.

South Zone—That portion of the State south and west of a line beginning at the International Bridge south of Del Rio, proceeding east on U.S. 90 to San Antonio; then east on I-10 to Orange, Texas.

Special White-winged Dove Area in the South Zone—That portion of the State south and west of a line beginning at the International Bridge south of Del Rio, proceeding east on U.S. 90 to Uvalde; south on U.S. 83 to TX 44; east along TX 44 to TX 16 at Freer; south along TX 16 to TX 285 at Hebbronville; east along TX 285 to FM 1017; southwest along FM 1017 to TX 186 at Linn; east along TX 186 to the Mansfield Channel at Port Mansfield; east along the Mansfield Channel to the Gulf of Mexico.

Area with additional restrictions—Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy Counties.

Central Zone—That portion of the State lying between the North and South Zones.

Band-tailed Pigeons

California

North Zone—Alpine, Butte, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, and Trinity Counties.

South Zone—The remainder of the State.

New Mexico

North Zone—North of a line following U.S. 60 from the Arizona State line east to I-25 at Socorro and then south along I-25 from Socorro to the Texas State line.

South Zone—Remainder of the State.

Washington

Western Washington—The State of Washington excluding those portions lying east of the Pacific Crest Trail and east of the Big White Salmon River in Klickitat County.

Woodcock

New Jersey

North Zone—That portion of the State north of NJ 70.

South Zone—The remainder of the State.

Special September Canada Goose Seasons

Atlantic Flyway

Connecticut

North Zone—That portion of the State north of I-95.

Maryland

Eastern Unit—Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties, and those portions of Baltimore, Howard, and Prince George's Counties east of I-95.

Western Unit—Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery, and Washington Counties, and those portions of Baltimore, Howard, and Prince George's Counties west of I-95.

Massachusetts

Western Zone—That portion of the State west of a line extending south from the Vermont border on I-91 to MA 9, west on MA 9 to MA 10, south on MA 10 to U.S. 202, south on U.S. 202 to the Connecticut border.

Central Zone—That portion of the State east of the Berkshire Zone and west of a line extending south from the New Hampshire border on I-95 to U.S. 1, south on U.S. 1 to I-93, south on I-93 to MA 3, south on MA 3 to U.S. 6, west on U.S. 6 to MA 28, west on MA 28 to I-195, west to the Rhode Island border; except the waters, and the lands 150 yards inland from the high-water mark, of the Assonet River upstream to the MA 24 bridge, and the Taunton River upstream to the Center St.-Elm St. bridge shall be in the Coastal Zone.

Coastal Zone—That portion of Massachusetts east and south of the Central Zone.

New York

Lake Champlain Zone—The U.S. portion of Lake Champlain and that area east and north of a line extending along NY 9B from the Canadian border to U.S. 9, south along U.S. 9 to NY 22 south of Keesville; south along NY 22 to the west shore of South Bay, along and around the shoreline of South Bay to NY 22 on the east shore of South Bay; southeast along NY 22 to U.S. 4, northeast along U.S. 4 to the Vermont border.

Long Island Zone—That area consisting of Nassau County, Suffolk County, that area of Westchester County southeast of I-95, and their tidal waters.

Western Zone—That area west of a line extending from Lake Ontario east along the north shore of the Salmon River to I-81, and south along I-81 to the Pennsylvania border, except for the Montezuma Zone.

Montezuma Zone—Those portions of Cayuga, Seneca, Ontario, Wayne, and Oswego Counties north of U.S. Route 20, east of NYS Route 14, south of NYS Route 104, and west of NYS Route 34.

Northeastern Zone—That area north of a line extending from Lake Ontario east along the north shore of the Salmon River to I-81, south along I-81 to NY 49, east along NY 49 to NY 365, east along NY 365 to NY 28, east along NY 28 to NY 29, east along NY 29 to I-87, north along I-87 to U.S. 9 (at Exit 20), north along U.S. 9 to NY 149, east along NY 149 to U.S. 4, north along U.S. 4 to the Vermont border, exclusive of the Lake Champlain Zone.

Southeastern Zone—The remaining portion of New York.

North Carolina

Northeast Hunt Unit—Counties of Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Hyde, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, and Washington.

South Carolina

Early-season Hunt Unit—Clarendon County and those portions of Orangeburg County north of SC Highway 6 and Berkeley County north of SC Highway 45 from the Orangeburg County line to the junction of SC Highway 45 and State Road S-8-31 and west of the Santee Dam.

Vermont

Lake Champlain Zone: The U.S. portion of Lake Champlain and that area north and west of the line extending from the New York border along U.S. 4 to VT 22A at Fair Haven; VT 22A to U.S. 7 at Vergennes; U.S. 7 to the Canadian border.

Interior Zone: That portion of Vermont west of the Lake Champlain Zone and eastward of a line extending Start Printed Page 47237from the Massachusetts border at Interstate 91; north along Interstate 91 to US 2; east along US 2 to VT 102; north along VT 102 to VT 253; north along VT 253 to the Canadian border.

Connecticut River Zone: The remaining portion of Vermont east of the Interior Zone.

Mississippi Flyway

Illinois

Northeast Canada Goose Zone—Cook, Du Page, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties.

North Zone: That portion of the State outside the Northeast Canada Goose Zone and north of a line extending east from the Iowa border along Illinois Highway 92 to Interstate Highway 280, east along I-280 to I-80, then east along I-80 to the Indiana border.

Central Zone: That portion of the State outside the Northeast Canada Goose Zone and south of the North Zone to a line extending east from the Missouri border along the Modoc Ferry route to Modoc Ferry Road, east along Modoc Ferry Road to Modoc Road, northeasterly along Modoc Road and St. Leo's Road to Illinois Highway 3, north along Illinois 3 to Illinois 159, north along Illinois 159 to Illinois 161, east along Illinois 161 to Illinois 4, north along Illinois 4 to Interstate Highway 70, east along I-70 to the Bond County line, north and east along the Bond County line to Fayette County, north and east along the Fayette County line to Effingham County, east and south along the Effingham County line to I-70, then east along I-70 to the Indiana border.

South Zone: The remainder of Illinois.

Iowa

North Zone: That portion of the State north of a line extending east from the Nebraska border along State Highway 175 to State 37, southeast along State 37 to U.S. Highway 59, south along U.S. 59 to Interstate Highway 80, then east along I-80 to the Illinois border.

South Zone: The remainder of Iowa.

Michigan

North Zone: The Upper Peninsula.

Middle Zone: That portion of the Lower Peninsula north of a line beginning at the Wisconsin border in Lake Michigan due west of the mouth of Stony Creek in Oceana County; then due east to, and easterly and southerly along the south shore of, Stony Creek to Scenic Drive, easterly and southerly along Scenic Drive to Stony Lake Road, easterly along Stony Lake and Garfield Roads to Michigan Highway 20, east along Michigan 20 to U.S. Highway 10 Business Route (BR) in the city of Midland, east along U.S. 10 BR to U.S. 10, east along U.S. 10 to Interstate Highway 75/U.S. Highway 23, north along I-75/U.S. 23 to the U.S. 23 exit at Standish, east along U.S. 23 to Shore Road in Arenac County, east along Shore Road to the tip of Point Lookout, then on a line directly east 10 miles into Saginaw Bay, and from that point on a line directly northeast to the Canada border.

South Zone: The remainder of Michigan.

Minnesota

Twin Cities Metropolitan Canada Goose Zone—

A. All of Hennepin and Ramsey Counties.

B. In Anoka County, all of Columbus Township lying south of County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 18, Anoka County; all of the cities of Ramsey, Andover, Anoka, Coon Rapids, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, Hilltop, Columbia Heights, Blaine, Lexington, Circle Pines, Lino Lakes, and Centerville; and all of the city of Ham Lake except that portion lying north of CSAH 18 and east of U.S. Highway 65.

C. That part of Carver County lying north and east of the following described line: Beginning at the northeast corner of San Francisco Township; thence west along the north boundary of San Francisco Township to the east boundary of Dahlgren Township; thence north along the east boundary of Dahlgren Township to U.S. Highway 212; thence west along U.S. Highway 212 to State Trunk Highway (STH) 284; thence north on STH 284 to County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 10; thence north and west on CSAH 10 to CSAH 30; thence north and west on CSAH 30 to STH 25; thence east and north on STH 25 to CSAH 10; thence north on CSAH 10 to the Carver County line.

D. In Scott County, all of the cities of Shakopee, Savage, Prior Lake, and Jordan, and all of the Townships of Jackson, Louisville, St. Lawrence, Sand Creek, Spring Lake, and Credit River.

E. In Dakota County, all of the cities of Burnsville, Eagan, Mendota Heights, Mendota, Sunfish Lake, Inver Grove Heights, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Rosemount, Farmington, Hastings, Lilydale, West St. Paul, and South St. Paul, and all of the Township of Nininger.

F. That portion of Washington County lying south of the following described line: Beginning at County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 2 on the west boundary of the county; thence east on CSAH 2 to U.S. Highway 61; thence south on U.S. Highway 61 to State Trunk Highway (STH) 97; thence east on STH 97 to the intersection of STH 97 and STH 95; thence due east to the east boundary of the State.

Northwest Goose Zone—That portion of the State encompassed by a line extending east from the North Dakota border along U.S. Highway 2 to State Trunk Highway (STH) 32, north along STH 32 to STH 92, east along STH 92 to County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 2 in Polk County, north along CSAH 2 to CSAH 27 in Pennington County, north along CSAH 27 to STH 1, east along STH 1 to CSAH 28 in Pennington County, north along CSAH 28 to CSAH 54 in Marshall County, north along CSAH 54 to CSAH 9 in Roseau County, north along CSAH 9 to STH 11, west along STH 11 to STH 310, and north along STH 310 to the Manitoba border.

Southeast Goose Zone—That part of the State within the following described boundaries: beginning at the intersection of U.S. Highway 52 and the south boundary of the Twin Cities Metro Canada Goose Zone; thence along the U.S. Highway 52 to State Trunk Highway (STH) 57; thence along STH 57 to the municipal boundary of Kasson; thence along the municipal boundary of Kasson County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 13, Dodge County; thence along CSAH 13 to STH 30; thence along STH 30 to U.S. Highway 63; thence along U.S. Highway 63 to the south boundary of the State; thence along the south and east boundaries of the State to the south boundary of the Twin Cities Metro Canada Goose Zone; thence along said boundary to the point of beginning.

Five Goose Zone—That portion of the State not included in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Canada Goose Zone, the Northwest Goose Zone, or the Southeast Goose Zone.

West Zone—That portion of the State encompassed by a line beginning at the junction of State Trunk Highway (STH) 60 and the Iowa border, then north and east along STH 60 to U.S. Highway 71, north along U.S. 71 to Interstate Highway 94, then north and west along I-94 to the North Dakota border.

Tennessee

Middle Tennessee Zone—Those portions of Houston, Humphreys, Montgomery, Perry, and Wayne Counties east of State Highway 13; and Bedford, Cannon, Cheatham, Coffee, Davidson, Dickson, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Marshall, Maury, Moore, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson Counties. Start Printed Page 47238

East Tennessee Zone—Anderson, Bledsoe, Bradley, Blount, Campbell, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White Counties.

Wisconsin

Early-Season Subzone A—That portion of the State encompassed by a line beginning at the intersection of U.S. Highway 141 and the Michigan border near Niagara, then south along U.S. 141 to State Highway 22, west and southwest along State 22 to U.S. 45, south along U.S. 45 to State 22, west and south along State 22 to State 110, south along State 110 to U.S. 10, south along U.S. 10 to State 49, south along State 49 to State 23, west along State 23 to State 73, south along State 73 to State 60, west along State 60 to State 23, south along State 23 to State 11, east along State 11 to State 78, then south along State 78 to the Illinois border.

Early-Season Subzone B—The remainder of the State.

Central Flyway

Kansas

September Canada Goose Kansas City/Topeka Unit—That part of Kansas bounded by a line from the Kansas-Missouri State line west on K-68 to its junction with K-33, then north on K-33 to its junction with U.S.-56, then west on U.S.-56 to its junction with K-31, then west-northwest on K-31 to its junction with K-99, then north on K-99 to its junction with U.S.-24, then east on U.S.-24 to its junction with K-63, then north on K-63 to its junction with K-16, then east on K-16 to its junction with K-116, then east on K-116 to its junction with U.S.-59, then northeast on U.S.-59 to its junction with the Kansas-Missouri line, then south on the Kansas-Missouri line to its junction with K-68.

September Canada Goose Wichita Unit—That part of Kansas bounded by a line from I-135 west on U.S. 50 to its junction with Burmac Road, then south on Burmac Road to its junction with 279 Street West (Sedgwick/Harvey County line), then south on 279 Street West to its junction with K-96, then east on K-96 to its junction with K-296, then south on K-296 to its junction with 247 Street West, then south on 247 Street West to its junction with U.S.-54, then west on U.S.-54 to its junction with 263 Street West, then south on 263 Street West to its junction with K-49, then south on K-49 to its junction with 90 Avenue North, then east on 90 Avenue North to its junction with KS-55, then east on KS-55 to its junction with KS-15, then east on KS-15 to its junction with U.S.-77, then north on U.S.-77 to its junction with Ohio Street, then north on Ohio to its junction with KS-254, then east on KS-254 to its junction with KS-196, then northwest on KS-196 to its junction with I-135, then north on I-135 to its junction with U.S.-50.

South Dakota

September Canada Goose North Unit—Clark, Codington, Day, Deuel, Grant, Hamlin, Marshall, and Roberts County.

September Canada Goose South Unit—Beadle, Brookings, Hanson, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Sanborn, and Turner Counties,

Pacific Flyway

Idaho

East Zone—Bonneville, Caribou, Fremont, and Teton Counties.

Oregon

Northwest Zone—Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk, Multnomah, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill Counties.

Southwest Zone—Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath Counties.

East Zone—Baker, Gilliam, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, and Wasco Counties.

Washington

Area 1—Skagit, Island, and Snohomish Counties.

Area 2A (SW Quota Zone)—Clark County, except portions south of the Washougal River; Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum counties.

Area 2B (SW Quota Zone)—Pacific and Grays Harbor counties.

Area 3—All areas west of the Pacific Crest Trail and west of the Big White Salmon River that are not included in Areas 1, 2A, and 2B.

Area 4—Adams, Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Lincoln, Okanogan, Spokane, and Walla Walla Counties.

Area 5—All areas east of the Pacific Crest Trail and east of the Big White Salmon River that are not included in Area 4.

Wyoming

Bear River Area—That portion of Lincoln County described in State regulations.

Salt River Area—That portion of Lincoln County described in State regulations.

Farson-Eden Area—Those portions of Sweetwater and Sublette Counties described in State regulations.

Teton Area—Those portions of Teton County described in State regulations.

Bridger Valley Area—The area described as the Bridger Valley Hunt Unit in State regulations.

Ducks

Atlantic Flyway

New York

Lake Champlain Zone: The U.S. portion of Lake Champlain and that area east and north of a line extending along NY 9B from the Canadian border to U.S. 9, south along U.S. 9 to NY 22 south of Keesville; south along NY 22 to the west shore of South Bay, along and around the shoreline of South Bay to NY 22 on the east shore of South Bay; southeast along NY 22 to U.S. 4, northeast along U.S. 4 to the Vermont border.

Long Island Zone: That area consisting of Nassau County, Suffolk County, that area of Westchester County southeast of I-95, and their tidal waters.

Western Zone: That area west of a line extending from Lake Ontario east along the north shore of the Salmon River to I-81, and south along I-81 to the Pennsylvania border.

Northeastern Zone: That area north of a line extending from Lake Ontario east along the north shore of the Salmon River to I-81, south along I-81 to NY 49, east along NY 49 to NY 365, east along NY 365 to NY 28, east along NY 28 to NY 29, east along NY 29 to I-87, north along I-87 to U.S. 9 (at Exit 20), north along U.S. 9 to NY 149, east along NY 149 to U.S. 4, north along U.S. 4 to the Vermont border, exclusive of the Lake Champlain Zone.

Southeastern Zone: The remaining portion of New York.

Mississippi Flyway

Indiana

North Zone: That portion of the State north of a line extending east from the Illinois border along State Road 18 to U.S. Highway 31, north along U.S. 31 to U.S. 24, east along U.S. 24 to Huntington, then southeast along U.S. 224 to the Ohio border.

Ohio River Zone: That portion of the State south of a line extending east from the Illinois border along Interstate Highway 64 to New Albany, east along State Road 62 to State 56, east along State 56 to Vevay, east and north on State 156 along the Ohio River to North Landing, north along State 56 to U.S. Start Printed Page 47239Highway 50, then northeast along U.S. 50 to the Ohio border.

South Zone: That portion of the State between the North and Ohio River Zone boundaries.

Iowa

North Zone: That portion of the State north of a line extending east from the Nebraska border along State Highway 175 to State 37, southeast along State 37 to U.S. Highway 59, south along U.S. 59 to Interstate Highway 80, then east along I-80 to the Illinois border.

South Zone: The remainder of Iowa.

Central Flyway

Colorado

Special Teal Season Area: Lake and Chaffee Counties and that portion of the State east of Interstate Highway 25.

Kansas

High Plains Zone: That portion of the State west of U.S. 283.

Low Plains Early Zone: That portion of the State east of the High Plains Zone and west of a line extending south from the Nebraska border along KS 28 to U.S. 36, east along U.S. 36 to KS 199, south along KS 199 to Republic County Road 563, south along Republic County Road 563 to KS 148, east along KS 148 to Republic County Road 138, south along Republic County Road 138 to Cloud County Road 765, south along Cloud County Road 765 to KS 9, west along KS 9 to U.S. 24, west along U.S. 24 to U.S. 281, north along U.S. 281 to U.S. 36, west along U.S. 36 to U.S. 183, south along U.S. 183 to U.S. 24, west along U.S. 24 to KS 18, southeast along KS 18 to U.S. 183, south along U.S. 183 to KS 4, east along KS 4 to I-135, south along I-135 to KS 61, southwest along KS 61 to KS 96, northwest on KS 96 to U.S. 56, west along U.S. 56 to U.S. 281, south along U.S. 281 to U.S. 54, then west along U.S. 54 to U.S. 283.

Low Plains Late Zone: The remainder of Kansas.

Nebraska

Special Teal Season Area: That portion of the State south of a line beginning at the Wyoming State line; east along U.S. 26 to Nebraska Highway L62A; east to U.S. 385; south to U.S. 26; east to NE 92; east along NE 92 to NE 61; south along NE 61 to U.S. 30; east along U.S. 30 to the Iowa border.

New Mexico (Central Flyway Portion)

North Zone: That portion of the State north of I-40 and U.S. 54.

South Zone: The remainder of New Mexico.

Pacific Flyway

California

Northeastern Zone: In that portion of California lying east and north of a line beginning at the intersection of the Klamath River with the California-Oregon line; south and west along the Klamath River to the mouth of Shovel Creek; along Shovel Creek to its intersection with Forest Service Road 46N05 at Burnt Camp; west to its junction with Forest Service Road 46N10; south and east to its Junction with County Road 7K007; south and west to its junction with Forest Service Road 45N22; south and west to its junction with Highway 97 and Grass Lake Summit; south along to its junction with Interstate 5 at the town of Weed; south to its junction with Highway 89; east and south along Highway 89 to main street Greenville; north and east to its junction with North Valley Road; south to its junction of Diamond Mountain Road; north and east to its junction with North Arm Road; south and west to the junction of North Valley Road; south to the junction with Arlington Road (A22); west to the junction of Highway 89; south and west to the junction of Highway 70; east on Highway 70 to Highway 395; south and east on Highway 395 to the point of intersection with the California-Nevada state line ; north along the California-Nevada state line to the junction of the California-Nevada-Oregon state lines west along the California-Oregon line state to the point of origin.

Colorado River Zone: Those portions of San Bernardino, Riverside, and Imperial Counties east of a line extending from the Nevada border south along U.S. 95 to Vidal Junction; south on a road known as “Aqueduct Road” in San Bernardino County through the town of Rice to the San Bernardino-Riverside County line; south on a road known in Riverside County as the “Desert Center to Rice Road” to the town of Desert Center; east 31 miles on I-10 to the Wiley Well Road; south on this road to Wiley Well; southeast along the Army-Milpitas Road to the Blythe, Brawley, Davis Lake intersections; south on the Blythe-Brawley paved road to the Ogilby and Tumco Mine Road; south on this road to U.S. 80; east 7 miles on U.S. 80 to the Andrade-Algodones Road; south on this paved road to the Mexican border at Algodones, Mexico.

Southern Zone: That portion of southern California (but excluding the Colorado River Zone) south and east of a line extending from the Pacific Ocean east along the Santa Maria River to CA 166 near the City of Santa Maria; east on CA 166 to CA 99; south on CA 99 to the crest of the Tehachapi Mountains at Tejon Pass; east and north along the crest of the Tehachapi Mountains to CA 178 at Walker Pass; east on CA 178 to U.S. 395 at the town of Inyokern; south on U.S. 395 to CA 58; east on CA 58 to I-15; east on I-15 to CA 127; north on CA 127 to the Nevada border.

Southern San Joaquin Valley Temporary Zone: All of Kings and Tulare Counties and that portion of Kern County north of the Southern Zone.

Balance-of-the-State Zone: The remainder of California not included in the Northeastern, Southern, and Colorado River Zones, and the Southern San Joaquin Valley Temporary Zone.

Canada Geese

Michigan

North Zone: The Upper Peninsula.

Middle Zone: That portion of the Lower Peninsula north of a line beginning at the Wisconsin border in Lake Michigan due west of the mouth of Stony Creek in Oceana County; then due east to, and easterly and southerly along the south shore of, Stony Creek to Scenic Drive, easterly and southerly along Scenic Drive to Stony Lake Road, easterly along Stony Lake and Garfield Roads to Michigan Highway 20, east along Michigan 20 to U.S. Highway 10 Business Route (BR) in the city of Midland, east along U.S. 10 BR to U.S. 10, east along U.S. 10 to Interstate Highway 75/U.S. Highway 23, north along I-75/U.S. 23 to the U.S. 23 exit at Standish, east along U.S. 23 to Shore Road in Arenac County, east along Shore Road to the tip of Point Lookout, then on a line directly east 10 miles into Saginaw Bay, and from that point on a line directly northeast to the Canada border.

South Zone: The remainder of Michigan.

Sandhill Cranes

Central Flyway

Colorado

The Central Flyway portion of the State except the San Luis Valley (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Hinsdale, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache Counties east of the Continental Divide) and North Park (Jackson County).

Kansas

That portion of the State west of a line beginning at the Oklahoma border, north on I-35 to Wichita, north on I-135 to Salina, and north on U.S. 81 to the Nebraska border. Start Printed Page 47240

New Mexico

Regular-Season Open Area—Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Eddy, Lea, Quay, and Roosevelt Counties.

Middle Rio Grande Valley Area—The Central Flyway portion of New Mexico in Socorro and Valencia Counties.

Estancia Valley Area—Those portions of Santa Fe, Torrance and Bernallilo Counties within an area bounded on the west by New Mexico Highway 55 beginning at Mountainair north to NM 337, north to NM 14, north to I-25; on the north by I-25 east to U.S. 285; on the east by U.S. 285 south to U.S. 60; and on the south by U.S. 60 from U.S. 285 west to NM 55 in Mountainair.

Southwest Zone—Sierra, Luna, Dona Ana Counties, and those portions of Grant and Hidalgo Counties south of I-10.

Oklahoma

That portion of the State west of I-35.

Texas

Area 1—That portion of the State west of a line beginning at the International Bridge at Laredo, north along I-35 to the Oklahoma border.

Area 2—That portion of the State east and south of a line from the International Bridge at Laredo northerly along I-35 to U.S. 290; southeasterly along U.S. 290 to I-45; south and east on I-45 to State Highway 87, south and east on TX 87 to the channel in the Gulf of Mexico between Galveston and Point Bolivar; EXCEPT: That portion of the State lying within the area bounded by the Corpus Christi Bay Causeway on U.S. 181 at Portland; north and west on U.S. 181 to U.S. 77 at Sinton; north and east along U.S. 77 to U.S. 87 at Victoria; east and south along U.S. 87 to Texas Highway 35; north and east on TX 35 to the west end of the Lavaca Bay Bridge; then south and east along the west shoreline of Lavaca Bay and Matagorda Island to the Gulf of Mexico; then south and west along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico to the Corpus Christi Bay Causeway.

North Dakota

Area 1—That portion of the State west of U.S. 281.

Area 2—That portion of the State east of U.S. 281.

South Dakota

That portion of the State west of U.S. 281.

Montana

The Central Flyway portion of the State except that area south of I-90 and west of the Bighorn River.

Wyoming

Regular-Season Open Area—Campbell, Converse, Crook, Goshen, Laramie, Niobrara, Platte, and Weston Counties.

Riverton-Boysen Unit—Portions of Fremont County.

Park and Big Horn County Unit—Portions of Park and Big Horn Counties.

Pacific Flyway

Arizona

Special-Season Area—Game Management Units 30A, 30B, 31, and 32.

Montana

Special-Season Area—See State regulations.

Utah

Special-Season Area—Rich, Cache, and Unitah Counties and that portion of Box Elder County beginning on the Utah-Idaho State line at the Box Elder-Cache County line; west on the State line to the Pocatello Valley County Road; south on the Pocatello Valley County Road to I-15; southeast on I-15 to SR-83; south on SR-83 to Lamp Junction; west and south on the Promontory Point County Road to the tip of Promontory Point; south from Promontory Point to the Box Elder-Weber County line; east on the Box Elder-Weber County line to the Box Elder-Cache County line; north on the Box Elder-Cache County line to the Utah-Idaho State line.

Wyoming

Bear River Area—That portion of Lincoln County described in State regulations.

Salt River Area—That portion of Lincoln County described in State regulations.

Eden-Farson Area—Those portions of Sweetwater and Sublette Counties described in State regulations.

All Migratory Game Birds in Alaska

North Zone—State Game Management Units 11-13 and 17-26.

Gulf Coast Zone—State Game Management Units 5-7, 9, 14-16, and 10 (Unimak Island only).

Southeast Zone—State Game Management Units 1-4.

Pribilof and Aleutian Islands Zone—State Game Management Unit 10 (except Unimak Island).

Kodiak Zone—State Game Management Unit 8.

All Migratory Birds in the Virgin Islands

Ruth Cay Closure Area—The island of Ruth Cay, just south of St. Croix.

All Migratory Game Birds in Puerto Rico

Municipality of Culebra Closure Area—All of the municipality of Culebra.

Desecheo Island Closure Area—All of Desecheo Island.

Mona Island Closure Area—All of Mona Island.

El Verde Closure Area—Those areas of the municipalities of Rio Grande and Loiza delineated as follows: (1) All lands between Routes 956 on the west and 186 on the east, from Route 3 on the north to the juncture of Routes 956 and 186 (Km 13.2) in the south; (2) all lands between Routes 186 and 966 from the juncture of 186 and 966 on the north, to the Caribbean National Forest Boundary on the south; (3) all lands lying west of Route 186 for 1 kilometer from the juncture of Routes 186 and 956 south to Km 6 on Route 186; (4) all lands within Km 14 and Km 6 on the west and the Caribbean National Forest Boundary on the east; and (5) all lands within the Caribbean National Forest Boundary whether private or public.

Cidra Municipality and adjacent areas—All of Cidra Municipality and portions of Aguas Buenas, Caguas, Cayey, and Comerio Municipalities as encompassed within the following boundary: beginning on Highway 172 as it leaves the municipality of Cidra on the west edge, north to Highway 156, east on Highway 156 to Highway 1, south on Highway 1 to Highway 765, south on Highway 765 to Highway 763, south on Highway 763 to the Rio Guavate, west along Rio Guavate to Highway 1, southwest on Highway 1 to Highway 14, west on Highway 14 to Highway 729, north on Highway 729 to Cidra Municipality boundary to the point of the beginning.

Start Printed Page 47241

End Supplemental Information

BILLING CODE 4310-55-P

[FR Doc. 02-17937 Filed 7-16-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-55-C