Depredation order for resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities.
(a) Which Canada geese are covered by this order? This regulation addresses the control and management of resident Canada geese, as defined in § 21.3.
(b) What is the depredation order for resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities, and what is its purpose? The depredation order for resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities authorizes States and Tribes, via the State or Tribal wildlife agency, to implement a program to allow landowners, operators, and tenants actively engaged in commercial agriculture (agricultural producers) (or their employees or agents) to conduct direct damage management actions such as nest and egg destruction, gosling and adult trapping and culling programs, or other lethal and non-lethal wildlife-damage management strategies on resident Canada geese when the geese are committing depredations to agricultural crops and when necessary to resolve or prevent injury to agricultural crops or other agricultural interests from resident Canada geese.
(c) Who may participate in the depredation order? State and Tribal wildlife agencies in the following States may authorize agricultural producers (or their employees or agents) to conduct and implement various components of the depredation order at agricultural facilities in the Atlantic, Central, and Mississippi Flyway portions of these States: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
(d) What are the restrictions of the depredation order for resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities? The depredation order for resident Canada geese at agricultural facilities is subject to the following restrictions:
(1) Only landowners, operators, and tenants (or their employees or agents) actively engaged in commercial activities (agricultural producers) so designated by the States may act under this order.
(2) Authorized agricultural producers should use nonlethal goose management tools to the extent they deem appropriate. To minimize lethal take, agricultural producers should adhere to the following procedure:
(i) Assess the problem to determine its extent or magnitude, its impact to current operations, and the appropriate control method to be used.
(ii) Base control methods on sound biological, environmental, social, and cultural factors.
(iii) Formulate appropriate methods into a control strategy that uses the approach/concept that encourages the use of several control techniques rather than relying on a single method.
(iv) Implement all appropriate nonlethal management techniques (such as harassment and habitat modification) in conjunction with take authorized under this order.
(3) (i) Methods of take for the control of resident Canada geese are at the State's or Tribe's discretion among the following:
(A) Egg oiling,
(B) Egg and nest destruction,
(D) Lethal and live traps,
(F) Registered animal drugs, pesticides, and repellants,
(G) Cervical dislocation, and
(H) CO2 asphyxiation.
(ii) Birds caught live may be euthanized or transported and relocated to another site approved by the State or Tribal wildlife agency, if required.
(iii) All techniques used must be in accordance with other Federal, State, Tribal, and local laws, and their use must comply with any labeling restrictions.
(iv) Persons using shotguns must use nontoxic shot, as listed in § 20.21(j) of this subchapter.
(v) Persons using egg oiling must use 100 percent corn oil, a substance exempted from regulation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
(4) Authorized agricultural producers and their employees and agents may conduct management and control activities, involving the take of resident Canada geese, under this section between May 1 and August 31. The destruction of resident Canada goose nests and eggs may take place between March 1 and June 30.
(5) Authorized agricultural producers and their employees and agents may possess, transport, and otherwise dispose of resident Canada geese taken under this section. Disposal of birds taken under this order may be by donation to public museums or public institutions for scientific or educational purposes, processing for human consumption and subsequent distribution free of charge to charitable organizations, or burial or incineration. Agricultural producers, their employees, and designated agents may not sell, offer for sale, barter, or ship for the purpose of sale or barter any resident Canada geese taken under this section, nor their plumage or eggs. Any specimens needed for scientific purposes as determined by the Director must not be destroyed, and information on birds carrying metal leg bands must be submitted to the Bird Banding Laboratory by means of a toll-free telephone number at 1-800-327-BAND (or 2263).
(6) Resident Canada geese may be taken only on land which an authorized agricultural producer personally controls and where geese are committing depredations to agricultural crops.
(7) Authorized agricultural producers, and their employees and agents, operating under the provisions of this section may not use decoys, calls, or other devices to lure birds within gun range.
(8) Any authorized agricultural producer exercising the privileges of this section must keep and maintain a log that indicates the date and number of birds killed and the date and number of nests and eggs taken under this authorization. The log must be maintained for a period of 3 years (and records for 3 previous years of takings must be maintained at all times thereafter). The log and any related records must be made available to Federal, State, or Tribal wildlife enforcement officers upon request during normal business hours.
(9) Nothing in this section authorizes the killing of resident Canada geese or the destruction of their nests and eggs contrary to the laws or regulations of any State or Tribe, and none of the privileges of this section may be exercised unless the agricultural producer possesses the appropriate State or Tribal permits, when required. Moreover, this regulation does not authorize the killing of any migratory bird species or destruction of their nests or eggs other than resident Canada geese.
(10) States and Tribes exercising the privileges granted by this section must submit an annual report summarizing activities, including the numbers and County of birds, nests, and eggs taken, by December 31 of each year to the Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office listed in § 2.2 of this subchapter.
(11) Nothing in this section applies to any Federal land without written permission of the Federal agency with jurisdiction.
(12) Authorized agricultural producers may not undertake any actions under this section if the activities adversely affect other migratory birds or species designated as endangered or threatened under the authority of the Endangered Species Act. Persons operating under this order must immediately report the take of any species protected under the Endangered Species Act to the Service. Further, to protect certain species from being adversely affected by management actions, agricultural producers must:
(i) Follow the Federal-State Contingency Plan for the whooping crane;
(ii) Conduct no activities within 300 meters of a whooping crane or Mississippi sandhill crane nest; and
(iii) Follow all Regional (or National when available) Bald Eagle Nesting Management guidelines for all management activities.
(e) Can the depredation order be suspended? We reserve the right to suspend or revoke a State, Tribal, or agricultural producer's authority under this program if we find that the terms and conditions specified in the depredation order have not been adhered to by that State or Tribe. Final decisions to revoke authority will be made by the appropriate Regional Director. The criteria and procedures for suspension, revocation, reconsideration, and appeal are outlined in §§ 13.27 through 13.29 of this subchapter. For the purposes of this section, “issuing officer” means the Regional Director and “permit” means the authority to act under this depredation order. For purposes of § 13.29(e), appeals must be made to the Director. Additionally, at such time that we determine that resident Canada geese populations no longer pose a threat to agricultural crops or no longer need to be reduced in order to resolve or prevent injury to agricultural crops or other agricultural interests, we may choose to terminate part or all of the depredation order by subsequent regulation. In all cases, we will annually review the necessity and effectiveness of the depredation order.
(f) Has the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the information collection requirements of the depredation order? OMB has approved the information collection and recordkeeping requirements of the depredation order under OMB control number 1018-0133. We may not conduct or sponsor, and you are not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. You may send comments on the information collection and recordkeeping requirements to the Service's Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 222-ARLSQ, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20240.
[71 FR 45989, Aug. 10, 2006]
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