50 CFR 21.15 - Authorization of take incidental to military readiness activities.
(a) Take authorization and monitoring.
(1) Except to the extent authorization is withdrawn or suspended pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, the Armed Forces may take migratory birds incidental to military readiness activities provided that, for those ongoing or proposed activities that the Armed Forces determine may result in a significant adverse effect on a population of a migratory bird species, the Armed Forces must confer and cooperate with the Service to develop and implement appropriate conservation measures to minimize or mitigate such significant adverse effects.
(2) When conservation measures implemented under paragraph (a)(1) of this section require monitoring, the Armed Forces must retain records of any monitoring data for five years from the date the Armed Forces commence their action. During Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan reviews, the Armed Forces will also report to the Service migratory bird conservation measures implemented and the effectiveness of the conservation measures in avoiding, minimizing, or mitigating take of migratory birds.
(b) Suspension or Withdrawal of take authorization.
(1) If the Secretary determines, after seeking the views of the Secretary of Defense and consulting with the Secretary of State, that incidental take of migratory birds during a specific military readiness activity likely would not be compatible with one or more of the migratory bird treaties, the Secretary will suspend authorization of the take associated with that activity.
(2) The Secretary may propose to withdraw, and may withdraw in accordance with the procedures provided in paragraph (b)(4) of this section the authorization for any take incidental to a specific military readiness activity if the Secretary determines that a proposed military readiness activity is likely to result in a significant adverse effect on the population of a migratory bird species and one or more of the following circumstances exists:
(A) Are directly related to protecting the migratory bird species affected by the proposed military readiness activity;
(B) Would significantly reduce take of the migratory bird species affected by the military readiness activity;
(C) Are economically feasible; and
(D) Do not limit the effectiveness of the military readiness activity;
(ii) The Armed Forces fail to conduct mutually agreed upon monitoring to determine the effects of a military readiness activity on migratory bird species and/or the efficacy of the conservation measures implemented by the Armed Forces; or
(iii) The Armed Forces have not provided reasonably available information that the Secretary has determined is necessary to evaluate whether withdrawal of take authorization for the specific military readiness activity is appropriate.
(3) When the Secretary proposes to withdraw authorization with respect to a specific military readiness activity, the Secretary will first provide written notice to the Secretary of Defense. Any such notice will include the basis for the Secretary's determination that withdrawal is warranted in accordance with the criteria contained in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, and will identify any conservation measures or other measures that would, if implemented by the Armed Forces, permit the Secretary to cancel the proposed withdrawal of authorization.
(4) Within 15 days of receipt of the notice specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the Secretary of Defense may notify the Secretary in writing of the Armed Forces' objections, if any, to the proposed withdrawal, specifying the reasons therefore. The Secretary will give due consideration to any objections raised by the Armed Forces. If the Secretary continues to believe that withdrawal is appropriate, he or she will provide written notice to the Secretary of Defense of the rationale for withdrawal and response to any objections to the withdrawal. If objections to the withdrawal remain, the withdrawal will not become effective until the Secretary of Defense has had the opportunity to meet with the Secretary within 30 days of the original notice from the Secretary proposing withdrawal. A final determination regarding whether authorization will be withdrawn will occur within 45 days of the original notice.
(5) Any authorized take incidental to a military readiness activity subject to a proposed withdrawal of authorization will continue to be authorized by this regulation until the Secretary makes a final determination on the withdrawal.
(6) The Secretary may, at his or her discretion, cancel a suspension or withdrawal of authorization at any time. A suspension may be cancelled in the event new information is provided that the proposed activity would be compatible with the migratory bird treaties. A proposed withdrawal may be cancelled if the Armed Forces modify the proposed activity to alleviate significant adverse effects on the population of a migratory bird species or the circumstances in paragraphs (b)(2)(i) through (iii) of this section no longer exist. Cancellation of suspension or withdrawal of authorization becomes effective upon delivery of written notice from the Secretary to the Department of Defense.
(7) The responsibilities of the Secretary under paragraph (b) of this section may be fulfilled by his/her delegatee who must be an official nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.