50 C.F.R. § 21.60   Conservation order for mid-continent light geese.

Title 50 - Wildlife and Fisheries

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
Subpart E—Control of Overabundant Migratory Bird Populations

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§ 21.60   Conservation order for mid-continent light geese.

(a) Which waterfowl species are covered by this order? This conservation order addresses management of lesser snow (Anser c. caerulescens) and Ross' (Anser rossii) geese that breed, migrate, and winter in the mid-continent portion of North America, primarily in the Central and Mississippi Flyways (mid-continent light geese).

(b) In what areas can the conservation order be implemented? (1) The following States, or portions of States, that are contained within the boundaries of the Central and Mississippi Flyways: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

(2) Tribal lands within the geographic boundaries in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(3) The following areas within the boundaries in paragraph (b)(1) of this section are closed to the conservation order after 10 March of each year: Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge (CO); Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (NM); the area within 5 miles of the Platte River from Lexington, Nebraska to Grand Island, Nebraska; the following area in and around Aransas National Wildlife Refuge; those portions of Refugio, Calhoun, and Aransas counties that lie inside a line extending from 5 nautical miles offshore to and including Pelican Island, thence to Port O'Conner, thence northwest along State Highway 185 and southwest along State Highway 35 to Aransas Pass, thence southeast along State Highway 361 to Port Aransas, thence east along the Corpus Christi Channel, thence southeast along the Aransas Channel, extending to 5 nautical miles offshore; except that it is lawful to take mid-continent light geese after 10 March of each year within the Guadalupe WMA. If at any time we receive evidence that a need to close the areas in this paragraph (b)(3) no longer exists, we will publish a proposal to remove the closures in the Federal Register.

(c) What is required in order for State/Tribal governments to participate in the conservation order? Any State or Tribal government responsible for the management of wildlife and migratory birds may, without permit, kill or cause to be killed under its general supervision, mid-continent light geese under the following conditions:

(1) Activities conducted under this section may not affect endangered or threatened species as designated under the Endangered Species Act.

(2) Control activities must be conducted clearly as such and are intended to relieve pressures on migratory birds and habitat essential to migratory bird populations only and are not to be construed as opening, re-opening, or extending any open hunting season contrary to any regulations promulgated under section 3 of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

(3) Control activities may be conducted only when all waterfowl and crane hunting seasons, excluding falconry, are closed.

(4) Control measures employed through this section may be implemented only between the hours of one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

(5) Nothing in this section may limit or initiate management actions on Federal land without concurrence of the Federal Agency with jurisdiction.

(6) States and Tribes must designate participants who must operate under the conditions of this section.

(7) States and Tribes must inform participants of the requirements/conditions of this section that apply.

(8) States and Tribes must keep records of activities carried out under the authority of this section, including the number of mid-continent light geese taken under this section, the methods by which they were taken, and the dates they were taken. The States and Tribes must submit an annual report summarizing activities conducted under this section on or before August 30 of each year, to the Chief, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, ms 634—ARLSQ, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240.

(d) What is required in order for individuals to participate in the conservation order? Individual participants in State or tribal programs covered by this section are required to comply with the following requirements:

(1) Nothing in this section authorizes the take of mid-continent light geese contrary to any State or Tribal laws or regulations; and none of the privileges granted under this section may be exercised unless persons acting under the authority of the conservation order possesses whatever permit or other authorization(s) required for such activities by the State or Tribal government concerned.

(2) Participants who take mid-continent light geese under this section may not sell or offer for sale those birds nor their plumage, but may possess, transport, and otherwise properly use them.

(3) Participants acting under the authority of this section must permit at all reasonable times, including during actual operations, any Federal or State game or deputy game agent, warden, protector, or other game law enforcement officer free and unrestricted access over the premises on which such operations have been or are being conducted, and must promptly furnish whatever information an officer requires concerning the operation.

(4) Participants acting under the authority of this section may take mid-continent light geese by any method except those prohibited as follows:

(i) With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine gun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance;

(ii) From or by means, aid, or use of a sinkbox or any other type of low floating device, having a depression affording the person a means of concealment beneath the surface of the water;

(iii) From or by means, aid, or use of any motor vehicle, motor-driven land conveyance, or aircraft of any kind, except that paraplegics and persons missing one or both legs may take from any stationary motor vehicle or stationary motor-driven land conveyance;

(iv) From or by means of any motorboat or other craft having a motor attached, or any sailboat, unless the motor has been completely shut off and the sails furled, and its progress therefrom has ceased. A craft under power may be used only to retrieve dead or crippled birds; however, the craft may not be used under power to shoot any crippled birds;

(v) By the use or aid of live birds as decoys; although not limited to, it shall be a violation of this paragraph for any person to take mid-continent light geese on an area where tame or captive live geese are present unless such birds are and have been for a period of 10 consecutive days before the taking, confined within an enclosure that substantially reduces the audibility of their calls and totally conceals the birds from the sight of mid-continent light geese;

(vi) By means or aid of any motor-driven land, water, or air conveyance, or any sailboat used for the purpose of or resulting in the concentrating, driving, rallying, or stirring up of mid-continent light geese;

(vii) By the aid of baiting, or on or over any baited area. As used in this paragraph, “baiting” means the placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of shelled, shucked, or unshucked corn, wheat or other grain, salt, or other feed so as to constitute for such birds a lure, attraction or enticement to, on, or over any areas where hunters are attempting to take them; and “baited area” means any area where shelled, shucked, or unshucked corn, wheat or other grain, salt, or other feed capable of luring, attracting, or enticing such birds is directly or indirectly placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered; and such area shall remain a baited area for 10 days following complete removal of all such corn, wheat or other grain, salt, or other feed. However, nothing in this paragraph prohibits the taking of mid-continent light geese on or over standing crops, flooded standing crops (including aquatics), flooded harvested croplands, grain crops properly shucked on the field where grown, or grains found scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural planting or harvesting; or

(viii) Participants may not possess shot (either in shotshells or as loose shot for muzzleloading) other than steel shot, or bismuth-tin, or other shots that are authorized in 50 CFR 20.21(j). Season limitations in that section do not apply to participants acting under this order.

(e) Under what conditions would the conservation order be revoked? The Service will annually assess the overall impact and effectiveness of the conservation order to ensure compatibility with long-term conservation of this resource. If at any time we receive that clearly demonstrates a serious threat of injury to the area or areas involved no longer exists, we will initiate action to revoke the conservation order.

(f) Will information concerning the conservation order be collected? The information collection requirements of the conservation order have been approved by OMB and assigned clearance number 1018–0103. Agencies may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The recordkeeping and reporting requirements imposed under regulations established in this subpart E will be utilized to administer this program, particularly in the assessment of impacts alternative regulatory strategies may have on mid-continent light geese and other migratory bird populations. The information collected will be required to authorize State and Tribal governments responsible for migratory bird management to take mid-continent light geese within the guidelines provided by the Service.

[66 FR 32265, June 14, 2001]

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