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Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 20

[Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2012-0005: FF09M21200-123-FXMB1231099BPP0L2]

RIN 1018-AX97

Migratory Bird Hunting; Final Frameworks for Early-Season Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: This rule prescribes final early-season frameworks from which the States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands may select season dates, limits, and other options for the 2012-13 migratory bird hunting seasons. Early seasons are those that generally open prior to October 1, and include seasons in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The effect of this final rule is to facilitate the selection of hunting seasons by the States and Territories to further the annual establishment of the early-season migratory bird hunting regulations.
DATES: This rule takes effect on August 30, 2012.
ADDRESSES: States and Territories should send their season selections to: Chief, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, ms MBSP-4107-ARLSQ, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240. You may inspect comments during normal business hours at the Service's office in room 4107, 4501 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia, or athttp://www.regulations.govat Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2012-0005.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ron W. Kokel, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, MS MBSP-4107-ARLSQ, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240; (703) 358-1714.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulations Schedule for 2012

On April 17, 2012, we published in theFederal Register(77 FR 23094) a proposal to amend 50 CFR part 20. The proposal provided a background and overview of the migratory bird hunting regulations process, and addressed the establishment of seasons, limits, and other regulations for hunting migratory game birds under §§ 20.101 through 20.107, 20.109, and 20.110 of subpart K. Major steps in the 2012-13 regulatory cycle relating to open public meetings andFederal Registernotifications were also identified in the April 17 proposed rule. Further, we explained that all sections of subsequent documents outlining hunting frameworks and guidelines were organized under numbered headings. Subsequent documents will refer only to numbered items requiring attention. Therefore, it is important to note that we omit those items requiring no attention, and remaining numbered items might be discontinuous or appear incomplete.

On May 17, 2012, we published in theFederal Register(77 FR 29516) a second document providing supplemental proposals for early- and late-season migratory bird hunting regulations. The May 17 supplement also provided detailed information on the 2012-13 regulatory schedule and announced the Service Regulations Committee (SRC) and Flyway Council meetings.

On June 12, 2012, we published in theFederal Register(77 FR 34931) a third document revising our previously announced dates of the June 2012 SRC meetings.

On June 19 and 20, 2012, we held open meetings with the Flyway Council Consultants where the participants reviewed information on the current status of migratory shore and upland game birds and developed recommendations for the 2012-13 regulations for these species plus regulations for migratory game birds in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the 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 as it relates to the development and selection of the regulatory packages for the 2012-13 regular waterfowl seasons.

On July 20, 2012, we published in theFederal Register(77 FR 42920) a fourth document specifically dealing with the proposed frameworks for early-season regulations. We published the proposed frameworks for late-season regulations (primarily hunting seasons that start after October 1 and most waterfowl seasons not already established) in an August 17, 2012,Federal Register(77 FR 49868).

This document is the sixth in a series of proposed, supplemental, and final rulemaking documents. It establishes final frameworks from which States may select season dates, shooting hours, and daily bag and possession limits for the 2012-13 season. These selections will be published in theFederal Registeras amendments to §§ 20.101 through 20.107, and § 20.109 of title 50 CFR part 20.

Population Status and Harvest

Information on the status of waterfowl and information on the status and harvest of migratory shore and upland game birds, including detailed information on methodologies and results, is available at the address indicated underFOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACTor from our Web site athttp://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewsPublicationsReports.html.

Review of Public Comments

The preliminary proposed rulemaking (April 17Federal Register) opened the public comment period for migratory game bird hunting regulations and announced the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2012-13 duck hunting season. Comments concerning early-season issues and the proposed alternatives are summarized below and numbered in the order used in the April 17Federal Registerdocument. Only the numbered items pertaining to early-seasons issues and the proposed regulatory alternatives for which we received written comments are included. Consequently, the issues do not follow in consecutive 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.

General

Written Comments:An individual commenter provided several comments protesting the entire migratory bird hunting regulations process, the killing of all migratory birds, and the lack of accepting electronic public comments.

Service Response:Our long-term objectives continue to include providing opportunities to harvest portions of certain migratory game bird populations and to limit harvests to levels compatible with each population's ability to maintain healthy, viable numbers. Having taken into account the zones of temperature and the distribution, abundance, economic value, breeding habits, and times and lines of flight of migratory birds, we believe that the hunting seasons provided for herein are compatible with the current status of migratory birdpopulations and long-term population goals. Additionally, we are obligated to, and do, give serious consideration to all information received as public comment. While there are problems inherent with any type of representative management of public-trust resources, we believe that the Flyway-Council system of migratory bird management has been a longstanding example of State-Federal cooperative management since its establishment in 1952. However, as always, we continue to seek new ways to streamline and improve the process.

Regarding the comment concerning our acceptance, or lack thereof, of electronic public comments, we do accept electronic comments submitted through the official Federal eRulemaking portal (http://www.regulations.gov). Public comment methods are identified in theADDRESSESsections of the documents we published in theFederal Registeron April 17, 2012 (77 FR 23094); May 17, 2012 (77 FR 29516); and July 20, 2012 (77 FR 42920).

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 lengths, and bag limits; (C) Zones and Split Seasons; and (D) Special Seasons/Species Management. The categories correspond to previously published issues/discussions, and only those containing substantial recommendations are discussed below.

D. Special Seasons/Species Management

i. Special Teal Seasons

Regarding the regulations for this year, utilizing the criteria developed for the teal season harvest strategy, this year's estimate of 9.2 million blue-winged teal from the traditional survey area indicates that a 16-day September teal season in the Atlantic, Central, and Mississippi Flyways is appropriate for 2012.

4. Canada Geese A. Special Seasons

Council Recommendations:The Central Flyway Council recommended that we increase the daily bag limit framework from 8 to 15 for North Dakota and South Dakota during the special early Canada goose hunting season in September.

The Pacific Flyway Council recommended increasing the daily bag limit in the Pacific Flyway portion of Wyoming from two to three geese, and increasing the possession limit from four to six birds during the special September season.

Service Response:We agree with the Central Flyway Council's request to increase the Canada goose daily bag limit in North Dakota and South Dakota. Last year, we increased the daily bag limit in North Dakota from 5 to 8 geese in an effort to address increasing numbers of resident Canada geese (76 FR 54052, August 30, 2011). In 2010, we increased daily bag limits in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma during their special early Canada goose seasons (75 FR 52873, August 30, 2010). The Special Early Canada Goose hunting season is generally designed to reduce or control overabundant resident Canada geese populations. Increasing the daily bag limit from 8 to 15 geese may help both States reduce or control existing high populations of resident Canada geese, which greatly exceed population objectives. In 2012, the estimated spring population in the portion of Western Prairie and Great Plains Populations range included in the May Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey (WBPHS) was 1.8 million geese. This estimate was 54 percent higher than last year's estimate of 1.17 million and has increased an average of 10 percent per year since 2003.

Regarding the increase in the daily bag limit in Wyoming, we agree. As the Pacific Flyway Council notes in their recommendation, the 2011 Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) breeding population index (BPI) was 120,363, with a 3-year average BPI of 139,298. Further, the 2012 RMP Midwinter Index (MWI) of 166,994 showed a 38 percent increase from the previous year's index and was the highest on record. All estimates exceed levels in the management plan which allow for harvest liberalization (80,000). An increase in the daily bag limit is expected to result in minimal increases in Canada goose harvest rates and allow Wyoming to address some localized goose depredation issues.

B. Regular Seasons

Council Recommendations: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, 2012.

Service Response:We concur. Michigan, beginning in 1998, and Wisconsin, beginning in 1989, have opened their regular Canada goose seasons prior to the Flyway-wide framework opening date to address resident goose management concerns in these States. As we have previously stated (73 FR 50678, August 27, 2008), we agree with the objective to increase harvest pressure on resident Canada geese in the Mississippi Flyway and will continue to consider the opening dates in both States as exceptions to the general Flyway opening date, to be reconsidered annually. We note that the most recent resident Canada goose estimate for the Mississippi Flyway was 1.76 million birds in 2012, which was 8 percent higher than the 2011 estimate, and well above the Flyway's population goal of 1.18 to 1.40 million birds.

9. Sandhill Cranes

Council Recommendations:The Central and Pacific Flyway Councils recommend using the 2012 Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) sandhill crane harvest allocation of 1,270 birds as proposed in the allocation formula described in the management plan for this population. The Pacific Flyway Council also recommended an expansion of the hunting area for RMP greater sandhill crane hunting in Arizona and the establishment of a new RMP sandhill crane hunt area in Idaho. (We note that Councils' recommendation to establish a new RMP sandhill crane hunt area in northwest Colorado, identified in the May 17 proposed rule, was withdrawn by both Councils at the June 19-20 SRC meetings.)

Written Comments:The Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition stated concerns about the harvest of RMP cranes, particularly those in proposed new hunt areas of Arizona, Colorado, and Idaho, and questioned the validity of the data we use to promulgate annual hunting regulations.

An individual believed that the data used to support crane harvest-management decisions were insufficient, and advocated that such decisions be allowed only after a thorough scientific review of the data and publication of peer-reviewed articles.

Service Response:We agree with the Central and Pacific Flyway Councils' recommendations on the RMP sandhill crane harvest allocation of 1,270 birds for the 2012-13 season, as outlined in the RMP sandhill crane management plan's harvest allocation formula. The objective for the RMP sandhill crane is to manage for a stable population index of 17,000-21,000 cranes determined by an average of the three most recent, reliable September (fall pre-migration) surveys. Additionally, the RMP sandhill crane management plan allows for the regulated harvest of cranes when the population index exceeds 15,000 cranes.In 2011, 17,494 cranes were counted in the September survey and the most recent 3-year average for the RMP sandhill crane fall index is 19,626 birds. Both the new hunt area in Idaho and the expansion of the existing hunt area in Arizona are allowed under the management plan.

Regarding the comments concerning the harvest of RMP cranes and questioning the validity of the data we use to promulgate annual hunting regulations, RMP sandhill cranes have been hunted in one or more States since 1981. Although abundance surveys for the RMP have been in place since 1984, we have used a fall pre-migration survey in the States of Montana, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado to monitor the numbers of these birds since 1987. The fall 2011 count of the RMP was 17,494 birds, which is only slightly lower than the first official fall count of 18,036 birds in 1997, and 10 percent lower than the long-term average. Additionally, because counts from surveys conducted during migration periods can be variable, depending on annual phenology and weather events, we use a 3-year average count when developing harvest regulations. The most recent 3-year average is within the range (18,295 to 21,614 birds) of 3-year average counts since 1997. Thus, we believe there is no evidence of a sustained decline in the numbers of RMP cranes.

We recognize that counts from surveys during migration can be highly variable, particularly at small scales. Thus, we believe that analyzing trends at small scales from these types of surveys can lead to inappropriate conclusions about bird status. Rather, the overall status of the birds is of primary importance, and we believe the overall survey area for the RMP is sufficiently large to encompass most of the pre-migration staging areas and provides a good index to annual abundance of the RMP.

In addition to surveys to estimate abundance, we and our partners also annually monitor the harvest and recruitment of RMP cranes. All of this information is used in calculating an annual allowable harvest for these birds to ensure that hunting mortality is commensurate with their annual population status. Although not scientifically peer-reviewed, the management plan, data collection protocols, and harvest strategy were developed by professional wildlife biologists and managers and are designed to result in a sustainable harvest. Following the harvest strategy laid out in the management plan has not resulted in any detrimental impacts to the RMP since hunting was first allowed in 1981. The allowable annual harvest for the RMP is allocated to the States using an agreed-upon formula in the management plan. Addition, or removal, of hunt areas does not change the calculation of the annual allowable harvest. Although the allocation among and within States may change in response to modifying harvest areas, overall harvest on the population is not increased as new areas are added. Thus, the addition of proposed new hunt areas in Colorado (which was subsequently withdrawn and will not be implemented this year), Idaho, and Arizona should not impact the overall status of the RMP. States periodically change hunt areas to address changes in crane use of areas, depredation, and other issues to either increase or decrease numbers of cranes in certain areas. As a result, numbers of birds at smaller (e.g., State) scales may change. If such area-specific changes occur, the States can be more restrictive than the Federal regulations.

14. Woodcock

Last year, we implemented an interim harvest strategy for woodcock for a period of 5 years (2011-15) (76 FR 19876, April 8, 2011). The interim harvest strategy provides a transparent framework for making regulatory decisions for woodcock season length and bag limit while we work to improve monitoring and assessment protocols for this species. Utilizing the criteria developed for the interim strategy, the 3-year average for the Singing Ground Survey indices and associated confidence intervals fall within the “moderate package” for both the Eastern and Central Management Regions. As such, a “moderate season” for both management regions for the 2012-13 woodcock hunting season is appropriate for 2012. Specifics of the interim harvest strategy can be found athttp://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewsPublicationsReports.html.

15. Band-Tailed Pigeons

Written Comments:An individual commented that there should be no hunting season for the Pacific Coast population of band-tailed pigeons. The request was based on perceived wide-spread landscape changes, specifically the lack of food items in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon resulting from current forest management practices (including use of herbicides), and in California resulting from fire and drought.

Service Response:Management of the Pacific Coast population band-tailed pigeons is detailed in a plan endorsed by the Pacific Flyway Council. The long-term objectives include providing opportunities to harvest portions of certain migratory bird populations and to limit harvests to levels compatible with each population's ability to maintain healthy, viable numbers. Based on the harvest strategy and current data, the prescribed regulatory alternative for the Pacific Coast States (California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada) during the 2012-13 hunting season is the restrictive regulatory alternative. This represents no change from the previous year. While studies do indicate that food availability does appear to be a major determinant of band-tailed pigeon abundance, distribution, and productivity, two independent surveys provide little or no evidence that abundance of Pacific Coast pigeons decreased during the recent 8 or 10 years. Thus, we believe that the hunting seasons provided herein are consistent with current population status and long-term population goals for band-tailed pigeons.

16. Mourning Doves

Council Recommendations:The Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway Councils recommended use of the “moderate” season framework for States within the Eastern Management Unit population of mourning doves, resulting in a 70-day season and 15-bird daily bag limit. The daily bag limit could be composed of mourning doves and white-winged doves, singly or in combination.

The Mississippi and Central Flyway Councils recommend the use of the standard (or “moderate”) season package of a 15-bird daily bag limit and a 70-day season for the 2012-13 mourning dove season in the States within the Central Management Unit. They also recommended that the Special White-winged Dove Area in Texas be expanded to Interstate Highway 37 in the 2013-14 season.

The Pacific Flyway Council recommended use of the “moderate” season framework for States in the Western Management Unit (WMU) population of doves, which represents no change from last year's frameworks.

Service Response:In 2008, we accepted and endorsed the interim harvest strategies for the Central, Eastern, and Western Management Units (73 FR 50678, August 27, 2008). As we stated then, the interim mourning dove harvest strategies are a step towards implementing the Mourning Dove National Strategic Harvest Plan (Plan) that was approved by all four Flyway Councils in 2003. The Plan represents a new, more informed means of decision-making for dove harvest managementbesides relying solely on traditional roadside counts of mourning doves as indicators of population trend. However, recognizing that a more comprehensive, national approach would take time to develop, we requested the development of interim harvest strategies, by management unit, until the elements of the Plan can be fully implemented. In 2009, the interim harvest strategies were successfully employed and implemented in all three Management Units (74 FR 36870, July 24, 2009).

This year, based on the interim harvest strategies and current population status, we agree with the recommended selection of the “moderate” season frameworks for doves in the Eastern, Central, and Western Management Units.

Regarding the Central Flyway Council's recommendation to expand the Special White-winged Dove Area in Texas, we support the Council's recommendation to provide additional hunting opportunities for white-winged doves. However, we believe an important tenet of special regulations is that harvest pressure be effectively directed primarily at target stocks. While we believe that the expanding white-winged dove population in Texas can support additional harvest, and support the geographic expansion of the Special White-winged Dove Area, we note that about 40 percent of the harvest in the current Special White-winged Dove Area is comprised of mourning doves. We believe this proportion is higher than that which should occur during a special season that targets white-winged doves. Therefore, to reduce the proportion of non-target species taken during this season, we will reduce the bag limit of mourning doves from 4 to 2 doves within the aggregate bag of 15 doves during this season throughout the Special White-winged Dove Area. The changes will take effect during the 2013-14 hunting season.

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 theFederal Registeron June 16, 1988 (53 FR 22582). We published our Record of Decision on August 18, 1988 (53 FR 31341). In addition, an August 1985 environmental assessment entitled “Guidelines for Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Federal Indian Reservations and Ceded Lands” is available from the address indicated under the captionFOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

In a notice published in the September 8, 2005,Federal Register(70 FR 53376), we announced our intent to develop a new Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the migratory bird hunting program. Public scoping meetings were held in the spring of 2006, as detailed in a March 9, 2006,Federal Register(71 FR 12216). We released the draft SEIS on July 9, 2010 (75 FR 39577). The draft SEIS is available either by writing to the address indicated underFOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACTor by viewing our Web site athttp://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds.

Endangered Species Act Consideration

Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531-1543; 87 Stat. 884), provides that, “The Secretary shall review other programs administered by him and utilize such programs in furtherance of the purposes of this Act” (and) shall “insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out * * * is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of [critical] habitat * * *.” Consequently, we conducted formal consultations to ensure that actions resulting from these regulations would not likely jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of their critical habitat. Findings from these consultations are included in a biological opinion, which concluded that the regulations are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species. Additionally, these findings may have caused modification of some regulatory measures previously proposed, and the final frameworks reflect any such modifications. Our biological opinions resulting from this section 7 consultation are public documents available for public inspection at the address indicated underADDRESSES.

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is significant because it will have an annual effect of $100 million or more on the economy.

Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

An economic analysis was prepared for the 2008-09 season. This analysis was based on data from the 2006 National Hunting and Fishing Survey, the most recent year for which data are available (see discussion in Regulatory Flexibility Act section below). This analysis estimated consumer surplus for three alternatives for duck hunting (estimates for other species are not quantified due to lack of data). The alternatives are (1) Issue restrictive regulations allowing fewer days than those issued during the 2007-08 season, (2) Issue moderate regulations allowing more days than those in alternative 1, and (3) Issue liberal regulations identical to the regulations in the 2007-08 season. For the 2008-09 season, we chose alternative 3, with an estimated consumer surplus across all flyways of $205-$270 million. We also chose alternative 3 for the 2009-10 and the 2010-11 seasons. At this time, we are proposing no changes to the season frameworks for the 2011-12 season, and as such, we will again consider these three alternatives. However, final frameworks for waterfowl will be dependent on population status information available later this year. For these reasons, we have not conducted a new economic analysis, but the 2008-09 analysis is part of the record for this rule and is available athttp://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewReportsPublications/SpecialTopics/SpecialTopics.html#HuntingRegsor athttp://www.regulations.govat Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2012-0005.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The annual migratory bird hunting regulations have a significant economic impact on substantial numbers of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601et seq.). We analyzedthe economic impacts of the annual hunting regulations on small business entities in detail as part of the 1981 cost-benefit analysis. This analysis was revised annually from 1990-95. In 1995, the Service issued a Small Entity Flexibility Analysis (Analysis), which was subsequently updated in 1996, 1998, 2004, and 2008. 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 2008 Analysis was based on the 2006 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 approximately $1.2 billion at small businesses in 2008. Copies of the Analysis are available upon request from the Division of Migratory Bird Management (seeADDRESSES) or from our Web site athttp://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewReportsPublications/SpecialTopics/SpecialTopics.html#HuntingRegsor athttp://www.regulations.govat Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2012-0005.

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 will have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. However, because this rule establishes hunting seasons, we are not deferring 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 (44 U.S.C. 3501et seq.). 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, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements of our Migratory Bird Surveys and assigned control number 1018-0023 (expires 4/30/2014). 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 Alaska Subsistence Household Survey, an associated voluntary annual household survey used to determine levels of subsistence take in Alaska, and assigned control number 1018-0124 (expires 4/30/2013). 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. 1502et seq.,that this rulemaking will not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local or State government or private entities. Therefore, this rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

Civil Justice Reform—Executive Order 12988

The Department, in promulgating this rule, has determined that this rule will not unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

Takings Implication Assessment

In accordance with Executive Order 12630, this rule, authorized by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 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 allows hunters to exercise otherwise unavailable privileges and, therefore, reduce restrictions on the use of private and public property.

Energy Effects—Executive Order 13211

Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy Effects when undertaking certain actions. While this rule is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, it is not expected to adversely affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, this action is not a significant energy action and no Statement of Energy Effects is required.

Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, “Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments” (59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175, and 512 DM 2, we have evaluated possible effects on Federally-recognized Indian tribes and have determined that there are no effects on Indian trust resources. However, in the April 17Federal Register, we solicited proposals for special migratory bird hunting regulations for certain Tribes on Federal Indian reservations, off-reservation trust lands, and ceded lands for the 2012-13 migratory bird hunting season. The resulting proposals were contained in a separate August 16, 2012, proposed rule (77 FR 49680). By virtue of these actions, we have consulted with Tribes affected by this rule.

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 regarding the hunting of migratory birds, and we 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 Indian 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 process 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 summary impact statement.

Regulations Promulgation

The rulemaking process for migratory game bird hunting must, by its nature, operate under severe time constraints. However, we intend that the public be given the greatest possible opportunity to comment. Thus, when the preliminary proposed rulemaking was published, we established what we believed were the longest periods possible for public comment. In doing this, we recognized that when the comment period closed, time would be of the essence. That is, if there were a delay in the effective date of these regulations after this final rulemaking, States would have insufficient time to select season dates and limits; to communicate those selections to us; andto establish and publicize the necessary regulations and procedures to implement their decisions. We therefore find that “good cause” exists, within the terms of 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) of the Administrative Procedure Act, and these frameworks will, therefore, take effect immediately upon publication.

Therefore, under authority of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (July 3, 1918), as amended (16 U.S.C. 703-711), we prescribe final frameworks setting forth the species to be hunted, the daily bag and possession limits, the shooting hours, the season lengths, the earliest opening and latest closing season dates, and hunting areas, from which State conservation agency officials will select hunting season dates and other options. Upon receipt of season selections from these officials, we will publish a final rulemaking amending 50 CFR part 20 to reflect seasons, limits, and shooting hours for the conterminous United States for the 2012-13 season.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 20

Exports, Hunting, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation, Wildlife.

The rules that eventually will be promulgated for the 2012-13 hunting season are authorized under 16 U.S.C. 703-712 and 16 U.S.C. 742 a-j.

Dated: August 9, 2012. Michael J. Bean, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. Final Regulations Frameworks for 2012-13 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 frameworks, which prescribe season lengths, bag limits, shooting hours, and outside dates within which States may select hunting seasons for certain migratory game birds between September 1, 2012, and March 10, 2013.

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.

Permits: For some species of migratory birds, the Service authorizes the use of permits to regulate harvest or monitor their take by sport hunters, or both. In many cases (e.g., tundra swans, some sandhill crane populations), the Service determines the amount of harvest that may be taken during hunting seasons during its formal regulations-setting process, and the States then issue permits to hunters at levels predicted to result in the amount of take authorized by the Service. Thus, although issued by States, the permits would not be valid unless the Service approved such take in its regulations.

These Federally authorized, State-issued permits are issued to individuals, and only the individual whose name and address appears on the permit at the time of issuance is authorized to take migratory birds at levels specified in the permit, in accordance with provisions of both Federal and State regulations governing the hunting season. The permit must be carried by the permittee when exercising its provisions and must be presented to any law enforcement officer upon request. The permit is not transferrable or assignable to another individual, and may not be sold, bartered, traded, or otherwise provided to another person. If the permit is altered or defaced in any way, the permit becomes invalid.

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.

Definitions

Dark geese:Canada geese, white-fronted geese, brant (except in Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, and the Atlantic Flyway), and all other goose species, except light geese.

Light geese:snow (including blue) geese and Ross's geese.

Waterfowl Seasons 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.

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.

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not to exceed 16 consecutive hunting days in the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Central Flyways. 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 22). 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 2 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 will be the same as those allowed in the regular season. Flyway species and area restrictions will 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 may not duck hunt but may participate in other seasons that are open on the special youth day.

Scoter, Eider, and Long-Tailed Ducks (Atlantic Flyway)

Outside Dates: Between September 15 and January 31.

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 from 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. Seasons not to exceed 30 days during September 1-30 may be selected for Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York (Long Island Zone only), North Carolina, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. 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 15 Canada geese.

Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except that during any general season, shooting hours may extend to one-half hour after sunset if all other waterfowl seasons are closed in the specific applicable area.

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, and in Minnesota, where a season of up to 22 days during September 1-22 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.

A 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 5 Canada geese.

Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except that during September 1-15 shooting hours may extend to one-half hour after sunset if all other waterfowl seasons are closed in the specific applicable area.

Central Flyway General Seasons

In Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas, Canada goose seasons of up to 30 days during September 1-30 may be selected. In Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, 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, except in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, where the daily bag limit may not exceed 8 Canada geese and in North Dakota and South Dakota, where the daily bag limit may not exceed 15 Canada geese. Areas open to the hunting of Canada geese must be described, delineated, and designated as such in each State's hunting regulations.

Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except that during September 1-15 shooting hours may extend to one-half hour after sunset if all other waterfowl seasons are closed in the specific applicable area.

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. The daily bag limit is 4.

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 during the period September 1-15. The daily bag limit is 2, and the possession limit is 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 during the period September 1-15. This season is subject to the following conditions:

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

B. 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 Mississippi Flyway

Outside Dates: Between September 1 and February 28.

Hunting Seasons: A season not to exceed 37 consecutive days may be selected in the designated portion of northwestern Minnesota (Northwest Goose Zone).

Daily Bag Limit: 2 sandhill cranes.

Permits: Each person participating in the regular sandhill crane season must have a valid Federal or State sandhill crane hunting permit.

Experimental Seasons in the Mississippi Flyway

Outside Dates: Between September 1 and January 31.

Hunting Seasons: A season not to exceed 30 consecutive days may be selected in Kentucky.

Daily Bag Limit: Not to exceed 2 daily and 2 per season.

Permits: Each person participating in the regular sandhill crane season must have a valid Federal or State sandhill crane hunting permit.

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 Mississippi Flyway Council.

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).

Permits: Each person participating in the regular sandhill crane season must have a valid Federal or State sandhill crane hunting permit.

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 consecutive 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:

A. In Utah, 100 percent of the harvest will be assigned to the RMP quota;

B. In Arizona, monitoring the racial composition of the harvest must be conducted at 3-year intervals;

C. In Idaho, 100 percent of the harvest will be assigned to the RMP quota; and

D. 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 the last Sunday in January (January 27) in the Atlantic, 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 the last Sunday in January (January 27) on clapper, king, sora, and Virginia rails.

Hunting Seasons: Seasons 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 107days 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 22) and January 31.

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Seasons may not exceed 45 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 36 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.

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 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. Regulations for bag and possession limits, season length, and shooting hours must be uniform within specific hunting zones.

Central Management Unit

For all States except Texas:

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 70 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.

Texas:

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits: Not more than 70 days, with a daily bag limit of 15 mourning, white-winged, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate, of which no more than 2 may be white-tipped doves.

Zoning and Split Seasons: 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 take of mourning and white-tipped doves may also occur during that special season (see Special White-winged Dove Area).

B. A season may be selected for the North and Central Zones between September 1 and January 25; and for the South Zone between the Friday nearest September 20 (September 21), but not earlier than September 17, and January 25.

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

Special White-winged Dove Area in Texas:

In addition, Texas 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 15 white-winged, mourning, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate, of which no more than 4 may be mourning doves and no more than 2 may be white-tipped doves.

Western Management Unit

Hunting Seasons and Daily Bag Limits:

Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington—Not more than 30 consecutive days, with a daily bag limit of 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. During the remainder of the season, the daily bag limit is 10 mourning doves. In California, the daily bag limit is 10 mourning and white-winged doves in the aggregate.

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 5 zones. The season may be split without penalty in the Kodiak Zone. The seasons in each zone must be concurrent.

Closures: 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 b