[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 233 (Wednesday, December 4, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 72830-72833]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-28709]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 21

[Docket No. FWS-HQ-MB-2013-0110; FF09M21200-134-FXMB1231099BPP0]
RIN 1018-BA01

Migratory Bird Permits; Delegating Falconry Permitting Authority 
to 17 States

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The States of Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, 
Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New 
York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia, and 
Wisconsin have requested that we delegate permitting for falconry to 
the State, as provided under our regulations. We have reviewed 
regulations and

[[Page 72831]]

supporting materials provided by these States, and have concluded that 
their regulations comply with the Federal regulations. We change the 
falconry regulations accordingly. We make additional changes to the 
regulations to remove parts that will no longer be relevant after 
December 31, 2013, and, in one case, to remove contradictory language, 
and to correct errors.

DATES: This rule is effective January 1, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. George T. Allen, 703-358-1825.



    We published a final rule in the Federal Register on October 8, 
2008 (73 FR 59448), to revise our regulations governing falconry in the 
United States, found in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(CFR) at Sec.  21.29. The regulations provide that when a State meets 
the requirements for operating under the regulations, falconry 
permitting will be delegated to the State.
    The States of Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, 
Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, 
Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin 
have submitted revised falconry regulations and supporting materials 
and have requested to be allowed to operate under the revised Federal 
regulations. We have reviewed the regulations administered by these 
States and have determined that their regulations meet the requirements 
of 50 CFR 21.29(b). According to the regulations at Sec.  21.29(b)(4), 
we must issue a rule to add a State to the list at Sec.  21.29(b)(10) 
of approved States with a falconry program. Therefore, we change the 
Federal regulations accordingly, and a Federal permit will no longer be 
required to practice falconry in any State with its own falconry 
regulations beginning January 1, 2014.
    In addition, we remove paragraphs (b)(4)(i) and (ii) from Sec.  
21.29. Those paragraphs deal with review of State regulations changes 
and examination changes. The provisions in them are provided by the 
succeeding paragraphs. We remove other paragraphs that will no longer 
be relevant because all States with falconry permitting have 
transitioned to operation under the current federal falconry 

Administrative Procedure

    In accordance with section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act 
(5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.), we issue this final rule without prior 
opportunity for public comment. Under the regulations at 50 CFR 
21.29(b)(1)(ii), the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(Service) must determine if a State, tribal, or territorial falconry 
permitting program meets Federal requirements. When the Director makes 
this determination, the Service is required by regulations at 50 CFR 
21.29(b)(4) to publish a rule in the Federal Register adding the State, 
tribe, or territory to the list of those approved for allowing the 
practice of falconry. On January 1st of the calendar year following 
publication of the rule, the Service will terminate Federal falconry 
permitting in any State certified under the regulations at 50 CFR 
    This is a ministerial and nondiscretionary action that must be 
enacted promptly to enable the subject States to assume all 
responsibilities of falconry permitting by January 1, 2014, the 
effective date of this regulatory amendment. Further, the relevant 
regulation at 50 CFR 21.29 governing the transfer of permitting 
authority to these States has already been subject to public notice and 
comment procedures. Therefore, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(3)(B), we did not publish a proposed rule in regard to this 
rulemaking action because, for good cause as stated above, we found 
prior public notice and comment procedures to be unnecessary.

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Management and 
Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will 
review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not 
    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.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as 
amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 
(SBREFA) of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), whenever an agency is required to 
publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must 
prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility 
analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (that 
is, small businesses, small organizations, and small government 
jurisdictions). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required 
if the head of an agency certifies the rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal 
agencies to provide the statement of the factual basis for certifying 
that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.
    We have examined this rule's potential effects on small entities as 
required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and have determined that 
this action will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. This rule delegates authority to 
States that have requested it, and those States have already changed 
their falconry regulations. This rule does not change falconers' costs 
for practicing their sport, nor does it affect businesses that provide 
equipment or supplies for falconry. Consequently, we certify that, 
because this rule will not have a significant economic effect on a 
substantial number of small entities, a regulatory flexibility analysis 
is not required.
    This rule is not a major rule under the SBREFA (5 U.S.C. 804(2)). 
It will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number 
of small entities.
    a. This rule does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 
million or more. There are no costs to permittees or any other part of 
the economy associated with this regulations change.
    b. This rule will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions. The practice of falconry does not 
significantly affect costs or prices in any sector of the economy.
    c. This rule will not have significant adverse effects on 

[[Page 72832]]

employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. 
Falconry is an endeavor of private individuals. Neither regulation nor 
practice of falconry significantly affects business activities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 
et seq.), we have determined the following:
    a. This rule will not ``significantly or uniquely'' affect small 
governments in a negative way. A small government agency plan is not 
required. The 17 States affected by this rule applied for the authority 
to issue permits for the practice of falconry.
    b. This rule will not produce a Federal mandate of $100 million or 
greater in any year. It is not a ``significant regulatory action'' 
under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.


    In accordance with E.O. 12630, the rule does not have significant 
takings implications. A takings implication assessment is not required. 
This rule does not contain a provision for taking of private property.


    This rule does not have sufficient Federalism effects to warrant 
preparation of a Federalism assessment under E.O. 13132. The States 
being delegated authority to issue permits to conduct falconry have 
requested that authority. No significant economic impacts are expected 
to result from the State regulation of falconry.

Civil Justice Reform

    In accordance with E.O. 12988, the Office of the Solicitor has 
determined that the rule does not unduly burden the judicial system and 
meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    We examined this rule under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 
and it does not contain any new collections of information that require 
OMB approval. OMB has approved the information collection requirements 
of the Migratory Bird Permits Program and assigned OMB control number 
1018-0022, which expires February 28, 2014. Information from the 
collection is used to document take of raptors from the wild for use in 
falconry and to document transfers of raptors held for falconry between 
permittees. 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.

National Environmental Policy Act

    We evaluated the environmental impacts of the changes to these 
regulations, and determined that this rule does not have any 
environmental impacts. Within the spirit and intent of the Council on 
Environmental Quality's regulations for implementing the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and other statutes, orders, and 
policies that protect fish and wildlife resources, we determined that 
these regulatory changes do not have a significant effect on the human 
    In accordance with the Department of the Interior Manual at 516 DM 
8.5, we conclude that the regulatory changes are categorically excluded 
because they ``have no or minor potential environmental impact.'' No 
more comprehensive NEPA analysis of the regulations change 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 potential effects on Federally recognized Indian Tribes 
and have determined that this rule will not interfere with Tribes' 
ability to manage themselves or their funds or to regulate falconry on 
Tribal lands.

Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    E.O. 13211 requires agencies to prepare Statements of Energy 
Effects when undertaking certain actions. Because this rule only 
affects the practice of falconry in the United States, it is not a 
significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866, and will not 
significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. Therefore, 
this action is not a significant energy action and no Statement of 
Energy Effects is required.

Environmental Consequences of the Action

    Socioeconomic. This action will not have discernible socioeconomic 
    Raptor populations. This rule will not change the effects of 
falconry on raptor populations. We have reviewed and approved the State 
    Endangered and threatened species. This rule does not change 
protections for endangered and threatened species.

Compliance with Endangered Species Act Requirements

    Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended 
(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires that ``The Secretary [of the 
Interior] shall review other programs administered by him and utilize 
such programs in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter'' (16 
U.S.C. 1536(a)(1)). It further states that the Secretary must ``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'' (16 U.S.C. 1536(a)(2)). Delegating falconry 
permitting authority to States with approved programs will not affect 
threatened or endangered species or their habitats in the United 

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 21

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

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, we amend subpart C of part 
21, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations, as follows:


1. The authority citation for part 21 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 703-12.

2. Amend Sec.  21.29 by:
a. Removing paragraph (b)(1)(ii) and redesignating paragraph 
(b)(1)(iii) as paragraph (b)(1)(ii);
b. Removing paragraphs (b)(2), (b)(11), and (b)(12) and redesignating 
paragraphs (b)(3) through (b)(10) as paragraphs (b)(2) through (b)(9);
c. Revising newly redesignated paragraph (b)(3) by removing paragraphs 
(b)(3)(i) and (b)(3)(ii);
d. Revising newly redesignated paragraphs (b)(4) introductory text, 
(b)(4)(i), (b)(5)(i), and (b)(9); and
e. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (f)(11)(i) by removing the 
comma after the word ``falconry'' and the words ``if you have a Special 
Purpose Abatement permit''.

Sec.  21.29  Falconry standards and falconry permitting.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (4) Review of a State, tribal, or territorial falconry program. We 
may review the administration of an approved State's, tribe's, or 
territory's falconry program if complaints from the

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public or law enforcement investigations indicate the need for a review 
or for revisions to the State's, tribe's, or territory's laws, or 
falconry examination. The review may involve, but is not limited to:
    (i) Inspecting falconers' facilities to ensure that the facilities 
standards in this section are met;
* * * * *
    (5) * * *
    (i) We may propose to suspend, and may suspend, the approval of a 
State, tribal, or territorial falconry program in accordance with the 
procedures in paragraph (b)(5)(ii) of this section if we determine that 
the State, tribe, or territory has deficiencies in one or more items in 
paragraph (b)(4) of this section.
* * * * *
    (9) Standards in effect in your place of residence. If you live in 
any State except Hawaii, you may practice falconry as permitted in 
these regulations if you have a falconry permit from your State, tribe, 
or territory.
* * * * *

    Dated: November 21, 2013.
Michael J. Bean,
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and 
[FR Doc. 2013-28709 Filed 12-3-13; 8:45 am]