[CT Birds] SC Cormorants

David Lawton lawtonesq at gmail.com
Fri Feb 10 15:00:36 EST 2017


A little more information about D.C. Cormorant depradation order:

The Migratory Bird Act (16 USC 704(a), in relevant part) creates an
exception to the general ban on taking migratory birds, authorizing the
Secretary of the Interior to allow hunting, taking capture, killing,
possession, sale [etc.] based on a determination giving due regard to such
things as distribution, abundance, economic value, etc.  The statute became
effective in 1918 and has been amended several times since, last in 1998.

In 1998, due to concerns about the impact of DCC on aquaculture, as
authorized under the Migratory Bird Act, the US Fish and Wildlife Service
issued a Depradation Order (50 DRF 21.47) for double-crested cormorants at
aquaculture facilities. The depradation order has been amended twice, in
2009 to extend the order another 5 years, and in 2014 to extend to 2019 and
require the use of non-lead ammunition in such taking.

In October 2014, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed
suit claiming the agency had failed to  complete a full economic impact
statement as part of its rule-making process in extending the depradation
orders in 23 states.  The U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. found that
the USFWS had merely used an old report and had not conducted sufficient
studies or fully considered alternatives in renewing the order, which the
USFWS said was meant as a cost saving tool instead of conducting the same
study again). Judge Bates held that the order, therefore, violated the
National Environmental Policy Act but did not initially vacate the orders.
In May 2016, Judge Bates held that the appropriate remedy for the NEPA
violations was to vacate the orders until the USFWS performed a new,
legally adequate environmental assessment or environmental impact
statement. The USFWS expected to complete a revised study in seven months,
followed by a 30-day public comment period before drafting a final EA.

Based on a review of proposed rules for public comment, the revised EA has
not yet been submitted.


David Lawton
Avon, CT

On Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 1:41 PM, Larry Flynn via CTBirds <
ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:

> From the info that I could gather, South Carolina had a Double-crested
> Cormorant hunting season in the years 2014 and 2015, here is the
> USFW regulation on that.
>  https://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/pdf/management/
> double-crested-cormorants/PublishedFinalRuleforExtension
> ofDepredationOrders.pdf
> In 2016 there was a court ruling on that hunt,
> Here is an article on that. Also check out "which began two years ago"in
> this article for more info
> http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article79953087.html
> I can't find info on a 2016 season or anything for 2017.
> LF
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D. Lawton

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