The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced a process to engage the public as it works toward revising a rule governing how permits are issued for the non-purposeful take of bald and golden eagles. FWS will host five public information meetings in various locations around the country and open a 90-day public comment period. The meetings will be held on July 22, 2014, in Sacramento, Calif.; July 24, 2014, in Minneapolis, Minn.; July 29, 2014, in Albuquerque, N.M.; July 31, 2014, in Denver, Colo.; and Aug. 7, 2014, in Washington, D.C. For more information about the public information meetings, please visit http://www.eaglescoping.org.
The public information sessions will serve as scoping meetings as required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). FWS will review information from the meetings and use it to prepare either a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and proposed revisions to the permit regulations. The Service will then open another comment period for an additional round of public review and input before finalizing the EA/EIS and revised permit regulations.
FWS is requesting information related to its 2009 permit regulations, eagle management objectives, and the December 2013 decision extending the maximum duration for eagle take permits from five to 30 years. Written comments must be submitted on or before Sept. 22, 2014, either electronically: Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov, FWS-R2- MB-2011-0094 or by U.S. mail to Public Comments Processing, Attention: Eagle Management and Permitting FWS-R2-MB-2011-0094; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM, Arlington, VA 22203.