H.R. 1788: Cormorant Management and Natural Resources Protection Act

113th Congress, 2013–2015. Text as of Apr 26, 2013 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO and Cato Institute Deepbills

I

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1788

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 26, 2013

(for herself,Mr. Peterson,Mr. Kline,Mr. Jones,Mr. Bachus,Mr. Latta,Mr. Huizenga of Michigan,Mr. Cole, andMr. Duncan of South Carolina) introduced the following bill; which was referred to theCommittee on Natural Resources

A BILL

To amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to delegate to States the authorities of the Secretary of the Interior under that Act with respect to cormorants, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Cormorant Management and Natural Resources Protection Act .

2.

Findings

TheCongressfinds the following:

(1)

The current permitting system is not sufficient to achieve a streamlined control of excessive cormorant populations.

(2)

Excessive cormorant populations cause damage to ecosystems.

(3)

Excessive cormorant populations pose public health and safety concerns.

(4)

Excessive cormorant populations pose an unsightly, loud, and olfactory nuisance.

(5)

Excessive cormorant populations can have a detrimental effect on fish populations.

(6)

Excessive cormorant populations displace native species from their habitats.

(7)

Cormorant excrement in colonies often kills vegetation.

3.

Delegation to States of authority under Migratory Bird Treaty Act with respect to cormorants

(a)

Delegation of authority

Section 7 of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act(16 U.S.C. 708)is amended—

(1)

by inserting(a)Preservation of State authority.— before the first sentence; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following:

(b)

Delegation to States of authority with respect to cormorants

(1)

In general

The authority of theSecretaryunder this Act with respect to cormorants in a State is hereby delegated to the governor of the State effective on the date on which theSecretaryapproves a management plan for cormorants in the State that is submitted by the governor.

(2)

Approval or disapproval of management plan

(A)

In general

TheSecretaryshall approve or disapprove a management plan submitted under this subsection by not later than the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date the plan is submitted.

(B)

Requirement to approve

TheSecretaryshall approve a management plan submitted under this subsection if the plan is in accordance with United States obligations under treaties and Federal law.

(C)

Disapproval of plan

If theSecretarydisapproves a management plan under this subsection the Secretary shall provide to the governor who submitted the plan the reasons for the disapproval and an opportunity to revise and resubmit the plan.

(D)

Plan deemed approved

Except as provided insubparagraph (E), if theSecretarydoes not approve or disapprove a management plan before the end of the period referred to inparagraph (1)theSecretaryis deemed to have approved the plan.

(E)

Limitation on approval

A management plan shall not be approved under this paragraph if the plan is found to be in violation of United States obligations under treaties and Federal law.

(F)

Review of approved plans

TheSecretary

(i)

shall review every 5 years each management plan approved for a State under this subsection and the State governor’s exercise of authority delegated under this subsection; and

(ii)

may revoke such approval and delegation if, based on such review, theSecretarydetermines that the plan or the governor’s exercise of authority delegated under this subsection is not in accordance with this Act or any treaty implemented by this Act.

(3)

Relationship between approved plan and regulations

A management plan that is approved for a State under this subsection shall apply in that State with respect to management of cormorants, in lieu of regulations issued under this Act.

(4)

Compliance with treaties and Federal law

In exercising authority delegated under this subsection the governor of a State shall comply with this Act and all treaties implemented by this Act.

(5)

Relationship to other authority

Nothing in this subsection limits the authority of theSecretaryor any Federal agency to exercise authority under any Federal law to assist a State, upon request by the governor of the State, with control of cormorants.

(6)

Cormorant defined

In this subsection the termcormorantmeans the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus).

.

(b)

Cooperation To prevent cormorant proliferation

(1)

Department of Interior cooperation

TheSecretary of the Interior, acting in consultation with theNational Aquaculture Information Centerand theAnimal and Plant Health Inspection Service, shall conduct educational and informational activities for the owners and operators of aquaculture facilities to improve their efforts to prevent cormorants from consuming aquatic species being reared in aquaculture facilities, which contributes to the proliferation of cormorants.

(2)

Other efforts

Nothing in this subsection restricts the authority of other Federal or State wildlife or natural resource management agencies to cooperate with the owners and operators of aquaculture facilities regarding the management and control of cormorants to prevent their proliferation.

(3)

Cormorant defined

In this subsection, the termcormorantmeans the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus).