Animal Damage >> Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks

Relationship of This Environmental Assessment to Other Environmental Documents has issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement on the national APHIS/Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks program. Pertinent information available in the FEIS has been incorporated by reference into this EA.

Decision To Be Made Based on the scope of this EA, the decisions to be made are: Should BDM as currently implemented be continued on private property sites or public facilities in the State? If not, how should Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks fulfill its legislative responsibilities for managing bird damage on private property sites or public facilities in the State?

Might the proposal have significant impacts requiring preparation of an EIS? Scope Of This Environmental Assessment Analysis Actions Analyzed. This EA evaluates bird damage management to protect livestock feed, livestock, livestock health, property, and human health and safety on private land or public facilities within the State.

Properties Not Currently Part of the Operational Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks Wildlife Damage Management Program. The current program only operates on a small percentage of properties in the state. Because the current program’s mission is to provide assistance wherever requested and when funds permit, this EA analyzes impacts not only at current program levels, but at potentially increased program levels should nonparticipating individuals or agencies decide to enter the program.

Period for Which this EA is Valid. This EA will remain valid until Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks determines that new needs for action or new alternatives having different environmental effects must be analyzed. At that time, this analysis and document will be reviewed and revised as necessary. This EA will be reviewed each year to ensure that it is complete and still appropriate to the scope of the State BDM activities.

Site Specificity. This EA analyzes potential impacts of BDM and addresses Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks BDM activities on private property sites or public facilities under Agreements For Control within the State. It also addresses the impacts of BDM on areas where additional agreements with may be written in the reasonably foreseeable future.

Because the proposed action is to continue the current program, and because the current program’s goal and responsibility is to provide service when requested within the constraints of available funding and personnel, it is conceivable that additional BDM efforts could occur. Thus, this EA anticipates this potential expansion and analyzes the impacts of such expanded efforts as part of the current program.

The EA emphasizes significant issues as they relate to specific areas whenever possible. However, the issues that pertain to bird damage and resulting management are the same, for the most part, wherever they occur, and are treated as such. The standard Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks Decision Model (Slate et al. 1992) and Directive 2.105 is the site-specific procedure for determining methods and strategies to use or recommend for individual actions conducted by in the State.

 Decisions made using the model will be in accordance with any mitigations and standard operating procedures described herein and adopted or established as part of the decision. The primary statutory authority for the Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks program is the Animal Damage Control Act of 1931, which provides that:

The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized and directed to conduct such investigations, experiments, and tests as he may deem necessary in order to determine, demonstrate, and promulgate the best methods of eradication, suppression, or bringing under control on national forests and other areas.

The public domain as well as on State, Territory or privately owned lands of mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, bobcats, prairie dogs, gophers, ground squirrels, jackrabbits, brown tree snakes and other animals injurious to agriculture, horticulture, forestry, animal husbandry, wild game animals, furbearing animals, and birds, and for the Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks protection of stock and other domestic animals through the suppression of rabies and tularemia in predatory or other wild animals; and to conduct campaigns for the destruction or control of such animals.

Provided that in carrying out the provisions of this Section, the Secretary of Agriculture may cooperate with States, individuals, and public and private agencies, organizations, and institutions." Since 1931, with the changes in societal values, Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks policies and programs place greater emphasis on the part of the Act discussing "bringing (damage) under control," rather than "eradication" and "suppression" of wildlife populations.

In 1988, Congress strengthened the legislative mandate of Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks with the Rural Development, Agriculture, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. This Act states, in part: "That hereafter, the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized, except for urban rodent control, to conduct activities and to enter into agreements with States, local jurisdictions, individuals, and public and private agencies, organizations, and institutions.

The control of nuisance mammals and birds and those mammal and bird species that are reservoirs for zoonotic diseases, and to deposit any money collected under any such agreement into the appropriation accounts that incur the costs to be available immediately and to remain available until expended for Animal Damage Control activities."

Proposition 201 prohibits the use of traps, snares, and poisons to take wildlife on Federal, State, County, or City land in the State of Arizona. Exceptions include protection of human health and safety, wildlife disease surveillance, scientific research, wildlife relocation, aquatic wildlife management, and non-furbearing rodent control.

BDM actions that involve the use of toxicants or traps are conducted on private lands or public facilities in compliance with one of the exceptions noted above. Several other federal laws authorize, regulate, or otherwise affect wildlife damage management. Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks complies with these laws, and consults and cooperates with other agencies as appropriate.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks prepares analyses of the environmental impacts of program activities to meet procedural requirements of this law. This EA meets the NEPA requirement for the proposed action in Arizona. Endangered Species Act (ESA).

It is federal policy, under the ESA, that all federal agencies shall seek to conserve threatened and endangered (T&E) species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the Act (Sec.2(c)). Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks conducts Section 7 consultations with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to use.

The expertise of the USFWS to ensure that "any action authorized, funded or carried out by such an agency . . . is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species . . . Each agency shall use the best scientific and commercial data available" (Sec.7(a)(2)).

Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks has obtained a Biological Opinion from USFWS describing potential effects on T & E species and prescribing reasonable and prudent measures for avoiding jeopardy (USDA 1994, Appendix F). Migratory Bird Treaty Act The Migratory Bird Treaty Act provides the USFWS regulatory authority to protect species of birds that migrate outside the United States.

The law prohibits any "take" of these species, except as permitted by the USFWS; therefore the USFWS issues permits for managing bird damage situations. Starlings and feral domestic pigeons are not classified as migratory birds and therefore have no protection under this Act.

A federal permit is not required to control blackbirds, crows, or magpies when found committing or about to commit depredations (50 CFR 21.43). Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) FIFRA requires the registration, classification, and regulation of all pesticides used in the United States.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for implementing and enforcing FIFRA. All chemical methods used or recommended by the Lawn Damage From Raccoons And Skunks program in Arizona are registered with and regulated by the EPA, and the ADA, and used by in compliance with labeling procedures and requirements.

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