[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 198 (Monday, October 15, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 58321-58333]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-20201]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[1018-AT72]


Draft Mosquito and Mosquito-Borne Disease Management Policy 
Pursuant to the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: We propose to establish policy that refuge managers will 
follow concerning mosquito and mosquito-borne disease management on 
units of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The National Wildlife 
Refuge System Administration Act (Administration Act), as amended by 
the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 
(Improvement Act), provides the Refuge System mission. That mission is 
to ``administer a national network of lands and waters for the 
conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the 
fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the 
United States for the benefit of present and future generations of 
Americans.'' In addition, each refuge ``shall be managed to fulfill the 
mission of the System, as well as the specific purposes for which that 
refuge was established.'' We cannot fulfill this mission unless we 
provide consistent direction to refuge managers and manage the Refuge 
System as a national system. Therefore, we are developing policies to 
provide refuge managers clear direction and procedures for making 
determinations regarding wildlife conservation and public uses of the 
Refuge System and individual refuges. This draft policy describes the 
process we will follow to determine if and how to manage mosquito 
populations on lands administered within the Refuge System. We propose 
to incorporate this policy as part 601, chapter 7 of the Fish and 
Wildlife Service Manual.
    This draft policy states that ``we will allow populations of native 
mosquito species to function unimpeded unless they cause a human and/or 
wildlife health threat.'' While we recognize mosquitoes are a natural 
component of most wetland ecosystems, we also recognize they may 
represent a threat to human and/or wildlife health. We may allow 
management of mosquito populations on Refuge System lands when those 
populations pose a threat to the health and safety of the public or a 
wildlife population. This draft policy outlines the procedures refuge 
managers will follow in planning and implementing mosquito and 
mosquito-borne disease management within the Refuge System.

DATES: Comments must be received by November 29, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this draft policy by mail to 
Michael Higgins, Biologist, National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 670, Arlington, 
Virginia 22203; by fax to 703-358-2248; or by e-mail to 
refugesystempolicycomments@fws.gov.

[[Page 58322]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael J. Higgins, U.S. Fish & 
Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Refuge System, 177 Admiral Cochrane 
Drive, Annapolis, MD 21401, telephone: 410-573-4520, fax: 410-269-0832.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Improvement Act amends and builds on the 
Administration Act (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) and provides an organic act 
for the Refuge System. It states that the Refuge System mission ``is to 
administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, 
management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, 
and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and 
future generations of Americans.'' It directs us to manage each refuge 
to fulfill the Refuge System mission as well as the specific purpose(s) 
for which the refuge was established. The Improvement Act provides 
compatibility standards for refuge uses and directs the Secretary of 
the Interior to ``ensure that the biological integrity, diversity, and 
environmental health of the System are maintained.''
    We based this draft policy for mosquito and mosquito-borne disease 
management within the Refuge System on these directives. Effective 
mosquito control results in the removal of a high percentage of one or 
more target species, although usually temporarily. In addition, one or 
more nontarget species may be adversely affected by mosquito control 
practices. The altered ecological communities that may result can 
impact biological integrity and diversity through disruptions in food 
webs and other ecological functions. Therefore, we must carefully 
evaluate any actions we propose to take.
    This draft policy states that ``we will allow populations of native 
mosquito species to function unimpeded unless they cause a human and/or 
wildlife health threat.'' While we recognize mosquitoes are a natural 
component of most wetland ecosystems, we also recognize they may 
represent a threat to human and/or wildlife health. We may allow 
management of mosquito populations on Refuge System lands when those 
populations pose a threat to the health and safety of the public or a 
wildlife population. This draft policy outlines the procedures refuge 
managers will follow in planning and implementing mosquito and 
mosquito-borne disease management within the Refuge System.
    The draft policy relies on using scientific principles to identify 
and respond to public and wildlife health threats from refuge-based 
mosquitoes. Health threat categories will be identified based on local 
conditions and the local history of mosquito-associated health threats. 
We will use local monitoring data of mosquitoes and disease to 
determine the current threat level and the corresponding appropriate 
refuge response. During this process, we will work closely with 
Federal, State, and/or local public health authorities that have 
expertise in vector-borne diseases and State fish and wildlife agencies 
in developing mosquito management plans prior to an outbreak of 
mosquito-borne disease and in determining when human or wildlife health 
threats or high risk human health situations exist.
    Refuges with current mosquito control or mosquito monitoring 
programs must prepare a mosquito management plan. In addition, refuges 
where a State or local public health agency identifies a potential 
health threat must prepare a mosquito management plan. A potential 
health threat does not imply a need to manage mosquitoes on a refuge, 
but it does trigger the planning process for monitoring and potential 
management. Because not all refuges are located in areas where mosquito 
management is an issue, the draft policy does not require every refuge 
to prepare a mosquito management plan. As a result, there may be cases 
where an outbreak of mosquito-borne disease occurs at or near a refuge 
that has not developed such a plan. We included a section that 
describes the procedures we would follow in such high health risk 
situations.
    The draft policy includes procedures to follow to reduce threats 
from refuge-based mosquitoes. These procedures follow an integrated 
pest management approach and include nonpesticide actions that may be 
taken to reduce mosquito production.
    The purpose of this policy is to provide refuge managers with a 
process to follow in planning and implementing mosquito and mosquito-
borne disease management. Each refuge manager must consider the refuge 
establishing purposes as well as local conditions when following these 
procedures.

Comment Solicitation

    We seek public comments on this draft mosquito and mosquito-borne 
disease policy and will consider comments and any additional 
information received during the 45-day comment period. You may submit 
comments on this draft policy by mail to Michael Higgins, Biologist, 
National Wildlife Refuge System, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 
North Fairfax Drive, Room 670, Arlington, Virginia 22203; by fax to 
703-358-2154; or by e-mail to refugesystempolicycomments@fws.gov. 
Please submit Internet comments as an ASCII file, avoiding the use of 
special characters and any form of encryption. Please also include 
``Attn: 1018-AT72'' and your full name and return mailing address in 
your Internet message. If you use only your e-mail address, we will 
consider your comment to be anonymous and will not consider it in the 
final rule. If you do not receive a confirmation from the system that 
we have received your Internet message, contact us directly at (703) 
358-2036. You may hand deliver comments to the address listed above.
    Our practice is to make comments, including names and addresses of 
commenters, available for public review during regular business hours. 
Individual commenters may request that we withhold their home address 
from the record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. In 
some circumstances, we would withhold from the record a commenter's 
identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name 
and/or address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of 
your comment. However, we will not consider anonymous comments. We will 
make all comments from organizations or businesses and from individuals 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
or businesses available for public inspection in their entirety.

Required Determinations

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Order (E.O.) 12866)

    In accordance with the criteria in Executive Order 12866, this 
document is not a significant regulatory action and does not require an 
assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of 
that Order. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) makes the final 
determination under E.O. 12866.
    (1) This document would not have an annual economic effect of $100 
million or adversely affect an economic sector, productivity, jobs, the 
environment, or other units of the government. A brief assessment to 
clarify the costs and benefits associated with this proposed policy 
follows.

Proposed Change

    Existing Departmental and refuge policies do not address mosquito 
management in detail and do not provide standard procedure for 
determining what measures to take on refuges regarding management of

[[Page 58323]]

mosquito and mosquito-borne disease. The draft policy provides a 
standard process to follow and criteria to consider when making such 
decisions. The draft policy would provide for consistency in protecting 
wildlife and habitats and in making provisions for protecting public 
health from mosquito-borne health threats.
    This draft policy would affect refuges that have prevalent mosquito 
populations. The variation from status quo at a refuge will depend on 
how different current procedures at that refuge are from the procedures 
that would be followed under a standardized process. In addition, local 
conditions vary from year to year, and the responding management 
actions must also vary. Based upon past implementation of mosquito 
control, we expect affected refuges to include those located in 
California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Texas, Michigan, South Carolina, 
Florida, Louisiana, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, 
Delaware, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Utah, and Montana. Approximately 60 
refuges would be affected by this draft policy. Currently, 
approximately 40 refuges implement various mosquito control activities.

Costs Incurred

    Any costs related to this rulemaking would be borne by each 
individual refuge and would generally involve costs associated with 
planning and developing mosquito management plans. No additional costs 
are expected to be incurred by State or local agencies beyond their 
usual monitoring costs. The distribution of information would be mostly 
limited to refuge personnel discussing with visitors the risks and 
precautions at visitor centers. We expect informing the public about 
mosquito populations and any possible health risks to incur minimal 
costs, if any. Refuge personnel would continue to take measures to 
manage mosquito populations during their normal activities. These 
standard measures would include such actions as removing artificial 
breeding sites. State and local officials would predominantly conduct 
monitoring and surveillance, which are voluntary activities. About 40 
refuges currently issue special use permits for monitoring and 
surveillance activities. Refuges issue special use permits for 
activities conducted on the refuge. A permit contains guidelines and/or 
restrictions that apply to a specific activity. For those refuges that 
may allow new monitoring or surveillance, each permit would require 
approximately 8 hours by refuge personnel. Thus, approximately 160 
hours would be allocated by refuge personnel to complete the permits 
(20 refuges x 8 hours). These permit requirements would occur annually, 
depending on the mosquito population levels. Each contingency plan 
would be specific to each refuge and would be a one-time cost. 
Currently, about four to five refuges have already constructed mosquito 
management plans. We estimate that each plan would require 
approximately 40 hours by refuge personnel. Accordingly, about 2,200 
hours would be allocated to complete the contingency plans by the 
affected refuges (55 refuges x 40 hours).

Benefits Accrued

    (1) This draft policy provides policy and procedures for refuge 
personnel to follow in making provisions to protect public health from 
mosquito-related health threats. This draft policy follows the 
requirements of the Administration Act, as amended, by requiring that 
activities associated with mosquito management be compatible with 
refuge purposes. It provides a procedure to follow Systemwide. This 
will ensure consistency in the process, although the outcome will vary 
based on refuge purposes and local conditions. We do not expect 
visitation to refuges to change as a result of this draft policy.
    (2) This draft policy will not create inconsistencies with other 
agencies' actions. This draft policy pertains solely to the management 
of the Refuge System. In the event that the Secretary determines it is 
necessary to temporarily suspend, allow, or initiate any activity in a 
refuge to protect the health and safety of the public or any fish or 
wildlife population, we will work with the appropriate agency to ensure 
consistency.
    (3) This draft policy will not materially affect entitlements, 
grants, user fees, loan programs, or the rights and obligations of 
their recipients. This draft policy does not affect entitlement 
programs.
    (4) This draft policy will not raise novel legal or policy issues. 
This draft policy provides a procedure for refuge managers to follow in 
mosquito management throughout the Refuge System.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (as amended by the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996), 
whenever a Federal 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 (i.e., small businesses, small 
organizations, and small government jurisdictions) (5 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.). However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the 
head of an agency certifies that the rule would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Thus, for a 
regulatory flexibility analysis to be required, impacts must exceed a 
threshold for ``significant impact'' and a threshold for a 
``substantial number of small entities.'' SBREFA amended the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide a statement of 
the factual basis for certifying that a rule would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
We certify that this rule would not have a significant economic effect 
on a substantial number of small entities as defined under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). An initial/final 
regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. The following 
discussion explains our certification.
    SBREFA does not explicitly define either ``substantial number'' or 
``significant economic impact.'' Consequently, to assess whether a 
``substantial number'' of small entities is affected by this 
designation, it is necessary to consider the relative number of small 
entities likely to be impacted in the area. Similarly, the relative 
impact on the revenues of small entities is used in determining whether 
or not entities incur a ``significant economic impact.'' Small entities 
include small organizations, such as independent nonprofit 
organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions, including school 
boards and city and town governments that serve fewer than 50,000 
residents, as well as small businesses (13 CFR 121.201).
    Because this draft policy is not expected to affect activities in 
the surrounding area or to incur costs to the public, it would not have 
a significant effect on small businesses engaged in activities around 
the impacted refuges. Small governmental jurisdictions and independent 
nonprofit organizations are not expected to be affected. Therefore, we 
certify that this document would not have a significant economic effect 
on a substantial number of small entities as defined under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). No further 
regulatory flexibility analysis is required. Accordingly, a small 
entity compliance guide is not required.
    The proposed policy is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. We anticipate no

[[Page 58324]]

significant employment or small business effects. This draft policy:
    (1) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more.
    (2) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, and/or local 
government agencies, or geographic regions. This draft policy should 
have no effect on the costs or prices.
    (3) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based 
enterprises. This draft policy does not make major changes to current 
policy. It simply provides a more consistent process for all refuge 
managers to follow in managing mosquito populations on refuges. 
Therefore, this document will have no measurable economic effect on the 
wildlife-dependent industry, which has annual sales of equipment and 
travel expenditures of $72 billion nationwide.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501, 
et seq.), this draft policy applies to management of federally owned 
refuges, and it does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or 
tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per 
year. The draft policy does not have a significant or unique effect on 
State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector.

Takings (E.O. 12630)

    In accordance with E.O. 12630, the draft policy does not have 
significant takings implications. This draft policy will affect only 
how refuge managers plan actions to manage mosquitoes and mosquito-
borne diseases on refuges.

Federalism Assessment (E.O. 13132)

    This draft policy does not have sufficient federalism implications 
to warrant the preparation of a federalism assessment under E.O. 13132. 
In preparing this draft policy, we received input from State and local 
governments.

Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    In accordance with E.O. 12988, the Office of the Solicitor has 
determined that the draft policy does not unduly burden the judicial 
system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of the order. The draft policy will clarify established procedures for 
managing refuge lands.

Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (E.O. 13211)

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued E.O. 13211 on regulations 
that significantly affect energy supply, distribution, and use. Under 
E.O. 13211 agencies must prepare statements of energy effects when 
undertaking certain actions. Because this draft policy only provides 
procedures for managing mosquitoes and mosquito-borne disease on 
refuges, it is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866 and 
is not expected to significantly affect energy supplies, distribution, 
and use. Therefore, this action is a not a significant energy action 
and no statement of energy effects is required.

Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments (E.O. 
13175)

    In accordance with E.O. 13175, we evaluated possible effects on 
federally recognized Indian tribes and determined that there are no 
effects. We coordinate management actions on refuges with tribal 
governments having adjoining or overlapping jurisdiction. This draft 
policy is consistent with and not less restrictive than tribal 
reservation rules.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This draft policy does not contain any information collection 
requirements other than those already approved by the Office of 
Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 
et seq.) (OMB Control Number 1018-0102). See 50 CFR 25.23 for 
information concerning that approval. An 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.

Endangered Species Act Section 7 Consultation

    The Service has determined that this draft policy will not affect 
listed species or designated critical habitat. Therefore, consultation 
under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act is not required. The 
basis for this conclusion is that the draft policy establishes the 
process for determining when a mosquito and mosquito-borne disease 
management plan must be completed. The ultimate decision to allow or 
otherwise implement a particular action is the causative agent with 
respect to affecting listed species or their critical habitat. We will 
conduct section 7 consultations when developing comprehensive 
conservation plans and step-down management plans, including mosquito 
and mosquito-borne disease management plans, for refuges.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    We ensure compliance with NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4332(C)) when developing 
refuge comprehensive conservation plans and step-down management plans, 
including mosquito and mosquito-borne disease management plans. In 
accordance with 516 DM 2, appendix 1.10, we have determined that this 
policy is categorically excluded from the NEPA process because it is 
limited to policies, directives, regulations, and guidelines of an 
administrative, financial, legal, technical, or procedural nature or 
the environmental effects of which are too broad, speculative, or 
conjectural to lend themselves to meaningful analysis. Site-specific 
proposals, as indicated above, will be subject to the NEPA process.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Mosquito and Mosquito-Borne Disease Management Policy (601 FW 7)

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

National Wildlife Refuge System

7.1 What is the purpose of this chapter?
    This chapter provides policy for refuge managers to help them 
determine how and when to manage mosquito populations on lands 
administered within the National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge 
System).
7.2 What is the mosquito and mosquito-borne disease management policy?
    A. It is Refuge System policy to allow populations of native 
mosquito species to exist unimpeded unless they pose a specific 
wildlife and/or human health threat. We recognize that mosquitoes are a 
natural component of most wetland ecosystems, and that they also may 
represent a threat to human and wildlife health.
    B. When necessary to protect the health and safety of the public or 
a wildlife population, we allow management of mosquito populations on 
Refuge System lands using effective means that pose the lowest risk to 
wildlife and habitats.
    C. Before we use any method to manage mosquito populations within 
the Refuge System, we must determine that it is compatible with the 
purpose(s) of an individual refuge and the Refuge System mission and 
complies with all applicable Federal laws. We can make an exception to 
this policy in the event that the Secretary determines it is necessary 
to temporarily suspend, allow, or initiate any activity in a refuge to 
protect the health and safety of the

[[Page 58325]]

public or any fish or wildlife population.
    D. Except during high risk disease situations where we need to take 
action quickly, we must give full consideration to the integrity of 
nontarget populations and communities when considering compatible 
habitat management and pesticide uses for mosquito control. Mosquito 
control procedures must also be consistent with integrated pest 
management (IPM) strategies and with existing pest management policies 
of the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service) (517 DM 1 and 30 AM 12). Even during high risk 
disease situations we require mosquito population monitoring data that 
indicate intervention is necessary, as well as appropriate pesticide 
review, although these will be expedited so that any necessary 
intervention measures will not be delayed (see section 7.17)
    E. We allow pesticide treatments for mosquito population control on 
Refuge System lands only when local, current mosquito population 
monitoring data have been collected and indicate that refuge-based 
mosquito populations are contributing to a human or wildlife health 
threat.
7.3 What is the scope of this policy?
    This policy applies to all units of the Refuge System where we have 
jurisdiction over such actions, whether the Service or an authorized 
outside agency performs mosquito management.
7.4 What is the authority for this chapter?
    The authority for this chapter is the National Wildlife Refuge 
System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife 
Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (Administration Act) (16 U.S.C. 
668dd-668ee). The Administration Act:
    A. Provides authority for adopting rules and establishing policies 
for managing the Refuge System and governing refuge uses.
    B. Prohibits uses that are not compatible with the purpose(s) of an 
individual refuge and the Refuge System mission.
    C. Requires that we administer the Refuge System as ``* * * a 
national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, 
and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant 
resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit 
of present and future generations of Americans.'' The Administration 
Act defines wildlife as ``any wild member of the animal kingdom.''
    D. Directs the Secretary to ``* * * ensure that the biological 
integrity, diversity, and environmental health of the System are 
maintained for the benefit of present and future generations of 
Americans.'' The Secretary can also allow or initiate activities on a 
refuge to protect the health and safety of the public or any fish or 
wildlife population, not withstanding any other requirements of the 
Act.
7.5 What other statutes and policies may be relevant to mosquito 
control and what additional documentation does the Service require to 
monitor and control mosquitoes within the Refuge System?
    A. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347).
    (1) Categorical Exclusions. Under most circumstances, we may 
categorically exclude monitoring and surveillance activities under 
existing DOI NEPA procedures for data collection and inventory. (For 
more information, see 516 DM 2, Appendix 1.6; 516 DM 8.5B(1); and 516 
DM 2, Appendix 2 (categorical exclusions).) In addition, some habitat 
management actions as described in section 7.9B may be categorically 
excluded. If a proposed refuge mosquito management activity qualifies 
as a categorical exclusion, refuges should document it in an 
environmental action statement (EAS). We generally may not 
categorically exclude intervention measures such as pesticide 
applications for mosquito-borne health threats.
    (2) Environmental Assessments. Refuges that have completed the NEPA 
process for mosquito management should ensure that they addressed the 
environmental consequences of potential intervention measures. Refuges 
that have not completed the NEPA process for mosquito management should 
prepare an environmental assessment (EA) if they expect they might need 
to implement intervention measures, such as applying pesticides. You 
may reasonably expect that intervention measures are likely if the 
State or local public health agency has documented a potential health 
threat from refuge-based mosquitoes (see section 7.13 for information 
about determining health threats).
    (a) In a non-emergency situation, when a State/local public health 
agency documents a potential threat, you must complete an EA with the 
appropriate finding before conducting substantial intervention 
activities.
    (b) You must consider local conditions in an EA. When assessing the 
potential environmental effects of pesticide applications, consider 
such factors as the:
    (i) Spatial and temporal extent of the treatment,
    (ii) Toxicity and specificity of the proposed pesticide(s) to fish 
and wildlife populations,
    (iii) Persistence of the proposed pesticide(s), and the
    (iv) Alternatives to the proposed action (e.g., different 
pesticides, using larvicides versus adulticides, compatible habitat 
management).
    (c) To minimize potential impacts, identify and document restricted 
areas and activities in an EA. If a finding of no significant impact 
(FONSI) cannot be made, prepare an environmental impact statement 
(EIS).
    (3) NEPA in Emergency Situations. In a situation where there is a 
high risk for mosquito-borne disease, you may need to take immediate 
intervention measures without completing a NEPA review. If you cannot 
categorically exclude the necessary measures, contact the Regional NEPA 
coordinator for guidance. After the high risk disease situation has 
ended, you must complete proper NEPA documentation that addresses 
future mosquito management activities on the refuge.
    B. Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544). Comply with 
section 7 for listed and candidate species (refer to the Endangered 
Species Consultation Handbook, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and 
National Marine Fisheries Service, 1998). Complete section 7 compliance 
in conjunction with the refuge-specific mosquito management plan 
(Exhibit 1).
    You must submit consultation documents at least 135 days prior to 
beginning proposed mosquito management activities. The DOI pesticide 
use policy (517 DM 1) and the Service pest management policy (30 AM 12) 
do not allow for adverse impacts to listed species from pesticides. If 
the Secretary determines it is necessary to temporarily suspend, allow, 
or initiate any activity in a refuge to protect the health and safety 
of the public or any fish or wildlife population before completing 
Endangered Species Act section 7 compliance, contact the local ES 
office for recommendations.
    C. Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 
136 et seq.). On Refuge System lands, we may only use pesticides that 
are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. We must apply 
them according to the pesticide label directions.
    D. Compatibility Determination (50 CFR 26.41 and 603 FW 2). We must 
complete a compatibility determination before we allow an outside 
agency to perform surveillance and intervention activities unless the 
Secretary determines it is necessary to temporarily suspend, allow, or 
initiate any activity

[[Page 58326]]

in a refuge to protect the health and safety of the public or any fish 
or wildlife population. See 603 FW 2 for more information on 
compatibility.
    E. Pest Management and Pesticide Use Policies (516 DM 1 and 30 AM 
12). Follow all DOI and Service pest management and pesticide use 
policies. Before applying any pesticide to Refuge System lands, the 
appropriate Regional or National IPM coordinator must review and 
approve the pesticide use proposal (PUP). The National IPM coordinator 
must approve the use of all adulticides. We may expedite PUP approvals 
during high risk disease situations where we need to take action 
quickly to protect human or wildlife health. If an outside agency 
applies pesticides, as is often the case, we require a special use 
permit (SUP), memorandum of understanding, or other agreement. The 
agreement must include the justification for pesticide applications, 
identify the specific areas to be treated, and list any restrictions or 
conditions that they must follow before, during, or after treatment. 
Preparation of SUPs, PUPs, and other compliance documentation will be 
expedited during high risk disease situations so that any necessary 
intervention measures will not be delayed (see section 7.17)
7.6 What are the principles underlying this policy?
    A. Wildlife Conservation.
    (1) The Administration Act clearly identifies wildlife conservation 
as a priority of the Refuge System. House Report 105-106, which 
accompanies the amendments to the Administration Act, states that ``* * 
* the fundamental mission of our Refuge System is wildlife 
conservation: Wildlife and wildlife conservation must come first.'' The 
term ``wildlife'' includes all vertebrate and invertebrate species.
    (2) In addition to undertaking the task of wildlife conservation, 
Refuge System managers must also consider impacts to federally listed 
threatened and endangered species and candidate species. This is 
particularly important to refuges established specifically for listed 
species conservation and recovery. To help determine these impacts, 
refuge managers can coordinate with local Ecological Services field 
office staff (both endangered species and environmental contaminants 
staff), other members of the species recovery team, and the respective 
State fish and wildlife agencies.
    (3) Both the Service and the State fish and wildlife agencies have 
authorities and responsibilities for managing fish and wildlife on 
national wildlife refuges as described in 43 CFR part 24. Consistent 
with the Administration Act, as amended, the Director interacts, 
coordinates, cooperates, and collaborates with the State fish and 
wildlife agencies in a timely and effective manner on the acquisition 
and management of national wildlife refuges. The Director ensures that 
Refuge System regulations and management plans are, to the extent 
practicable, consistent with State laws, regulations, and management 
plans. We charge refuge managers, as the designated representatives of 
the Director at the local level, with carrying out these directives. We 
will provide State fish and wildlife agencies timely and meaningful 
opportunities to participate in the development and implementation of 
programs conducted under this policy. The most common method for State 
fish and wildlife agency involvement is through their participation on 
the comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) planning teams. We provide an 
opportunity for the State fish and wildlife agencies to participate in 
the development and implementation of program changes made outside of 
the CCP process, including development of mosquito management plans. 
For health threats involving wildlife, we will consult with the State 
fish and wildlife agency. Further, we will continue to provide State 
fish and wildlife agencies opportunities to discuss and, if necessary, 
elevate decisions within the hierarchy of the Service.
    B. Protection of Public Health. Although the fundamental goal of 
the Refuge System is wildlife conservation, we are committed to 
protecting the public from refuge-based mosquitoes that present a 
threat to human health. We manage such health threats using methods 
that we determine are compatible with the purpose(s) of the refuge and 
the mission of the Refuge System. We may make exceptions to this policy 
in the event that, under the emergency provision of the Administration 
Act, the Secretary determines it is necessary to temporarily suspend, 
allow, or initiate any activity in a refuge to protect the health and 
safety of the public or any fish or wildlife population. We recognize 
that equines may also become infected by certain mosquito-borne 
diseases. Given that infection by mosquito-borne pathogens in equines 
and humans represent similar risks to public health, appropriate 
measures we take to protect human health from these diseases would also 
offer similar protection to equines.
    C. Mosquito Management and the Protection of Biological Integrity, 
Diversity, and Environmental Health. We manage mosquitoes in such a way 
as to meet our statutory obligations to protect the biological 
integrity of refuges while meeting our policy obligations and our 
social obligation to protect the health and well-being of the human 
communities surrounding refuges. Mosquito management strategies and the 
altered ecological communities that may result can potentially impact 
the biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health of refuge 
lands that we must maintain under the Administration Act and 601 FW 3.
    (1) Using chemical or other control agents can affect environmental 
health and possibly impact genetic configuration within species if they 
develop pesticide resistance.
    (2) Removing target and nontarget organisms from ecological 
communities lowers biological diversity (even though it is usually 
temporarily) and may impact biological integrity by altering food webs 
and species composition.
7.7 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter?
    A. Action Threshold. Mosquito population levels that trigger 
integrated pest management (IPM) actions to manipulate mosquito 
populations.
    B. Adulticide. Killing adult mosquitoes or a pesticide that kills 
adult mosquitoes.
    C. Biological Diversity. The variety of life and its processes, 
including the variety of living organisms, the genetic differences 
among them, and communities and ecosystems in which they occur. (See 
601 FW 3 for more information on biological diversity.)
    D. Biological Integrity. Biotic composition, structure, and 
functioning at genetic, organism, and community levels comparable with 
historic conditions, including the natural biological processes that 
shape genomes, organisms, and communities. (See 601 FW 3 for more 
information on biological integrity.)
    E. Environmental Health. Composition, structure, and functioning of 
soil, water, air, and other abiotic features comparable with historic 
conditions, including the natural abiotic processes that shape the 
environment. (See 601 FW 3.)
    F. Enzootic. A relatively consistent prevalence of disease in 
animals. The term is comparable to endemic, but refers to animals.
    G. Health Threat. An adverse impact to the health of human or 
wildlife populations from mosquitoes identified and documented by 
Federal, State, and/or local public health authorities.

[[Page 58327]]

    H. Integrated Pest Management (IPM). A sustainable approach to 
managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical, and 
chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and 
environmental risks.
    I. Larvicide. Killing mosquito larvae, or a pesticide that kills 
mosquito larvae.
    J. Mosquito-Borne Disease. An illness produced by a pathogen that 
mosquitoes transmit to humans and other vertebrates. The major 
mosquito-borne pathogens presently known to occur in the United States 
that are capable of producing human illness are the viruses causing 
eastern equine encephalitis, western equine encephalitis, St. Louis 
encephalitis, West Nile encephalitis/fever, LaCrosse encephalitis, and 
dengue, as well as the protozoans causing malaria.
    K. Mosquito-Borne Disease Surveillance. Activities associated with 
detecting pathogens causing mosquito-borne diseases, such as testing 
adult mosquitoes for pathogens or testing reservoir hosts for pathogens 
or antibodies.
    L. Mosquito Management. Any activity designed to inhibit or reduce 
populations of flies in the family Culicidae. It includes physical, 
biological, cultural, and chemical means of population control directed 
against any life stage of mosquitoes.
    M. Mosquito Population Monitoring. Activities associated with 
collecting quantitative data to determine mosquito species composition 
and to estimate relative changes in mosquito population sizes over 
time.
    N. Nontarget Organisms. Species or communities other than those 
designated for population control.
    O. Public Health Authority. A Federal, State, and/or local agency 
that has health experts with training and expertise in mosquitoes and 
mosquito-borne diseases and that has the official capacity to identify 
health threats and determine when there is a high risk for serious 
human disease or death from mosquitoes.
    P. Pupacide. A pesticide that kills the pupal stage of mosquitoes.
    Q. Refuge-Based Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that are produced within, or 
occur on, a refuge.
    R. Reservoir Host. A species in which a pathogen is maintained over 
time. Reservoir hosts are capable of transferring the pathogen to a 
vector.
    S. Vector. An organism, such as an insect or tick, that is capable 
of acquiring and transmitting a disease-causing agent, or pathogen, 
from one vertebrate host to another, or the act of transmitting a 
pathogen in such a manner.
7.8 How does the Service protect human and/or wildlife health from 
threats associated with refuge-based mosquitoes?
    We take the following approaches, each of which we describe in more 
detail in sections 7.9 through 7.17.
    A. Use of standard operating procedures based on an IPM approach 
(see section 7.9).
    B. Development of mosquito management plans (see sections 7.10 and 
7.11).
    C. Determining health threats (see section 7.12).
    D. Monitoring to determine appropriate response (see section 7.13).
    E. Surveillance for mosquito-borne disease (see section 7.14).
    F. Implementing treatment options (see section 7.15).
    G. Education and outreach (see section 7.16).
    H. High disease risk situations (see section 7.17).
7.9 What standard operating procedures are in place to reduce threats 
to human and wildlife health from mosquitoes?
    When necessary to protect human and wildlife health, we reduce 
potential mosquito-associated health threats using an IPM approach. 
When practical, the approach may include compatible actions that reduce 
mosquito production and do not involve pesticides. We consider the 
procedures described below as long-term practices to reduce persistent 
potential mosquito-associated health threats that Federal, State, and/
or local public health authorities have identified. Except in cases 
where the Secretary determines it is necessary to temporarily suspend, 
allow, or initiate any activity in a refuge to protect the health and 
safety of the public or any fish or wildlife population, where there is 
a need to take action immediately, any procedures we use to reduce 
mosquito production must be compatible with refuge purposes and the 
Refuge System mission. The procedures also must give full consideration 
to the safety and integrity of nontarget organisms and communities, 
including federally listed threatened and endangered species and 
candidate species.
    A. We remove or otherwise manage artificial breeding sites such as 
tires, tanks, or similar debris/containers, where possible, to 
eliminate conditions that favor mosquito breeding, regardless of 
whether they are a health threat.
    B. When enhancing, restoring, or managing habitat for wildlife, we 
will consider using specific actions to reduce mosquito populations 
that do not interfere with refuge purposes or wildlife management 
objectives. For example, when manipulating water levels for managing 
wetlands, you can disrupt mosquito life cycles by timing flood-up and 
draw-downs. You also can manage vegetation in such a way that 
discourages mosquitoes from laying eggs.
    C. Except when we determine it is appropriate during circumstances 
where the Secretary determines it is necessary to temporarily suspend, 
allow, or initiate any activity in a refuge to protect the health and 
safety of the public or any fish or wildlife population, we prohibit 
habitat manipulations for mosquito management (such as draining or 
maintaining high water levels inappropriate for other wildlife) that 
conflict with wildlife management objectives.
    D. We will consider introducing predators to manage mosquitoes only 
if we can contain such introductions. To introduce predators, we 
require the following:
    (1) We must be able to demonstrate effectiveness of the planned 
introduction.
    (2) The refuge must evaluate the introduction for potential adverse 
impacts to nontarget organisms and communities to ensure the 
introduction will not interfere with the purpose(s) of the refuge or 
other refuge management objectives.
    (3) We must have appropriate procedures in place for all species 
introductions to ensure that we do not release other species with the 
desired introductions.
    (4) For introductions of nonnative predators, the refuge must 
prepare:
    (a) A compatibility determination,
    (b) A written plan for containment of the introduced species to the 
desired location(s), and
    (c) The appropriate level of compliance with section 7 of the 
Endangered Species Act evaluating potential effects of the introduced 
predator on federally listed threatened or endangered species and 
candidate species.
    (d) The appropriate level of NEPA compliance.
    (5) In compliance with Executive Order 13112, we will not authorize 
any activities likely to cause or promote the introduction or spread of 
invasive species. (See 601 FW 3.)

[[Page 58328]]

7.10 When does the Service develop mosquito management plans to help 
reduce threats to human and wildlife health from mosquitoes?
    We develop refuge-specific mosquito management plans (see Exhibit 
1) at the field station level for refuges where potential or existing 
mosquito-associated health threats have been identified and documented, 
or are reasonably expected to occur. We develop these plans in 
coordination with Federal, State, and/or local public health 
authorities that have expertise in vector-borne diseases, vector 
control agencies, and State fish and wildlife agencies.
    A. The refuge may need to develop a plan if there has been 
documentation of mosquito-borne disease activity within flight range of 
refuge-based mosquito species in the previous year.
    B. Refuges with an ongoing mosquito or disease monitoring program 
must develop refuge-specific mosquito management plans.
    C. Identification and documentation of a potential human and/or 
wildlife health threat from refuge-based mosquitoes (see section 7.11) 
triggers the development of a refuge-specific mosquito management plan. 
Federal, State, and/or local public health authorities identify and 
document a mosquito-associated human health threat and bring it to the 
attention of the refuge manager. Appropriate documentation may include 
species-specific adult mosquito monitoring data from the refuge or 
areas adjacent to the refuge that indicate an abundance of species 
known to vector one or more endemic/enzootic diseases or otherwise 
adversely impact human or wildlife health. For refuges without an 
ongoing mosquito or disease monitoring program, mosquito-borne disease 
activity near the refuge may indicate a health threat or a situation in 
which mosquito management needs to be undertaken quickly (refer to 
section 7.17). The identification and documentation of a potential 
mosquito-associated health threat will not necessarily imply a need for 
us to manage mosquito populations, but may indicate the need to 
initiate on-refuge monitoring (if not already underway) and mosquito 
management planning.
    D. We work collaboratively with Federal, State and/or local public 
health authorities in the identification of mosquito-associated health 
threats. However, the Secretary maintains the authority to act 
independently as necessary to protect the health and safety of the 
public or any fish or wildlife population.
    E. Mosquito-borne disease and vector management may not be an issue 
on many Service lands, and not every refuge needs to develop a plan.
    F. In the event that the Secretary determines it is necessary to 
temporarily suspend, allow, or initiate any activity in a refuge to 
protect the health and safety of the public or any fish or wildlife 
population, when there is a need to take action immediately, we allow 
refuges to manage mosquito populations even if they do not have a 
mosquito management plan (see section 7.17 for additional guidance).
7.11 What is in a mosquito management plan?
    We base mosquito management plans on IPM principles. The Regional 
IPM coordinator reviews them, and the Regional and California/Nevada 
Operations Office (CNO) Refuge chief approves or disapproves them. 
Mosquito management plans consist of four parts: Health threat 
determinations, mosquito population monitoring, surveillance for 
mosquito-borne disease, and treatment options. See Exhibit 2 for 
details.
7.12 How does the Service make determinations about health threats 
caused by mosquitoes?
    A. We determine if there are health threats at the local level 
based on historical incidence of mosquito-borne health threats and 
current, local monitoring of mosquito populations and disease activity. 
(See section 7.13 for more information on monitoring.) We work with 
local, State, or Federal public health authorities with expertise in 
mosquitoes and mosquito-borne disease epidemiology to identify refuge-
specific categories of mosquito-associated human health threats based 
on monitoring data. Where local or State public health expertise in 
mosquito-borne disease epidemiology is lacking, we consult with the 
Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention (CDC) to develop these categories.
    B. Federal, State, and/or local public health authorities with 
jurisdiction inclusive of refuge boundaries determine the human health 
threat level using current local monitoring data (see section 7.13C). 
Wildlife health experts from Federal or State wildlife agencies 
determine if there are threats to wildlife health because of 
mosquitoes.
    C. Once we identify a health threat through monitoring data, State/
local public health authorities or vector control agencies may take the 
pre-determined response(s) developed for that threat category (see 
Exhibit 2). We also respond appropriately when neighboring State/local 
public health authorities determine there is a health threat.
    D. Following guidelines established by the CDC, threat categories 
will represent a hierarchical scale of increasing risk to human or 
wildlife health based on disease activity and mosquito vector 
population numbers, and will include appropriate actions to take for 
each threat level category. Such a locally developed health threat 
matrix will provide the basis for all future mosquito management 
decisions and activities on a refuge, so threat level categories and 
responses should be as specifically defined as practical.
    E. If we cannot agree with other agencies on the determination of 
health threats, threshold values, or other components of the mosquito 
management plan, we will work with the public health and vector control 
agencies to identify third-party agencies or individuals with 
appropriate expertise in mosquito biology and vector-borne disease 
ecology for further guidance.
7.13 How does the Service monitor mosquito populations to determine if 
a response is necessary and, if so, what the appropriate response is?
    A. The objectives of mosquito population monitoring are to:
    (1) Establish baseline data on species and abundance,
    (2) Map breeding and/or harboring habitats, and
    (3) Estimate relative changes in population sizes for making IPM 
decisions to reduce mosquito populations when necessary.
    B. We use an approach based on specific health threats and refuge 
mosquito population monitoring data to determine the appropriate refuge 
mosquito management response (see Exhibit 2).
    (1) Monitoring should occur at any time mosquitoes are active, even 
when there is no evidence of mosquito-borne disease present.
    (2) Monitoring protocols specify detailed sampling techniques for 
larval and adult mosquitoes. When possible, identify mosquitoes to the 
species level.
    C. Human and wildlife health threats from mosquitoes may vary 
depending on geographic area and time, and we must determine the threat 
at the local level. State/local public health authorities and vector 
control agencies will be responsible for monitoring mosquito 
populations, conducting disease surveillance, and applying pesticide 
treatments. We recognize the importance of monitoring mosquito

[[Page 58329]]

populations to document species composition and estimate their size and 
distribution because we use this information to make IPM decisions. We 
allow State/local public health authorities and vector control agencies 
to monitor mosquito populations on Refuge System lands as long as 
monitoring is compatible with the purpose(s) of the refuge.
    D. Refuges can issue an SUP, memorandum of understanding, or other 
agreement to allow compatible monitoring of larval and adult mosquito 
populations. To avoid harm to wildlife or habitats, access to traps and 
sampling stations must meet the compatibility requirements found in 603 
FW 2 and may be subject to refuge-specific restrictions. Where 
federally listed or candidate species are present, monitoring methods 
must undergo the appropriate level of compliance with section 7 of the 
Endangered Species Act in order to determine whether or not such 
monitoring programs will adversely affect the listed or candidate 
species.
    E. We expect the extent and intensity of a monitoring program to 
vary according to the potential and historical incidence of mosquito-
associated health threats, as well as the resources available to the 
refuge and the public health authority or vector control district.
    F. If a public health authority or vector control agency is not 
available to conduct monitoring, the mosquito management plan will 
identify the conditions under which refuge staff will initiate 
emergency monitoring. Refuges that want to monitor mosquito populations 
themselves may do so. They should outline their activities in the 
refuge-specific contingency plan (see Exhibit 1), and include mosquito 
monitoring protocols in the refuge inventory and monitoring plan. (See 
701 FW 2 for more information about inventorying and monitoring 
populations.)
7.14 How does the Service use surveillance for mosquito-borne disease 
to reduce threats to human and wildlife health from mosquitoes?
    We allow Federal, State, and/or local public health authorities or 
vector control agencies to perform compatible mosquito-borne disease 
surveillance on Refuge System lands.
    A. The objectives of mosquito-borne disease surveillance are to:
    (1) Detect the presence of pathogens,
    (2) Estimate changes in disease or pathogenic activity, and
    (3) Assess human and wildlife health threats due to mosquitoes.
    B. Federal, State, and/or local public health and wildlife 
management authorities may use appropriate documentation of previous or 
current mosquito-borne disease activity adjacent to the refuge to 
identify potential or existing health threats.
    C. Disease surveillance adjacent to the refuge should be within 
flight range of vector species found on the refuge.
    D. State and local public health authorities or vector control 
agencies are generally responsible for other disease surveillance 
methods, such as monitoring disease activity in reservoir hosts for 
pathogens or antibodies, collecting adult mosquito samples using live 
traps, and testing the samples in same-species pools for virus.
    (1) On Refuge System lands, we may authorize these activities, and 
they must meet the compatibility requirements in 603 FW 2.
    (2) Approved, compatible surveillance activities on the refuge will 
include specific, detailed methodologies and the number and location of 
detection stations.
    (3) Where federally listed or candidate species are present, 
surveillance methods must undergo the appropriate level of compliance 
with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act in order to determine 
whether or not such monitoring programs will adversely affect the 
listed or candidate species.
    (4) Surveillance for mosquito-borne disease may involve monitoring 
and testing wildlife, especially birds and mosquitoes, and testing 
captive sentinel birds on or adjacent to the refuge. We discourage 
using caged sentinel chickens on refuges for reservoir host 
surveillance due to the risk of spreading disease to wild birds.
    E. Refuge employees note dead or sick wildlife during their routine 
outdoor activities. In most cases, this will only involve passive 
surveillance for affected wildlife.
    (1) Refuges identify a facility to test dead or sick wildlife for 
mosquito-borne pathogens in mosquito management plans (also see Exhibit 
1).
    (2) Refuge personnel receive instruction on proper procedures for 
safely collecting, handling, shipping, or disposing of potentially 
infected wildlife.
    (3) If wildlife specimens from a refuge test positive for mosquito-
borne disease, we provide these results to the State and local public 
health authorities, State fish and wildlife agencies, and the refuge 
supervisor immediately.
7.15 How does the Service determine what treatment options to use for 
mosquitoes?
    A. We establish numerical action thresholds in collaboration with 
Federal, State, and/or local public health authorities and vector 
control agencies and identify them in the mosquito management plan (see 
Exhibit 2).
    (1) The action thresholds represent mosquito population levels that 
may require intervention measures.
    (2) We develop thresholds considering many factors, including those 
listed in Exhibit 3.
    (3) Thresholds are species-specific (or species-group-specific) for 
larval, pupal, and adult mosquito vectors and reflect the potential 
significance of a particular species or group of species in a 
particular health threat. For example, mosquito vector species known to 
be important in the transmission cycle of a disease may have a lower 
action threshold than species with lesser transmission roles (see 
Exhibit 3).
    (4) We compare current mosquito population monitoring data to the 
established action thresholds.
    (5) We implement intervention measures only when current mosquito 
population estimates, as determined by current mosquito monitoring 
data, meet or exceed the established action thresholds.
    B. We choose treatment based on our pest management policy (30 AM 
12). We base the choice on the following, which appear in order of 
preference:
    (1) Human safety and environmental integrity,
    (2) Effectiveness, and
    (3) Cost.
    C. We use human and wildlife mosquito-associated health threat 
determinations combined with refuge mosquito population estimates to 
determine the appropriate refuge mosquito management response (see 
Exhibit 2).
    D. Where federally listed or candidate species are present, we use 
Endangered Species Act section 7 compliance information to assist in 
the decision-making process.
    E. After we evaluate all other reasonable IPM actions, we may allow 
pesticide treatments to control mosquitoes on Refuge System lands.
    (1) Before applying pesticides to Refuge System lands, we must have 
an approved PUP in place.
    (2) We determine the most appropriate pesticide treatment options 
based on monitoring data for the relevant mosquito life stage. We use 
current monitoring data for larval,

[[Page 58330]]

pupal, and adult mosquitoes to determine the need for larvicides, 
pupacides, and adulticides, respectively.
    (3) We do not allow pesticide treatments for mosquito control on 
Refuge System lands without current mosquito population data indicating 
that such actions are warranted.
    F. The mosquito management plan also identifies more aggressive 
monitoring and control efforts as health threat risk levels increase 
(see Exhibit 2). If we determine pesticide treatments are necessary to 
quickly reduce mosquito populations, we may allow appropriate 
pesticides based on the nature of the threat.
    (1) Larvicides. When we can reduce health threats by using 
pesticides that kill mosquito larvae (larvicides), we choose an 
effective larvicide that causes the least impact to nontarget 
organisms.
    (2) Pupacides. We limit the need for pupacides by treating 
threatening larval populations in a timely manner. We consider using 
pupacides only when there is a documented health threat. We select an 
effective pupacide that causes the least impact to nontarget organisms.
    (3) Adulticides. We allow the use of adulticides only when there 
are no practical and effective alternatives to reduce a health threat. 
The mosquito management plan will identify best management practices to 
reduce nontarget impacts in cases where we use adulticide treatment.
    G. We work with public health and vector control agencies to 
develop communication procedures, particularly to address high risk 
disease situations. Timely communication at the outset of a disease 
outbreak will speed any necessary response. We share contact 
information with other agencies. Refuge employees have the necessary 
contact information for appropriate Service personnel to expedite any 
necessary compliance documentation (see section 7.17).
7.16 How does the Service use education and outreach to protect human 
and wildlife health from threats from mosquitoes?
    A. Where appropriate, we collaborate with Federal, State, and/or 
local wildlife agencies, public health authorities, agriculture 
departments, and vector control agencies to conduct education and 
outreach activities aimed at protecting human and wildlife health from 
threats associated with mosquitoes.
    B. Where appropriate, we distribute information materials about 
mosquito-associated threats through refuge visitor centers and Service 
Internet sites.
    C. Refuge employees receive instruction on personal protection 
measures to minimize their exposure to mosquito-borne diseases.
7.17 How does the Service address high risk mosquito-borne disease 
situations on refuges?
    Federal, State, and/or local public health authorities may 
officially identify a high risk for mosquito-borne disease based on 
documented disease activity in humans or wildlife. In addition, the 
Secretary has the authority to identify a high risk for mosquito-borne 
disease independent of Federal, State, and/or local public health 
authorities. Such a high risk determination indicates an imminent risk 
of serious human disease or death, or an imminent risk to populations 
of wildlife. Public health authorities may request pesticide treatments 
to Refuge System lands to decrease mosquito vector populations and 
lower the health risk. Refuges with approved mosquito management plans 
will have addressed potential high risk situations and appropriate 
responses within those documents. Refuges without approved mosquito 
management plans should contact their refuge supervisor and Regional 
IPM coordinator in the event of a high risk determination. Even during 
high disease risk situations, we allow pesticide treatments for 
mosquito population control on Refuge System lands only when local and 
current mosquito population monitoring data are available and indicate 
that refuge-based mosquito populations are contributing to a human and/
or wildlife health threat. Collecting such monitoring data is standard 
for making IPM decisions and should not delay appropriate treatment. 
For a high risk mosquito-borne disease determination, appropriate 
documentation includes identification of infected mosquitoes or 
abundant populations of vector species within refuge boundaries. In 
high risk mosquito-borne disease situations, we will do the following:
    A. If no mosquito population data are available for the refuge, we 
will request (or undertake, if applicable) short-term (24 hours or 
less) monitoring of adult and/or larval mosquito populations on the 
refuge to ensure that intervention is necessary.
    B. If necessary, we monitor the populations ourselves. We cannot 
use a pesticide unless we have current mosquito population monitoring 
data indicating intervention with pesticides is warranted. We will 
complete and submit a PUP to the Regional IPM coordinator and 
Washington Office IPM coordinator, if applicable, for expedited review. 
In a high risk disease situation we may not wait for monitoring results 
to initiate the PUP process, and we will expedite the review of PUPs.
    C. If there is no site-specific National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) documentation for the proposed emergency intervention 
measure(s), contact the Regional NEPA coordinator for guidance (refer 
to section 7.5).
    D. If federally listed or candidate species are present and 
Endangered Species Act section 7 compliance has not been completed for 
the potential intervention measures, contact the local Ecological 
Services (ES) office for recommendations (refer to section 7.17).
    E. Notify refuge employees and visitors of the increased human 
health risk and provide information for personal protection against 
mosquito-borne disease. Where appropriate, we will consider restricting 
or closing all or part of the refuge to visitors and restricting 
outdoor activities of employees.
    F. If monitoring data indicate that intervention with pesticides is 
warranted, we will prepare an SUP for pesticide application(s). In the 
SUP, we may identify pertinent conditions and restrictions on pesticide 
application activities to protect sensitive species or habitats. 
Although we may waive the requirement for a compatibility determination 
in a high disease risk situation, we will choose effective means to 
lower the health threat that pose the least risk to wildlife and 
habitats.
    G. Preparation of SUPs, PUPs, and other compliance documentation 
will be expedited so that any necessary intervention measures will not 
be delayed.
    H. After pesticide applications, we require (or undertake, if 
applicable) additional mosquito population monitoring to assess the 
effectiveness of the pesticide treatment(s).
    I. See Section 7.5A.(3) for NEPA procedures in emergency 
situations.
    J. Once a high risk mosquito-borne diseases situation is over, an 
affected refuge must develop a mosquito management plan and prepare all 
necessary compliance documents (see sections 7.5, 7.10, and 7.11).


[[Page 58331]]


    Dated: September 21, 2007.
Kenneth Stansell,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

601 FW 7, Exhibit 1

Outline: Mosquito Management Plan for Mosquito Associated Threats on 
Refuges

I. Health Threat Determination

    A. Describe the communication process and identify points of 
contact and their contact information for Federal and/or State/local 
public health authorities, vector control agencies, and recognized 
experts in vector ecology, epidemiology, public health, and wildlife 
health. Identify agency with public human health authority that has the 
official capacity to make a human health determination. Identify 
personnel with medical training on the epidemiology of mosquito-borne 
diseases.
    B. Elaborate on regional/local history of mosquito associated 
health threat(s). Identify endemic and enzootic mosquito-borne 
diseases.
    C. Determine health threat(s) using criteria in Exhibit 2 based on 
documentation from Service wildlife health experts, State fish and 
wildlife agency health experts, Federal and/or State/local public 
health authorities, and/or public health veterinarians employed by the 
appropriate public health authorities that refuge-based mosquitoes 
threaten human or wildlife health.
    1. Off-refuge (or on-refuge, if available) mosquito surveillance 
summary data (species and abundance).
    2. List of vector species present and enzootic/endemic diseases 
they may vector.

II. Monitoring Mosquito Populations (Developed in Cooperation With 
Federal/State/Local Public Health Authorities, Vector Control Agencies, 
and State Fish and Wildlife Agencies)

    A. Identify the purpose and goals of monitoring on the refuge.
    B. Identify who will conduct monitoring on the refuge and their 
contact information.
    C. Identify when they will conduct the monitoring:
    1. Routine, seasonal; or
    2. Monitoring only when threat level is elevated (identify triggers 
for monitoring).
    D. Description of monitoring protocols.
    1. Larval and pupal mosquito monitoring and breeding habitat 
inventory and mapping.
    (a) Objective(s).
    (b) Method(s).
    (c) Sampling locations and numbers of samples/location.
    (d) Frequency of sampling.
    (e) Processing/identification of samples (species, larval stage).
    2. Adult mosquito monitoring.
    (a) Method(s) of sampling (e.g., traps, landing counts).
    (b) Sampling locations and frequency of sampling.
    (c) Processing/identification of samples.
    3. Post-treatment monitoring: Monitoring should continue after any 
treatment to determine efficacy.
    E. Reporting.
    1. Refuge receives copies of all monitoring data concerning refuge.
    2. Refuge shares annual habitat management plans, if applicable, 
with public health or vector control agency.
    F. Restrictions/Stipulations: Identify any restrictions/
stipulations on monitoring activities (e.g., access, vehicle use, 
sensitive species or habitats, time of day, etc.) to ensure 
compatibility.

III. Surveillance of Mosquito-Borne Disease (Developed in Cooperation 
With Federal/State/Local Public Health Authorities, Vector Control 
Agencies, and State Fish and Wildlife Agencies)

    A. Identify the purpose and goals of surveillance.
    B. Identify who will be conducting surveillance on or near the 
refuge and their contact information.
    C. Identify when they will conduct surveillance.
    1. Routine, seasonal surveillance; or
    2. Surveillance only when threat level is elevated (identify 
triggers for surveillance).
    D. Description of surveillance protocols.
    1. Disease monitoring.
    (a) Objective(s).
    (b) Method(s).
    (c) Monitoring locations.
    (d) Wildlife testing facility (for dead or sick wildlife found on 
the refuge).
    2. Disease activity notification procedures between public health 
agency, State fish and wildlife agency, and refuge (we develop these 
procedures cooperatively).
    3. Post-treatment monitoring: Surveillance should continue after 
any treatment to determine effectiveness.
    E. Restrictions/Stipulations: Identify any restrictions/
stipulations on surveillance activities (e.g., access, vehicle use, 
sensitive species or habitats, time of day, etc.).

IV. Treatment Options (Developed in Cooperation With Federal/State/
Local Public Health Authorities, and Vector Control Agencies, and State 
Fish And Wildlife Agencies Using Stepwise Approach, Exhibit 2)

    A. Identify and categorize refuge-based vector species or species 
groups based on role in transmission cycle(s) of enzootic/endemic 
diseases.
    B. Identify species-specific larval, pupal, and adult mosquito 
vector action threshold levels that reflect the importance of vector 
species in the transmission cycle (see Exhibit 3).
    C. Identify health threat levels and describe potential 
intervention measures for each level (Exhibit 2). Include non-pesticide 
and pesticide intervention options.
    D. Complete NEPA process, as necessary, to examine potential 
environmental effects of potential intervention measures. In an 
emergency, contact the Regional NEPA coordinator for guidance.
    E. Complete Endangered Species Act section 7 compliance for 
potential impacts to listed and candidate species from intervention 
measures.
    F. Identify specific pesticides or other management actions to use 
at specific threat levels based on NEPA and section 7 analyses.
    G. Unless the Secretary determines it is necessary to temporarily 
suspend, allow, or initiate any activity in a refuge to protect the 
health and safety of the public or any fish or wildlife population, 
complete a compatibility determination for intervention measures. Refer 
to 603 FW 2 for more information about compatibility and emergencies.
    H. Follow Service pesticide use and permitting procedures, and 
attach approved pesticide use proposal (PUP) and special use permits 
(SUP).
    1. Complete PUP.
    2. Submit PUP to Regional IPM coordinator. In an emergency, contact 
Regional/CNO pest management coordinator (and national IPM coordinator, 
if adulticides are involved) to expedite PUP approval.
    3. Prepare SUP or other agreement for agency conducting 
intervention measures, outlining specific actions to be taken (when, 
where, how) and describing any restrictions, stipulations, or other 
conditions on such actions.

601 FW 7, Exhibit 2

Example of Mosquito-Borne Disease Health Threat and Response Matrix

[[Page 58332]]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Current conditions
--------------------------------------------------------------------   Threat
                                               Refuge mosquito          level            Refuge response
      Health threat  category \1\              populations \2\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
No documented existing or historical     No action threshold.......          1   Remove/manage artificial
 health threat.                                                                   mosquito breeding sites such
                                                                                  as tires, tanks, or similar
                                                                                  debris/containers.
Documented historical health threat....  Below action threshold....          2   Response as in threat level 1,
                                                                                  plus: Allow compatible
                                                                                  monitoring and disease
                                                                                  surveillance. Consider
                                                                                  compatible nonpesticide
                                                                                  management options to reduce
                                                                                  mosquito production (section
                                                                                  7.9).
                                         Above action threshold....          3   Response as in threat level 2,
                                                                                  plus: Allow compatible site-
                                                                                  specific application of
                                                                                  larvicide in infested areas as
                                                                                  determined by monitoring.
Documented existing health threat        Below action threshold....          4   Response as in threat level 2,
 (specify multiple levels, if                                                     plus: Increase monitoring and
 necessary; e.g., disease found in                                                disease surveillance.
 wildlife, disease found in mosquitoes,
 etc.).
                                         Above action threshold....          5   Response as in threat levels 3
                                                                                  and 4, plus: Allow compatible
                                                                                  site-specific application of
                                                                                  larvicide, pupacide, or
                                                                                  adulticide in infested areas
                                                                                  as determined by monitoring
                                                                                  data (refer to section 7.15).
High risk for mosquito-borne disease     Below action threshold....          6   Maximize monitoring and disease
 (imminent risk of serious human                                                  surveillance (refer to section
 disease or death, or an imminent risk                                            7.15).
 to populations of wildlife).
                                         Above action threshold....          7   Response as in threat level 6,
                                                                                  plus: Allow site-specific
                                                                                  application of larvicide,
                                                                                  pupacide, and adulticide in
                                                                                  infested areas as determined
                                                                                  by monitoring (refer to
                                                                                  sections 7.15 and 7.17).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Health threat/risk as determined by Federal and/or State/local public health or wildlife management
  authorities with jurisdiction inclusive of refuge boundaries and/or neighboring public health authorities.
\2\ Action thresholds represent mosquito population levels that may require intervention measures. We develop
  thresholds in collaboration with Federal and/or State/local public health or wildlife management authorities
  and vector control agencies. They must be species- and life stage-specific.

601 FW 7, Exhibit 3

Factors To Consider When Establishing Thresholds for Use of Larvicides/
Pupacides/Adulticides To Control Mosquitoes To Address Health Threats

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Factor                  Description          Consideration
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mosquito species............  Mosquito species      Consider these
                               vary in the           factors when
                               following: Their      establishing adult
                               ability to carry      and larval
                               and transmit          thresholds. Often
                               disease; flight       the species and
                               distances; feeding    biology of the
                               preference (birds,    mosquito are more
                               mammals, humans);     important in
                               seasonality; and      developing
                               type of breeding      thresholds than the
                               habitat.              relative abundance.
Proximity to human            The distance from     The potential to
 populations.                  potential mosquito    produce large
                               habitat on NWRs to    numbers of
                               population centers    mosquitoes in close
                               (numbers and          proximity to
                               density).             population centers
                                                     may result in less
                                                     tolerance or lower
                                                     thresholds for
                                                     implementation of
                                                     mosquito control on
                                                     NWRs.
Weather patterns............  Prevailing wind       Prevailing wind
                               patterns,             patterns that carry
                               precipitation, and    mosquitoes from
                               temperatures.         refuge habitats to
                                                     population centers
                                                     may require lower
                                                     thresholds.
                                                     Inclement weather
                                                     conditions may
                                                     prevent mosquitoes
                                                     from moving off-
                                                     refuge, resulting
                                                     in higher
                                                     thresholds.
Cultural mosquito tolerance.  The tolerance of      In many parts of the
                               different             country, residents
                               populations may       accept mosquitoes
                               vary by region of     as a way of life,
                               the country and       resulting in higher
                               associated culture    mosquito management
                               and tradition.        thresholds. NWRs in
                                                     highly populated
                                                     areas may require
                                                     lower thresholds
                                                     because of the
                                                     intolerance of
                                                     urban dwellers to
                                                     mosquitoes.
Adults harbored, but not      Refuge provides       Threshold for
 produced, on-refuge.          resting areas for     mosquito management
                               adult mosquitoes      on the refuge
                               produced in the       should be high with
                               surrounding           an emphasis for
                               landscape.            treatment of
                                                     mosquito breeding
                                                     habitat off refuge.

[[Page 58333]]

 
Spatial extent of mosquito    The relative          If the refuge is a
 breeding habitat.             availability of       primary breeding
                               mosquito habitat      area for mosquitoes
                               within the            that likely affect
                               landscape that        human health,
                               includes the          threshold may be
                               refuge.               lower. If refuge
                                                     mosquito habitats
                                                     are insignificant
                                                     in the context of
                                                     the landscape,
                                                     thresholds may be
                                                     higher.
Natural predator populations  Balanced predator-    If refuge vertebrate
                               prey populations      and invertebrate
                               may limit mosquito    prey populations
                               production.           are adequate to
                                                     control mosquitoes,
                                                     threshold for
                                                     treatment should be
                                                     high.
Type of mosquito habitat....  Preferred breeding    Because breeding
                               habitat for           habitat is species-
                               mosquitoes is         specific, correlate
                               species-specific.     thresholds for each
                                                     species to initiate
                                                     control with
                                                     appropriate habitat
                                                     types.
Water quality...............  Water quality         High organic content
                               influences mosquito   in water may
                               productivity.         increase mosquito
                                                     productivity, lower
                                                     natural predator
                                                     abundance, and may
                                                     require lower
                                                     thresholds.
Opportunities for water and   Management of water   Thresholds for
 vegetation management.        levels and            treatment should be
                               vegetation may        higher where we can
                               reduce mosquito       control mosquitoes
                               productivity.         through habitat
                                                     management.
Presence/absence of vector    Many areas do not     Thresholds for
 control agency.               have adequate human   management may be
                               populations to        much higher or non-
                               support vector        existent in areas
                               control. In           without vector
                               addition, resources   control.
                               available for
                               mosquito management
                               vary among
                               districts.
Accessibility for monitoring/ Refuges may not have  Thresholds will
 control.                      adequate access to    probably be higher
                               monitor or            for refuges with
                               implement mosquito    limited access that
                               management.           will require cost-
                                                     prohibitive
                                                     monitoring and
                                                     treatment
                                                     strategies.
History of mosquito borne     Past monitoring of    Thresholds in areas
 diseases in area.             wildlife, mosquito    with a history of
                               pools, horses,        mosquito-borne
                               sentinel chickens,    disease(s) will
                               and humans have       likely be lower.
                               documented mosquito-
                               borne diseases.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[FR Doc. E7-20201 Filed 10-12-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P