Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
Notice of information collection; request for comments.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has submitted the material described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Copies of the specific information collection requirements, related forms and explanatory material may be obtained by contacting the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer at the address provided below.
Consideration will be given to all comments received on or before August 19, 2002. The 60 day notice was published in the Federal Register on February 6, 2002 (67 FR 5608). No comments were received during the 60 day period.
Send your comments and/or suggestions on the requirement to the Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Department of the Interior Desk Officer, 725—17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503, with a copy to Rebecca Mullin, Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 222-ARLSQ, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20240; telephone number 703.358.2287.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
To request a copy of the information collection request, explanatory information and related forms, contact Rebecca A. Mullin at 703/358-2287, or electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. For information related to the grant program, which is the subject of the information collection approval, please log onto http://birdhabitat.fws.gov.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
The OMB regulations at 5 CFR part 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13), require that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). On May 26, 1999, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) was given regular approval by OMB for collection of information in order to continue the grants programs Start Printed Page 47564currently conducted under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (Pub. L. 101-233, as amended; December 13, 1989). The assigned OMB information collection control number is 1018-0100, and approval expired on May 31, 2002. However, OMB has extended the period of approval through August. The Service is requesting a three year term of approval for this information collection activity. 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.
Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and, (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents.
Title: Information Collection In Support of Grant Programs Authorized by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act of 1989 (NAWCA).
Approval Number: 1018-0100.
Service Form Number(s): N/A.
Description and Use: The North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), first signed in 1986, is a tripartite agreement among Canada, Mexico and the United States to enhance, restore and otherwise protect continental wetlands to benefit waterfowl and other wetland associated wildlife through partnerships between and among the private and public sectors. Because the 1986 NAWMP did not carry with it a mechanism to provide for broadly-based and sustained financial support for wetland conservation activities, Congress passed and the President signed into law the NAWCA to fill that funding need. The purpose of NAWCA, as amended, is to promote long-term conservation of North American wetland ecosystems and the waterfowl and other migratory birds, fish and wildlife that depend upon such habitat through partnerships. Principal conservation actions supported by NAWCA are acquisition, enhancement and restoration of wetlands and wetlands-associated habitat.
As well as providing for a continuing and stable funding base, NAWCA establishes an administrative body, i.e., Council, made up of a State representative from each of the four Flyways, three representatives from wetlands conservation organizations, the Secretary of the Board of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Director of the Service. This North American Wetlands Conservation Council is exempt from the requirements of Public Law 92-463 (Federal Advisory Committee Act). As such, the purpose of the Council is to recommend wetlands conservation project proposals to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC) for funding.
Subsection (c) of Section 5 (Council Procedures) provides that the “* * * Council shall establish practices and procedures for the carrying out of its functions under subsections (a) and (b) of this section * * *,” which are consideration of projects and recommendations to the MBCC, respectively. The means by which the Council decides which project proposals are important to recommend to the MBCC is through grants programs that are coordinated through the Council Coordinator's office within the Service's Division of Bird Habitat Conservation.
Competing for grant funds involves applications from partnerships that describe in substantial detail project locations and other characteristics, to meet the standards established by the Council and the requirements of NAWCA. The Council Coordinator's office no longer publishes and distributes Standard and Small Grants instructional booklets. Materials that describe the program and assist applicants in formulating project proposals for Council consideration are now available on a website, as previously noted. However, those who are not able to access a website may still obtain instructional materials by regular mail. There has been, virtually, no change in the scope and nature of these instructions since the OMB approval was first granted in 1999. Nonetheless, the instructional materials that include booklets, Federal Register notices on request for proposals, and other instruments are the basis for this information collection request for OMB clearance. Information collected under this program is used to respond to such needs as: audits, program planning and management, program evaluation, Government Performance and Results Act reporting, Standard Form 424 (Application For Federal Assistance), grant agreements, budget reports and justifications, public and private requests for information, data provided to other programs for databases on similar programs, Congressional inquiries and reports required by NAWCA, etc.
In summary, information collection under these programs is required to obtain a benefit, i.e., a cash reimbursable grant that is given competitively to qualifying applicants based on eligibility and relative scale of resource values involved in the projects. The information collection is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act requirements for such activity, which includes soliciting comments from the general public regarding the nature and burden imposed by the collection.
Frequency of Collection: Occasional. The Small Grants program has one project proposal submissions window per year and the Standard Grants program has two per year.
Description of Respondents: Households and/or individuals; business and/or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions; farms; Federal Government; and State, local and/or Tribal governments.
Estimated Completion Time: The reporting burden, or time involved in writing project proposals, is estimated to be 80 hours for a Small Grants submission and 400 hours for a Standard Grants submission.
Number of Respondents: It is estimated that 150 proposals will be submitted each year, 70 for the Small Grants program and 80 for the Standard Grants program.
Annual Burden Hours: 37,600.Start Signature
Dated: June 19, 2002.
Steve A. Williams,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 02-18298 Filed 7-18-02; 8:45 am]
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