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Notice

Information Collection Renewal to be Submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval Under the Paperwork Reduction Act; Experimental Populations; Endangered and Threatened Species

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AGENCY:

Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Notice; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The collection of information described below will be submitted to OMB for approval under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Copies of specific information collection requirements, related forms and explanatory material may be obtained by contacting the Information Collection Clearance Officer of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the address and/or phone numbers listed below.

DATES:

Consideration will be given to all comments received on or before September 27, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Send your comments on the information collection requirement via mail to the Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop 222-ARLSQ, Arlington, Virginia 22203; or via fax at (703) 358-2269; or via e-mail at Hope_Grey@fws.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

To request a copy of the proposed information collection requirement, related forms, or explanatory material, contact Hope Grey by telephone at (703) 358-2482 or by e-mail at Hope_Grey@fws.gov. You may also contact Elena Babij, Endangered Species Program, by telephone at (703) 358-2061 or by e-mail at Eleanora_Babij@fws.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations at 5 CFR 1320, which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), 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)). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we) plans to submit a request to OMB to renew its existing approval of the collection of information for Experimental Populations, Endangered and Threatened Species, which expires on October 31, 2004. We are requesting a 3-year term of approval for this information collection activity.

Federal agencies 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. The OMB control number for this collection of information is 1018-0095.

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 burden, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond. The information collections in this program will not be part of a system of records covered by the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552(a)).

Experimental populations established under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), require information collection and reporting to the Service. Section 9 of the ESA describes prohibited acts involving threatened or endangered species (16 U.S.C. section 1538 (a)(1)(B)). There are three major categories of information collected under the already issued experimental population rules. To date, these categories have encompassed information relating to: (1) The general taking or removal of individuals of an experimental population, (2) the authorized taking of individuals related to reports of depredation on livestock or pets caused by individuals that are part of an experimental population, and (3) the collection of specimens or the recovery of dead animals that are part of an experimental population. These three categories have adequately described the types of information needed to evaluate the efficacy of the program and are expected to continue to accurately describe activities under the program.

Because individuals of designated experimental populations for species listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA are categorically protected, documentation of human-related mortalities, recovery of dead specimens and other types of take related to the status of experimental populations is important to the Service in order to monitor the success of reintroduction efforts, and recovery efforts in general. In order to minimize potential conflict with humans which could undermine recovery efforts, livestock depredations connected with experimental populations of listed species require prompt attention for purposes of determining the location, timing, and nature of the predatory behavior involved, accurate determination of the species responsible for a livestock kill, and the timely application of necessary control measures. The Service, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal Plant Health Start Printed Page 45342Inspection Service Division of Wildlife Services or other cooperating State or Federal agencies, relies on prompt public reporting of depredation in order to resolve livestock-related problems. Therefore, a time sensitive requirement for reporting problems (generally within 24 hours) to the appropriate Service office is necessary.

Information collection is achieved primarily by means of telephone calls by members of the public to Service offices specified in the individual rules (some may choose to use facsimile or electronic mail). Information required is limited to the identity of the caller, species involved, time and place of an incident, the type of incident, and circumstances related to the incident described. The vast majority of the information supplied to the Service as a result of experimental population regulations is provided by cooperating State and Federal agencies under cooperative agreement. However, some of the information collected by the Service under the experimental population rules is provided by the public.

The collected information can be separated into three categories: general take or removal, depredation-related take, and specimen collection. General take or removal information refers to human-related mortality including unintentional taking incidental to otherwise lawful activities (e.g. highway mortalities), take in defense of human life, take related to defense of property (if authorized), or take in the form of authorized harassment. Most contacts related to this type of information collection are in regard to sightings of experimental animals, or the inadvertent discovery of an injured or dead individual. Depredation-related take refers to the reporting of take for management purposes, where livestock depredation has been documented or may include authorized harassment or lethal take of experimental animals in the act of attacking livestock. The information collection required by the rules for this type of take include the necessary follow-up reports after the Service has authorized harassment or lethal take of experimental animals in relation to confirmed instances of livestock depredation or in defense of human life. Specimen collection is for the purpose of documenting incidental or authorized scientific collection. Most of the information collection requirement for this take pertains primarily to the reporting of sightings of experimental population animals or the inadvertent discovery of an injured or dead individual. Information collection is required for necessary follow-up reports when the Service has authorized take of experimental animals for specimen collection.

The standard information collection includes the name, address, and phone number of the reporting party, location and time of the reported incident, species of experimental population involved. Reporting parties include, but are not limited to, individuals or households, farms, businesses, and other non-profit organizations. The reporting of specimen collections, recovery, or even the reporting of dead individuals from experimental populations is important to the Service's efforts in monitoring these individuals and for other scientific purposes.

Because the number of reports generated annually by the general public (rather than cooperating agencies or separately permitted individuals) under these rules is extremely small (far less than one report per year, per rule) and to assure thorough documentation of results, the Service is estimating the number of expected reports to assume a maximum number per year based on allowance for increased population size and public awareness of experimental populations.

The several existing experimental populations described under Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations at part 17.84 contain information collection requirements. This information collection would also apply to any future experimental populations that become established that require the same types of reports as listed above to streamline the process.

Title of Collection: Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, 50 CFR 17.84, Experimental populations.

Description of respondents: Private individuals and households, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and farms.

Bureau form number: N/A.

Frequency of collection: On occasion.

Burden Estimates for Reporting Requirements for Experimental Populations—Endangered and Threatened Species:

Type of reportNumber of respondentsAverage time required per report (minutes)Total annual burden (hours)
General take or removal a20155
Depredation-related take b22155.5
Specimen collection c20155
a General take or removal includes human-related mortality including unintentional taking incidental to otherwise lawful activities (e.g. highway mortalities), take in defense of human life, take related to defense of property (if authorized) or take in the form of authorized harassment.
b Depredation-related take is take for management purposes where livestock depredation has been documented and may include authorized harassment or authorized lethal take of experimental animals in the act of attacking livestock.
c Specimen collection, recovery, or reporting of dead individuals from experimental populations for documentation purposes or authorized scientific collection purposes.
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Dated: July 21, 2004.

Anissa Craghead,

Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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[FR Doc. 04-17227 Filed 7-28-04; 8:45 am]

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