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Notice

Information Collection Sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval; OMB Control Number 1018-0100; North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Grant Programs

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AGENCY:

Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Notice; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We (Fish and Wildlife Service) have sent an Information Collection Request (ICR) to OMB for review and approval. The ICR, which is summarized below, describes the nature of the collection and the estimated burden and cost. This ICR is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2008. We 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. However, under OMB regulations, we may continue to conduct or sponsor this information collection while it is pending at OMB.

DATES:

You must submit comments on or before October 27, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

Send your comments and suggestions on this ICR to the Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior at OMB-OIRA at (202) 395-6566 (fax) or OIRA_DOCKET@OMB.eop.gov (e-mail). Please provide a copy of your comments to Hope Grey, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 222-ARLSQ, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 (mail), or hope_grey@fws.gov (e-mail).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

To request additional information about this ICR, contact Hope Grey by mail or e-mail (see ADDRESSES) or by telephone at (703) 358-2482.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

OMB Control Number: 1018-0100.

Title: North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Grant Programs.

Service Form Number(s): None.

Type of Request: Extension of currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Households and individuals; businesses and other for-profit organizations; educational organizations; not-for-profit institutions; and Federal, State, local and/or tribal governments.

Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit.

Frequency of Collection: On occasion. The Small Grants Program has one project proposal period per year and the Standard Grants Program has two per year. Annual reports are due 90 days after the anniversary date of the grant agreement. Final reports are due 90 days after the end of the project period. The project period is 2 years.

ActivityNumber of annual respondentsNumber of annual responsesCompletion time per responseAnnual burden hours
Small Grants - Applications707059 hours4,130
Small Grants - Reports888832 hours2,816
U.S. Standard Grants - Applications6060325 hours19,500
Canadian and Mexican Standard Grants - Applications545480 hours4,320
Standard Grants - Reports20120135 hours7,035
Totals47347337,801

Abstract: The North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) is a tripartite agreement among Canada, Mexico, and the United States to enhance, restore, and protect habitat to benefit waterfowl and other wetlands-associated wildlife. Because the NAWMP did not include a mechanism to provide for broadly based and sustained financial support for wetland conservation activities, Congress passed the North American Wetlands Conservation Act in 1989. The NAWCA promotes, through partnerships between the private and public sectors, long-term conservation of North American wetland ecosystems and the waterfowl and other migratory birds, fish, and wildlife that depend upon such habitat.

In addition to providing for a continuing and stable funding base, NAWCA establishes an administrative body, the North American Wetlands Conservation Council. It is made up of a State representative from each of the four flyways, three representatives from nonprofit wetlands conservation organizations, the Secretary of the Board of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service. The Council recommends funding of select wetlands conservation project proposals to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission.

There is a Standard and a Small Grants Program. Both are competitive grants programs and require that grant requests be matched by partner contributions at no less than a 1-to-1 ratio. Funds from U.S. Federal sources may contribute to a project, but are not eligible as match.

The Standard Grants Program supports projects in Canada, the United States, and Mexico that involve long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and associated uplands habitats. In Mexico, partners may also conduct projects involving technical training, environmental education and outreach, organizational infrastructure development, and sustainable-use studies.

The Small Grants Program operates only in the United States. It supports the same type of projects and adheres to the same selection criteria and administrative guidelines as the U.S. Standard Grants Program. However, project activities are usually smaller in scope and involve fewer project dollars. Grant requests may not exceed $75,000, and funding priority is given to grantees or partners new to the NAWCA Grants Program.

We publish notices of funding availability on the Grants.gov website (http://www.grants.gov) as well as in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. To compete for grant funds, partnerships submit applications that describe in substantial detail project locations, project resources, future benefits, and other characteristics that meet the standards established by the Council and the requirements of NAWCA. Materials that describe the program and assist applicants in formulating project proposals for Council consideration are available on our website at http://www.fws.gov/​birdhabitat/​Grants/​NAWCA. Persons who do not have access to the Internet may obtain instructional materials by mail. We have not made any major changes in the scope and general nature of the instructions since the OMB first approved the information collection in 1999.

Comments: On June 24, 2008, we published in the Federal Register (73 FR Start Printed Page 5552435703) a notice of our intent to request that OMB renew this ICR. In that notice, we solicited comments for 60 days, ending on August 25, 2008. We received one comment. The comment expressed opposition to the NAWCA grants program, but did not address the information collection requirements. We did not make any changes to our information collection requirements as a result of this comment.

We again invite comments concerning this information collection on:

(1) Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, including whether or not the information will have practical utility;

(2) The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this 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.

Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask OMB in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that it will be done.

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Dated: September 4, 2008

Hope Grey,

Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service.

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FR Doc. E8-22470 Filed 9-23-08; 8:45 am

BILLING CODE 4310-55-S