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Notice

Information Collection Sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval; OMB Control Number 1018-0119; Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions (PECE)

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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. This ICR is scheduled to expire on January 31, 2009. 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 send comments on or before February 27, 2009.

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: 1018-0119.

Title: Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions (PECE).

Service Form Number(s): None.

Type of Request: Extension of currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Primarily State, local, or tribal governments. However, individuals, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations could develop agreements/plans or may agree to implement certain conservation efforts identified in a State agreement/plan.

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

Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

ActivityNumber of annual respondentsNumber of annual responsesCompletion time per responseAnnual burden hours
Original Agreement442,000 hours8,000
Monitoring77600 hours4,200
Reporting77120 hours840
Totals181813,040

Abstract: Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) specifies the process by which we can list species as threatened or endangered. When we consider whether or not to list a species, the ESA requires us to take into account the efforts being made by any State or any political subdivision of a State to protect such species. We also take into account the efforts being made by other entities. States or other entities often formalize conservation efforts in conservation agreements, conservation plans, management plans, or similar documents. The conservation efforts recommended or called for in such documents could prevent some species from becoming so imperiled that they meet the definition of a threatened or endangered species under the ESA.

The Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions (PECE) encourages the development of conservation agreements/plans and provides certainty about the standard that an individual conservation effort must meet for us to consider whether it contributes to forming a basis for making a decision about the listing of a species. PECE applies to “formalized conservation efforts” that have not been implemented or have been implemented but have not yet demonstrated if they are effective at the time of a listing decision.

Under PECE, formalized conservation efforts are defined as conservation efforts (specific actions, activities, or programs designed to eliminate or reduce threats or otherwise improve the status of a species) identified in a conservation agreement, conservation plan, management plan, or similar document (68 FR 15100). The development of such agreements/plans is voluntary. There is no requirement that the individual conservation efforts included in such documents be designed to meet the standard in PECE.

Comments: On November 24, 2008, we published in the Federal Register (73 FR 71041) a notice of our intent to request that OMB renew this ICR. In that notice, we solicited comments for 60 days, ending on January 23, 2009. We received one comment in response to this notice. The commenter did not address the information collection requirements, but did object to the continuation of this program. We have not made 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 Start Printed Page 4973information from public review, we cannot guarantee that it will be done.

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Hope Grey,

Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service.

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FR Doc. E9-1833 Filed 1-27-09; 8:45 am

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