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Notice

Proposed Information Collection; Migratory Bird Surveys

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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 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) will ask the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collection (IC) described below. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and as part of our continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, we invite the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this IC. This IC is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2017. 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.

DATES:

To ensure that we are able to consider your comments on this IC, we must receive them by April 25, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Send your comments on the IC to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 (mail); or madonna_baucum@fws.gov (email). Please include “1018-0023” in the subject line of your comments.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Madonna Baucum, at madonna_baucum@fws.gov (email) or (703) 358-2503 (telephone).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-711) and the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742d) designate the Department of the Interior as the key agency responsible for (1) the wise management of migratory bird populations frequenting the United States, and (2) setting hunting regulations that allow appropriate harvests that are within the guidelines that will allow for those populations' well-being. These responsibilities dictate that we gather accurate data on various characteristics of migratory bird harvest. Based on information from harvest surveys, we can adjust hunting regulations as needed to optimize harvests at levels that provide a maximum of hunting recreation while keeping populations at desired levels.

Under 50 CFR 20.20, migratory bird hunters must register for the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) in each State in which they hunt each year. State natural resource agencies must send names and addresses of all migratory bird hunters to Branch of Harvest Surveys, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Migratory Bird Management, on an annual basis.

The Migratory Bird Hunter Survey is based on the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program. We randomly select migratory bird hunters and ask them to report their harvest. The resulting estimates of harvest per hunter are combined with the complete list of migratory bird hunters to provide estimates of the total harvest for the species surveyed.

The Parts Collection Survey estimates the species, sex, and age composition of the harvest, and the geographic and temporal distribution of the harvest. Randomly selected successful hunters who responded to the Migratory Bird Hunter Survey the previous year are asked to complete and return a postcard if they are willing to participate in the Parts Collection Survey. We provide postage-paid envelopes to respondents before the hunting season and ask them to send in a wing or the tail feathers from each duck or goose that they harvest, or a wing from each mourning dove, woodcock, band-tailed pigeon, snipe, rail, or gallinule that they harvest. We use the wings and tail feathers to identify the species, sex, and age of the harvested sample. We also ask respondents to report on the envelope the date and location of harvest for each bird. We combine the results of this survey with the harvest estimates obtained from the Migratory Bird Hunter Survey to provide species-specific national harvest estimates.

The combined results of these surveys enable us to evaluate the effects of season length, season dates, and bag limits on the harvest of each species, and thus help us determine appropriate hunting regulations.

The Sandhill Crane Harvest Survey is an annual questionnaire survey of people who obtained a sandhill crane hunting permit. At the end of the hunting season, we randomly select a sample of permit holders and ask them to report the date, location, and number of birds harvested for each of their sandhill crane hunts. Their responses provide estimates of the temporal and geographic distribution of the harvest as well as the average harvest per hunter, which, combined with the total number of permits issued, enables us to estimate the total harvest of sandhill cranes. Based on information from this survey, we adjust hunting regulations as needed.

II. Data

OMB Control Number: 1018-0023.

Title: Migratory Bird Surveys, 50 CFR 20.20.

Service Form Number(s): 3-165, 3-165A through E, 3-2056J through N.

Type of Request: Revision to a currently approved collection.

Description of Respondents: States and migratory game bird hunters.

Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory for HIP registration information; voluntary for participation in the surveys.

Frequency of Collection: Annually or on occasion.

ActivityNumber of respondentsNumber of responsesCompletion time per responseTotal annual burden hours
Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program
49806185 hours149,110
Migratory Bird Hunter Survey
Form 3-2056J37,04637,0465 minutes3,087
Form 3-2056K22,58522,5854 minutes1,506
Form 3-2056L8,9108,9104 minutes594
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Form 3-2056M11,69811,6983 minutes858
Parts Collection Survey
Form 3-1654,15593,5635 minutes7,797
Form 3-165A3,5903,5901 minute60
Form 3-165B1,0085,5455 minutes462
Form 3-165C4454451 minute7
Form 3-165D1,0501,0501 minute18
Form 3-165E8801,4255 minutes119
Sandhill Crane Harvest Survey
Form 3-2056N4,0084,0083.5 minutes234
Totals95,424190,671163,852

Estimated Annual Non-Hour Burden Cost: None.

III. Comments

We invite comments concerning this information collection on:

  • Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, including whether or not the information will have practical utility;
  • The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information;
  • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • 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. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this IC. Before including your address, phone number, email 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 us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

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Dated: February 17, 2017.

Tina A. Campbell,

Chief, Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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[FR Doc. 2017-03582 Filed 2-23-17; 8:45 am]

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