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Notice

Proposed Information Collection; National Wildlife Refuge Special Use Permit Applications and Reports

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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 “1018-0102” 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 National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) (Administration Act), as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, consolidated all refuge units into a single National Wildlife Refuge System (System). It also authorized us to offer visitor and public programs, including those facilitated by commercial visitor and management support services, on lands of the System when we find that the activities are appropriate and compatible with the purpose for which the refuge was established and the System's mission. The Refuge Recreation Act of 1962 (16 U.S.C. 460k-460k-4) (Recreation Act) allows the use of refuges for public recreation when it is not inconsistent or Start Printed Page 11602does not interfere with the primary purpose(s) of the refuge. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.) (ANILCA) provides specific authorization and guidance for the administration and management of national wildlife refuges within the State of Alaska. Its provisions provide for the issuance of permits under certain circumstances.

We issue special use permits for a specific period as determined by the type and location of the management activity or visitor service provided. These permits authorize activities such as:

  • Agricultural activities (haying and grazing, 50 CFR 29.1 and 29.2).
  • Beneficial management tools that we use to provide the best habitat possible on some refuges (50 CFR 30.11, 31.14, 31.16, and 36.41).
  • Special events, group visits and other one-time events (50 CFR 25.41, 25.61, 26.36, and 36.41).
  • Recreational visitor service operations (50 CFR 25.41, 25.61, and 36.41).
  • Guiding for fishing, hunting, wildlife education, and interpretation (50 CFR 25.41 and 36.41).
  • Commercial filming (43 CFR 5, 50 CFR 27.71) and other commercial activities (50 CFR 29.1 and 36.41).
  • Building and using cabins to support subsistence or commercial activities (in Alaska) (50 CFR 26.35 and 36.41).
  • Research, inventory and monitoring, and other noncommercial activities (50 CFR 26.36 and 36.41).

We use three forms to collect applicant information:

  • FWS Form 3-1383-G (General Activities Special Use Application).
  • FWS Form 3-1383-C (Commercial Activities Special Use Application).
  • FWS Form 3-1383-R (Research and Monitoring Special Use Application).

The information we collect helps ensure that: (1) Applicants are aware of the types of information that may be needed for permit issuance; (2) requested activities are appropriate and compatible with the purpose(s) for which the refuge was established and the System's mission; and (3) the applicant is eligible or is the most qualified applicant to receive the special use permit.

We may collect the necessary information in a nonform format (through discussions in person or over the phone, over the Internet, by email, or by letter). In some instances, respondents will be able to provide information verbally. Often, a simple email or letter describing the activity will suffice. For activities (e.g., commercial visitor services, research, etc.) that might have a large impact on refuge resources, we may require applicants to provide more detail on operations, techniques, and locations. Because of the span of activities covered by special use permits and the different management needs and resources at each refuge, respondents may not be required to answer all questions. Depending on the requested activity, refuge managers have the discretion to ask for less information than appears on the forms. However, refuge managers cannot ask for more or different information.

We issue permits for a specific period as determined by the type and location of the use or service provided. We use these permits to ensure that the applicant is aware of the requirements of the permit and his/her legal rights. Refuge-specific special conditions may be required for the permit. We identify conditions as an addendum to the permit. Most of the special conditions pertain to how a permitted activity may be conducted and do not require the collection of information. However, some special conditions, such as activity reports, before and after site photographs, or data sharing, would qualify as an information collection, and we have included the associated burden in the table below.

II. Data

OMB Control Number: 1018-0102.

Title: National Wildlife Refuge Special Use Permit Applications and Reports, 50 CFR 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 36.

Type of Request: Extension of a previously approved collection.

Service Form Number(s): FWS Forms 3-1383-G, 3-1383-C, and 3-1383-R.

Description of Respondents: Individuals and households; businesses and other for-profit organizations; nonprofit organizations; farms; and State, local, or tribal governments.

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

Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

ActivityNumber of respondentsNumber of responsesCompletion time per response (hours)Total annual burden hours
Form 3-1383-G1,8461,846.5923
Form 3-1383-C1,3511,35145,404
Form 1383-R77077053,850
Totals:3,9673,96710,177

Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: $135,100 for fees associated with applications for commercial use activities ($100.00 × an estimated 1,351 applications).

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. 2017-03584 Filed 2-23-17; 8:45 am]

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