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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Conservation Order for Light Geese

Document Details

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, 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 information collection is scheduled to expire on April 30, 2018. 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 September 1, 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 Info_Coll@fws.gov (email). Please include “1018-0103” in the subject line of your comments.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Service Information Collection Clearance Officer at Info_Coll@fws.gov (email) or (703) 358-2503 (telephone).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (Act; 16 U.S.C. 703-712) implements the four bilateral migratory bird treaties the United States entered into with Great Britain (for Canada), Mexico, Japan, and Russia. The Act authorizes and directs the Secretary of the Interior to allow hunting, taking, etc., of migratory birds subject to the provisions of and in order to carry out the purposes of the four treaties. Section VII of the U.S.-Canada Migratory Bird Treaty authorizes the taking of migratory birds that, under extraordinary conditions, become seriously injurious to agricultural or other interests.

The number of light geese (lesser snow, greater snow, and Ross' geese) in the midcontinent region has nearly quadrupled during the past several decades, due to a decline in adult mortality and an increase in winter survival. We refer to these species and subspecies as light geese because of their light coloration, as opposed to dark geese, such as white-fronted or Canada geese. Because of their feeding activity, light geese have become seriously injurious to their habitat, as well as to habitat important to other migratory birds. This poses a serious threat to the short- and long-term health and status of some migratory bird populations. We believe that the number of light geese in the midcontinent region has exceeded long-term sustainable levels for their arctic and subarctic breeding habitats, and that the populations must be reduced. Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at part 21 provides authority for the management of overabundant light geese.

Regulations at 50 CFR 21.60 authorize States and tribes in the midcontinent and Atlantic flyway regions to control light geese within the United States through the use of alternative regulatory strategies. The conservation order authorizes States and tribes to implement population control measures without having to obtain a Federal permit, thus significantly reducing their administrative burden. The conservation order is a streamlined process that affords an efficient and effective population reduction strategy, rather than addressing the issue through our permitting process. Furthermore, this strategy precludes the use of more drastic and costly direct population-reduction measures such as trapping and culling geese. States and tribes participating in the conservation order must:

  • Designate participants and inform them of the requirements and conditions of the conservation order. Individual States and tribes determine the method to designate participants and how they will collect information from participants.
  • Keep records of activities carried out under the authority of the conservation order, including:

(1) Number of persons participating in the conservation order;

(2) Number of days people participated in the conservation order;

(3) Number of light geese shot and retrieved under the conservation order; and

(4) Number of light geese shot, but not retrieved.

  • Submit an annual report summarizing the activities conducted under the conservation order on or before September 15 of each year. Tribal information can be incorporated in State reports to reduce the number of reports submitted.

II. Data

OMB Control Number: 1018-0103.

Title: Conservation Order for Light Geese, 50 CFR 21.60.

Service Form Number(s): None.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Description of Respondents: State and tribal governments; individuals who participate in the conservation order.

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

Frequency of Collection: Annually.

ActivityAnnual number of respondentsNumber of responses eachTotal annual responsesCompletion time per responseAnnual burden hours *
Conservation Order for Control of Light Geese (State/Tribal Governments):
Reporting3913942 hours1,638
Recordkeeping3 hours117
Conservation Order Participants—Provide Information to States (Individuals or Households):
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Reporting21,538121,5388 minutes2,872
Total21,57721,5774,627
* Rounded.

Estimated Annual Non-hour Burden Cost: $78,000, primarily for State overhead costs (materials, printing, postage, etc.).

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.

IV. Authorities

The authorities for this action are the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-712) and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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Dated: June 27, 2017.

Madonna L. Baucum,

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

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[FR Doc. 2017-13883 Filed 6-30-17; 8:45 am]

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