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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions (PECE)

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Notice of information collection; request for comment.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are proposing to renew an information collection.

DATES:

Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before July 19, 2021.

ADDRESSES:

Send written comments on this information collection request (ICR) to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB (JAO/3W), 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803 (mail); or by email to Info_Coll@fws.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number 1018-0119 in the subject line of your comments.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Madonna L. Baucum, Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, by email at Info_Coll@fws.gov, or by telephone at (703) 358-2503. Individuals who are hearing or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 for TTY assistance.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In accordance with the PRA and its implementing regulations at 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1), all information collections require approval under the PRA.

As part of our continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burdens, we invite the public and other Federal agencies to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format.

We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following:

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

(2) The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) How might the agency minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of response.

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 ICR. 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.

Abstract: Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) outlines the process by which we can list a species as a threatened species or an endangered species. When we consider whether to list a species, the ESA requires us to take into account the efforts made by any State or any political subdivision of a State to protect such species. We also take into account the efforts 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 described in such documents could prevent some species from becoming so imperiled that they meet the definition of a threatened species or an endangered species under the ESA.

The Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions (PECE) (68 FR 15100, March 28, 2003) encourages the development of conservation agreements or plans and provides the standard that an individual conservation effort must meet in order for us to consider whether it is likely to make a difference in a species' status. 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. To assist us in evaluating whether a formalized conservation effort meets the standard under PECE, we collect information such as conservation plans, monitoring results, and progress reports. The development of any agreement or plan is voluntary. The PECE is posted on our Candidate Conservation website at http://www.fws.gov/​endangered/​esa-library/​pdf/​PECE-final.pdf.

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

OMB Control Number: 1018-0119.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved collection.

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

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

Frequency of Collection: On occasion.

Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: None.Start Printed Page 27462

ActivityEstimated number of annual respondentsAverage number of submissions eachEstimated number of annual responsesCompletion time per response (hours)Estimated annual burden hours
PECE—Reporting
Individuals111120120
Private Sector111120120
Government515120600
PECE—Monitoring
Individuals111600600
Private Sector111600600
Government5156003,000
PECE—Development of Conservation Plan/Agreement (One-time Burden)
Individuals1112,0002,000
Private Sector1112,0002,000
Government2122,0004,000
TOTALS:181813,040

An agency 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.

The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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Dated: May 17, 2021.

Madonna Baucum,

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

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[FR Doc. 2021-10609 Filed 5-19-21; 8:45 am]

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