[Federal Register: July 26, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 142)]
[Page 40386-40387]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Cancellation of Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife 
Restoration Administrative Project Funding

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Service is canceling funding for Federal Aid in Wildlife 
Restoration and Sport Fish Restoration administrative projects. 
Existing grants for projects approved for funding in Fiscal Year 1999, 
or prior years, will not be affected by this notice.

DATES: This action takes effect July 26, 1999.

ADDRESSES: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chief, Division of Federal 

Division of Federal Aid, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 140 ARLSQ, 
4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia, 22203: (703) 358-2156.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Administrative funds are authorized by the 
Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration and Federal Aid in Sport Fish 
Restoration Acts to pay expenses incurred by the Fish and Wildlife 
Service in administering these programs. We may deduct up to eight 
percent for the Wildlife Restoration program and up to six percent for 
the Sport Fish Restoration program, with remaining funds apportioned to 
State fish and wildlife agencies for fish and wildlife restoration and 
management projects. We have used our discretionary authority to 
disperse some of the funds deducted for administration to support 
important national fish and wildlife projects, within the scope of the 
Acts, that provide collective benefits for a majority of the States.
    In the past, we have published an annual notice in the Federal 
Register announcing a deadline for project proposals, the amount of 
administrative funds available for Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration 
projects, and procedures to be followed for submitting proposals. 
States, local governments, charitable organizations, educational 
institutions, and other authorized groups have applied for grants 
according to those procedures.
    On September 16, 1998, we published alternatives to Federal Aid 
Administrative Grants in the Federal Register. That notice identified 
five alternative procedures for administering those grants. Public 
comments were invited through November 16, 1998. Twenty-two of the 
twenty-five comments received identified Alternative 3 (enhance 
existing program without Federal Register Notice) as the preferred 
alternative. However, subsequent to the analysis of comments, we 
determined that increased costs for administering the Wildlife 
Restoration and Sport Fish Restoration programs precludes further 
funding of administrative grants. The increased costs arise from three 
pressing needs. First, the costs of automating the grants delivery 
system are more than expected--much greater than two years ago when the 
process began. Second, the audits of State systems by the Defense 
Contract Audit Agency are a substantial cost that was not present 
several years ago. Third, the cost of administering the small grants 
programs, created by amendments to the Sport Fish Restoration Act 
(Clean Vessel Act Pumpout Program, the Boating Infrastructure Program, 
and the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Program) 
must be assessed against the Sport Fish Restoration Program. One of the 
actions being taken to balance the administrative expenses budget is to 
cancel the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration 
administrative project funding effective in Fiscal Year 2000. Projects 
approved for funding in Fiscal 1999 will not be affected by this 

[[Page 40387]]

    Dated: July 19, 1999.
John G. Rogers,
Acting, Director.
[FR Doc. 99-19040 Filed 7-23-99; 8:45 am]