[Federal Register: August 13, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 156)]
[Page 44232-44234]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Information Collections Submitted to the Office of Management and 
Budget for Approval Under the Paperwork Reduction Act

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has sent the 
collection of information described below to the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) for approval under the provisions of the Paperwork 

[[Page 44233]]

Act of 1995. The public may obtain copies of the specific information 
collection requirements, related guidelines and explanatory material by 
contacting the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer at the 
address provided below.

DATES: We will consider all comments received on or before September 
13, 1999. OMB has up to 60 days to approve or disapprove the 
information collection but may respond after 30 days. Therefore, to 
ensure maximum consideration, you must send your comments to OMB by the 
above referenced date.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments and suggestions on the requirement to 
Rebecca A. Mullin, Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 222--ARLSQ, 1849 C Street, NW, 
Washington, DC 20240.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To receive a copy of the information 
collection request, explanatory information and related forms, contact 
Rebecca A. Mullin at 703/358-2287, or electronically to 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The OMB regulations at 5 CFR part 1320, 
which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. 
L. 104-13), require that interested members of the public and affected 
agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and 
recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). We are seeking 
clearance from the OMB to collect information in conjunction with a new 
Evaluation Grants Pilot Program to be conducted under the North 
American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) (Pub. L. 101-233, as 
amended; December 13, 1989). The Act, Section 19 (Assessment of 
Progress in Wetlands Conservation), requires the Secretary of the 
Interior, in cooperation with the North American Wetlands Conservation 
Council, to: ``* * * 1) develop and implement a strategy to assist in 
the implementation of this Act in conserving the full complement of 
North American wetlands systems and species dependent on those systems, 
that incorporates information existing on the date of the issuance of 
the strategy in final form on types of wetlands habitats and species 
dependent on the habitats; and (2) develop and implement procedures to 
monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of wetlands conservation 
projects completed under this Act.'' To meet this requirement, we are 
embarking upon an Evaluation Grants Pilot Program initative that 
requires selected prospective grantees to submit pre-proposals and 
proposals that are geared specifically to project approaches that will 
readily provide data for monitoring and evaluation purposes. Current 
NAWCA projects do not, and cannot, provide the data and information 
necessary to meet the monitoring and evaluation requirements of Section 
19. We are developing a unique set of evaluation grants guidelines, or 
instructions, that will provide the basis for information collection 
and this request. We do have available for review and comment the 
``Strategy For Implementing and Evaluating the Effectiveness of Wetland 
Conservation Projects Completed Under the NAWCA'' (Sect. 19, part 1) 
and the ``NAWCA Evaluation Grant Proposal Development and Review'' 
outline (Sect. 19, part 2). Both of these documents are approved by the 
NAWCA Council and will be used to develop the guidelines. The Service 
is requesting a 3-year term of approval for this information collection 
activity. 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 Service previously published a 60-day notice on the information 
collections associated with this evaluation grants program (64 FR 6908) 
on Thursday, February 11, 1999. The comment period expired April 12, 
1999. The Service, in this notice, is requesting comment for the 30-day 
period following its date of publication in the Federal Register. No 
comments were provided to the Service Information Collection Officer as 
a result of the February 11 notice.
    We invite your comments on: (1) Whether the collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the agency, including whether the information will have practical 
utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
collection of information; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and 
clarity of the information to be collected; and, (4) ways to minimize 
the burden of the collection of information on respondents.
    Title: Information Collection In Support of Grant Programs 
Authorized by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act of 1989 
    Approval Number: 1018-0104. OMB emergency approval granted June 4, 
    Service Form Number(s): N/A.
    Description and Use: The North American Waterfowl Management Plan 
(NAWMP), first signed in 1986, is a tripartite agreement among Canada, 
Mexico and the United States to enhance, restore and otherwise protect 
continental wetlands to benefit waterfowl and other wetland associated 
wildlife through partnerships between and among the private and public 
sectors. Because the 1986 NAWMP did not carry with it a mechanism to 
provide for broadly-based and sustained financial support for wetland 
conservation activities, Congress passed and the President signed into 
law the NAWCA to partially fill that funding need. The purpose of NAWCA 
is to use partnerships to promote long-term conservation of North 
American wetland ecosystems and the waterfowl and other migratory 
birds, fish and wildlife that depend upon such habitat. Principal 
conservation actions supported by NAWCA are acquisition, enhancement 
and restoration of wetlands and wetlands-associated habitat.
    As well as providing for a continuing and stable funding base, 
NAWCA establishes an administrative body made up of a State 
representative from each of the four Flyways, three representatives 
from wetlands conservation organizations, the Secretary of the Board of 
the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Director of the 
Service. This administrative body is chartered, under the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act, by the U.S. Department of the Interior as the 
North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Council). As such, the 
purpose of the Council is to periodically recommend wetlands 
conservation project proposals to the Migratory Bird Conservation 
Commission (MBCC) for funding.
    Subsection (c) of Section 5 (Council Procedures) provides that the 
``* * * Council shall establish practices and procedures for the 
carrying out of its functions under subsections (a) and (b) of this 
section * * *'' which are consideration of projects and recommendations 
to the MBCC, respectively. The means by which the Council decides which 
project proposals are important to recommend to the MBCC is through 
grants programs that are coordinated through the Council Coordinator's 
office (NAWWO) within the Service.
    Applications from partnerships competing for grant funds must 
describe in substantial detail project locations and other 
characteristics that will meet standards established by the Council and 
requirements of NAWCA. The Evaluation Grants Pilot Program will differ 
in that it will be a two-stage process wherein successful applicants 
will have submitted both a pre-proposal and a proposal. Pre-proposals 
are intended to allow screening such that

[[Page 44234]]

only the projects that have the greatest potential for contributing to 
the evaluation program will be continued into the proposal stage. The 
Council Coordinator's office currently publishes and distributes 
Standard and Small Grants instructional booklets that assist applicants 
in formulating project proposals for Council consideration. The 
guidelines for this new grants evaluation initiative, to be contained 
in the request for proposal, is an additional information collection 
instrument. The guidelines and instructions and other instruments, 
e.g., Federal Register notices on request for proposals, are the basis 
for this information collection request for OMB clearance. Information 
collected under this program is used to respond to such needs as: 
audits, program planning and management, program evaluation, Government 
Performance and Results Act reporting, Standard Form 424 (Application 
For Federal Assistance), grant agreements, budget reports and 
justifications, public and private requests for information, data 
provided to other programs for databases on similar programs, 
Congressional inquiries and reports required by NAWCA, etc. In the case 
of the additional Evaluation Grants Pilot Program guidelines, the 
request responds also to the statutory requirements of the Act.
    In summary, information collection under this program is required 
to obtain a benefit, i.e., a cash reimbursable grant that will be given 
competitively to selected applicants based on eligibility and the 
relative value of their projects to contribute to meaningful technical 
evaluation of the success of the grants programs. The information 
collection is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act requirements for 
such activity, which includes soliciting comments from the general 
public regarding the nature and burden imposed by the collection.
    Frequency of Collection: Occasional. We intend the Evaluation Grant 
Pilot Program to have one project proposal submissions window per year.
    Description of Respondents: Households and/or individuals; business 
and/or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions; farms; Federal 
Government; and State, local and/or Tribal governments.
    Estimated Completion Time: We estimate the reporting burden, or 
time involved in writing project submissions, to be 8 hours for a pre-
proposal and 40 hours for a proposal.
    Number of Respondents: We estimate that 30 pre-proposals and 10 
proposals will be submitted each year for the grants evaluation pilot 

    Dated: May 25, 1999.
Jamie Rappaport Clark,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 99-20962 Filed 8-12-99; 8:45 am]