[Federal Register: August 13, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 156)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
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
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
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]
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