[Federal Register: February 11, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 28)]
[Page 6908-6909]
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) plans to submit 
the collection of information described below to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for approval under the provisions of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Copies of the specific information 
collection requirements, related forms and explanatory material may be 
obtained by contacting the Service's Information Collection Clearance 
Officer at the address provided below.

DATES: Consideration will be given to all comments received on or 
before April 12, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Comments and suggestions on the requirement should be sent 
to Ms. Rebecca Mullin, Service Information Collection Clearance 
Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 860-ARLSQ, 1849 C Street, 
NW, Washington, DC 20240.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request 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 
implementation of an Evaluation Grants Pilot Program to be conducted 
under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (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 the 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 the submitting, by prospective grantees, of pre-proposals and 
proposals that are geared specifically to project approaches that will 
readily provide monitoring and evaluation as an integral aspect. 
Current programs do not and cannot provide the data and information 
necessary to meet the monitoring and evaluation requirements of Section 
19. Thus, we are developing a unique evaluation grants instructional 
handbook, which provides the basis for information collection and this 
request, to meet the separate needs of the initiative. At this time, 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 approved by the NAWCA Council and the documents upon 
which the handbook will be based. The Service is requesting a three 
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.
    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: New.
    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 fill that funding need. The purpose of NAWCA, as 
amended, 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 recommend wetlands conservation project 
proposals to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC) for 
    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 

[[Page 6909]]

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.
    Competing for grant funds involves applications from partnerships 
that describe in substantial detail project locations and other 
characteristics, to meet the standards established by the Council and 
the requirements of NAWCA. The Evaluation Grants Pilot Program will 
differ in the respect 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 asked to continue into the proposal stage. 
The Council Coordinator's office currently publishes and distributes 
Standard and Small Grants instructional booklets that assist the 
applicants in formulating project proposals for Council consideration. 
The handbook for this new grants evaluation initiative is an additional 
information collection document. The instructional booklets 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 handbook, 
it responds also to the statutory requirements of the Act.
    In summary, information collection under these programs is required 
to obtain a benefit, i.e., a cash reimbursable grant that is given 
competitively to some applicants based on eligibility and relative 
scale of resource values involved in the projects. 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: February 2, 1999.
Jamie Rappaport Clark,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 99-3419 Filed 2-10-99; 8:45 am]