[Federal Register: February 11, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 28)]
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) 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
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]
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