[Federal Register: April 23, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 78)]
[Page 19771-19773]
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 
Reduction 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 June 24, 
2002. 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 
(Public Law 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 a renewal of clearance from the OMB to collect information in 
conjunction with the Evaluation Grants Program to be conducted under 
the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) (Public Law 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

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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 continuing the Evaluation 
Grants Program initiative 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 have updated supporting 
evaluation grants guidelines, or instructions, that will provide the 
basis for information collection and this request. We also have 
available for review and comment the original ``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 
have been used to develop the guidelines. The Service is requesting a 
3-year term of renewed 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: 1018-0104. OMB approval was granted September 30, 
    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, the North American Wetlands 
Conservation Council, is exempt from the Federal Advisory Committee 
Act. The purpose of the Council is to recommend wetlands conservation 
project proposals to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC) 
for funding, which it does three times annually.
    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 (Division of Bird Habitat Conservation) 
within the Service.
    Applications from partnerships competing for regular grant program 
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 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 the grants 
evaluation program, 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 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 
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.

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    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 

    Dated: April 3, 2002.
Rebecca Mullin,
Information Collection Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 02-9907 Filed 4-22-02; 8:45 am]