[Federal Register: April 30, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 84)]
[Page 23802-23803]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Information Collection To Be Submitted to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval Under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act; Marking, Tagging, and Reporting Program for Polar Bear, Pacific 
Walrus, and Sea Otter

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will submit to OMB the 
collection of information described below for approval and renewal 
under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Copies of 
specific information collection requirements, related forms, and 
explanatory material may be obtained by contacting our Information 
Collection Officer at the address or phone number listed below.

DATES: You must submit comments on or before June 29, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Your comments and suggestions on specific requirements 
should be sent to our Information Collection Clearance Officer, Anissa 
Craghead, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Dr., MS 222, 
Arlington, VA 22203, telephone 703/358-2445, fax 703/358-2269.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colleen Corrigan, Division of Habitat 
and Resource Conservation, Branch of Resource Management Support, 
Arlington, Virginia, at 703/358-2161, or Dean Cramer, Office of Marine 
Mammals Management, Anchorage, Alaska, at 907/786-3806.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OMB regulations at 5 CFR part 1320, which 
implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3501 et seq.), require that interested members of the public and 
affected agencies be given an opportunity to comment on information 
collection and record keeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). We are 
submitting a request to OMB to renew its approval of a collection of 
information concerning marking, tagging, and reporting requirements for 
the take of polar bear, northern sea otter, and pacific walrus. We are 
requesting a three-year term of approval for this information 
collection activity. Federal agencies 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 OMB 
control number for this collection of information is 1018-0066.
    In October 1988, pursuant to provisions of section 109(i) of the 
Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 
1361-1407), we implemented formal Marking, Tagging, and Reporting 
Regulations in 50 CFR 18.23(f) for Alaskan Natives harvesting polar 
bear (Ursus maritimus), northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni), 
and Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in Alaska. Under 
section 101(b) of the MMPA, Alaskan Natives residing in Alaska and 
dwelling on the coast of the North Pacific or Arctic Oceans may harvest 
these species for subsistence or handicraft purposes. Section 109(i) of 
the MMPA authorizes us, acting on behalf of the Secretary of the 
Interior, to prescribe marking, tagging, and reporting regulations 
applicable to this Alaskan Native subsistence and handicraft take.
    On June 28, 1988, under authority of section 109(i) of the MMPA, we 
published a final rule in the Federal Register (53 FR 24277) that added 
paragraph (f) to our marine mammal regulations at 50 CFR 18.23. These 
regulations have enabled us to gather data on the Alaskan Native 
subsistence and handicraft harvest, and on the biology of polar bear, 
northern sea otter, and Pacific walrus in Alaska in order to determine 
what effect such take may be having on these populations. The 
regulations have also provided us with a means of monitoring the 
disposition of the harvest to ensure that any commercial use of 
products created from these species meets the criteria set forth in 
section 101(b) of the MMPA.
    The information that we propose to continue to collect from Alaskan 
Natives beyond the currently authorized period that expires on October 
31, 2004 (under OMB Clearance Number 1018-0066), will be used to 
improve our decision-making ability upon which we can base future 
management decisions. Further, it will provide us with the ability to 
make inferences about the condition and general health of these 
populations. Without authority to collect this harvest information, our 
ability to measure the take of polar bear, sea otter and walrus is 
inadequate. We believe that mandatory marking, tagging and reporting is 
essential for us, in concert with Alaskan Natives, to be able to 
improve the quality and quantity of harvest and biological data 
necessary to base future management decisions and allows us to make 
rational, knowledgeable decisions regarding the Alaskan Native harvest.
    We estimate that the total annual burden associated with this 
request will be 639 hours for each year of the 3-year period of OMB 
authorization. We calculated this estimated burden based on previous 
experience suggesting that Alaskan Natives annually will take a 
combined total of approximately 2,556 polar bears, northern sea otter, 
and Pacific walrus for subsistence and handicraft purposes, and that 15 
minutes will be needed to provide the required information for each 
animal taken.
    Title: Marine Mammal Marking, Tagging, and Reporting Certificates, 
50 CFR 18.23 (f).
    OMB Control Number: 1018-0066.
    Bureau form numbers: R7-50, R7-51, and R7-52.
    Frequency of collection: Occasional.
    Description of respondents: Individuals and households.
    Annual number of respondents: Approximately 2,556.
    Estimated completion time: 15 minutes per response.
    Total annual burden hours: 639 hours.
    Approval expires: October 31, 2004.
    Your comments are invited on: (1) Whether this collection of 
information is necessary for us to properly perform our functions, 
including whether this information will have practical utility; (2) the 
accuracy of our estimate of burden, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions we use; (3) ways to enhance the quality, 
utility, and clarity of the information we are proposing to collect; 
and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
those who are to

[[Page 23803]]

respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology.

    Dated: April 26, 2004.
Anissa Craghead,
Information Collection Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 04-9785 Filed 4-29-04; 8:45 am]