[Federal Register: March 31, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 61)]
[Page 16512-16513]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Information Collection Renewal Submitted to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval Under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act; OMB Control Number 1018-0103, Conservation Order for Control of 
Mid-Continent Light Geese, 50 CFR 21.60

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The number of mid-continent light geese (MCLG) has increased 
exponentially over the past several decades in prairie Canada and the 
midwestern United States, primarily due to (1) the expansion of 
agriculture and concurrent increase in food supply, (2) a decline in 
adult mortality, and (3) an increase in winter survival. These rapidly 
expanding populations have placed unprecedented pressure on arctic and 
subarctic breeding habitats. Prior to implementation of the 
conservation order, we (Fish and Wildlife Service) attempted to curb 
the growth rate of MCLG populations by liberalizing bag limits and 
increasing the light goose hunting season to 107 days, the maximum 
allowed by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, as amended. Although these 
changes resulted in increased harvest, the harvest rate (percent of 
population harvested) continued to decline as populations grew 
exponentially. Clearly, traditional wildlife management strategies were 
not working. Therefore, we created the conservation order, which 
authorizes States and tribes to implement population control measures 
without having to obtain a permit, thus significantly reducing their 
administrative burden. The States and tribes may conduct a population 
reduction program under the authority of the conservation order within 
the conditions provided by the Service. We have submitted the 
collection of information pertaining to the conservation order 
(described below) to OMB for approval under the provisions of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

DATES: You must submit comments on or before May 2, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments and suggestions on this information 
collection renewal to the Desk Officer for the Department of the 
Interior at OMB-OIRA at (202) 395-6566 (fax) or 
OIRA_DOCKET@OMB.eop.gov (e-mail). Please provide a copy of your comments to 

Krista Bibb, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, MS 222-ARLSQ, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 
(mail); (703) 358-2269 (fax); or Krista_Bibb@fws.gov (e-mail).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request a copy of the information 
collection request or explanatory information, contact Krista Bibb at the 
above addresses or by phone at (703) 358-2482.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We have submitted a request to OMB to renew 
approval of information collection requirements for the Conservation 
Order for Control of Mid-Continent Light Geese. Currently, we have 
approval from OMB to collect information under OMB control number 1018-
0103. This approval expires on March 31, 2005. We may not conduct or 
sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of 
information unless we display a currently valid OMB control number. OMB 
regulations at 5 CFR 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 have an opportunity to 
comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 
CFR 1320.8(d)). Following our submittal, OMB has up to 60 days to 
approve or disapprove our information collection request; however, OMB 
may make its decision as early as 30 days after our submittal. 
Therefore, to ensure that your comments receive consideration, send 
your comments and suggestions to OMB by the date listed in the DATES 
    On November 15, 2004, we published in the Federal Register (69 FR 
65627) a 60-day notice of our intent to request renewal of information 
collection authority from OMB. In that notice, we solicited public 
comments for 60 days, ending on January 14, 2005. We did not receive 
any comments.
    Lesser snow and Ross' geese are referred to as ``light'' geese 
because of their light coloration as opposed to ``dark'' geese such as 
white-fronted or Canada Geese. The number of light geese in the mid-
continent region has nearly quadrupled during the past several decades. 
Feeding activity of light geese seriously injures their habitat and 
habitat important to other migratory birds, which poses a serious 
threat to

[[Page 16513]]

the short- and long-term health and status of some migratory bird 
populations. We believe that the number of light geese in the mid-
continent region has exceeded long-term sustainable levels for their 
arctic and subarctic breeding habitats and the populations must be 
reduced. Authority for managing overabundant mid-continent light geese 
is contained in 50 CFR 21.
    For management purposes, light geese found in the mid-continent 
region are separated into two different populations. Lesser snow and 
Ross' geese that primarily migrate through North Dakota, South Dakota, 
Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri, and winter in Arkansas, 
Louisiana, Mississippi, and eastern, central, and southern Texas and 
other Gulf States are referred to as the mid-continent population of 
light geese. Lesser snow and Ross' geese that primarily migrate through 
Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado and winter in New Mexico, northwestern 
Texas, and Chihuahua, Mexico are referred to as the western central 
flyway population of light geese.
    States and tribes that participate in the light geese conservation 
order must inform and brief all participants on the requirements in 50 
CFR 21.60 and conservation order conditions that apply to 
implementation of light geese control measures. Participating States/
tribes must collect information on the number of birds taken during 
control efforts, the methods by which they are taken, and the dates on 
which they are taken. We use this information to administer the 
conservation order and, particularly, to monitor the effectiveness of 
control strategies and to protect migratory birds. Each participating 
State must submit an annual report by August 30 of each year 
summarizing the activities it conducted. We contacted some 
participating States to estimate burden hours for this information 
    Title of Collection: Conservation Order for Control of Mid-
Continent Light Geese, 50 CFR 21.60.
    OMB Control Number: 1018-0103.
    Form Number: None.
    Frequency of Collection: Annually.
    Description of Respondents: States and tribes participating in the 
conservation order.
    Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,776.
    Total Annual Responses: 24.
    We invite comments concerning this submission on (1) whether or not 
the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance 
of our migratory bird management functions, including whether or not 
the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of our 
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. The information collections in this program 
are part of a system of records covered by the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 
552 (a)).

    Dated: March 2, 2005.
Krista Bibb,
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 05-6380 Filed 3-30-05; 8:45 am]