[Federal Register: May 19, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 96)]
[Page 28950-28951]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Information Collection Renewal To Be Submitted to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval Under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act; OMB Control No. 1018-0100; Grants Programs Authorized by the North 
American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We (Fish and Wildlife Service, Service) plan to submit the 
collection of information described below to OMB for approval under the 
provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. We use the 
information collected to conduct our NAWCA grants programs in the 
manner prescribed by that Act, the Migratory Bird Conservation 
Commission, and the North American Wetlands Conservation Council. We 
also use the information to comply with Federal reporting requirements 
for grants awarded under the program.

DATES: You must submit comments on or before July 18, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments on the information collection to Hope 
Grey, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, MS 222-ARLSQ, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 
(mail); Krista_Bibb@fws.gov (e-mail); or (703) 358-2269 (fax).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request a copy of the information 
collection requirements or explanatory information, contact Krista Bibb, 
Information Collection Clearance Officer, at the above addresses or by 
telephone at (703) 358-2482. For information related to the grant 
program, which is the subject of the information collection approval, 
please visit our Web site at http://birdhabitat.fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The 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 have an opportunity to comment on information 
collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). We will 
ask OMB to renew approval of the collection of information for the 
NAWCA grants programs. The current OMB control number for this 
collection of information is 1018-0100, which expires on August 31, 
2005. We will request a 3-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 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 wetlands-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. The purpose of NAWCA, as amended, is to promote, through 
partnerships, 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.
    In addition to providing for a continuing and stable funding base, 
NAWCA establishes an administrative body, the North American Wetlands 
Conservation Council, 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 Council is 
exempt from the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The 
Council recommends funding of select wetlands conservation project 
proposals to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC). 
Competing for grant funds involves applications from partnerships that 
describe in substantial

[[Page 28951]]

detail project locations, project resources, future benefits, and other 
characteristics, to meet the standards established by the Council and 
the requirements of NAWCA.
    The Council Coordinator's office no longer publishes or distributes 
standard and small grants instructional booklets. Materials that 
describe the program and assist applicants in formulating project 
proposals for Council consideration are available on our Web site at 
http://birdhabitat.fws.gov. Persons who do not have access to the Web 

site may still obtain instructional materials by mail. There has been 
virtually no change in the scope and general nature of these 
instructions since the OMB first approved the information collection in 
1999. Instructions assist applicants in formulating detailed project 
proposals for Council consideration. The instructional materials, 
including any hard or electronic copy and information or other 
instruments and Federal Register notices on requests for proposals, are 
the basis for this information collection request. Notices of funding 
availability are posted annually on the Grants.gov Web site (http://www.grants.gov
) as well as in the Catalog of Federal Domestic 

Assistance. We use information collected under this program 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.
    If the information were not collected, we would have to eliminate 
the program because it would not be possible to determine eligibility 
and the relative worth of the proposed projects. Reducing the frequency 
of collection would only reduce the frequency of windows for grant 
opportunities as the information collected is unique to each project 
proposal. Discontinuation of the program is not a viable option.
    Title: Grants Programs Authorized by the North American Wetlands 
Conservation Act.
    OMB Control Number: 1018-0100.
    Form Number(s): None.
    Frequency of Collection: Occasional. The Small Grants program has 
one project proposal period per year and the Standard Grants program 
has two per year. Annual reports are due 90 days after the anniversary 
date of the grant agreement. Final reports are due 90 days after the 
end of the project period. The project period is 2 years.
    Description of Respondents: Households and/or individuals; 
businesses and/or other for-profits organizations; not-for-profit 
institutions; farms; Federal Government; and State, local and/or tribal 
    Total Annual Burden Hours: 37,600. We estimate 80 hours for each 
Small Grant and 400 hours for each Standard Grant.
    Number of Respondents: Approximately 150. We estimate 70 proposals 
for the Small Grants program and 80 for the Standard Grants program. 
Approximately half of the projects submitted are funded.
    We interviewed five previous and current recipients of NAWCA grants 
with regard to three aspects of the grants programs; i.e., the 
availability of the information requested, the clarity of the 
instructions, and the annual burden hours for preparing applications 
and other materials, such as annual and final reports for both the 
Small Grants and the Standard Grants programs. All respondents advised 
that the information regarding descriptions of both programs and 
application instructions are readily available and the clarity of the 
information/instructions for both programs is good, even considering 
the level of detail and technical information required in the Standard 
Grants program application. Two of the three respondents who have had 
experience with the Small Grants program estimate 7 days (56 hours) to 
prepare an application, while the third respondent estimates 3 to 4 
weeks (120 to 160 hours). Of course, an important factor determining 
this estimate is the complexity of the project. However, none of these 
estimates included the time involved in documentation of progress 
(providing annual and final reports, deeds, letters of fair market 
value, etc.) required during the course of the project. Thus, pending 
possible further refinement from responses in this notice, our original 
estimate of 80 hours is considered reasonable. With regard to Standard 
Grants, three respondents estimated 200 to 250 hours, 320 hours and 400 
hours for the processes leading up to and including writing the 
application. Again, these estimates do not include the writing of 
annual and final reports and providing documentation of activities. It 
is very likely that the additional burden hours would increase in a way 
that would allow the 400-hour figure to continue to be used as a 
reasonable estimate. Some of the respondents offered that any time 
estimates could not possibly take into consideration factors that vary 
from project to project, such as technical competence, repetitive 
practice (applications), complexity of the project, and/or the level of 
grantsmanship that an applicant's grant writer may have invested in the 
application. Thus, it is very difficult to make meaningful estimates of 
annual burden hour estimates for application preparation, especially 
for Standard Grants. Some of the respondents indicated that the 
likelihood of success for funding is independent of the effort at any 
burden hour.
    We invite your comments on: (1) Whether or not the collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the NAWCA grants 
programs, including whether or not in the opinion of the respondent the 
information has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of our estimate of 
the annual hour burden of information requested; (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 collection in this program is part of a 
system of records covered by the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552(a)).

    Dated: May 2, 2005.
Krista Bibb,
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 05-9947 Filed 5-18-05; 8:45 am]