[Federal Register: February 22, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 35)]
[Page 8004-8005]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Proposed Information Collection; National Wildlife Refuge System 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY:  We (Fish and Wildlife Service) will ask the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collection 
described below. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and 
as part of our continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent 
burden, we invite the general public and other Federal agencies to take 
this opportunity to comment on this information collection.

DATES: You must submit comments on or before April 23, 2007.

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information 
about this ICR, contact Hope Grey by mail, fax, or e-mail (see 
ADDRESSES) or by telephone at (703) 358-2482.

    I. Abstract
    We have contracted with Management Systems International to perform 
an independent evaluation of the National Wildlife Refuge System 
(NWRS). Although the NWRS has existed for more than 100 years, it has 
never undergone an independent evaluation of its overall effectiveness 
in achieving its conservation mission. We are now seeking such an 
evaluation to identify program strengths and weaknesses, as well as 
gaps in performance information. Such evaluations are an important 
element of the OMB Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) assessments, 
and this evaluation will satisfy the PART requirements. The evaluation 
includes two data collection components involving the public:
    (1) An online survey of partners (e.g., volunteer groups, local and 
national conservation organizations, hunting and fishing groups, and 
other civic organizations).
    (2) Individual and small group interviews of State fish and game 
officials and partners.
    The perspective and observations of NWRS partners and State fish 
and game officials are critical to fully understand the issues and 
questions that the independent evaluation will explore. During 2007, we 
plan to interview 40 State fish and wildlife officials and 110 
individuals from partner organizations. The small number of individuals 
interviewed and the nature of the interview process do not allow for 
generalization of interview findings to

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the larger local partner target population, or for the development of 
broad, evidenced-based conclusions.
    The partners' survey addresses both of these shortcomings. By 
administering the web-based survey to a random sample of 500 partners, 
we will be able to identify important patterns (findings) across the 
population of partners and to develop conclusions to the key questions 
being examined by the evaluation. We plan to conduct the survey for a 
2-week period during the first half of 2007. The partners' survey will 
collect data in three broad categories:
    (1) Basic demographic data at the institutional level, including:
    (a) Size of the partner organization.
     (b) Length/duration of the partnership with the refuge.
    (c) Type of organization (e.g., wildlife conservation, educational, 
    (2) Quality and characteristics of the relationship and interaction 
between partner organizations and the NWRS, including:
    (a) Type of activities that the partner group conducts.
    (b) Frequency and nature of interaction between the partner group 
and the refuge.
    (c) Quality of the partnership between the partner organization and 
the refuge.
    (3) Partners' perspective regarding the effectiveness and quality 
of NWRS programs and the progress being made towards the long-term 
goals of the NWRS.
    The survey data will help us identify important patterns and 
characteristics. However, the survey will not, in most cases, provide 
the depth of information necessary to explain the observed patterns. 
Indepth interviews will provide an opportunity to explore in detail the 
main factors that cause or contribute to the patterns observed from the 
    II. Data
    OMB Control Number: None.
    Title: National Wildlife Refuge System Evaluation.
    Service Form Number(s): None.
    Type of Request: New collection.
    Affected Public: Organizations that collaborate with national 
wildlife refuges, including, but not limited to, State fish and 
wildlife agencies, volunteer groups, local and national conservation 
organizations, hunting and fishing groups, and other civic 
    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.
    Frequency of Collection: One time.

                                   Number of annual    Number of annual   Completion time per    Annual burden
            Activity                  respondents          responses            response             hours
Partners' Survey................                 500                 500  20 minutes.........                167
Personal Interviews.............                 150                 150  1 hour.............                150
    Total.......................                 650                 650  ...................                317

    III. Request for Comments
    We invite comments concerning this information collection on:
    (1) whether or not the collection of information is necessary, 
including whether or not the information will have practical utility;
    (2) the accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this 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 
    Comments submitted in response to this notice are a matter of 
public record. We will include and/or summarize each comment in our 
request to OMB to approve this information collection.

    Dated: January 17, 2007
Hope Grey,
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E7-2961 Filed 2-21-07; 8:45 pm]

Billing Code 4310-55-S