[Federal Register: April 30, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 83)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Fish and Wildlife Service
Information Collection Submitted to the Office of Management and
Budget for Renewal Under the Paperwork Reduction Act
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
SUMMARY: We have submitted the information collection requirements to
evaluate visitor responses to the recreation fee demonstration program
in our National Wildlife Refuges to OMB for approval under the
provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
DATES: Submit comments on or before June 1, 1999.
ADDRESSES: Send comments and suggestions on specific requirements
directly to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information
and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Department of the Interior Desk
Officer, 725 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20503; and a copy to our
Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service [MS 222 ARLSQ], 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20240.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doug Staller, Chief, Branch of Visitor
Services, Division of Refuges, (703) 358-2029; or Dr. Jonathan G.
Taylor, Research Social Scientist, U.S.
Geological Survey, Fort Collins, CO (970) 226-9438.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We submitted the following proposed
information collection clearance requirement to OMB for review and
approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Pub. L. 104-13. OMB
has up to 60 days to approve or disapprove information collection. To
ensure maximum consideration, OMB should receive public comments by
June 1, 1999. We 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 previously published a 60-day
notice inviting public comment on this information collection in the
Federal Register on February 16, 1999 (64 FR 7661).
We invite 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 burden, including the validity of
the methodology and assumptions used; (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 those who
are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated,
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or
other forms of information technology.
Congress authorized a recreation fee demonstration program in Pub.
L. 104-134. We were one of the four agencies mandated to implement the
program and evaluate its impact on the visiting public. We designed
this study to scientifically evaluate visitor reactions and impact of
the fees on visitation to the national wildlife refuges (NWR); U.S.
Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Social Economic and
Institutional Analysis Section will conduct the survey under a
cooperative agreement with us.
Although we planned to end this survey on December 15, 1998 with a
joint report issued on March 31, 1999, a November, 1998 GAO report
(GAO-RCED-99-7) recommended that only one year of data collection for
the recreation fee demonstration program was insufficient. GAO
concluded that this collection should continue for further evaluation.
Section 328 of H.R. 4193 (subsequently in FY 1999 Interior
appropriations) authorized extension of the program through FY 2001.
To represent the various types of fee changes as well as fee
demonstration refuges, we selected six distinct fee programs and nine
refuges for inclusion in the study. These include (1) New entrance fees
[Sacramento NWR, CA and Aransas NWR, TX]; (2) increased entrance fees
[Dungeness NWR, WA]; (3) new annual passes [Chincoteague NWR, VA and
Crab Orchard NWR, IL]; (4) new hunt fees [St. Catherine's Creek NWR, MS
and Balcones Canyonlands NWR, TX]; (5) non-hunt use permits [Buenos
Aires NWR, AZ] and (6) non-fee adjustments [Piedmont NWR, GA]. We will
survey random samples of individuals using these refuges. We plan to
use as part of the evaluation process a survey questionnaire to assess
the different fee programs. We will distribute an on-site questionnaire
during the peak season to a random sample of the visiting public and
obtain a minimum of 400 completed surveys for each fee type. We will
obtain additional information from Sacramento NWR to allow for
examination of credit card entrances as well as new entrance fees in
general. We will ask no questions of the participants, simply note
payment by credit card. Overall, this will result in a total sample of
2,400 respondents. The margin of error for each fee type is
<plus-minus>5% at the 95% confidence level. The information gained from
this survey will provide a viability of the fee program among the
visiting public. The lead project officer is Dr. Jonathan G. Taylor,
Research Social Scientist, phone 970/226/9438, 4512 McMurry Avenue,
Fort Collins, CO 80525-3400.
Title: Evaluation of visitor responses to recreation fee
Bureau for number: None.
Frequency of collection: On Occasion.
Description of the respondents: Individuals and Households.
Number of respondents: 2,400.
Estimated completion time: 10 minutes.
Burden estimate: 400 hours.
Dated: April 6, 1999.
Assistant Director for Refuges and Wildlife.
[FR Doc. 99-10804 Filed 4-29-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-55-P