[Federal Register: September 6, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 173)]
[Page 46649-46650]
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 

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to request information collection authority.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have submitted the 
collection of information described below to OMB for approval under the 
provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Copies of specific 
information collection requirements, related forms, and explanatory 
materials 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 October 9, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments and suggestions on specific requirements 
to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Regulatory Affairs, 
Attention: Department of the Interior Desk Officer, 725 17th Street 
NW., Washington, DC 20503, and to Rebecca Mullin, Information 
Collection Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 222-ARLSQ, 4401 
N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey L. Horwath, Division of Fish 
and Wildlife Management Assistance and Habitat Restoration, Arlington, 
Virginia, at 703/358-1718, or Well Stephensen, Office of Marine Mammals 
Management, Anchorage, Alaska, at 907/786-3815.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We have submitted the following information 
collection clearance requirements to the OMB for review and approval 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. The OMB 
has up to 60 days to approve or disapprove information collection, but 
they may respond after 30 days. Therefore, for your comments and 
suggestions to receive maximum consideration, the OMB should receive 
your input October 9, 2001.
    Currently, we have approval from the OMB to collect information 
under OMB control number 1018-0066. This approval expires on October 
31, 2001. 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.
    On March 6, 2001, we published in the Federal Register (66 FR 
13564) a 60-day notice of our intention to request information 
collection authority from the OMB; our notice solicited public 
comments. We received no comments in response to that notice.
    As with our 60-day notice, this 30-day notice invites your comments 
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 for us to minimize the burden of 
the collection of information on people who are to respond, including 
through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or 
other technological

[[Page 46650]]

collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
    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 at 50 CFR 18.23(f) for Alaska Natives harvesting polar 
bear, northern sea otter, and Pacific walrus in Alaska. Under Section 
101(b) of the MMPA, Alaska 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 authorized us, acting on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior, 
to prescribe marking, tagging, and reporting regulations applicable to 
this Native subsistence and handicraft take.
    Our regulations have enabled us to gether data on the Native 
subsistence and handicraft harvest, and on the biology of polar bear, 
sea otter, and Pacific walrus in Alaska in order to determine what 
effect such take is 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 
    The information that we propose to continue to collect from Alaska 
Natives beyond the currently authorized period that expires on October 
31, 2001 (under OMB Clearance Number 1018-0066), will be used to 
improve our decision-making ability by substantially expanding the 
quality and quantity of harvest and biological data upon which we can 
base future management decisions. It will provide us with the ability 
to make inferences about the condition and general health of these 
populations, and to consider the importance and impacts to these 
populations resulting from the Native harvest and habitat degradation. 
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 Alaska Natives, to be able to improve the quality 
and quantity of harvest and biological data necessary to base future 
management decisions. It allows us to make rational, knowledgeable 
decisions regarding the Native harvest and habitat degradation within 
the range of these species.
    We estimate that the annual burden associated with this request 
will be 674 hours for each year of the 3-year period of OMB 
authorization. We calculated this estimated burden based on previous 
experience suggesting that Alaska Natives annually will take about 
2,695 polar bears, 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 Program.
    Bureau form numbers: R7-51, and R7-52.
    Frequency of collection: Occasional.
    Description of respondents: Individuals and households.
    Number of respondents: Approximately 2,695 per year.
    Estimated completion time: 15 minutes per response.
    Annual burden hours: 674 hours.
    Current OMB Clearance Number: 1018-0066.
    Approval expires: October 31, 2001.

    Dated: July 18, 2001.
Rebecca Mullin,
Information Collection Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 01-22345 Filed 9-5-01; 8:45 am]