[Federal Register: September 19, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 182)]
[Page 59071-59072]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Information Collections Submitted to the Office of Management and 
Budget for Approval Under the Paperwork Reduction Act

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has submitted the 
material described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for approval under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995. Copies of the specific information requirements, related forms 
and explanatory material may be obtained by contacting the Service 
Information Collection Clearance Officer at the address provided below.

DATES: We will consider all comments received on or before October 21, 
2002. The 60-day notice was published in the Federal Register on April 
23, 2002 (67 FR 19771). No comments were received during the 60-day 

ADDRESSES: Send your comments and/or suggestions on the requirement 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, with a copy to Anissa 
Craghead, Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, MS 222--ARLSQ, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 
20240; telephone number 703.358.2445.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To receive a copy of the information 
collection request, explanatory information and related forms, contact 
Anissa Craghead at 703.358.2445, or electronically to anissa--

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The OMB regulations at 5 CFR part 1320, 
which implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. 
L. 104-13), 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 are seeking a 
renewal of clearance from the OMB to collect information in conjunction 
with the Evaluation Grants Program to be conducted under the North 
American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) (Pub. L. 101-233, as 
amended; December 13, 1989). The assigned OMB information collection 
control number is 1018-0104 and approval will expire on September 30, 
    Section 19 of NAWCA (Assessment of Progress in Wetlands 
Conservation), requires the Secretary of the Interior, in cooperation 
with the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, to: ``* * * (1) 
develop and implement a strategy to assist in the implementation of 
this Act in conserving the full complement of North American wetlands 
systems and species dependent on those systems, that incorporates 
information existing on the date of the issuance of the strategy in 
final form on types of wetlands habitats and species dependent on the 
habitats; and (2) develop and implement procedures to monitor and 
evaluate the effectiveness of wetlands conservation projects completed 
under this Act.'' To meet this requirement, we are continuing the 
Evaluation Grants Program initiative that requires selected prospective 
grantees to submit pre-proposals and proposals that are geared 
specifically to project approaches that will readily provide data for 
monitoring and evaluation purposes. Current NAWCA projects do not, and 
cannot, provide the data and information necessary to meet the 
monitoring and evaluation requirements of Section 19. We have 
available, upon request, updated supporting evaluation grants 
guidelines, or instructions, that will provide the basis for 
information collection and this request. We also have available for 
review and comment the original ``Strategy For Implementing and 
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Wetland Conservation Projects Completed 
Under the NAWCA'' (Sect. 19, part (1)) and the ``NAWCA Evaluation Grant 
Proposal Development and Review'' outline (Sect. 19, part (2)). Both of 
these documents are approved by the NAWCA Council and have been used to 
develop the guidelines. The Service is requesting a 3-year term of re-
approval for this information collection activity. An agency 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 invite your 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 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.
    Title: Information Collection In Support of Grant Programs 
Authorized by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act of 1989 
    Approval Number: 1018-0104. Initial OMB approval was granted 
September 30, 1999.
    Service Form Number(s): N/A.
    Description and Use: 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 wetland 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 to partially fill that funding need. The purpose of NAWCA 
is to use partnerships to promote 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.

[[Page 59072]]

    As well as providing for a continuing and stable funding base, 
NAWCA establishes an administrative body, i.e., 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 North American Wetlands Conservation 
Council is exempt from the requirements of Public Law 92-463 (Federal 
Advisory Committee Act). The purpose of the Council is to recommend 
wetlands conservation project proposals to the Migratory Bird 
Conservation Commission (MBCC) for funding.
    Subsection (c) of Section 5 (Council Procedures) provides that the 
``* * * Council shall establish practices and procedures for the 
carrying out of its functions under subsections (a) and (b) of this 
section * * *,'' which are consideration of projects and 
recommendations to the MBCC, respectively. The means by which the 
Council decides which project proposals are important to recommend to 
the MBCC is through grants programs that are coordinated through the 
Council Coordinator's office (Division of Bird Habitat Conservation) 
within the Service.
    Applications from partnerships competing for regular grant program 
funds must describe in substantial detail project locations and other 
characteristics that will meet standards established by the Council and 
requirements of NAWCA. The Evaluation Grants Program differs in that it 
provides a two-stage process wherein successful applicants will have 
submitted both a pre-proposal and a proposal. Pre-proposals are 
intended to allow screening such that only the projects that have the 
greatest potential for contributing to the evaluation program will be 
continued into the proposal stage. The Council Coordinator's office 
currently publishes and distributes Standard and Small Grants 
instructional booklets that assist applicants in formulating project 
proposals for Council consideration. The guidelines for the grants 
evaluation program, to be contained in the request for proposal, is an 
additional information collection instrument. The guidelines and 
instructions and other instruments, e.g., Federal Register notices on 
request for proposals, are the basis for this information collection 
request for OMB clearance. Information collected under this program is 
used 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, etc. In the case of the additional Evaluation Grants Program 
guidelines, the request responds also to the statutory requirements of 
the Act.
    In summary, information collection under this program is required 
to obtain a benefit, i.e., a cash reimbursable grant that will be given 
competitively to selected applicants based on eligibility and the 
relative value of their projects to contribute to meaningful technical 
evaluation of the success of the grants programs. The information 
collection is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act requirements for 
such activity, which includes soliciting comments from the general 
public regarding the nature and burden imposed by the collection.
    Frequency of Collection: Occasional. We intend the Evaluation Grant 
Program to have one project proposal submissions window per year.
    Description of Respondents: Households and/or individuals; business 
and/or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions; farms; Federal 
Government; and State, local and/or Tribal governments.
    Estimated Completion Time: We estimate the reporting burden, or 
time involved in writing project submissions, to be 8 hours for a pre-
proposal and 40 hours for a proposal.
    Number of Respondents: We estimate that 30 pre-proposals and 10 
proposals will be submitted each year for the grants evaluation 

    Dated: July 16, 2002.
Marshall P. Jones,
Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 02-23844 Filed 9-18-02; 8:45 am]