[Federal Register: July 31, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 147)]
[Page 44963-44965]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Information Collection Submitted to the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for Renewal Under the Paperwork Reduction Act; Special Use 
Permit Applications for National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has submitted a request to 
OMB to renew approval, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995, of the collection of information for special use permit 
applications on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. An estimate of the 
information collection requirement is included with this notice.

DATES: You must submit comments on or before September 2, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments on this information collection renewal 
to the Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior at OMB-OIRA via 
facsimile or e-mail using the following fax number or e-mail address: 
(202) 395-5806 (fax); ruth_solomon@omb.eop.gov (e-mail). Please 
provide a copy of your comments to the Fish and Wildlife Service's 
Information Collection Clearance Officer, 4401 N. Fairfax Dr., MS 222 
ARLSQ, Arlington, VA 22207; (703) 358-2269 (fax); or anissa_
craghead@fws.gov (e-mail).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request a copy of the information 
collection request, explanatory information, or related forms, contact 
Anissa Craghead at (703) 358-2445; or electronically to anissa_
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
regulations at 5 CFR 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 submitted the following request to OMB to renew 
approval of the collection of information needed for special use permit 
applications for national wildlife refuges in Alaska. OMB has up to 60 
days to approve or disapprove this information collection but may 
respond after 30 days. To ensure maximum consideration, send your 
comments to OMB by the date listed in the DATES section near the 
beginning of this notice. 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.
    On February 14, 2003, we published a notice in the Federal Register 
(68 FR 7578) inviting the public to comment on this information 
collection. We did not receive any comments.
    The National Wildlife Refuge Administration Act of 1966, as amended 
(16 U.S.C. 668dd-ee) (Administration Act) authorizes us to permit uses, 
including commercial visitor services, on national wildlife refuges 
only when we find the activity to be compatible with the purposes for 
which the refuge was established. The National Wildlife Refuge System 
Improvement Act of 1997 (Pub. L. 105-57) (Improvement Act) amended the 
Administration Act and established ``organic legislation'' for the 
National Wildlife Refuge System with a unifying mission. It also 
modified the process for determining compatible uses on refuges and 
required that we determine the use of refuge lands to be compatible 
with the mission of the Refuge System, as well as the refuge purposes. 
We published proposed regulations for determining if a use is 
compatible in the Federal Register on September 9, 1999 (64 FR 49056), 
along with a draft compatibility policy.
    The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) (16 
U.S.C. 3101 et seq.) was signed into law on December 2, 1980. Its broad 
purpose is to provide for the disposition and use of a variety of 
federally owned lands in Alaska. Section 303 of ANILCA established the 
purposes for each Alaska refuge, and Section 304 requires that all uses 
we authorize on Alaska refuges first be found to be compatible with the 
refuge purposes. You can find regulations for administering special use 
permits on Alaska refuges in 50 CFR part 36.41.
    Section 810 of ANILCA (16 U.S.C. 3120) requires that we evaluate 
the effect of any proposed use of refuge lands on subsistence uses and 
needs in determining whether to permit such uses. It restricts us from 
permitting a use which would significantly restrict

[[Page 44964]]

subsistence uses unless we give notice to the appropriate State agency 
and local committees and regional councils, hold a hearing in the 
vicinity of the area involved, and determine that such a restriction of 
subsistence uses is necessary, is consistent with sound management 
principles, is for the utilization of public lands, will involve the 
minimum amount of public lands necessary, and will include reasonable 
steps to minimize adverse impacts.
    Sections 1303 and 1315 of ANILCA (16 U.S.C. 3193; 3203-3204) allow 
the Secretary of Interior to permit construction, use, and occupancy of 
cabins in national wildlife refuges in Alaska under certain conditions. 
Section 1303(b)(3) of ANILCA states that we will issue no special use 
permits for cabins unless the permit applicant provides certain items 
of information. You can find regulations issued to implement these 
provisions in 50 CFR part 36.33.
    Section 1307 of ANILCA (16 U.S.C. 3197) contains two provisions 
concerning persons and entities to whom we are to give special rights 
and preferences with respect to providing ``visitor services'' on 
refuges in Alaska. Section 1307 defines ``visitor services,'' as ``* * 
* any service made available for a fee or charge to persons who visit a 
conservation system unit, including such services as providing food, 
accommodations, transportation, tours and guides, excepting the guiding 
of sport hunting and fishing.'' You may find regulations issued to 
implement these activities in 50 CFR part 36.37.
    We will provide the permit applications as requested by interested 
Alaska citizens. We will use information provided on the required 
written forms and/or verbal applications to determine if the proposed 
activity is compatible with refuge purposes and to ensure that the 
applicant is eligible for a permit, or in the case of competitively 
awarded permits, we will use the information to determine the most 
qualified applicant to receive benefits of a refuge permit. In the case 
of permits awarded under section 1307 of ANILCA, we will use the 
information to determine whether the applicant is: A member of a Native 
Corporation; a local resident; and/or was engaged in adequately 
providing visitors services on or before January 1, 1979; or is 
eligible to receive Cook Inlet Region rights.
    We make provision in our general refuge regulations for public 
entry for specialized purposes, including economic activities such as 
the operation of guiding and other visitor services on refuges by 
concessionaires or cooperators under appropriate contracts or legal 
agreements (found in 50 CFR part 25.61) or special use permits (found 
in 50 CFR parts 36.37, 36.41, 26.22(b) and 26.25). These rules provide 
the authorities and procedures for selecting permittees on Alaska 
refuges, the vast majority of which are providers of services and 
facilities to the public. We will issue permits for a specific period 
as determined by the type and location of the use or visitor service 
    We have made several minor revisions to the special use permit 
application form we use for Alaska refuges (USFWS Form 3-2001), and we 
explain the changes as follows:
    1. On the page one, item 2, we added the phrase, ``* * * and are 
not inconsistent with public safety'' to the end of the first sentence 
to be consistent with Service regulations and policy requirements that 
we consider public safety, as well as the other factors listed, before 
authorizing uses on national wildlife refuges.
    2. On page one, item 3, we corrected the last sentence to state 
that permit applicants must provide their social security number or 
taxpayer identification number for activities subject to collection of 
fees by the Service, and we provided the legal citation for this 
    3. On page one, item 6, we modified the first sentence to reflect 
our revised estimates of the public reporting burden.
    4. On page 2, we modified the application to provide the applicant 
the option to provide his/her taxpayer identification number or social 
security number.
    5. On page 2, we requested ``valid dates'' for the alternate phone 
    6. On page 3, we replaced a confusing table with a list of Alaska 
refuges and types of uses in order to simplify the application. On the 
revised application, the applicant only needs to identify the refuge 
and the proposed activities applicable to his/her application by 
marking with an ``X'' on the lists provided on the application form. By 
eliminating the table, we also provided more space on the application 
to provide a description and location of the proposed activity or use.
    7. We rearranged the permit information required on page 4 into a 
more logical sequence and format in order to simplify the application. 
We also added a statement of reference to an enclosed Insurance 
Information Sheet for minimum insurance requirements.
    8. On page 5, item 14, we added language to clarify that we need 
copies of only those State or Federal licenses, certifications, and 
registrations that are required for the activity the applicant proposes 
to conduct on the refuge.
    In addition to the revisions identified above, we made a few minor 
editorial changes to the application form for clarification and plain 
language requirements. The editorial changes do not affect the 
information requirements of the application.
    We revised the estimated number of respondents reported in the 
Federal Register notice published on February 14, 2003 (68 FR 7578), 
but we did not revise our estimated number of responses or our total 
annual burden estimate. We previously estimated the annual number of 
respondents (applicants) to be the same as the number of responses 
(applications). We reduced the estimated number of applicants because 
many individuals submit separate applications for different types of 
activities and/or for difference refuges.
    Title: Special Use Permit Applications for National Wildlife 
Refuges in Alaska.
    OMB Control Number: 1018-0014.
    Service Form Number: 3-2001.
    Frequency of collection: On occasion.
    Description of the respondents: Individuals and households; 
business and other for-profit institutions; farms; and State, local or 
Tribal governments.
    Total Annual Number of respondents (applicants): 200.
    Total Annual Number of responses (applications): 350 (180 
competitive permit applications and 170 non-competitive permit 
    Information Collection Burden Estimate:

                                                                  Annual number  Completion time   Annual burden
                   Type of permit application                     of responses        (hours)         (hours)
Competitively issued permit....................................             180             30             5,400
Non-competitively issued permit................................             170              1.5             255
Combined Total.................................................             350  ...............           5,655

[[Page 44965]]

    We invite comments concerning this renewal on: (1) Whether the 
collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of 
our functions, including whether the information will have practical 
utility; (2) The accuracy of our 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. 
This information collection is part of a system of record covered by 
the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552(a)).

    Dated: July 28, 2003.
Anissa Craghead,
Information Collection Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 03-19491 Filed 7-30-03; 8:45 am]