[Federal Register: October 27, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 207)]
[Page 62719-62720]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Information Collection Renewal Submitted to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval Under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act; OMB Control Number 1018-0066; Marine Mammal Marking, Tagging, and 
Reporting Certificates, 50 CFR 18.23(f)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice, request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the 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. To obtain copies of 
specific information collection requirements, related forms, and 
explanatory materials, contact our Information Collection Clearance 
Officer at the address or phone number listed below.

DATES: You must submit comments on or before November 26, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments and suggestions on this information 
collection renewal to the Desk Officer for the Department of the 
Interior at OMB-OIRA at (202) 395-6566 (fax) or OIRA-DOCKET@OMB.eop.gov 
(e-mail). Please provide a copy of your comments to Krista Bibb, 
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 
222-ARLSQ, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 (mail); (703) 
358-2269 (fax); or Krista_Bibb@fws.gov (e-mail).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request a copy of the information 
collection request, related forms, or explanatory information, contact 
Krista Bibb by phone at (703) 358-2482 or by e-mail at 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We have submitted a request to OMB to renew 
approval of information collection requirements for forms R7-50, R7-51, 
and R7-52 (Marine Mammal Marking, Tagging, and Reporting Certificates). 
Currently, we have approval from OMB to collect information under OMB 
control number 1018-0066. This approval expires on October 31, 2004. 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. 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)). Following our 
submittal, OMB has up to 60 days to approve or disapprove our 
information collection request; however, their response may be given as 
early as 30 days after our submittal. Therefore, to ensure your 
comments receive consideration, send your comments and suggestions to 
OMB by the date listed in the DATES section near the beginning of this 
    On April 30, 2004, we published in the Federal Register (69 FR 
23802) a 60-

[[Page 62720]]

day notice of our intent to request renewal of information collection 
authority from OMB. In that notice, we solicited public comments for 60 
days ending on June 29, 2004. We received two comments, both from the 
same individual, regarding this Federal Register notice. The comments 
expressed opposition to the collection of the information as described 
in the notice. Comments were based on the premise that the terminology 
is misleading and that the information provided to the Service is 
inaccurate. We note the concerns raised by this individual; however, we 
believe this collection of the information provides an important means 
to measure the legal subsistence harvest of polar bear, sea otter, and 
walrus and to improve the quality and quantity of harvest and 
biological data used in management decisions. In addition, we believe 
the information provided by the participants is accurate.
    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 Ocean 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 gather data on the Native 
subsistence and handicraft harvest and on the biology of polar bear, 
sea otter, and Pacific walrus in Alaska necessary 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 will be used to improve our decisionmaking 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. 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.
    We estimate that the annual burden associated with this request 
will be 639 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 take about 2,556 
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 Certificates, 
50 CFR 18.23(f).
    OMB Control Number: 1018-0066.
    Form numbers: R7-50, R7-51, and R7-52.
    Frequency of collection: Occasional.
    Description of respondents: Individuals and households.
    Total annual responses: 2,556.
    Total annual burden hours: 639 hours.
    As with our 60-day notice, this notice invites your comments on: 
(1) Whether or not this collection of information is necessary for us 
to properly perform our functions, including whether or not 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 collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Dated: October 5, 2004.
Krista Bibb,
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 04-23988 Filed 10-26-04; 8:45 am]