[Federal Register: March 16, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 51)]
[Page 12628-12629]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Proposed Information Collection; OMB Control Number 1018-0015; 
Migratory Bird Surveys

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We (Fish and Wildlife Service) will ask the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collection (IC) 
described below. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and 
as part of our continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent 
burden, we invite the general public and other Federal agencies to take 
this opportunity to comment on this IC. 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.

DATES: You must submit comments on or before May 15, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments on the IC to Hope Grey, Information 
Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 222-ARLSQ, 
4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 (mail); 
hope_grey@fws.gov (e-mail); or (703) 358-2269 (fax).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information 
about this IC, contact Hope Grey by mail, fax, or e-mail (see 
ADDRESSES) or by telephone at (703) 358-2482.

    I. Abstract
    The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-711) and the Fish and 
Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742d) designate the Department of the 
Interior as the key agency responsible for (1) the wise management of 
migratory bird populations frequenting the United States, and (2) 
setting hunting regulations that allow appropriate harvests that are 
within the guidelines that will allow for those populations' well-
being. These responsibilities dictate that we gather accurate data on 
various characteristics of migratory bird harvest. We use the knowledge 
attained by determining harvests and harvest rates of migratory game 
birds to regulate populations (by promulgating hunting regulations) and 
to encourage hunting opportunity, especially where crop depredations 
are chronic and/or lightly-harvested populations occur. Based on 
information from harvest surveys, we can adjust hunting regulations as 
needed to optimize harvests at levels that provide a maximum of hunting 
recreation while keeping populations at desired levels.
    Under the Migratory Bird Harvest Program, State licensing 
authorities collect the name and address information needed to provide 
a sample frame of all licensed migratory bird hunters. Since Federal 
regulations require that the States collect this information, we are 
including the associated burden in our approval request to OMB. We 
propose to combine three surveys in this IC because the surveys are 
interrelated and/or dependent upon each other:
    (1) Migratory Bird Hunter Surveys, currently approved under OMB 

[[Page 12629]]

No. 1018-0015, which expires February 28, 2008.
    (2) Parts Collection Survey, also approved under OMB Control No. 
    (3) Sandhill Crane Harvest Survey, currently approved under OMB 
Control No. 1018-0023, which expires November 30, 2007.
    The Migratory Bird Hunter Survey is based on the Migratory Bird 
Harvest Information Program, under which each State annually provides a 
list of all migratory bird hunters in the State. We randomly select 
migratory bird hunters; send them either a waterfowl questionnaire, a 
dove and band-tailed pigeon questionnaire, a woodcock questionnaire, or 
a snipe, rail, gallinule and coot questionnaire; and ask them to report 
their harvest of those species. The resulting estimates of harvest per 
hunter are combined with the complete list of migratory bird hunters to 
provide estimates of the total harvest of those species.
    The Parts Collection Survey estimates the species, sex, and age 
composition of the harvest, and the geographic and temporal 
distribution of the harvest. Randomly selected successful hunters who 
responded to the Migratory Bird Hunter Survey the previous year are 
asked to complete and return a postcard if they are willing to 
participate in the Parts Collection Survey. We provide postage-paid 
envelopes to respondents before the hunting season and ask them to send 
in a wing or the tail feathers from each duck, goose, or coot they 
harvest, or a wing from each woodcock, band-tailed pigeon, snipe, rail, 
or gallinule they harvest. We use the wings and tail feathers to 
identify the species, sex, and age of the harvested sample. We also ask 
respondents to report on the envelope the date and location of harvest 
for each bird. Results of this survey are combined with the harvest 
estimates obtained from the Migratory Bird Hunter Survey to provide 
species-specific national harvest estimates.
    The combined results of these surveys enable us to evaluate the 
effects of season length, season dates, and bag limits on the harvest 
of each species, and thus help us determine appropriate hunting 
    We are proposing to include the Sandhill Crane Harvest Survey 
(current OMB Control Number 1018-0023) with the others in this approval 
request, all under OMB Control Number 1018-0015. The Sandhill Crane 
Harvest Survey is an annual questionnaire survey of people who obtained 
a sandhill crane hunting permit. At the end of the hunting season, we 
randomly select a sample of permit holders and ask them to report the 
date, location, and number of birds harvested for each of their 
sandhill crane hunts. Their responses provide estimates of the temporal 
and geographic distribution of the harvest as well as the average 
harvest per hunter, which, combined with the total number of permits 
issued, enables us to estimate the total harvest of sandhill cranes. 
Based on information from this survey, we adjust hunting regulations as 
needed to optimize harvest at levels that provide a maximum of hunting 
recreation while keeping the population at the desired level.
    We are also seeking approval to add a mourning dove wing collection 
to the Parts Collection Survey on an experimental basis. We will use 
the wings to identify the age of each sample, thereby providing 
estimates of annual mourning dove productivity at the management unit 
level. Those estimates of annual productivity are needed to improve the 
mourning dove population models that we have developed for each 
management unit. We will compare the results and costs of our 
experimental mail survey with results and costs of mourning dove wing 
collection methods that are currently employed by some, but not all, 
States that have dove hunting seasons. If mourning dove productivity 
estimates are similar for the two methods, we would propose to adopt 
the more cost-effective method on a national scale.
    II. Data
    OMB Control Number: 1018-0015.
    Title: Migratory Bird Surveys.
    Service Form Number(s): 3-165, 3-165A, 3-165B, 3-165C, and 3-2056J-
    Type of Request: Revision of currently approved collection.
    Affected Public: Migratory game bird hunters.
    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.
    Frequency of Collection: Annually.

                                   Number of annual    Number of annual   Completion time per    Annual burden
            Activity                  respondents          responses            response             hours
Migratory Bird Harvest                     3,800,000           3,800,000  0.033 hours........            125,400
 Information Program.
Migratory Bird Hunter Survey....              85,000              85,000  0.067 hours........              5,695
Parts Collection Survey.........              10,000             110,000  0.033 hours........              3,630
Sandhill Cane Harvest Survey....               7,500               7,500  0.067 hours........                503
    Totals......................           3,902,500           4,002,500  ...................            135,228

    III. Request for Comments
    We invite comments concerning this IC on:
    (1) whether or not the collection of information is necessary, 
including whether or not the information will have practical utility;
    (2) the accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this 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 
    Comments submitted in response to this notice are a matter of 
public record. We will include and/or summarize each comment in our 
request to OMB to approve this IC.

    Dated: March 1, 2007
Hope Grey,
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E7-4842 Filed 3-15-07; 8:45 am]