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Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R7-MB-2012-N246; FF09M21200-123-FXMB1231099BPP0L2]

Proposed Information Collection; Alaska Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest Household Survey

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Notice; request for comments.
SUMMARY: We (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) will ask the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to renew approval for 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. This IC is scheduled to expire on April 30, 2013. 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: To ensure that we are able to consider your comments on this IC, we must receive them by December 24, 2012.
ADDRESSES: Send your comments on the IC to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 2042-PDM, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 (mail); orINFOCOL@fws.gov(email). Please include "1018-0124" in the subject line of your comments.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information about this IC, contact Hope Grey atINFOCOL@fws.gov(email) or 703-358-2482 (telephone).
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (16 U.S.C. 703-712) and the Fish andWildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742d) designate the Department of the Interior as the key agency responsible for managing migratory bird populations that frequent the United States and for setting harvest regulations that allow for the conservation of those populations. These responsibilities include gathering accurate geographical and temporal data on various characteristics of migratory bird harvest. We use harvest data to review regulation proposals and to issue harvest regulations.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act Protocol Amendment (1995) (Amendment) provides for the customary and traditional use of migratory birds and their eggs for subsistence use by indigenous inhabitants of Alaska. The Amendment states that its intent is not to cause significant increases in the take of species of migratory birds relative to their continental population sizes. A submittal letter from the Department of State to the White House (May 20, 1996) accompanied the Amendment and specified the need for harvest monitoring. The submittal letter stated that the Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), and Alaska Native organizations would collect harvest information cooperatively within the subsistence eligible areas. Harvest survey data help to ensure that customary and traditional subsistence uses of migratory birds and their eggs by indigenous inhabitants of Alaska do not significantly increase the take of species of migratory birds relative to their continental population sizes.

Between 1989 and 2004, we monitored subsistence harvest of migratory birds using annual household surveys in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, which is the region of highest subsistence bird harvest in the State of Alaska. In 2004, we began monitoring subsistence harvest of migratory birds in subsistence eligible areas Statewide. The Statewide harvest assessment program helps to track trends and changes in levels of harvest. The harvest assessment program relies on collaboration among the Service, the ADFG, and a number of Alaska Native organizations.

We gather information on the annual subsistence harvest of about 50 bird species/species categories (ducks, geese, swans, cranes, upland game birds, seabirds, shorebirds, and grebes and loons) in the subsistence eligible areas of Alaska. The survey covers 10 regions of Alaska, which are further divided in 29 subregions. We survey the regions and villages in a rotation schedule to accommodate budget constraints and to minimize respondent burden. The survey covers spring, summer, and fall harvest in most regions.

In collaboration with Alaska Native organizations, we hire local resident surveyors to collect the harvest information. The surveyors list all households in the villages to be surveyed and provide survey information and harvest report forms to randomly selected households that have agreed to participate in the survey. To ensure anonymity of harvest information, we identify households by a numeric code. The surveyor visits households three times during the survey year. At the first household visit, the surveyor explains the survey purposes and invites household participation. The surveyor returns at the end of the season of most harvest and at the end of the two other seasons combined to help the household complete the harvest report form.

We have designed the survey methods to streamline procedures and reduce respondent burden. We plan to use two forms for household participation:

• FWS Form 3-2380 (Tracking Sheet and Household Consent). The surveyor visits each household selected to participate in the survey to provide information on the objectives and to obtain household consent to participate. The surveyor uses this form to record consent and track subsequent visits for completion of harvest reports.

• FWS Forms 3-2381-1, 3-2381-2, 3-2381-3, and 3-2381-4 (Harvest Report). The Harvest Report has drawings of bird species most commonly available for harvest in the different regions of Alaska with fields for writing down the numbers of birds and eggs taken. There are four versions of this form: Interior Alaska, North Slope, Southern Coastal Alaska, and Western Alaska. This form has a sheet for each season surveyed, and, on each sheet, there are fields for the household code, community name, harvest year, date of completion, and comments.

II. Data

OMB Control Number:1018-0124.

Title:Alaska Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest Household Survey.

Service Form Number(s):3-2380, 3-2381-1, 3-2381-2, 3-2381-3, and 3-2381-4.

Type of Request:Extension of a currently approved collection.

Description of Respondents:Households within subsistence eligible areas of Alaska (Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Archipelago, the Aleutian Islands, or in areas north and west of the Alaska Range).

Respondent's Obligation:Voluntary.

Frequency of Collection:Annually for Tracking Sheet and Household Consent; three times annually for Harvest Report.

Activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • Completion time per
  • response (min.)
  • Total annual burden hours
    3-2380—Tracking Sheet and Household Consent 2,760 2,760 5 230 3-2381-1 thru 3-2381-4—Harvest Report (three seasonal sheets) 2,300 6,900 5 575 Totals 5,060 9,660 805
    III. Comments

    We invite comments concerning this information collection on:

    • Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, including whether or not the information will have practical utility;

    • The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information;

    • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents.

    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this IC. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifyinginformation from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Dated: October 18, 2012. Tina A. Campbell, Chief, Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.