Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Federal Fish and Wildlife Permit Applications and Reports-Migratory Birds, 29963-29968 [2020-10707]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices collections. We appreciate these comments and will work with our regional permit offices to resolve the inconsistent approach to setting permit durations and requiring annual reports. As part of our continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burdens, we are again soliciting comments from the public and other Federal agencies on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following: (1) Whether or not the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether or not the information will have practical utility; (2) The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) How might the agency minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of response. Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. 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 identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Abstract: Information collection requirements associated with the Federal fish and wildlife permit applications and reports for both migratory birds and eagles are currently approved under a single OMB control number, 1018–0022, ‘‘Federal Fish and Wildlife Permit Applications and Reports—Migratory Birds and Eagles; 50 CFR 10, 13, 21, 22.’’ With this submission to OMB, we are proposing to reinstate OMB Control Number 1018– 0167, ‘‘Eagle Take Permits and Fees, 50 CFR 22,’’ in order to transfer the eagle requirements back in to a separate information collection to facilitate easier management of the information collection requirements associated with eagles. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act; 16 U.S.C. 668–668d) prohibits take of bald eagles and golden eagles except pursuant to Federal regulations. The Eagle Act regulations at title 50, part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) define the ‘‘take’’ of an eagle to include the following broad range of actions: To ‘‘pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, destroy, molest, or disturb.’’ The Eagle Act allows the Secretary of the Interior to authorize certain otherwise prohibited activities through regulations. All Service permit applications associated with eagles are in the 3–200 and 3–202 series of forms, each tailored to a specific activity based on the requirements for specific types of permits. For this reinstatement, we combined Forms 3–200–10c and 3–200– 10d into one form (3–200–10c) to reduce the number of application forms and help streamline the application process. Since both forms dealt with possession for education purposes, and asked virtually the same questions of the applicant, there was no need to have separate forms. We collect standard identifier information for all permits. The information that we collect on applications and reports is the minimum necessary for us to determine if the applicant meets/continues to meet issuance requirements for the particular activity. In addition to reinstating this information collection, the Service will request OMB approval to automate certain eagle permit forms. The Service’s new ‘‘ePermits’’ initiative is an automated permit application system that will allow the agency to move towards a streamlined permitting process to reduce public burden. Public burden reduction is a priority for the Service; the Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks; and senior leadership at the Department of the Interior. The intent of the ePermits initiative is to fully automate the permitting process to improve the customer experience and to reduce time burden on respondents. This new system will enhance the user experience by allowing users to enter data from any device that has internet access, including personal computers, tablets, and smartphones. It will also link the permit applicant to the Pay.gov system for payment of the associated permit application fee. We anticipate including the following Service forms in the ePermits initiative: FWS Forms 3–200–14, 3–200–15a, 3–200–16, 3–200–18, 3–200–69, 3–200– 72, 3–200–77, 3–200–78, 3–200–82, 3– PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 29963 202–11 through 3–202–16, 3–1552, and 3–1591. Title of Collection: Eagle Take Permits and Fees, 50 CFR 22. OMB Control Number: 1018–0167. Form Numbers: FWS Forms 3–200– 14, 3–200–15a, 3–200–16, 3–200–18, 3–200–71, 3–200–72, 3–200–77, 3–200– 78, 3–200–82, 3–202–11 through 3–202– 16, 3–1552, 3–1591, and 3–2480. Type of Review: Reinstatement of a previously approved information collection with revisions. Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals and businesses. We expect the majority of applicants seeking longterm permits will be in the energy production and electrical distribution business. Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 4,068. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 4,318. Estimated Completion Time per Response: Varies from 15 minutes to 228 hours, depending on activity. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 25,894. Respondent’s Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit. Frequency of Collection: On occasion for applications; annually or on occasion for reports. Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: $1,369,200 (primarily associated with application processing fees). 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. The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Dated: May 14, 2020. Madonna Baucum, Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2020–10708 Filed 5–18–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–HQ–MB–2020–N052; FF09M21200– 190–FXMB1231099BPP0; OMB Control Number 1018–0022] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Federal Fish and Wildlife Permit Applications and Reports—Migratory Birds AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 29964 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices Notice of information collection; request for comment. ACTION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are proposing to renew an existing information collection with revisions. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before June 18, 2020. ADDRESSES: Send written comments on this information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget’s Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior by email at OIRA_Submission@ omb.eop.gov; or via facsimile to (202) 395–5806. Please provide a copy of your comments to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/PERMA (JAO), 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803 (mail); or by email to Info_Coll@fws.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number ‘‘1018– 0022’’ in the subject line of your comments. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Madonna L. Baucum, Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, by email at Info_Coll@fws.gov, or by telephone at (703) 358–2503. Individuals who are hearing or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877–8339 for TTY assistance. You may also view the ICR at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/ PRAMain. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service, we), are proposing to renew an existing information collection with revisions. In accordance with the PRA, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. On October 28, 2019, we published in the Federal Register (84 FR 57746) a notice of our intent to request that OMB approve this information collection. In that notice, we solicited comments for 60 days, ending on December 27, 2019. We received the following comments in response to that notice: Comment 1: Comment received via email on October 31, 2019: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 The commenter states that the current application process is quite cumbersome and archaic, and that annual reporting is difficult. The commenter indicated they are reporting two different ways, using both the online system and the Excel spreadsheet form. They asked if they could capture all the reporting information through the online (IMR) system only. Agency Response to Comment 1: We talked with the company about the duplicate reporting they appeared to be doing. We clarified that they should not be required to submit the information twice in two different forms, and made sure they would only be using the online system in the future. We also corrected an issue in the online system that was showing them an extended version of the form with additional fields they weren’t required to fill out. Comment 2: Comment received via mail on December 30, 2019: The commenter indicated that it is sometimes difficult for someone to know if a permit is needed, and that finding, reading, and understanding the application of the regulations requires a degree of expertise. They suggest a decision key, or a similar tool within an online system to help determine the type of permit needed. They also mentioned some confusion concerning the words ‘‘scientific collecting’’ and what exactly that means. They suggested some revisions to the Migratory Bird and Eagle Scientific Collecting (3–200–7) and Eagle Exhibition (3–200–14) application forms to help clarify some potential perceived overlap between and to help avoid confusion in the future. With respect to 3–200–7, they pointed out that one region is requiring a museum to obtain a scientific collecting permit in order to receive a bald eagle carcass from the Service, rather than obtaining it under the museum’s ‘‘Federal Eagle Exhibition’’ permit. They indicate this should not be the case, and suggest clarifications to the application form are needed so it’s clear what permits should be issued and for what permit. Agency Response to Comment 2: In response to the comment about information being difficult to find and confusion about what permit to get, we are continuously working to improve our websites and forms to make it easier for the public to find information. For instance, we’ve recently co-located all of our forms on our Migratory Bird web page at: https://www.fws.gov/birds/ policies-and-regulations/permits/needa-permit.php and provided links to instructions and FAQs directly in the application and report forms. As we continue to work to modernize the way PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 we collect and deliver information, this should alleviate some, if not all the current difficulties in locating documents and information. Responses to comments with regard to Form 3–200–14 are addressed in the information collection package for OMB Control Number 1018–0167. With regard to the comment concerning overlap between the authority of Forms 3–200–14 and 3– 200–7, there is no overlap between the types of activities that are authorized under these two permits. A scientific collecting permit is required to collect/ salvage migratory birds and eagles from the wild. Acquisitions and transfers of eagle remains already in the possession of the Service or a permittee do not require a scientific collecting permit. An eagle exhibition permit (which is applied for using form 3–200–14), would be required to display eagle remains for educational use; and the specimen can be acquired and transferred from the Service to the museum once the specimen has been added to the list of specimens covered under that permit (which can be done via an amendment if that specimen was not on the original application). We believe the application forms and associated FAQs are pretty clear on the purpose of these two permits, but have made some minor clarifications to the Scientific Collecting application form and FAQ that may help clarify some of the concerns and confusion that have been raised by this comment. If a regional permit office is requiring a Scientific Collection permit to obtain a Bald Eagle from the Service, then the region may be in error, and you should contact your Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office to discuss this further and correct the error, if appropriate. Falconry Database Comments— Additionally, on August 13, 2019, we published in the Federal Register (84 FR 40086) a notice of our intent to request that OMB approve the information collection requirements associated with the falconry database. In that notice, we solicited comments for 60 days, ending on October 15, 2019. Subsequently, the Service decided to incorporate those requirements into this collection as a revision, rather than request OMB approval of a new collection, because falconry activities are permitted under regulations implementing the MBTA. We reviewed and considered all comments received in response to that notice as part of this revision to OMB Control No. 1018– 0022. We fully considered all substantive comments we received. Below, we have grouped our responses to comments by issue rather than by E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices individual commenter. This avoids repetition in our responses, and benefits commenters, who will be interested in seeing other commenters’ views on topics of interest, along with our responses. We received the following comments in response to the falconry database notice: Comment 1: Comment received via email on August 13, 2019: The commenter is not in favor of the information collecting being used for law enforcement purposes. They believe that if a falconer has a falconry license and the raptor is reported into the appropriate database, law enforcement authority ends at that point, and the authority of FWS to gather raptor harvest information ends once a WILD raptor has been legally taken and reported. They believe that if falconers wish to transfer a wild taken raptor to other properly licensed individuals, this is beyond the scope of MBTA authority. In addition, they believe the progeny of domestic bred raptors—whether pure species/subspecies or hybrids—is beyond the scope of the MBTA especially since the 2004 MBTA Revision excluded non-naturally occurring birds. Agency Response to Comment 1: Wildlife law enforcement actions related to falconry remains important to maintain compliance with state rules and regulations regarding species of take, bird transfers and humane treatment of Falconry birds. Comment 2: Comment received via email on August 28, 2019: In California the state bears the burden of collecting falconry data and reporting it to the USFWS. Comment 3: Comment received via email on August 22, 2019: The state agencies could execute an annual bulk upload of all take reports to the federal system. Agency Response to Comments 2 and 3: California has authority to collect falconry information on their own database. This collection system was approved by the Service, as it mirrors the federal 3–186 A database used by all other States. Falconry data from California have been regularly transferred to the Service to aid in review of take of falconry species and subsequent impact to wild raptor populations across State lines. All other States have decided to use the Federal 3–186A database for collection of falconry information. Comment 4: Comment received via email on August 28, 2019: The commenter indicates that since domestically bred raptors are not wild, some of them not having seen the wild VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 for generations, the information about them should be outside the scope of the USFWS. They believe this reporting requirement is redundant, burdensome and does not improve management of wild raptors. Comment 5: Comment received via email on October 14, 2019: The commenter states the Service should only track raptors taken from the wild. They state that captive-bred raptors and hybrids of exotic crosses are no longer migratory birds due to their origin, that the Services classification of them is in error, and creates unnecessary burden. Comment 6: Comment received via email on August 28, 2019: Collecting information about domestically bred and kept raptors should not be in the scope of the system. Agency Response to Comments 4, 5 and 6: Federal and State regulations governing falconry and raptors removed from the wild consider all falconry birds ‘‘wild’’ regardless of the length of time in captivity or if it has been transferred to another permittee or permit type. Domestically bred raptors were from wild lineage at some point, and are for the most part, similar in appearance and behavior to wild-caught birds. Information collected on these birds assists State and Federal agencies with compliance of rules and regulations, as codified by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prohibits any person from taking, possessing, purchasing, bartering, selling or offering to purchase, barter, or sell, among other things, raptors (birds of prey) protected by the Act, unless the activities are allowed by Federal permit. Comment 7: Comment received via email on October 14, 2019: The commenter asked why, since the Service did away with the Federal Falconry Permit in 2014, it is still requiring the States to administer/maintain databases of Falconers. They comment that the new database does not enhance the user experience due to its complexity and the fact you must have internet to access it. Agency Response to Comment 7: The latest revision of the 3–186A database has been used by State and Federal agencies to compile information regarding wild and captive bred raptors for the sport of falconry. State agencies provide falconers guidance to comply with their regulations; a part of this is to maintain current information on falconry take and disposition of falconry birds. While the new 3–186A database is internet based, some States have allowed paper forms to be submitted to falconry administrators when the internet is unavailable to the falconer. The decision to use paper forms, or PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 29965 other forms of data entry has been left to the States. However, due to staffing issues, some States that currently allow paper forms are transitioning to an online data entry system. If a State choses to allow the use of paper forms, the State assumes the responsibility for entering the required information into the 3–186A database system. Comment 8: Comment received via email on October 14, 2019: The commenter suggests that the Service’s overregulation of Falconry is discriminatory towards a tiny minority of sportsmen and sportswomen and they should expend their resources and efforts in data collection instead toward things like identification and regulation/ registration of the owners of military assault weapons. Agency Response to Comment 8: Thank you for your comment. Your response is helpful and will be part of the public record. Comment 9: Comment received via email on August 16, 2019: The commenter states that there are less than 200 falconers in the United States and asked why tax payers are paying to support such a small group. They state it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars, and think the program should be shut down. Agency Response to Comment 9: Thank you for your comment. Your response is helpful and will be part of the public record. Comment 10: Comment received via email on August 21, 2019: The commenter is a user of the online system. The commenter says the system is not user friendly. Specific complaints are missing dispositions and the random ability to view other Permittee’s dispositions. Comment 11: Comment received via email on October 15, 2019: The commenter has used both the original and new database, and finds the newer much more confusing and time consuming. They think the new system should look and work more like the old system. They also state they’ve lost records because the state has edited or removed them. They state there’s no reason for a state to go in and edit a falconer’s form. They said it’s become a nightmare to use and maintain and get original records back in place within the system. They suggest what the system generates needs to be a standard looking 3–186 that a state cannot remove or edit once a registered falconer records the info in the system. Comment 12: Comment received via postal mail on October 15, 2019: The commenter finds the online system unnecessarily cumbersome, tedious and error prone. They suggest form-based, rather than field-based data entry E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 29966 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices validation, which they feel would greatly simplify the data-entry process. Also, they comment that the burden estimates state that 2.5 hours to complete the form. In their experience it takes approximately 30 minutes to complete a 3–186A online. However, they believe this time could be and should be reduced to approximately 10 minutes with proper website design including the use of form-based rather than field-based data entry validation. Comment 13: Comment received via postal mail on September 17, 2019: The commenter states that the Service could enhance the utility of the information and minimize the burden of the collection of information upon the respondents if the application was made more user friendly. Agency Response to Comments 10–13: In the quest to get the database functioning again quickly, we had to adhere to recent changes in Federal computer standards. We agree the accurate data entry for most acquisition and transfers should take 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the situation and details related to the falconry bird. At this time due to federal database standards and platform specific code, as well as resources available to us, we cannot change the 3–186A database online appearance to mimic the paper format. Comment 14: Comment received via postal mail on August 22, 2019: The commenter asks if the database is necessary. The commenter suggests that in collaboration with the States, the Service should be monitoring falconry take to ensure that take does not exceed 5% as recommended by the USFWS in Millsap and Allen 2006. Agency Response to Comment 14: The 3–186A database is the mechanism that the Service established to accomplish that exact task, to track the number of raptors removed from the wild annually by falconers to ensure compliance with the take limits established in the 2008 environmental assessment. The current framework, where permitting authority is delegated to the States, hinges on the ability for take to be tracked nationally via the 3–186A database. In addition, the 3–186A database provides information within and across State boundaries to allow State and Federal wildlife officials for periodic review of take of raptors used for falconry, and to be cognizant of potential impacts to wild raptors where species issues have been suggested or documented by credible data, and/or independent, peer reviewed research. Comment 15: Comment received via postal mail on August 22, 2019: The commenter asks if the information in VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 the database will be processed and used in a timely manner. After talking with some agency biologists, it sounds to them that there is essentially zero capacity at the state level to monitoring these databases for accuracy, compliance, or take levels among other reasons. So, they feel that the existence of the system itself is possibly unjustified. They state that since falconers are already submitting annual reports to their state F&W agency every year, they are, in effect, submitting duplicate records for no reason. Comment 16: Comment received via postal mail on August 22, 2019: The commenter suggests that to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, the system should replace annual reporting at the state level and should be highly userfriendly. They state that due to the dysfunction of the last system, a lot of people were just submitting paper copies anyway to their state falconry staff person. They suggest the Service improve the system to provide the state agency with the necessary information while maintaining a safe and accurate database of record submissions for each permittee. Comment 17: Comment received via postal mail on August 22, 2019: The commenter states that the Service can minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents by advising states that annual report requirements are being met by the database reporting system and are thus unnecessary. Comment 18: Comment received via postal mail on August 22, 2019: The commenter states that the process can be streamlined by elimination of reporting by falconers because it is redundant for both falconers and state wildlife agencies to report the same information. Agency Response to Comment 15–18: State biologists, in concert with biologists and computer specialists from the Service’s Division of Migratory Birds, regularly look at data provided by falconers. When questions of accuracy, compliance or take levels are derived from information supplied by falconers, state falconry administrators reach out to falconers to maintain quality assurance. In response to questionable information, state administrators may reach out to their Wildlife Law Enforcement branch for potential follow-up with the falconer. Data submission on the 3–186A database, as well as via additional annual reporting has been considered standard practice by some states. If falconers perceive an issue with the system recognizing other permit types, they should interact with their state falconry administrator, as PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 states vary in their insistence of other permit types being reported via the 3– 186A database. Reporting requirements may vary, as each state may do what they deem appropriate for record keeping as long as those standards are within the sideboards of Federal Falconry regulations (50 CFR 21.29) Comment 19: Comment received via postal mail on August 22, 2019: The commenter suggests the database be made to allow transfer and acquisitions between all possible legal permit types. They suggest making sure the database serves the permittee by saving all submissions and allowing the permittee to search and print all past submissions easily. They also suggest linking the transfers, so that when one permittee fills out a transfer on the database, it will prompt that other involved permittee by email. Comment 20: Comment received via postal mail on August 31, 2019: The commenter says the database needs a complete re-write. They state that signing in is nearly impossible, and the PDF forms are difficult to use, and often deletes their information as they are typing it. They suggest there should be a PDF ’send/save’ mode where we send the PDF as an attachment, and a confirmation number/email for their records that we note the data sent on our records. They also suggest a comments section on the form is needed, and a description of the bird if it has unusual markings, etc. They state it should be easily used with any browser type. Agency Response to Comment 19–20: Your comments are helpful as the Service and States look to improve the 3–186A database and falconry record keeping. If falconers perceive an issue with the system for access, recognizing or saving data, they should interact with their state falconry administrator, as states vary in their insistence of other permit types being reported via the 3– 186A database. Reporting requirements may vary, as each state may do what they deem appropriate for record keeping as long as those standards are within the sideboards of Federal Falconry regulations (50 CFR 21.29). Comment 21: Comment received via postal mail on August 22, 2019: The commenter suggests increasing the length of time a permittee has to report a transfer or acquisition to make it less likely that violations are a matter of plain forgetting. Agency Response to Comment 21: Current timelines by Federal and State regulations are 10 days for the length of time necessary to report an acquisition or transfer. This requirement may vary E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices to be more restrictive, as each State may do what they deem appropriate for record keeping as long as those standards are within the sideboards of Federal Falconry regulations (50 CFR 21.29). Comment 22: Comment received via postal mail on October 15, 2019: The commenter is confused by some statements in the posting. The posting indicated that the service anticipated about 40 annual respondents. They state that since the 3–186A form is required for every raptor taken, release or transferred, and nearly 700 birds are taken annually, we would expect closer to 1,000 3–186A forms to be submitted every year. Agency Response to Comment 22: We admit the error of the Service statement in the Federal Register notice and thank the commenter for pointing this out. In review of our statements, the Service was indicating the time expected to be interacting with all State falconry administrators regarding the 3–186A database. The commenter is correct on the approximate time necessary for falconers across the United States to provide their pertinent data under their permit to the states via the 3–186A database. Comment 23: Comment received via postal mail on September 17, 2019: The commenter supports the collection of data regarding acquisition and dispositions of wild raptors used in falconry. They state that while the Environmental Assessment by Millsap, et al. found that falconry take of raptors has no impact on raptor populations, they acknowledge that comprehensive collection of this information on a nation-wide basis may be of value to biologists and historians. They state that collection of such data should also support the following functions: enforcing federal wildlife laws, protecting endangered species and managing migratory birds. Agency Response to Comment 23: We appreciate the commenter’s perspective. The 3–186A database provides information within and across State boundaries to allow State and Federal wildlife officials for periodic review of take of raptors used for falconry, and to be cognizant of potential impacts to wild raptors where species issues have been suggested or documented by credible data, and/or independent, peer reviewed research. As part of our continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burdens, we are again soliciting comments from the public and other Federal agencies on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 especially interested in public comment addressing the following: (1) Whether or not the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether or not the information will have practical utility; (2) The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) How might the agency minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of response. Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Abstract: Our Regional Migratory Bird Permit Offices use information that we collect on permit applications to determine the eligibility of applicants for permits requested in accordance with the criteria in various Federal wildlife conservation laws and international treaties, including: (1) Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.). (2) Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42; 16 U.S.C. 3371 et seq.). (3) Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668 et seq.). Service regulations implementing these statutes and treaties are in chapter I, subchapter B of title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). These regulations stipulate general and specific requirements that, when met, allow us to issue permits to authorize activities that are otherwise prohibited. With the exception of Forms 3–186 and 3–186a, all Service permit applications are in the 3–200 and 3–202 series of forms, each tailored to a specific activity based on the requirements for specific types of permits. For this revision, we combined Forms 3–200–10c and 3–200–10d into one form (3–200–10c) to reduce the PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 29967 number of application forms and help streamline the application process. Since both forms dealt with possession for education purposes, and asked virtually the same questions of the applicant, there was no need to have separate forms. We collect standard identifier information for all permits. The information that we collect on applications and reports is the minimum necessary for us to determine if the applicant meets/continues to meet issuance requirements for the particular activity. Proposed Revisions to This Information Collection With this submission, we are proposing the following revisions to the existing information collection: Transfer of Eagle Requirements to OMB Control No. 1018–0167 Information collection requirements associated with the Federal fish and wildlife permit applications and reports for both migratory birds and eagles are currently approved under a single OMB control number, 1018–0022, ‘‘Federal Fish and Wildlife Permit Applications and Reports—Migratory Birds and Eagles; 50 CFR 10, 13, 21, 22.’’ With this submission to OMB, we are proposing to reinstate OMB Control Number 1018– 0167, ‘‘Eagle Take Permits and Fees, 50 CFR 22.’’ Transferring the eagle requirements back to its original information collection will facilitate easier management of the information collection requirements associated with eagles. ePermits Initiative The Service will request OMB approval to automate certain migratory bird permit forms. The Service’s new ‘‘ePermits’’ initiative is an automated permit application system that will allow the agency to move towards a streamlined permitting process to reduce public burden. Public burden reduction is a priority for the Service; the Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks; and senior leadership at the Department of the Interior. The intent of the ePermits initiative is to fully automate the permitting process to improve the customer experience and to reduce time burden on respondents. This new system will enhance the user experience by allowing users to enter data from any device that has internet access, including personal computers (PCs), tablets, and smartphones. It will also link the permit applicant to the Pay.gov system for payment of the associated permit application fee. E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1 29968 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 97 / Tuesday, May 19, 2020 / Notices We anticipate including the following Service forms in the ePermits system: 3– 186, 3–186A, 3–200–6 through 3–200–9, 3–200–10a through 3–200–10c, 3–200– 10e, 3–200–10f, 3–200–12 through 3– 200–13, 3–200–67, 3–200–79, 3–200–81, 3–202–1 through 3–202–10, 3–202–12, and 3–202–17. Falconry Program Requirements Additionally, we propose to incorporate the information collection requirements associated with the Service’s falconry program into this collection (OMB Control No. 1018– 0022). Beginning in 2014, the Service passed the authority to issue permits for the practice of falconry to individual States (50 CFR 21.29; 78 FR 72830, December 4, 2013). As part of this change in authority, we required States to maintain databases of falconers authorized to conduct falconry in their States and required falconers to report transfers of falconry birds using the paper version of FWS Form 3–186A. We require each State that maintains its own database to ensure that it is compatible with the Service’s database. To date, 47 States utilize the system provided by the Service. The Service’s database continues to track take of birds from the wild by falconers and to maintain records of persons permitted by the States to practice falconry, as required by 50 CFR 21.29(k)(1). The primary purpose of this database is to allow the Service to track take of raptors from the wild by falconers to ensure take does not exceed levels established in the Service’s 2008 environmental assessment of the impacts of the falconry regulations on wild raptor populations. The ability to track and document the effects of the wild take of raptors by falconers remains a responsibility of the Service. The database also: (1) Provides falconers and States with the information necessary to allow the efficient movement of falconers and raptors held under falconry permits among States; and (2) ensures that falconers can formally document their experience regardless of the States in which they have resided, which is required to advance from the apprentice- to generalto master-class permit levels. In 2018, the Service requested and received OMB approval under the Department of the Interior Fast Track generic clearance (OMB Control No. 1090–0011) to conduct usability testing of the revised/repaired application and database functionality. The revised/ repairs falconry database (database) replaced a legacy system based on outdated programming. It reduced the cost to the government by eliminating VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:57 May 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 the need for Service personnel to enter data for each new falconer, and simply required the entry of data for State administrators. In addition, this new database enhances the user experience by allowing them to enter data from any device that has internet access, including PCs, tablets, and smart phones. The usability testing helped the Service to address problems and recommendations prior to the database going live. We are now ready to request full OMB approval of the falconry database and the information collection requirements associated with the falconry program. Title of Collection: Federal Fish and Wildlife Permit Applications and Reports—Migratory Birds; 50 CFR 10, 13, 21. OMB Control Number: 1018–0022. Form Number: FWS Forms 3–186, 3– 186A, 3–200–6 through 3–200–9, 3– 200–10a through 3–200–10c, 3–200– 10e, 3–200–10f, 3–200–12 through 3– 200–13, 3–200–67, 3–200–79, 3–200–81, 3–202–1 through 3–202–10, 3–202–12, and 3–202–17. Type of Review: Revision of an existing information collection. Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals; zoological parks; museums; universities; scientists; taxidermists; businesses; utilities; and Federal, State, local, and Tribal governments. Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 27,980. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 53,510. Estimated Completion Time per Response: Varies from 15 minutes to 260 hours, depending on activity. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 394,967. Respondent’s Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit. Frequency of Collection: On occasion for applications; annually or on occasion for reports. Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: $491,050 (primarily associated with application processing fees). 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. The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Dated: May 14, 2020. Madonna Baucum, Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2020–10707 Filed 5–18–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–HQ–IA–2020–N051; FXIA16710900000–190–FF09A30000; OMB Control Number 1018–0093] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Federal Fish and Wildlife Permit Applications and Reports—Management Authority Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are proposing to renew an existing information collection with revisions. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before June 18, 2020. ADDRESSES: Send written comments on this information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget’s Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior by email at OIRA_Submission@ omb.eop.gov; or via facsimile to (202) 395–5806. Please provide a copy of your comments to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/PERMA (JAO), 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803 (mail); or by email to Info_Coll@fws.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number ‘‘1018– 0093’’ in the subject line of your comments. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Madonna L. Baucum, Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, by email at Info_Coll@fws.gov, or by telephone at (703) 358–2503. You may also view the ICR at http:// www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service, we), are proposing to renew an existing information collection with revisions. In accordance with the PRA, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information E:\FR\FM\19MYN1.SGM 19MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 97 (Tuesday, May 19, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 29963-29968]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-10707]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-HQ-MB-2020-N052; FF09M21200-190-FXMB1231099BPP0; OMB Control 
Number 1018-0022]


Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the 
Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Federal Fish 
and Wildlife Permit Applications and Reports--Migratory Birds

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

[[Page 29964]]


ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, we, the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, are proposing to renew an existing 
information collection with revisions.

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 
June 18, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments on this information collection request 
to the Office of Management and Budget's Desk Officer for the 
Department of the Interior by email at [email protected]; or 
via facsimile to (202) 395-5806. Please provide a copy of your comments 
to the Service Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/PERMA (JAO), 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls 
Church, VA 22041-3803 (mail); or by email to [email protected]. Please 
reference OMB Control Number ``1018-0022'' in the subject line of your 
comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Madonna L. Baucum, Service Information 
Collection Clearance Officer, by email at [email protected], or by 
telephone at (703) 358-2503. Individuals who are hearing or speech 
impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 for TTY 
assistance. You may also view the ICR at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995 (PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), we, the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Service, we), are proposing to renew an existing 
information collection with revisions.
    In accordance with the PRA, we provide the general public and other 
Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on new, proposed, 
revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps us 
assess the impact of our information collection requirements and 
minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public 
understand our information collection requirements and provide the 
requested data in the desired format.
    On October 28, 2019, we published in the Federal Register (84 FR 
57746) a notice of our intent to request that OMB approve this 
information collection. In that notice, we solicited comments for 60 
days, ending on December 27, 2019. We received the following comments 
in response to that notice:
    Comment 1: Comment received via email on October 31, 2019:
    The commenter states that the current application process is quite 
cumbersome and archaic, and that annual reporting is difficult. The 
commenter indicated they are reporting two different ways, using both 
the online system and the Excel spreadsheet form. They asked if they 
could capture all the reporting information through the online (IMR) 
system only.
    Agency Response to Comment 1: We talked with the company about the 
duplicate reporting they appeared to be doing. We clarified that they 
should not be required to submit the information twice in two different 
forms, and made sure they would only be using the online system in the 
future. We also corrected an issue in the online system that was 
showing them an extended version of the form with additional fields 
they weren't required to fill out.
    Comment 2: Comment received via mail on December 30, 2019:
    The commenter indicated that it is sometimes difficult for someone 
to know if a permit is needed, and that finding, reading, and 
understanding the application of the regulations requires a degree of 
expertise. They suggest a decision key, or a similar tool within an 
online system to help determine the type of permit needed. They also 
mentioned some confusion concerning the words ``scientific collecting'' 
and what exactly that means. They suggested some revisions to the 
Migratory Bird and Eagle Scientific Collecting (3-200-7) and Eagle 
Exhibition (3-200-14) application forms to help clarify some potential 
perceived overlap between and to help avoid confusion in the future. 
With respect to 3-200-7, they pointed out that one region is requiring 
a museum to obtain a scientific collecting permit in order to receive a 
bald eagle carcass from the Service, rather than obtaining it under the 
museum's ``Federal Eagle Exhibition'' permit. They indicate this should 
not be the case, and suggest clarifications to the application form are 
needed so it's clear what permits should be issued and for what permit.
    Agency Response to Comment 2: In response to the comment about 
information being difficult to find and confusion about what permit to 
get, we are continuously working to improve our websites and forms to 
make it easier for the public to find information. For instance, we've 
recently co-located all of our forms on our Migratory Bird web page at: 
https://www.fws.gov/birds/policies-and-regulations/permits/need-a-permit.php and provided links to instructions and FAQs directly in the 
application and report forms. As we continue to work to modernize the 
way we collect and deliver information, this should alleviate some, if 
not all the current difficulties in locating documents and information.
    Responses to comments with regard to Form 3-200-14 are addressed in 
the information collection package for OMB Control Number 1018-0167.
    With regard to the comment concerning overlap between the authority 
of Forms 3-200-14 and 3-200-7, there is no overlap between the types of 
activities that are authorized under these two permits. A scientific 
collecting permit is required to collect/salvage migratory birds and 
eagles from the wild. Acquisitions and transfers of eagle remains 
already in the possession of the Service or a permittee do not require 
a scientific collecting permit. An eagle exhibition permit (which is 
applied for using form 3-200-14), would be required to display eagle 
remains for educational use; and the specimen can be acquired and 
transferred from the Service to the museum once the specimen has been 
added to the list of specimens covered under that permit (which can be 
done via an amendment if that specimen was not on the original 
application). We believe the application forms and associated FAQs are 
pretty clear on the purpose of these two permits, but have made some 
minor clarifications to the Scientific Collecting application form and 
FAQ that may help clarify some of the concerns and confusion that have 
been raised by this comment. If a regional permit office is requiring a 
Scientific Collection permit to obtain a Bald Eagle from the Service, 
then the region may be in error, and you should contact your Regional 
Migratory Bird Permit Office to discuss this further and correct the 
error, if appropriate.
    Falconry Database Comments--Additionally, on August 13, 2019, we 
published in the Federal Register (84 FR 40086) a notice of our intent 
to request that OMB approve the information collection requirements 
associated with the falconry database. In that notice, we solicited 
comments for 60 days, ending on October 15, 2019. Subsequently, the 
Service decided to incorporate those requirements into this collection 
as a revision, rather than request OMB approval of a new collection, 
because falconry activities are permitted under regulations 
implementing the MBTA. We reviewed and considered all comments received 
in response to that notice as part of this revision to OMB Control No. 
1018-0022. We fully considered all substantive comments we received. 
Below, we have grouped our responses to comments by issue rather than 
by

[[Page 29965]]

individual commenter. This avoids repetition in our responses, and 
benefits commenters, who will be interested in seeing other commenters' 
views on topics of interest, along with our responses.
    We received the following comments in response to the falconry 
database notice:
    Comment 1: Comment received via email on August 13, 2019: The 
commenter is not in favor of the information collecting being used for 
law enforcement purposes. They believe that if a falconer has a 
falconry license and the raptor is reported into the appropriate 
database, law enforcement authority ends at that point, and the 
authority of FWS to gather raptor harvest information ends once a WILD 
raptor has been legally taken and reported. They believe that if 
falconers wish to transfer a wild taken raptor to other properly 
licensed individuals, this is beyond the scope of MBTA authority. In 
addition, they believe the progeny of domestic bred raptors--whether 
pure species/subspecies or hybrids--is beyond the scope of the MBTA 
especially since the 2004 MBTA Revision excluded non-naturally 
occurring birds.
    Agency Response to Comment 1: Wildlife law enforcement actions 
related to falconry remains important to maintain compliance with state 
rules and regulations regarding species of take, bird transfers and 
humane treatment of Falconry birds.
    Comment 2: Comment received via email on August 28, 2019: In 
California the state bears the burden of collecting falconry data and 
reporting it to the USFWS.
    Comment 3: Comment received via email on August 22, 2019: The state 
agencies could execute an annual bulk upload of all take reports to the 
federal system.
    Agency Response to Comments 2 and 3: California has authority to 
collect falconry information on their own database. This collection 
system was approved by the Service, as it mirrors the federal 3-186 A 
database used by all other States. Falconry data from California have 
been regularly transferred to the Service to aid in review of take of 
falconry species and subsequent impact to wild raptor populations 
across State lines. All other States have decided to use the Federal 3-
186A database for collection of falconry information.
    Comment 4: Comment received via email on August 28, 2019: The 
commenter indicates that since domestically bred raptors are not wild, 
some of them not having seen the wild for generations, the information 
about them should be outside the scope of the USFWS. They believe this 
reporting requirement is redundant, burdensome and does not improve 
management of wild raptors.
    Comment 5: Comment received via email on October 14, 2019: The 
commenter states the Service should only track raptors taken from the 
wild. They state that captive-bred raptors and hybrids of exotic 
crosses are no longer migratory birds due to their origin, that the 
Services classification of them is in error, and creates unnecessary 
burden.
    Comment 6: Comment received via email on August 28, 2019: 
Collecting information about domestically bred and kept raptors should 
not be in the scope of the system.
    Agency Response to Comments 4, 5 and 6: Federal and State 
regulations governing falconry and raptors removed from the wild 
consider all falconry birds ``wild'' regardless of the length of time 
in captivity or if it has been transferred to another permittee or 
permit type. Domestically bred raptors were from wild lineage at some 
point, and are for the most part, similar in appearance and behavior to 
wild-caught birds. Information collected on these birds assists State 
and Federal agencies with compliance of rules and regulations, as 
codified by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prohibits any person 
from taking, possessing, purchasing, bartering, selling or offering to 
purchase, barter, or sell, among other things, raptors (birds of prey) 
protected by the Act, unless the activities are allowed by Federal 
permit.
    Comment 7: Comment received via email on October 14, 2019: The 
commenter asked why, since the Service did away with the Federal 
Falconry Permit in 2014, it is still requiring the States to 
administer/maintain databases of Falconers. They comment that the new 
database does not enhance the user experience due to its complexity and 
the fact you must have internet to access it.
    Agency Response to Comment 7: The latest revision of the 3-186A 
database has been used by State and Federal agencies to compile 
information regarding wild and captive bred raptors for the sport of 
falconry. State agencies provide falconers guidance to comply with 
their regulations; a part of this is to maintain current information on 
falconry take and disposition of falconry birds. While the new 3-186A 
database is internet based, some States have allowed paper forms to be 
submitted to falconry administrators when the internet is unavailable 
to the falconer. The decision to use paper forms, or other forms of 
data entry has been left to the States. However, due to staffing 
issues, some States that currently allow paper forms are transitioning 
to an online data entry system. If a State choses to allow the use of 
paper forms, the State assumes the responsibility for entering the 
required information into the 3-186A database system.
    Comment 8: Comment received via email on October 14, 2019: The 
commenter suggests that the Service's overregulation of Falconry is 
discriminatory towards a tiny minority of sportsmen and sportswomen and 
they should expend their resources and efforts in data collection 
instead toward things like identification and regulation/registration 
of the owners of military assault weapons.
    Agency Response to Comment 8: Thank you for your comment. Your 
response is helpful and will be part of the public record.
    Comment 9: Comment received via email on August 16, 2019: The 
commenter states that there are less than 200 falconers in the United 
States and asked why tax payers are paying to support such a small 
group. They state it's a waste of taxpayer dollars, and think the 
program should be shut down.
    Agency Response to Comment 9: Thank you for your comment. Your 
response is helpful and will be part of the public record.
    Comment 10: Comment received via email on August 21, 2019: The 
commenter is a user of the online system. The commenter says the system 
is not user friendly. Specific complaints are missing dispositions and 
the random ability to view other Permittee's dispositions.
    Comment 11: Comment received via email on October 15, 2019: The 
commenter has used both the original and new database, and finds the 
newer much more confusing and time consuming. They think the new system 
should look and work more like the old system. They also state they've 
lost records because the state has edited or removed them. They state 
there's no reason for a state to go in and edit a falconer's form. They 
said it's become a nightmare to use and maintain and get original 
records back in place within the system. They suggest what the system 
generates needs to be a standard looking 3-186 that a state cannot 
remove or edit once a registered falconer records the info in the 
system.
    Comment 12: Comment received via postal mail on October 15, 2019: 
The commenter finds the online system unnecessarily cumbersome, tedious 
and error prone. They suggest form-based, rather than field-based data 
entry

[[Page 29966]]

validation, which they feel would greatly simplify the data-entry 
process.
    Also, they comment that the burden estimates state that 2.5 hours 
to complete the form. In their experience it takes approximately 30 
minutes to complete a 3-186A online. However, they believe this time 
could be and should be reduced to approximately 10 minutes with proper 
website design including the use of form-based rather than field-based 
data entry validation.
    Comment 13: Comment received via postal mail on September 17, 2019: 
The commenter states that the Service could enhance the utility of the 
information and minimize the burden of the collection of information 
upon the respondents if the application was made more user friendly.
    Agency Response to Comments 10-13: In the quest to get the database 
functioning again quickly, we had to adhere to recent changes in 
Federal computer standards. We agree the accurate data entry for most 
acquisition and transfers should take 10 to 30 minutes, depending on 
the situation and details related to the falconry bird. At this time 
due to federal database standards and platform specific code, as well 
as resources available to us, we cannot change the 3-186A database 
online appearance to mimic the paper format.
    Comment 14: Comment received via postal mail on August 22, 2019: 
The commenter asks if the database is necessary. The commenter suggests 
that in collaboration with the States, the Service should be monitoring 
falconry take to ensure that take does not exceed 5% as recommended by 
the USFWS in Millsap and Allen 2006.
    Agency Response to Comment 14: The 3-186A database is the mechanism 
that the Service established to accomplish that exact task, to track 
the number of raptors removed from the wild annually by falconers to 
ensure compliance with the take limits established in the 2008 
environmental assessment. The current framework, where permitting 
authority is delegated to the States, hinges on the ability for take to 
be tracked nationally via the 3-186A database. In addition, the 3-186A 
database provides information within and across State boundaries to 
allow State and Federal wildlife officials for periodic review of take 
of raptors used for falconry, and to be cognizant of potential impacts 
to wild raptors where species issues have been suggested or documented 
by credible data, and/or independent, peer reviewed research.
    Comment 15: Comment received via postal mail on August 22, 2019: 
The commenter asks if the information in the database will be processed 
and used in a timely manner. After talking with some agency biologists, 
it sounds to them that there is essentially zero capacity at the state 
level to monitoring these databases for accuracy, compliance, or take 
levels among other reasons. So, they feel that the existence of the 
system itself is possibly unjustified. They state that since falconers 
are already submitting annual reports to their state F&W agency every 
year, they are, in effect, submitting duplicate records for no reason.
    Comment 16: Comment received via postal mail on August 22, 2019: 
The commenter suggests that to enhance the quality, utility, and 
clarity of the information to be collected, the system should replace 
annual reporting at the state level and should be highly user-friendly. 
They state that due to the dysfunction of the last system, a lot of 
people were just submitting paper copies anyway to their state falconry 
staff person. They suggest the Service improve the system to provide 
the state agency with the necessary information while maintaining a 
safe and accurate database of record submissions for each permittee.
    Comment 17: Comment received via postal mail on August 22, 2019: 
The commenter states that the Service can minimize the burden of this 
collection on the respondents by advising states that annual report 
requirements are being met by the database reporting system and are 
thus unnecessary.
    Comment 18: Comment received via postal mail on August 22, 2019: 
The commenter states that the process can be streamlined by elimination 
of reporting by falconers because it is redundant for both falconers 
and state wildlife agencies to report the same information.
    Agency Response to Comment 15-18: State biologists, in concert with 
biologists and computer specialists from the Service's Division of 
Migratory Birds, regularly look at data provided by falconers. When 
questions of accuracy, compliance or take levels are derived from 
information supplied by falconers, state falconry administrators reach 
out to falconers to maintain quality assurance. In response to 
questionable information, state administrators may reach out to their 
Wildlife Law Enforcement branch for potential follow-up with the 
falconer. Data submission on the 3-186A database, as well as via 
additional annual reporting has been considered standard practice by 
some states. If falconers perceive an issue with the system recognizing 
other permit types, they should interact with their state falconry 
administrator, as states vary in their insistence of other permit types 
being reported via the 3-186A database. Reporting requirements may 
vary, as each state may do what they deem appropriate for record 
keeping as long as those standards are within the sideboards of Federal 
Falconry regulations (50 CFR 21.29)
    Comment 19: Comment received via postal mail on August 22, 2019: 
The commenter suggests the database be made to allow transfer and 
acquisitions between all possible legal permit types. They suggest 
making sure the database serves the permittee by saving all submissions 
and allowing the permittee to search and print all past submissions 
easily.
    They also suggest linking the transfers, so that when one permittee 
fills out a transfer on the database, it will prompt that other 
involved permittee by email.
    Comment 20: Comment received via postal mail on August 31, 2019: 
The commenter says the database needs a complete re-write. They state 
that signing in is nearly impossible, and the PDF forms are difficult 
to use, and often deletes their information as they are typing it. They 
suggest there should be a PDF 'send/save' mode where we send the PDF as 
an attachment, and a confirmation number/email for their records that 
we note the data sent on our records. They also suggest a comments 
section on the form is needed, and a description of the bird if it has 
unusual markings, etc. They state it should be easily used with any 
browser type.
    Agency Response to Comment 19-20: Your comments are helpful as the 
Service and States look to improve the 3-186A database and falconry 
record keeping. If falconers perceive an issue with the system for 
access, recognizing or saving data, they should interact with their 
state falconry administrator, as states vary in their insistence of 
other permit types being reported via the 3-186A database. Reporting 
requirements may vary, as each state may do what they deem appropriate 
for record keeping as long as those standards are within the sideboards 
of Federal Falconry regulations (50 CFR 21.29).
    Comment 21: Comment received via postal mail on August 22, 2019: 
The commenter suggests increasing the length of time a permittee has to 
report a transfer or acquisition to make it less likely that violations 
are a matter of plain forgetting.
    Agency Response to Comment 21: Current timelines by Federal and 
State regulations are 10 days for the length of time necessary to 
report an acquisition or transfer. This requirement may vary

[[Page 29967]]

to be more restrictive, as each State may do what they deem appropriate 
for record keeping as long as those standards are within the sideboards 
of Federal Falconry regulations (50 CFR 21.29).
    Comment 22: Comment received via postal mail on October 15, 2019: 
The commenter is confused by some statements in the posting. The 
posting indicated that the service anticipated about 40 annual 
respondents. They state that since the 3-186A form is required for 
every raptor taken, release or transferred, and nearly 700 birds are 
taken annually, we would expect closer to 1,000 3-186A forms to be 
submitted every year.
    Agency Response to Comment 22: We admit the error of the Service 
statement in the Federal Register notice and thank the commenter for 
pointing this out. In review of our statements, the Service was 
indicating the time expected to be interacting with all State falconry 
administrators regarding the 3-186A database. The commenter is correct 
on the approximate time necessary for falconers across the United 
States to provide their pertinent data under their permit to the states 
via the 3-186A database.
    Comment 23: Comment received via postal mail on September 17, 2019: 
The commenter supports the collection of data regarding acquisition and 
dispositions of wild raptors used in falconry. They state that while 
the Environmental Assessment by Millsap, et al. found that falconry 
take of raptors has no impact on raptor populations, they acknowledge 
that comprehensive collection of this information on a nation-wide 
basis may be of value to biologists and historians. They state that 
collection of such data should also support the following functions: 
enforcing federal wildlife laws, protecting endangered species and 
managing migratory birds.
    Agency Response to Comment 23: We appreciate the commenter's 
perspective. The 3-186A database provides information within and across 
State boundaries to allow State and Federal wildlife officials for 
periodic review of take of raptors used for falconry, and to be 
cognizant of potential impacts to wild raptors where species issues 
have been suggested or documented by credible data, and/or independent, 
peer reviewed research.
    As part of our continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent 
burdens, we are again soliciting comments from the public and other 
Federal agencies on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are 
especially interested in public comment addressing the following:
    (1) Whether or not the collection of information is necessary for 
the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including 
whether or not the information will have practical utility;
    (2) The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection 
of information, including the validity of the methodology and 
assumptions used;
    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
    (4) How might the agency minimize the burden of the collection of 
information on those who are to respond, including through the use of 
appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological 
collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., 
permitting electronic submission of response.
    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of 
public record. Before including your address, phone number, email 
address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you 
should be aware that your that your entire comment--including your 
personal identifying information--may be publicly available at any 
time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal 
identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we 
will be able to do so.
    Abstract: Our Regional Migratory Bird Permit Offices use 
information that we collect on permit applications to determine the 
eligibility of applicants for permits requested in accordance with the 
criteria in various Federal wildlife conservation laws and 
international treaties, including:
    (1) Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.).
    (2) Lacey Act (18 U.S.C. 42; 16 U.S.C. 3371 et seq.).
    (3) Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668 et seq.).
    Service regulations implementing these statutes and treaties are in 
chapter I, subchapter B of title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(CFR). These regulations stipulate general and specific requirements 
that, when met, allow us to issue permits to authorize activities that 
are otherwise prohibited.
    With the exception of Forms 3-186 and 3-186a, all Service permit 
applications are in the 3-200 and 3-202 series of forms, each tailored 
to a specific activity based on the requirements for specific types of 
permits. For this revision, we combined Forms 3-200-10c and 3-200-10d 
into one form (3-200-10c) to reduce the number of application forms and 
help streamline the application process. Since both forms dealt with 
possession for education purposes, and asked virtually the same 
questions of the applicant, there was no need to have separate forms. 
We collect standard identifier information for all permits. The 
information that we collect on applications and reports is the minimum 
necessary for us to determine if the applicant meets/continues to meet 
issuance requirements for the particular activity.

Proposed Revisions to This Information Collection

    With this submission, we are proposing the following revisions to 
the existing information collection:

Transfer of Eagle Requirements to OMB Control No. 1018-0167

    Information collection requirements associated with the Federal 
fish and wildlife permit applications and reports for both migratory 
birds and eagles are currently approved under a single OMB control 
number, 1018-0022, ``Federal Fish and Wildlife Permit Applications and 
Reports--Migratory Birds and Eagles; 50 CFR 10, 13, 21, 22.'' With this 
submission to OMB, we are proposing to reinstate OMB Control Number 
1018-0167, ``Eagle Take Permits and Fees, 50 CFR 22.'' Transferring the 
eagle requirements back to its original information collection will 
facilitate easier management of the information collection requirements 
associated with eagles.

ePermits Initiative

    The Service will request OMB approval to automate certain migratory 
bird permit forms. The Service's new ``ePermits'' initiative is an 
automated permit application system that will allow the agency to move 
towards a streamlined permitting process to reduce public burden. 
Public burden reduction is a priority for the Service; the Assistant 
Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks; and senior leadership at the 
Department of the Interior. The intent of the ePermits initiative is to 
fully automate the permitting process to improve the customer 
experience and to reduce time burden on respondents. This new system 
will enhance the user experience by allowing users to enter data from 
any device that has internet access, including personal computers 
(PCs), tablets, and smartphones. It will also link the permit applicant 
to the Pay.gov system for payment of the associated permit application 
fee.

[[Page 29968]]

    We anticipate including the following Service forms in the ePermits 
system: 3-186, 3-186A, 3-200-6 through 3-200-9, 3-200-10a through 3-
200-10c, 3-200-10e, 3-200-10f, 3-200-12 through 3-200-13, 3-200-67, 3-
200-79, 3-200-81, 3-202-1 through 3-202-10, 3-202-12, and 3-202-17.

Falconry Program Requirements

    Additionally, we propose to incorporate the information collection 
requirements associated with the Service's falconry program into this 
collection (OMB Control No. 1018-0022). Beginning in 2014, the Service 
passed the authority to issue permits for the practice of falconry to 
individual States (50 CFR 21.29; 78 FR 72830, December 4, 2013). As 
part of this change in authority, we required States to maintain 
databases of falconers authorized to conduct falconry in their States 
and required falconers to report transfers of falconry birds using the 
paper version of FWS Form 3-186A. We require each State that maintains 
its own database to ensure that it is compatible with the Service's 
database. To date, 47 States utilize the system provided by the 
Service. The Service's database continues to track take of birds from 
the wild by falconers and to maintain records of persons permitted by 
the States to practice falconry, as required by 50 CFR 21.29(k)(1).
    The primary purpose of this database is to allow the Service to 
track take of raptors from the wild by falconers to ensure take does 
not exceed levels established in the Service's 2008 environmental 
assessment of the impacts of the falconry regulations on wild raptor 
populations. The ability to track and document the effects of the wild 
take of raptors by falconers remains a responsibility of the Service. 
The database also: (1) Provides falconers and States with the 
information necessary to allow the efficient movement of falconers and 
raptors held under falconry permits among States; and (2) ensures that 
falconers can formally document their experience regardless of the 
States in which they have resided, which is required to advance from 
the apprentice- to general- to master-class permit levels.
    In 2018, the Service requested and received OMB approval under the 
Department of the Interior Fast Track generic clearance (OMB Control 
No. 1090-0011) to conduct usability testing of the revised/repaired 
application and database functionality. The revised/repairs falconry 
database (database) replaced a legacy system based on outdated 
programming. It reduced the cost to the government by eliminating the 
need for Service personnel to enter data for each new falconer, and 
simply required the entry of data for State administrators. In 
addition, this new database enhances the user experience by allowing 
them to enter data from any device that has internet access, including 
PCs, tablets, and smart phones. The usability testing helped the 
Service to address problems and recommendations prior to the database 
going live. We are now ready to request full OMB approval of the 
falconry database and the information collection requirements 
associated with the falconry program.
    Title of Collection: Federal Fish and Wildlife Permit Applications 
and Reports--Migratory Birds; 50 CFR 10, 13, 21.
    OMB Control Number: 1018-0022.
    Form Number: FWS Forms 3-186, 3-186A, 3-200-6 through 3-200-9, 3-
200-10a through 3-200-10c, 3-200-10e, 3-200-10f, 3-200-12 through 3-
200-13, 3-200-67, 3-200-79, 3-200-81, 3-202-1 through 3-202-10, 3-202-
12, and 3-202-17.
    Type of Review: Revision of an existing information collection.
    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals; zoological parks; 
museums; universities; scientists; taxidermists; businesses; utilities; 
and Federal, State, local, and Tribal governments.
    Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 27,980.
    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 53,510.
    Estimated Completion Time per Response: Varies from 15 minutes to 
260 hours, depending on activity.
    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 394,967.
    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit.
    Frequency of Collection: On occasion for applications; annually or 
on occasion for reports.
    Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: $491,050 (primarily 
associated with application processing fees).
    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.
    The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    Dated: May 14, 2020.
Madonna Baucum,
Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-10707 Filed 5-18-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P