[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 49 (Tuesday, March 13, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14726-14727]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-6011]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Farm Service Agency

Commodity Credit Corporation


Information Collection Request; Economic Assessment of 
Conservation Reserve Program Lands for Hunting

AGENCY: Farm Service Agency and Commodity Credit Corporation, USDA.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the 
Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) 
are requesting comments from all interested individuals and 
organizations on a new information collection request associated with 
the Economic Assessment of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Lands for 
Hunting.

DATES: We will consider comments that we receive by May 14, 2012.

ADDRESSES: We invite you to submit comments on this notice. In your 
comments, include date, OMB control number, volume, and page number of 
this issue of the Federal Register. You may submit comments by any of 
the following methods:

[[Page 14727]]

     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Skip Hyberg, Agricultural Economist, Economic and 
Policy Analysis Staff, Farm Service Agency, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., 
Room 3730, Mail Stop 0519, Washington, DC 20250.
    Comments also should be sent to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and 
Budget, Washington, DC 20503. Copies of the information collection may 
be obtained from Dr. Skip Hyberg at the above address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Skip Hyberg, (202) 720-9222. 
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for 
communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc) should contact 
the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Title: Economic Assessment of Conservation Reserve Program Lands 
for Hunting.
    OMB Control Number: 0560-NEW.
    Type of Request: New.
    Abstract: As specified in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 
2008, (the 2008 Farm Bill, Pub. L. 110-246), FSA administers the CRP to 
conserve and improve soil, water, and wildlife resources. Federal 
investments in the CRP on private cropland enhance essential ecosystem 
services, including wildlife, and provide improved hunting 
opportunities in rural areas. Hunters from urban areas within the State 
and non-residents outside the State are drawn to CRP lands or other 
private lands surrounding CRP lands for hunting.
    FSA is required by statute to consider benefits from the 
enhancement of wildlife habitat when selecting CRP offers. Because 
hunter spending increases in rural areas as hunting opportunities 
increase, economic activity and employment within the outdoor 
recreational sector are enhanced. FSA is responsible for identifying 
and quantifying the relationship between job creation and investments 
in CRP lands, as increased outdoor recreation is among the benefits FSA 
provides in administering the CRP.
    There have been no statewide assessments of the CRP program on 
hunting use, expenditures, and jobs in North and South Dakota (ND and 
SD, respectively). The only prior studies focused on six small areas in 
ND and are 10 years old. There have been significant changes to the CRP 
program since that time. In addition, there is limited generalizability 
of the six ND areas to the rest of ND and SD. Without data on hunter 
use and expenditures, the economic contribution generated by federal 
investments in CRP cannot be reliably estimated.
    FSA plans to conduct statewide mail surveys with ND and SD hunters 
to elicit information on:
    (a) Their use of CRP lands in terms of days spent hunting there;
    (b) Expenditure pattern information; and
    (c) Net economic values.
    The primary objective of the survey is to estimate the employment 
and income contribution of current CRP lands to the rural areas within 
the respective States, and possible changes to jobs and income 
emanating from changes in the CRP program.
    We have discussed the survey with the State Fish and Game agencies 
and tentatively selected mail surveys. Mail surveys appear to be the 
best unbiased survey approach because the State Fish and Game agencies 
do not have email addresses for all hunters, and hunters in many rural 
locations of ND and SD do not have email access at home.
    Collection of the data is necessary to evaluate and improve CRP 
selection criteria and program implementation. Having information on 
recreation-related jobs permits a comparison of county-level impacts of 
CRP land temporarily going out of crop production.
    Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this information 
collection is estimated to average 20 minutes per response.
    Frequency of Collection: One time only.
    Respondents: Hunters in ND and SD.
    Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 2,400.
    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.
    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 2,400.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 800 hours.
    We are requesting comments on all aspects of this information 
collection to help us to:
    (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for 
the proper performance of the functions of FSA, including whether the 
information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of FSA's estimate of burden, including 
the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) 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.
    All responses to this notice, including names and addresses when 
provided, will be summarized and included in the request for OMB 
approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Signed on March 6, 2012.
Bruce Nelson,
Administrator, Farm Service Agency, Executive Vice President, Commodity 
Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2012-6011 Filed 3-12-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-05-P