[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 22 (Friday, February 1, 2013)]
[Pages 7390-7391]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-02358]

[[Page 7390]]



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.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the 
Farm Service Agency (FSA), on behalf of the Commodity Credit 
Corporation (CCC), is 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 April 2, 2013.

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:
     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).

    Title: Economic Assessment of Conservation Reserve Program Lands 
for Hunting.
    OMB Control Number: 0560-NEW.
    Type of Request: New.
    Abstract: In accordance with the Food Security Act of 1985 (Pub. L. 
99-198), as amended, FSA, on behalf of CCC, administers the CRP to 
conserve and improve soil, water, and wildlife resources. Federal 
investments in the CRP on private cropland enhance essential ecosystem 
resources, including wildlife, which has been documented to provide 
improved hunting opportunities in rural areas. As such, hunters from 
within the state and non-residents outside the state are drawn to CRP 
lands or other private lands surrounding CRP lands for hunting.
    FSA considers benefits from the enhancement of wildlife habitat 
when selecting CRP offers. As hunting opportunities increase, so too 
does hunter spending, generating economic activity and employment 
within the outdoor recreational sector, which is of particular 
importance to rural communities in the region. 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.
    Without data on hunter use and expenditures, the economic 
contribution generated by federal investments in the CRP cannot be 
reliably estimated. With this in mind, FSA plans to work with Colorado 
State University to conduct statewide mail surveys with deer, upland 
bird, and waterfowl hunters in North Dakota (ND) and South Dakota (SD). 
There have thus far been no statewide assessments of the CRP program on 
hunting use, expenditures, and jobs in ND or SD; the only prior studies 
focused on six small areas in ND and are now more than 10 years old. 
There have also been significant changes to the CRP since that time. In 
addition, there is limited generalizability of the six ND areas to the 
rest of ND and to SD. Therefore, FSA believes that these new statewide 
surveys will assist it in successfully furthering the goals of the CRP. 
Each of the six surveys will elicit information on hunters':
    (a) Hunting activity in 2013;
    (b) Use of CRP lands in terms of days spent hunting there;
    (c) Expenditure pattern information; and
    (d) Demographic information.
    The primary objective of the surveys is to enable FSA to estimate 
the economic job and income contribution of current CRP lands on the 
rural areas within the respective states, and possible changes to jobs 
and income from potential changes to CRP lands emanating from either 
changes in the CRP program or farmers' response to non program 
    The research proposal has been discussed with the respective State 
Fish and Game agencies, and it was decided that mail surveys are the 
best tool to obtain the data needed to estimate CRP's contribution to 
rural economies. Mail surveys appear to be the best approach for an 
unbiased survey 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, as described above. 
Having information on recreation-related jobs will help FSA to conduct 
a comparison of county level impacts of land temporarily going out of 
crop production via CRP. The data will be analyzed by Dr. John Loomis 
of Colorado State University's Department of Agricultural and Resource 
    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this information 
collection is estimated to average 15 minutes per response.
    Frequency of Collection: One time only.
    Respondents: Hunters with ND and SD hunting licenses.
    Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 6,000.
    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.
    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 6,000.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 1,500 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 name 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.

[[Page 7391]]

    Signed on January 23, 2013.
Juan M. Garica,
Administrator, Farm Service Agency, and Executive Vice President, 
Commodity Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2013-02358 Filed 1-31-13; 8:45 am]