NMFS Seeks Comment on Beluga Whale ICR
On Feb. 7, 2012, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published Federal Register notice seeking public comment on an Information Collection Request regarding the beluga whale. NMFS plans to send this ICR to the Office of Management and Budget for review. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, OMB must review and approve this ICR before NMFS can collect the information it covers.
NMFS' Federal Register notice describes this information as "Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey." NMFS' notice further explains that the Service
"plans to conduct a survey to collect data for measuring the economic
benefits the public receives for providing additional protection, beyond
current levels, to the Cook Inlet beluga whale. These preferences are currently
not known, but are needed to assist in the evaluation of alternative measures to
further protect and recover the species' population, such as in the evaluation of
critical habitat designations. The survey consists of conducting a mail-telephone
survey of U.S. households to collect data that will be used to measure these
public preferences and values.
Comments on this proposed ICR are due to NMFS by April 9, 2012.
Click here to read NMFS' Federal Register notice
During 2011, NMFS fielded a pilot version of the survey to a small number
of U.S. households, primarily to evaluate the survey administration
procedures prior to sending the survey out to a larger and more representative
sample. The results of this pretest indicated the need to make minor
adjustments to the survey administration (e.g., timing of mailings
and telephone calls), which will be incorporated in the data collection to
which this notice pertains."
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