Agency Information Collection Activities; Backcountry/Wilderness Use Permit

Published date15 September 2023
Record Number2023-19979
Citation88 FR 63603
CourtNational Park Service
SectionNotices
Federal Register, Volume 88 Issue 178 (Friday, September 15, 2023)
[Federal Register Volume 88, Number 178 (Friday, September 15, 2023)]
                [Notices]
                [Pages 63603-63605]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2023-19979]
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                DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
                National Park Service
                [NPS-WASO-VRP-WS--NPS0036398 ; PPWOWMADL3, PPMPSAS1Y.TD0000 (222); OMB
                Control Number 1024-0022]
                Agency Information Collection Activities; Backcountry/Wilderness
                Use Permit
                AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.
                ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment.
                -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 we, the
                National Park Service (NPS) are proposing to renew an information
                collection with revisions.
                DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before
                October 16, 2023.
                ADDRESSES: Written comments and suggestions on the information
                collection requirements should be submitted by the date specified above
                in DATES to https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. Find this
                particular information collection by selecting ``Currently under
                Review--Open for Public Comments'' or by using the search function.
                Please provide a copy of your comments to Phadrea Ponds, NPS
                Information Collection Clearance Officer (ADIR-ICCO), 13461 Sunrise
                Valley Drive (MS-244) Reston, VA 20192 (mail); or [email protected]
                (email). Please include 1024-0022 in the subject line of your comments.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information
                about this Information Collection Request (ICR), contact Roger Semler,
                Chief, Wilderness Stewardship Division at [email protected] (email)
                or 202-430-7615 (Phone). Please reference OMB Control Number 1024-0022
                in the subject line of your comments. Individuals in the United States
                who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability
                may dial 711 (TTY, TDD, or TeleBraille) to access telecommunications
                relay services. Individuals outside the United States should use the
                relay services offered within their country to make international calls
                to the point of contact in the United States. You may also view the ICR
                at https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain.
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction
                Act of 1995 (PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501et seq.) and 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1), we
                provide the 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.
                 A FederalRegister notice with a 60-day public comment period
                soliciting comments on this collection of information was published on
                (87 FR 73776) on December 1, 2022. We received the following comments
                in response to that Notice:
                Comment #1: Email From John Ryter on 12/11/2022
                I'd like to comment on the proposal to require permits for climbing
                in national parks. It's hard to determine whether this proposal means
                climbers would be required to get permits in advance, and whether there
                would be limits on the number of permits available for a given day. If
                there is a limit on how many are available on a given day, I am
                concerned that the addition of permits would cause fewer climbers to
                abandon or reschedule their climbs due to weather, and we would see an
                increase in injuries, rescues, and fatalities occurring in national
                parks. This could be mitigated by reducing the time in advance that
                permits could be acquired (e.g., cannot get permits more than 4 days in
                advance), but that presents its own challenges.
                 There are already cases where a permit is a de facto requirement
                for doing a climb, such as those where backcountry camping is necessary
                for most non-professional climbers. In my experience, this hasn't been
                an issue (there have been enough sites available that it was possible
                to get a site the day of), but since so many climbs require early
                starts (6 a.m. or earlier), day-of permits would be pretty challenging
                to do. It would also be good to link those sorts of campsites, like the
                lower saddle of the Grand Teton, with the climbing permits in some way
                so people don't end up with one and not the other.
                 If it's simply a sign-in sheet at the trailhead, that seems very
                reasonable and I have no concerns. My only other question is what the
                cutoff grade for climbing would be--all off-trail travel, class 3 or 4
                or higher, or roped vs un-roped? Either way, being able to do the
                permit at the trailhead or online would be a great idea.
                NPS Response/Action Taken
                 During the 60-day Federal Register comment period, the National
                Park Service proposed creating a new Form
                [[Page 63604]]
                10-404C that intends to renew the current Backcountry/Wilderness
                related to permitting fixed anchors in the wilderness. After review and
                consultation, the NPS will not add the new form to the collection.
                Comment #2: Email From the Alaska State ANILCA Program Coordinator on
                1/26/2023
                 A three-page letter (attached in ROCIS) submitted in PDF format was
                submitted expressing the State of Alaska's viewpoints regarding a
                proposed new form 10-404C--Application to install fixed anchors in the
                wilderness.
                NPS Response/Action Taken
                 During the 60-day Federal Register comment period, the National
                Park Service proposed creating a new Form 10-404C. After review and
                consultation, the NPS will not add the new form to the collection.
                Comment #3: Email From Access Fund Vice President of Policy and
                Government Affairs on 1/27/2023
                 A four-page letter (attached) was submitted expressing viewpoints
                and concerns regarding creating an application form regarding a
                proposed new form 10-404C--Application to install fixed anchors in the
                wilderness installation of fixed anchors in the wilderness.
                NPS Response/Action Taken
                 During the 60-day Federal Register comment period, the National
                Park Service proposed creating a new Form 10-404C. After review and
                consultation, the NPS will not add the new form to the collection.
                 As part of our continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent
                burdens, we invite the public and other Federal agencies 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.
                 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.
                 (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. We will include or summarize each comment in our request
                to OMB to approve this ICR. 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: The Backcountry/Wilderness Use Permit is an extension of
                the NPS statutory authority and responsibility to protect the park
                areas it administers and to manage the public use thereof (54 U.S.C.
                100101, 100751, and 320102). In 1976, the NPS initiated a backcountry
                registration system by the regulations codified in 36 CFR 1.5, 1.6, and
                2.10. The NPS regulations codified in 36 CFR parts 1 through 7, 12, and
                13 are designated to implement statutory mandates that provide for
                resource protection and public enjoyment. The registration system aims
                to provide users access to backcountry and wilderness areas of national
                parks while enhancing the protection of natural and cultural resources
                by using better management practices by the park management. Data
                collected through the registration process serves as an important
                resource that informs backcountry/wilderness management and stewardship
                planning, decision-making, and operations, and provides a means of
                disseminating public safety and outdoor ethics messages regarding
                backcountry/wilderness travel and camping along with continuing
                opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation. Permitting
                enhances the ability of the NPS to educate users on potential hazards,
                search and rescue efforts, and resource protection. The objectives of
                the permit system carried out by park managers are to ensure:
                 (1) Requests by backcountry users are evaluated by park managers
                per applicable statutes and NPS regulations.
                 (2) The use of consistent standards and permitting criteria
                throughout the agency.
                 (3) To the extent possible, the use of a single and efficient
                permitting document, NPS Forms 10-404 Backcountry/Wilderness Use Permit
                Application and 10-404A Backcountry/Wilderness Use Permit Hangtag are
                used to provide access to NPS backcountry areas, including areas that
                require a reservation to enter where use limits are imposed per other
                NPS regulations. The 10-404AK Alaska Backcountry/Wilderness Use Permit
                Application, is used within Alaskan park units, Denali National Park
                and Preserve and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, due to unique,
                park-specific requirements like the additional permitted methods of
                travel as regulated by ANILCA Section 1110(a).
                 We've decided to not add the previously proposed (in the 60-day FRN
                publication) new form 10-404C Backcountry/Wilderness Use Permit
                Application for Climbing to this collection, upon consideration of the
                comments received during the 60-day comment period.
                 Title of Collection: Backcountry/Wilderness Use Permit, 36 CFR 1.5,
                1.6, and 2.10.
                 OMB Control Number: 1024-0022.
                 Form Number: NPS Forms 10-404 Backcountry/Wilderness Use Permit
                Application, 10-404A Backcountry/Wilderness Use Permit Hangtag, 10-
                404AK Alaska Backcountry/Wilderness Use Permit Application.
                 Type of Review: Renewal of a currently approved collection.
                 Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals, private sector, and
                state, local, or tribal government entities applying to use backcountry
                and wilderness areas within units of the national park system.
                 Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 473,872.
                 Estimated Completion Time per Response: Varies from 5 minutes to 8
                minutes depending on the activity.
                 Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 51,337.
                 Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain a benefit.
                 Frequency of Collection: On occasion.
                 Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: None.
                 An agency may not conduct or sponsor nor is a person required to
                respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently
                valid OMB control number.
                [[Page 63605]]
                 The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of
                1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).
                Phadrea Ponds,
                Information Collection Clearance Officer, National Park Service.
                [FR Doc. 2023-19979 Filed 9-14-23; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 4312-52-P
                

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