Information Collection: Forest Industries and Logging Operations Data Collection Systems

CourtForest Service
Citation86 FR 44685
Record Number2021-17319
Publication Date13 Aug 2021
Federal Register, Volume 86 Issue 154 (Friday, August 13, 2021)
[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 154 (Friday, August 13, 2021)]
                [Pages 44685-44686]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office []
                [FR Doc No: 2021-17319]
                Forest Service
                Information Collection: Forest Industries and Logging Operations
                Data Collection Systems
                AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.
                ACTION: Notice; request for comment.
                SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the
                Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested individuals and
                organizations on the extension with revision of a currently approved
                information collection, Forest Industries and Logging Operations Data
                Collection Systems.
                DATES: Comments must be received in writing on or before October 12,
                2021 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date
                will be considered to the extent practicable.
                ADDRESSES: Comments concerning this notice should be addressed to:
                 Email: [email protected].
                 Mail: Consuelo Brandeis, Southern Research Station, Forest
                Inventory and Analysis, Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 4700
                Old Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919.
                 Telephone: 865-862-2028.
                 Facsimile: 865-862-0262.
                 Comments submitted in response to this notice may be made available
                to the public through relevant websites and upon request. For this
                reason, please do not include any information of a confidential nature,
                such as sensitive personal information or proprietary information. If
                you send an email comment, your email address will be automatically
                captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the
                public docket and made available on the internet. Please note that
                responses to this public comment request containing any routine notice
                about the confidentiality of the communication will be treated as
                public comments that may be made available to the public
                notwithstanding the inclusion of the routine notice.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Consuelo Brandeis, Southern Research
                Station, at 865-862-2028. Individuals who use telecommunication devices
                for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-
                877-8339 twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year, including
                 Title: Forest Industries and Logging Operations Data Collection
                 OMB Number: 0596-0010.
                 Expiration Date of Approval: February 28, 2022.
                 Type of Request: Extension with revision of a currently approved
                information collection.
                 Abstract: The Forest and Range Renewable Resources Planning Act of
                1974 and the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of
                1978 require the Forest Service to evaluate trends in the use of
                roundwood (logs in whole or chipped form), to forecast anticipated
                levels of roundwood use and availability, and to analyze changes in the
                harvest of these resources from the United States' forests. This data
                collection effort has been conducted since the mid-1970s, with various
                adjustments through time to accommodate new questions, sampling
                approaches, and/or data collection needs. Data collection is performed
                by Forest Service personnel and cooperators from State natural resource
                agencies and universities. Currently, the data collection gathers
                information from two groups: Primary wood industry and logging
                 Primary Wood Industry Questionnaire: This questionnaire is used by
                the Forest Service to collect and evaluate information from primary
                wood-using mills, including small, part-time mills, as well as large
                [[Page 44686]]
                entities. Primary wood-using mills are facilities that use roundwood to
                manufacture a primary product, such as lumber, wood pulp, veneer, etc.
                Forest Service personnel evaluate the information collected and use it
                to monitor volume of roundwood harvested throughout the Nation by
                primary product type, tree species, and origin. The information
                gathered is not available from other sources and provides baseline data
                for resource analyses, which are a key component in the formulation of
                forestry programs, industrial expansion decisions, and forest policy.
                Primary wood industry questionnaires are delivered to mills via regular
                mail or through email. Responses are collected through email, regular
                mail, phone interviews, or personal mill visits.
                 Logging Operations Questionnaire: This questionnaire is used by the
                Forest Service to collect and evaluate information from logging
                operations to help characterize the logging industry and its response
                to outside influences. The information is used to measure the `health'
                of the logging industry as well as to provide background information
                for decision-making. The logging operations questionnaire is
                administered in person by field personnel during tree utilization data
                collection at sampled logging sites.
                 For this extension, we are proposing to revise the questionnaire
                for the primary wood industry survey to simplify the format and
                eliminate questions that are no longer needed. At the same time, we
                propose to test a few survey mechanisms that could help improve survey
                response and lower respondents' burden by piloting various survey
                structures including different questionnaire lengths (e.g., a three-
                question post-card or a short version of the traditional survey). We
                also propose using a cognitive survey to assess respondent's
                understanding of the survey questions and to identify areas of
                potential clarification. These proposed tests are in direct response to
                comments from data users, state partners, and other stakeholders
                indicating the need to adopt new approaches to motivate higher response
                rates. The logging operations survey will remain unchanged from the
                currently approved version.
                 In summary, this information collection will generate
                scientifically based, statistically reliable, up-to-date information
                about utilization of timber resources of the United States. Our testing
                efforts will allow us to improve the quality of data obtained. The
                results of these efforts contribute to the availability of reliable
                information on timber resource use, facilitating more complete and
                accurate assessments of forest resources at state, regional, and
                national levels.
                 Affected Public: Individuals and the Private Sector (Businesses).
                In particular, mill owners and representatives, procurement foresters
                and loggers.
                 Estimate of Burden per Response: Accounting for the proposed tests,
                the primary wood industry questionnaire's estimated burdens are 41
                minutes for the traditional format, to be delivered to a sample of
                2,500 mills; 25 minutes for the short-form test version going to a
                sample of 98 mills; five minutes for the three-question post-card test
                to be sent to a sample of 2,500 mills; five minutes to a sample of 500
                mills which will be screened for the cognitive interview; and 60
                minutes for the cognitive interviews to be conducted for 20 mills
                identified during the screening process. Estimated time burden for the
                logging operations questionnaire is 11 minutes to be distributed to a
                sample of 150 logging operations.
                 Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 5,768.
                 Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.
                 Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 2,060 hours.
                 Comment is invited on: (1) Whether this collection of information
                is necessary for the stated purposes and proper performance of the
                functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have
                practical or scientific utility; (2) the accuracy of the Agency's
                estimate of the burden of the information collection, including
                validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance
                the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;
                and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on
                respondents, including the use of automated, electronic, mechanical, or
                other technological collection techniques or other forms of information
                 All comments received in response to this notice, including names
                and addresses when provided, will be a matter of public record.
                Comments will be summarized and included in the submission request
                toward Office of Management and Budget approval.
                Alexander L. Friend,
                Deputy Chief, Research and Development.
                [FR Doc. 2021-17319 Filed 8-12-21; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 3411-15-P

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