The US Fish and Wildlife Service, Service, Headquarters Region 7 intends to award a single source Cooperative Agreement as authorized by 505 DM 2.14.B to Kawerak Inc., Eskimo Walrus Commission, Commission. This notice is not a request for proposals and the Government does not intend to accept proposals. Award will be made 15 days after this notice. PURPOSE: This cooperative agreement will provide for continued implementation of a long standing comanagement relationship between the Service and the Commission for the conservation and comanagement of subsistence use of Pacific walrus as authorized under Section 119 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this Cooperative Agreement between the Service and the Eskimo Walrus Commission is to: 1. conserve Pacific walrus in Alaska: 2. encourage comanagement of subsistence uses of Pacific Walrus by the involvement of subsistence users through the Commission; 3. Provide the Commission, with information on walrus population, status, and trends for the development of sound management practices integral to fulfilling their mission of representing the interests of subsistence users and Eskimo walrus hunters; and, 4. provide the Service with information for the monitoring of walrus population, status, and trends to fulfill its species oversight responsibilities. The objectives of this Agreement are to provide support and assistance to continue comanagement activities with the Service for the conservation and comanagement of subsistence use of Pacific walrus. REASON FOR SINGLE SOURCE: Location, The Eskimo Walrus Commission is headquartered in Nome, Alaska which puts them in close proximity to the largest walrus hunting communities in the state. Nome is a hub community, which allows for easy access and reduced cost for travel for EWC personnel, commissioners, and subsistence hunters. Legislative intent, The language in the legislative history, 1997 Congressional Budget Appropriations, clearly indicates Congress intent for an ongoing comanagement relationship for Pacific walrus to be established with the EWC. This agreement is entered into under the authority of Section 119 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, MMPA. Continuation, The activity which this agreement will support is necessary to the continuation of comanagement of Pacific walrus which has been ongoing since 1997, and for which competition would have a significant adverse effect on the continuity of the activity. Technical Expertise, The Eskimo Walrus Commission was formed in 1978 as a consortium of Native hunters. EWC is now a recognized statewide entity working on Pacific walrus comanagement issues on behalf of Alaska Natives. Pacific walrus are an essential cultural, natural, and subsistence resource to the Alaskan coastal Yupik and Inupiaq communities. EWC is the only Tribally authorized Alaska Native Organization to represent the Tribal membership in 19 of Alaskas largest coastal walrus hunting communities, Barrow, Pt Lay, Wainwright, Pt Hope, Kivalina, Kotzebue, Shishmaref, Wales, Little Diomede, Brevig Mission, King Island Community, Nome Eskimo Community, Gambell, Savoonga, Unalakleet, Stebins, Kwigillingok, Mekoryuk, and Togiak. The Federally recognized Tribal Government of each member community appoints a commissioner to represent their community and walrus subsistence hunters interests. As authorized under Section 119 of the MMPA, the Service and the EWC have had a signed cooperative agreement since 1997 to allow for conservation and provide for comanagement of subsistence use of Pacific Walrus. Section 119 also authorized appropriations to allow for grants to Alaska Native Organizations for, among other purposes, 1. collecting and analyzing data on marine mammal populations; 2. monitoring the harvest of marine mammals for subsistence use; 3. participating in marine mammal research conducted by the Federal Government, States, academic institutions, and private organizations; and 4. developing marine mammal comanagement structures with Federal and State agencies. The EWC has ample experience collecting harvest data and traditional ecological knowledge of walrus along both the Bering and Chukchi Sea coasts. The EWC has been a long standing partner in walrus research projects conducted by the Service. The EWC has 34 years of history in building capacity and developing a comanagement relationship with the Service. The EWC is the only Tribally authorized Alaska Native organization with the expertise to meet the legislative intent of Section 119 of the MMPA.