Personal Privileges

055 FW 4
FWM Number
Originating Office
Division of Natural Resources and Conservation Planning

4.1 Policy. The Service discourages the granting of special privileges to employees. However, certain personal privileges may be authorized when circumstances and conditions warrant. All instances of the granting of personal privileges must be thoroughly documented and annually reviewed to assure strict compliance with Service policy.

4.2 Objectives.

A. To provide clear and precise guidance in the granting of personal privileges;

B. To ensure that the unique and special needs of all persons living on Service lands are appropriately met;

C. To ensure that special privileges are compatible with the purposes and objectives of the field office; and

D. To avoid or minimize adverse public reaction to the granting of special personal privileges to persons living on Service lands.

4.3 Livestock and Domestic Fowl. Due to the potential for disease transmission, domestic fowl on refuges will be limited to chickens; no other types of fowl may be kept.

Requests and approval for keeping livestock or domestic fowl must specify the exact number of animals involved. The total number of livestock, excluding season's increase, shall not exceed 5 animals per family. The total number of domestic fowl, excluding season's increase, shall not exceed 25 adult birds. The season's increase must be disposed of after six months.

Although the season's surpluses may be sold, livestock and domestic fowl may not be kept at the field office for the ultimate purpose of sale, including sale of the products, as a means of supplementing income.

4.4 Pasture, Stables, and Other Facilities. No new pasture space for personal livestock will be established or receive major rehabilitation without the prior approval of the regional director. When approved, pasture facilities will be provided for personal livestock on an actual use basis at the animal unit month (AUM) rate established for grazing permits at the field office; or when lacking, local community grazing rates will be used.

Stable space and chicken houses may be used provided they are available and not otherwise needed for official purposes. Charges for stable space and chicken house rent will be based on local prevailing rates.

4.5 Dogs and Cats. Dogs must be confined to a yard or trained to stay in the immediate vicinity of the residence. Cats will not be permitted to roam unrestrained outside of the field office residence or outbuildings. Both dogs and cats must be vaccinated for rabies and must meet all local health laws and regulations. The keeping of animals that are obnoxious or dangerous to the visiting public will not be permitted.

Persons living at field offices may not keep more than two dogs and one cat. Any increase through births must be disposed of by the time they are weaned.

Personal pets will not be permitted to accompany employees on official Service duties.

4.6 Gardens. Persons residing at a field office will be permitted the use of government land not otherwise needed for official purposes to raise a garden of sufficient size to meet normal family needs. Produce may not be raised at the field office for marketing. Before developing a new garden or enlarging an existing one, the proposal should be reviewed with the project leader. Normally, labor and expenses incidental to gardening must be obtained from private sources. However, at isolated offices where the private rental of equipment for annual plowing and seedbed preparation is impracticable to obtain, authorization may be granted by the regional director to rent government equipment. The rental charge should be based on local prevailing rates. A person who uses government irrigation facilities for a personal garden will reimburse the government at an annual rate for the equipment and/or the additional electric power required for operating the equipment.

4.7 Approval Procedures. The project leader screens requests for special privileges, prepares a Form 3-1383, Special Use Permit, and submits it to the regional director for approval. In granting special personal privileges to an employee, the regional director is responsible for ensuring that the circumstances under which the privilege is requested are sufficiently compelling to justify an authorization not available to the general public.

4.8 Firewood Cutting. Service employees will be subject to the same field office rules and regulations as the public.

Amended by Decision Memorandum, “Approval of Revisions to ~350 Directives to Remove Gender-Specific Pronouns,” 6/22/2022