[Federal Register: January 14, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 9)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 2178-2182]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 2178]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 32

RIN 1018-AE18

1997-98 Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: This rule adds additional national wildlife refuges to the 
list of areas open for hunting, along with pertinent refuge-specific 
regulations for such activities; and amends certain regulations on 
other refuges that pertain to migratory game bird hunting, upland game 
hunting, big game hunting and sport fishing. The Fish and Wildlife 
Service (Service) provides notice that they will manage the size of the 
bison herd by removing animals with firearms on the National Elk Refuge 
(Refuge) in Wyoming.

DATES: This rule is effective February 13, 1998.

Steve Vehrs; (703) 358-2397.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In the July 21, 1997, issue of the Federal 
Register (62 FR 38959) the Service published a proposed rulemaking and 
invited public comment that would allow the public to hunt bison on the 
National Elk Refuge. The Service working with the National Park 
Service, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and the U.S. Forest Service 
developed a management plan for the Jackson Bison Herd (JBH) addressing 
the public's desire to maintain large populations of wildlife in 
limited and diminishing habitat while human habitation increases 
demands on the land. In the case of the JBH, public views vary widely 
about bison. The goal of the Service and cooperators is maintaining a 
free-roaming bison herd in Jackson Hole, as free from human 
intervention as practical. Given the existing behavior of the JBH, 
prevailing snowfall patterns, geography, and other constraints, the 
September 30, 1997 Final Management Plan meets public desires and 
provides for a viable free-roaming bison herd. The Service received two 
requests from The Fund for Animals to extend the comment period on the 
proposal to permit bison herd reduction within the Refuge. The original 
comment period was open for 30 days (62 FR 38959, July 21, 1997), and 
then extended to September 19, 1997, (62 FR 47372, September 9, 1997) 
to accommodate public review of a pending update to the Jackson Bison 
Herd Long Term Management Plan. Due to the need by the Service for 
additional time to complete modifications to the final herd management 
plan and review information and comments from interested parties on 
this proposed action, the comment period was then reopened for an 
additional 30 days (62 FR 53773, October 16, 1997). Other documents, 
such as a refuge Compatibility Determination and the National Elk 
Refuge Hunt Plan Amendment were approved on October 1, 1997. Copies of 
the Hunt Plan Amendment and the Compatibility Determination are 
available from the Refuge Manager, National Elk Refuge, Box C, Jackson, 
Wyoming 83001.
    National Wildlife Refuge System (System) hunting programs are 
reviewed annually to determine whether additional refuges should be 
added or whether individual refuge regulations governing existing 
programs should be modified, deleted or have additions made to them. 
Changing environmental conditions, State and Federal regulations, and 
other factors affecting wildlife populations and habitat may warrant 
modifications ensuring continued compatibility of hunting with the 
purposes of individual refuges, and the Mission of the System.
    The Mission of the System is to administer a national network of 
lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where 
appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and 
their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and 
future generations of Americans. The System was created to sustain and, 
where appropriate, restore and enhance, healthy populations of fish, 
wildlife, and plants utilizing, in accordance with applicable Federal 
and State laws, methods and procedures associated with modern 
scientific resource programs. Such methods and procedures include, 
consistent with the provisions of law: protection, research, census, 
law enforcement, habitat management, propagation, live trapping, 
transplantation, and regulated taking. The Mission is being facilitated 
by providing Americans opportunities to participate in compatible 
wildlife-dependent recreation, including hunting and fishing, on System 
lands and to better appreciate the value of and need for fish and 
wildlife conservation.
    The Service generally closes national wildlife refuges to hunting 
and sport fishing until opened by rulemaking. The Secretary of the 
Interior (Secretary), acting through the Director of the Service may 
open refuge areas to hunting and/or fishing upon a determination that 
such uses are compatible. A compatible use is a wildlife-dependent 
recreational use or any other use of a refuge that, in the sound 
professional judgment of the Director, will not materially interfere 
with or detract from the fulfillment of the Mission of the System or 
the purposes of the refuge. The action also must be in accordance with 
provisions of all laws applicable to the areas, must be consistent with 
the principles of sound fish and wildlife management and 
administration, and otherwise must be in the public interest.
    50 CFR part 32 contains provisions governing hunting and fishing on 
national wildlife refuges. Hunting and fishing are regulated on refuges 
    <bullet> Ensure compatibility with refuge purposes and the System's 
    <bullet> Properly manage the fish and wildlife resource;
    <bullet> Protect other refuge values; and
    <bullet> Ensure refuge user safety.
    On many refuges, the Service policy of adopting State hunting and 
fishing regulations is adequate in meeting these objectives. On other 
refuges, it is necessary to supplement State regulations with more 
restrictive Federal regulations to ensure that the Service meets its 
management responsibilities, as outlined under the section entitled 
``Statutory Authority.''
    The Fund for Animals, a non-government organization provided the 
only public comments on the proposed rulemaking. Their comments and the 
Service's responses follow:
    Comment 1: The JBH Management Plan and Environmental Assessment 
(EA) are in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 
by the Service:
    Comment 1a: failing to evaluate the impact of the Refuge 
supplemental feeding program on the JBH.
    Service Response: Supplemental feeding of the Jackson elk herd is a 
longstanding practice dating back to 1911, when first initiated by the 
State of Wyoming and long before NEPA required analysis of the action. 
The objective of the program is to feed wintering elk and this 
management action stands alone.
    The JBH has wintered on the Refuge for many years and has used a 
portion of the supplemental feed provided to elk since 1980. Winter 
range for large mammals in Jackson Hole is limited by winter snow 
accumulations, and particularly by human occupation, development and 
livestock use on most of the private lands in the valley, where the 
least snow accumulates. The need to limit the size of the bison herd as 
well as elk, mule deer, and other species of

[[Page 2179]]

large mammals is largely a function of the limited availability of 
suitable natural winter habitat. In the absence of winter feeding of 
elk, excess numbers of bison must still be controlled due to the 
geography of the Jackson Hole area. Bison follow the snow gradient down 
the valley and are brought into close association with the human 
population during the winter and spring months. In the absence of 
supplemental feeding, bison would still wander onto private ranchlands, 
roadways, and residential areas causing complaints from valley 
residents and state livestock officials, thus causing their numbers to 
be controlled by refuge management actions.
    Comment 1b: failing to substantiate the justification for the JBH 
plan, reduction of risk of brucellosis transmission, or to quantify the 
risk of transmission.
    Service Response: As noted earlier, the goal of the JBH Management 
Plan is to maintain a free-roaming herd of bison in Jackson Hole, as 
free from human intervention as practically possible. Disease 
management was one of the four management issues addressed in the 
planning and impact assessment to achieve this goal. Much of the 
justification for development of the management plan was to address the 
increasing size of the JBH and the lack of suitable winter range for 
the animals. To steward the habitat resource that must support not only 
bison but also a diversity of other wildlife species that inhabit 
Jackson Hole, controls on population growth of the JBH are required. 
Certainly, increasing bison numbers and intermingling of bison with 
livestock are of concern to various public groups and agencies. These 
issues were addressed in the Plan. However, in the absence of 
additional suitable winter habitat for bison, and given the current 
(annual) growth rate of the herd (16-18%), limiting population growth 
of the JBH was a fundamental basis for the Plan's development.
    Comment 1c: failing to adequately evaluate the feasibility of using 
immunocontraception as a means for controlling size of the JBH.
    Service Response: The JBH Plan did address the use of 
immunocontraceptives to control bison numbers, however, the use of 
immunocontraceptives in wild and free-ranging wildlife populations is 
in its formative stages. Such chemicals have been experimentally used 
in a number of species with varied success and mixed results as 
discussed below.
    The International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies has 
expressed the following concerns to the Service:
    <bullet> Immunocontraception is highly experimental;
    <bullet> Secondary effects on populations have not been explored;
    <bullet> Drugs are not approved by FDA and other agencies, thus no 
information on effect of ingesting treated animals by humans or 
    <bullet> Behavorial complications have been noted in some species; 
    <bullet> Before Service experimentation, State fish and wildlife 
agencies should be consulted.
    Research is making some headway. First effective control of 
fertility in free-ranging animals was demonstrated in 1990 using PZP on 
Assateague Island National Seashore's feral horses. Study showed: (a) 
Vaccine could be dart delivered, (b) no adverse affect on pregnant 
mares noted, (c) no effect on social behavior, (d) reversibility of 
vaccine. Assateague Island NS has begun using PZP to manage 
Assateague's horses, having released an EA and FONSI in 1995.
    Behavioral complications have been noted in some wildlife species.
    Study in Virgin Islands National Park shows PZP is 90% effective in 
controlling fertility of feral burros.
    White-tailed deer on Fire Island National Seashore are being 
treated with PZP. Those treated show 70% less fawning.
    Major PZP disadvantage is that females must be inoculated twice 
three-weeks apart in first year of administering vaccine. Protection in 
subsequent years requires single booster.
    Studies of PZP with wild horses (NV) and white-tailed deer at 
Smithsonian Conservation & Research Center (VA) focus on one single 
inoculation that will deliver one to three years of protection.
    USDA-ADC's Denver Wildlife Research Center has been studying 
immunocontraception of white-tailed deer (including oral delivery), 
wild rats, starlings, coyotes, and wild horses. Cooperators include 
Baylor, Penn State, Vassar and Rutgers.
    USDA does not regulate immunocontraception research but FDA 
suggests experiments, establishes restriction, and sets standards for 
data collection and record keeping.
    The positive science needed to administer such chemicals, as 
explained in the Plan, to free-ranging public bison herds is inadequate 
to justify the use at this time.
    Comment 1d: planning to maintain the size of the JBH between 350-
400 animals. This size is not sufficient to insure a large enough 
breeding population to protect the herd's genetic diversity.
    Service Response: The Joint Agencies contracted two studies 
concerning the effect of population size on genetic sustainability of 
the JBH. The first study recommended a herd size of 250 bison (Shelley 
and Anderson 1989). As new information surfaced on population genetics 
of bison, particularly the work of Dr. Joel Berger, the agencies 
contracted a second study on population genetics of the JBH (Berger 
1996). Berger's analysis suggested that 400 bison would be adequate to 
maintain the genetic diversity of the JBH, without any gene flow from 
other populations. Periodic introductions from other bison populations 
would permit the population to maintain heterozygosity at a lower herd 
    The JBH Plan calls for managing the herd at a 5-year running 
average of 350-400 bison during winter. The plan also notes that 
genetic contributions from another bison herd, animals that are part of 
the Yellowstone National Park (YNP) bison population, are likely. 
Several bison form YNP joined the JBH prior to the 1997-breeding 
season. The Service has not promoted the migration of bison from YNP to 
Jackson Hole. That is a phenomenon attributable to bison behavior and 
possibly enhanced by snowmobile trails in the Park. Bison are nomadic 
and commonly pioneer new areas, possibly in search of better foraging 
conditions or mates. Animals from the JBH have done the same on several 
occasions in the past.
    It is inaccurate to state that no genetic work has been done on the 
JBH. Shelly and Anderson (1989) presented data on genetic status of the 
JBH. Those data indicated that JBH ranked third in genetic diversity 
compared to 13 other public bison herds in the United States.
    Comment 2: Because the Service has failed to disclose information 
relevant to the proposed action in the JBH Plan and EA, a supplement to 
the EA is required:
    Comment 2a: Information concerning changes in plant communities 
including a decline in abundance and health of woody plants was not 
contained in the bison plan and Environmental Assessment.
    Service Response: The southern half of the Refuge is occupied by 
both elk and bison for approximately 6 months/year. Bison damage woody 
plants, particularly cottonwood trees, through their grooming 
activities. This was discussed in the final Plan and EA. Bison are 
primarily grazers but do consume some woody plants. The JBH Plan notes 
that woody vegetation on the refuge is suffering damage from 
overabundant ungulates. The JBH Plan is a bison management plan and 
therefore primarily discusses damage

[[Page 2180]]

due to bison, but elk certainly are responsible for plant damage as 
    Comment 2b: The Service failed to disclose how the proposed bison 
hunt would be conducted.
    Sevice Response: The JBH Plan and Finding of No Significant Impact 
(FONSI) both discuss the bison hunt, including intent to harvest 
animals from all age classes and both sexes to maintain maximum genetic 
variability of the herd. The Plan states that approximately even sex 
ratios will be maintained to simulate a herd sex ratio expected under 
natural conditions. Additional information on how the hunt is to be 
conducted is provided in the response item 4(a), below.
    Comment 3: The Service failed to comply with its own regulations in 
proposing to hunt bison on the Refuge:
    Comment 3a: Since the herd objective is 350-400, the FWS has 
apparently concluded that any bison in excess of 350 are surplus and 
are available to be hunted.
    Service Response: The FONSI calls for maintaining a winter herd 
size of 350-400 bison post harvest until the year 2000. Thereafter, the 
herd will be maintained at 350-400 animals on a running 5-year average. 
Reductions certainly may occur when the population is less than 400 
    Comment 3b: In addition to its arbitrary determination that surplus 
bison exist, the possibility that the animals may be hunted as early as 
December, is entirely inconsistent with the population census strategy 
described in the bison hunt plan amendment.
    Service Response: Bison are censused each winter on the Refuge 
during February and March. New calves as well as total numbers of bison 
are repeatedly counted on summer range in Grand Teton National Park. 
Each fall's reduction will be based upon the number of bison alive at 
that time. The fall population size is derived from the previous 
winter's herd size, plus the number of new calves documented during 
summer, minus known losses due to natural causes and vehicle 
    Comment 4: The proposed bison hunt is in violation of Service 
hunting policies:
    Comment 4a: Because of the protection afforded to these bison over 
the past decades, these animals have virtually no fear of humans. They 
have become acclimated to the presence of people on both their summer 
and winter range. The agencies, including the FWS, have contributed to 
this behavior by providing supplemental feed for these animals in the 
winter while promoting bison observation in the summer. Consequently, 
the proposed hunt, if implemented, will not be challenging, sporting, 
ethical, or consistent with the concepts of fair chase.
    Service Response: The bison hunt is not a recreational hunt, but 
rather is a tool to reduce the size of the bison herd. It has been 
structured to be consistent with Service policy and the principles of 
sound wildlife management and in the public interest. The herd 
reduction plan is based on public comments received during the planning 
phase as well as professional biological input provided by the Joint 
Agencies. An array of methods for controlling the size of the JBH were 
considered. A combination of herd reduction by trained and certified 
Native Americans, public sportsmen and Agency personnel as needed was 
selected as the most feasible alternative. Herd reduction will follow a 
one-day orientation, safety training, and firearms efficiency 
qualification, by the permitted participants. Those individuals 
qualifying to participate in the herd reduction program will be 
permitted to take bison in a swift and humane manner following State 
and refuge regulations and permit conditions.
    The Service reviewed, considered and responded to the above 
comments regarding bison herd management at the National Elk Refuge and 
determines that the Bison Plan is compatible and will be permitted and 
carried out as planned.

Statutory Authority

    The Refuge Recreation Act of 1962 (16 U.S.C. 460k); and the 
National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act (NWRSAA) of 1966, as 
amended (16 U.S.C. 668dd), govern the administration and public use of 
national wildlife refuges. The Refuge Recreation Act (RRA) authorizes 
the Secretary to administer areas within the System for public 
recreation as an appropriate incidental or secondary use only to the 
extent that it is practicable and not inconsistent with the primary 
purpose(s) for which the areas were established. Wildlife-dependent 
recreational uses may be authorized on a refuge when they are 
compatible and not inconsistent with public safety. Except for timely 
and effective cooperation and collaboration with Federal agencies and 
State fish and wildlife agencies during the course of acquiring and 
managing refuges, no other determinations or findings are required to 
be made by the refuge official under this Act or the Refuge Recreation 
Act for wildlife-dependent recreation to occur. Section 4(d)(1)(A) of 
the NWRSAA authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to permit the use 
of any area within the System for any purpose, including but not 
limited to, hunting, fishing and public recreation, accommodations and 
access, when he determines that uses are compatible with the major 
purpose(s) for which the area was established.
    The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (Pub. 
L. 105-57) amends and builds upon the NWRSAA in a manner that provides 
an ``Organic Act'' for the Refuge System similar to those which exist 
for other public lands. It serves to ensure that the Refuge System is 
effectively managed as a national system of lands, waters and interests 
for the protection and conservation or our nation's wildlife resources. 
The RRA, NWRSAA and National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 
1997 (NWRSIA) authorize the Secretary to issue regulations to carry out 
the purposes of the Acts and regulate uses. The NWRSIA states first and 
foremost that the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System be 
focused singularly on wildlife conservation--``Wildlife First.''
    The NWRSIA gives guidance to the Secretary in the overall 
management of the Refuge System. The Act's main components include:
    <bullet> A Strong and singular wildlife conservation mission for 
the Refuge System;
    <bullet> A requirement that the Secretary of the Interior maintain 
the biological integrity, diversity and environmental health of the 
Refuge System;
    <bullet> A requirement that no refuge use may be allowed unless it 
is first determined to be compatible;
    <bullet> A requirement that wildlife-dependent recreational uses 
(including hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, and 
environmental education and interpretation), when determined to be 
compatible, shall receive priority consideration over other public uses 
in refuge planning and management;
    <bullet> A new definition and process for making compatibility 
    <bullet> A requirement for preparing comprehensive conservation 
    The Service develops hunting and sport fishing plans for each 
existing refuge before opening it to hunting or fishing. The Service 
develops refuge-specific regulations to ensure the programs do not 
detract from the fulfillment of the Mission of the System or the 
purposes of the refuge. Initial compliance with the RRA, NWRSAA and 
NWRSIA has been ensured for hunting and sport fishing on newly acquired 
refuges through an interim determination of compatibility made at

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the time of acquisition. This ensures that the determinations required 
by these acts have been made before the addition of refuges to the 
lists of areas open to hunting and fishing in 50 CFR part 32. Continued 
compliance is ensured by the development of long-term hunting and sport 
fishing plans and by annual review of hunting and sport fishing 
programs and regulations.
    In accordance with the RRA, NWRSAA and NWRSIA, the Service 
determines that this opening is compatible and will not detract from 
the fulfillment of the Mission of the System or the purposes of the 

Paperwork Reduction Act

    These regulations have been examined under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995 and have been found to contain no information collection 

Executive Order 12866

    This rule is being implemented with approval and cooperation of the 
National Park Service, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and the U.S. 
Forest Service who, along with the Service developed a management plan 
for the Jackson Bison Herd, that calls for a bison hunting program. 
This document is not a significant rule subject to Office of Management 
and Budget review under Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Determination (5 U.S.C. 601)

    Service review has revealed that this rulemaking will increase 
hunter visitation to the surrounding area of the refuge before, during 
and after bison hunting, compared to the refuge being closed to this 
recreational use.
    This refuge is located away from large metropolitan areas. 
Businesses in the area of the refuges consist primarily of small 
family-owned stores, restaurants, gas stations and other small 
commercial enterprises. In addition, there are several small, 
commercial recreational fishing and hunting camps, dude ranches and 
marinas in the general area. This final rule will have a positive 
effect on such entities; however, the amount of revenue generated to 
businesses is very small.
    Many area residents enjoy a rural lifestyle that includes frequent 
recreational use of the abundant natural resources of the area. A high 
percentage of the households enjoy hunting, fishing, and boating in 
areas mountains, valleys, wetlands, rivers and lakes. Refuge lands were 
not available for general public use before government acquisition; 
however, they were fished and hunted upon by friends and relatives of 
the ranchland owners. Many nearby residents also participate in other 
forms of non-consumptive outdoor recreation, such as biking, hiking, 
camping, birdwatching, canoeing, and other outdoor sports.
    Economic impacts of refuge hunting programs on local communities 
are calculated from average expenditures in the ``1996 National Survey 
of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation''. In 1996, 39 
million U.S. residents 16 years old and older hunted and/or fished. 
More specifically, 35.2 million fished and 14 million hunted. Those who 
both fished and hunted account for the $10.2 million overage. 
Nationwide expenditures by sportsmen totaled $72 billion. Trip-related 
expenditures for food, lodging, and transportation were $14 billion or 
19.4 percent of all fishing and hunting expenditures; equipment 
expenditures amounted to $44.2 billion, or 61.4 percent of the total; 
other expenditures such as those for magazines, membership dues, 
contributions, land leasing, ownership, licenses, stamps, tags, and 
permits accounted for $13.8 billion, or 19.2 percent of all 
expenditures. Overall, anglers spent an average of $41 per day. For 
each day of hunting, migratory bird hunters spent an average of $33, 
upland game hunters an average of $20, and big game hunters averaged 
spending $40.
    At the National Elk Refuge included in this final regulation, less 
than 500 hunters will spend $20,000 annually hunting on the refuges' 
purchasing supplies, food and lodging in the area of the refuge, since 
most hunters live within commuting distance of the refuge hunt. While 
many of these hunters already make such expenditures before the refuge 
opening, some of these additional expenditures directly are due to the 
land now being open to the general public.
    This rulemaking will have a small but positive impact on local 
economies by increasing visitation and expenditures in the surrounding 
area of the refuge. Therefore, based on the above analysis, the 
Department certifies that this document will not have a significant 
economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., Pub. L. 
104-4, E.O. 12875)

    The Service has determined and certifies pursuant to the Unfunded 
Mandates Act, 2 U.S.C. 1502 et seq., that this rulemaking will not 
impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on local or 
State governments or private entities.

Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    The Department has determined that these final regulations meet the 
applicable standards provided in Sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive 
Order 12988.

National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., 40 CFR 1500, 
516 DM)

    The Service ensures compliance with the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4332(c)) when developing hunting 
and sport fishing plans, and the determinations required by NEPA are 
made before the addition of refuges to the lists of areas open to 
hunting and fishing in 50 CFR part 32.

Section 7 Consultation (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., 50 CFR 402)

    The Service reviewed the opening package documents for bison 
hunting on the National Elk Refuge with regards to Section 7 of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1543). The Service is 
concerned with grizzly bear-human conflicts and habitation of bears due 
to hunters not taking necessary precautions. In accordance with the 
Biological Opinion, hunter education will include precautions for bear 
country, that bison will not be concentrated in bald eagle roosting 
areas, and that helicopter hazing will not be used. Based on this 
understanding, the Service finds the action as presented is not likely 
to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or 
threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification 
of habitat of such species. In particular, this action is not likely to 
adversely affect the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), peregrine 
falcon (Falco peregrinus), whooping crane (Grus americana), gray wolf 
(Canis lupis), or grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis). The 
Environmental Assessment and Section 7 Consultation documents are on 
file in Service offices and may be viewed by contacting the primary 

Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs (E.O. 12372, 43 CFR 9, and 
the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of 1968)

    The Service reviewed this rule under E.O. 12372 and accommodated 
the recommendations of state and local governments concerning Federal 
programs affecting their jurisdictions.
    These documents are on file in Service offices and may be viewed by

[[Page 2182]]

contacting the primary author noted below. Individual refuge 
headquarters also retain information regarding hunting permits and the 
conditions that apply to refuge hunts, and maps of their respective 
area. You may also obtain information from the regional office at the 
address listed below:
    Region 6--Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South 
Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Assistant Regional Director--Refuges and 
Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Box 25486, Denver Federal 
Center, Denver, Colorado 80225; Telephone (303) 236-8145.
    Primary author: Stephen R. Vehrs, Division of Refuges, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC 20240, is the primary author of 
this final rulemaking document.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 32

    Fishing, Hunting, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Wildlife, Wildlife refuges.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Service amends Title 
50, Chapter I, subchapter C of the Code of Federal Regulations as 


    1. The authority citation for part 32 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 16 U.S.C. 460k, 664, 668dd, and 715i.

    2. Amend Sec. 32.70 Wyoming by revising the introductory text of 
paragraph C. of National Elk Refuge to read as follows:

Sec. 32.70  Wyoming.

* * * * *

National Elk Refuge

* * * * *
    C. Big Game Hunting. Hunters may hunt elk and bison on designated 
areas of the refuge subject to the following conditions:
* * * * *
    Dated: January 7, 1998.
Donald J. Barry,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 98-947 Filed 1-13-98; 8:45 am]