041 FW 3
FWM Number
Originating Office
Division of Visitor Services and Communication

3.1 Purpose. This chapter describes general policies, procedures, and responsibilities for a uniform nationwide system of standard U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) signs for use on Service facilities.

3.2 Objectives. The objectives of this chapter are to:

A. Authorize the Service Sign Handbook (previously the Service Sign Manual) as the source of implementation guidelines for Service sign policy (see 041 FW 3.8), and

B. Identify roles and responsibilities of the Service Sign Committee and project leaders regarding the proper use and placement of appropriate Service signs. Effective management of this program will promote the safety and convenience of the visiting public and employees, define boundaries, identify management practices, provide information, and protect Service resources.

3.3 Scope. The provisions of this chapter apply to all Service facilities and programs. These provisions impact public awareness, public use of Service facilities, and employee and public safety.

3.4 Policy. It is the policy of the Service to provide a uniform system of signs and markers at its stations and centers to inform, guide, educate, and protect its visitors and employees.

3.5 Authorities. The following regulations are provided for use in the procurement, installation, maintenance, inventory, and monitoring of Service signs:

A. Title 23, U.S. Code, Sections 109(b), 109(d), and 402(a).

B. 23 CFR 1204.4 and 1230.4, and 43 CFR 8000 in its entirety.

C. National Trails Systems Act, PL 90-543.

D. Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 1978 Edition, and all subsequent revisions.

E. Traffic Control Devices Handbook, Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 1983.

F. Standard Highway Signs, Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 1979.

G. Highway Safety Act, PL 89-5641, dated September 9, 1966.

H. Title 18, United States Code, Section 4124.

3.6 Roles and Responsibilities. Effective management of the Service sign program requires commitment to the roles and responsibilities described below:

A. Service Sign Committee. This is a standing committee consisting of the following representatives:

(1) Chairperson (typically, a Deputy Assistant Director),

(2) Sign committee coordinator,

(3) Regional sign coordinators (not fewer than seven members),

(4) One refuge manager and one fishery resource representative,

(5) A safety advisor, and

(6) Any other advisor(s) selected by the Director.

Composition of the committee should reflect the Service organization. Voting members of the committee are the Regional coordinators and the refuge manager and fishery resource representative. The committee chairperson will vote in the event of a tie. A majority rule will be the basis for determining the final decisions and/or recommendations made by the committee.

A quorum will consist of five voting members excluding the chairperson.

The functions of the committee are to represent field offices, coordinate and manage the sign program, serve as a primary advisor to the Director, review requests for waivers and forward recommendations to the Director, and monitor the program and formulate recommendations for changes.

B. Sign Committee Chairperson. Designated by the Director, the chairperson acts as the spokesperson for the committee and keeps the Directorate informed of the committee's activities.

C. Sign Committee Coordinator. The coordinator, also designated by the Director, is responsible for the overall coordination of the sign program, and will receive comments, criticisms, and suggestions from the committee members. The coordinator is responsible for disseminating current sign information to committee members, and will advise the chairperson on matters relating to the program. The coordinator will be the liaison officer between the Service, Federal Highway Administration, and the suppliers. The coordinator will resolve problems encountered by Regions and field offices in dealing with suppliers, schedule meetings as appropriate, develop specifications, develop sign ordering and monitoring techniques, and revise Service Sign Handbook instructions to ensure development of a cost effective program that meets applicable legislation.

D. Regional Sign Coordinators. Regional coordinators:

(1) Are appointed by the Regional Director,

(2) Represent the Region on issues concerning signs,

(3) Process and approve all appropriate sign requests,

(4) Act as the contact for all Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (UNICOR) orders placed in their individual Regions,

(5) Review requests for waivers from ordering policies and procedures and forward recommendations to the committee,

(6) Ensure that all field offices are informed of current sign policies and procedures,

(7) Receive and review comments and complaints regarding the program,

(8) Coordinate Service testing programs and/or consolidated order requests, and

(9) Evaluate and monitor overall Regional compliance with Service policies and procedures.

E. Project Leaders. Project leaders are responsible for becoming familiar with and implementing the inventory, installation, and maintenance requirements set forth in the Sign Handbook; meeting the Federal Highway Standards prescribed in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices; and applicable procurement regulations. Project leaders who permit the use of unauthorized signs will be considered negligent in their duties and responsibilities.

3.7 Service Standards. Servicewide standards are recommended by the Service Sign Committee and approved by the Director. These standards enhance public accessibility, improve identity of Service facilities, increase safety, and meet legislative requirements. Use of the Service Sign Handbook is mandatory for all field offices and will be monitored by the Regions to ensure compliance.

3.8 Service Sign Handbook. The Service Sign Handbook (previously the Service Sign Manual) is issued by the Deputy Director - Staff and contains sign specifications, installation and maintenance requirements, ordering instructions, and a listing of authorized signs. The sign committee is responsible for the contents of the Sign Handbook.

The Service Sign Handbook may be obtained from Regional sign coordinators.