[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 181 (Tuesday, September 18, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 47071-47073]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-20093]



National Park Service

36 CFR Part 2

[Docket ID: NPS-2018-0003; NPS-WASO-25595; PPWOVPADU0/PPMPRLE1Y.Y00000]
RIN 1024-AE44

Transporting Bows and Crossbows Across National Park System Units

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The National Park Service allows individuals to carry or 
possess an unloaded bow or crossbow within the National Park System 
when accessing otherwise inaccessible lands or waters contiguous to a 
park area when other means of access are otherwise impracticable or 

DATES: This rule is effective on October 18, 2018.

ADDRESSES: The comments received on the proposed rule and an economic 
analysis are available on www.regulations.gov in Docket ID: NPS-2018-

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jay Calhoun, NPS Regulations Program, 
1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240. Phone: (202) 513-7112. Email: 
[email protected].



    National Park Service (NPS) regulations at 36 CFR 2.4(b)(3) allow 
bows and crossbows that are not ready for immediate use to be possessed 
by individuals in NPS-administered areas within a mechanical mode of 
conveyance. This provides regulatory relief for transient individuals 
passing through park areas in vehicles and other forms of mechanical 
transport. This rule extends this relief to individuals transporting 
unloaded bows and crossbows on foot or horseback when accessing 
otherwise inaccessible lands or waters contiguous to a park area when 
other means of access are otherwise impracticable or impossible. 
Possessing bows and crossbows in this manner is subject to applicable 
state laws and is not allowed if the individual is otherwise prohibited 
by law from possessing a bow or crossbow.
    This rule recognizes and addresses the difficulties faced by some 
individuals attempting to access private property or other lands and 
waters adjacent to NPS-administered areas. In some cases, the use of 
mechanical transport to access these adjacent lands and waters is 
impracticable. As a result, individuals must traverse NPS areas on foot 
or horseback to reach these lands and waters but under existing 
regulations cannot do so with bows and crossbows without first 
obtaining a permit from the park Superintendent. This rule removes the 
permit requirement in order to carry or possess bows or crossbows for 
this purpose. This rule does not change the regulations in 36 CFR part 
2 governing the use of a bow or crossbow in park areas.

Summary of and Responses to Public Comments on the Proposed Rule

    The NPS published the proposed rule on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 8959), 
with request for public comment through the Federal eRulemaking portal 
at www.regulations.gov, or by mail or hand delivery. The 60-day comment 
period ended on May 1, 2018. The NPS received 40 comments, 34 of which 
supported the proposed rule and did not request any changes. Other 
comments were not in favor of the proposed rule or were in favor but 
suggested changes. A summary of these comments and NPS responses is 
provided below. After taking the public comments into consideration, 
the NPS has not made any changes in the final rule.
    1. Comment. Several commenters expressed concern that the rule will 
cause individuals to use bows and crossbows illegally, either within 
the National Park System or on adjacent lands where hunting is not 
allowed. These commenters are concerned that this illegal activity will 
adversely impact threatened or endangered wildlife.
    NPS Response: This rule does not change NPS regulations governing 
the use of weapons, including bows and crossbows, within the National 
Park System. Illegal hunting will remain illegal in the same manner 
that it was before this rule. Unfortunately illegal hunting and 
trapping does occur. NPS law enforcement staff work alone and with 
state and local partners to identify illegal activity and prosecute 
offenders according to the law. The NPS does not believe that 
individuals who are willing to hunt and trap illegally will be 
emboldened by this rule. These individuals are unlikely to have 
requested a permit from the NPS prior to bringing bows and crossbows 
into NPS areas in order to hunt or trap illegally. Existing NPS 
regulations allow individuals to travel through NPS lands with bows and 
crossbows in a motor vehicle. The NPS does not believe that a person 
who is willing to engage in illegal hunting would be deterred from 
doing so by existing regulation, which requires motorized transport of 
his or her bow or crossbow, especially when NPS regulations allow 
individuals to carry firearms within the National Park System outside 
of a motor vehicle without needing to obtain a permit.
    2. Comment. Several commenters were concerned that this rule would 
result in individuals leaving bows, crossbows, and related equipment, 
such as arrows and quivers, behind on NPS lands.

[[Page 47072]]

    NPS Response: The NPS has no reason to believe that individuals 
would intentionally leave this type of equipment behind in NPS areas. 
NPS regulations at 36 CFR 2.22 prohibit abandoning property.
    3. Comment. One commenter supported removing the permit 
requirement, but suggested that the NPS also remove the requirement 
that an individual must be accessing otherwise ``inaccessible'' lands 
or waters. This commenter also suggested that the NPS change the 
requirement that ``other means of access are otherwise impracticable or 
impossible'' to ``impracticable or less convenient.''
    NPS Response: The language limiting possession to situations when 
individuals are ``accessing otherwise inaccessible lands or waters 
contiguous to a park area when other means of access are otherwise 
impracticable or impossible'' has been part of NPS regulations 
concerning permits to carry weapons since 1983 (48 FR 30282, June 30, 
1983). This language helps ensure that individuals transport bows and 
crossbows through NPS lands for legitimate purposes, such as accessing 
private property or other public lands that cannot be accessed another 
way--either through the National Park System in a motor vehicle or 
through a non-NPS area.

Compliance With Other Laws, Executive Orders and Department Policy

Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget will review 
all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs 
has determined that this rule is not significant.
    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of Executive Order 
12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system 
to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, 
most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory 
ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory 
approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of 
choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, 
and consistent with regulatory objectives. Executive Order 13563 
emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available 
science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public 
participation and an open exchange of ideas. The NPS has developed this 
rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs (Executive Order 

    This rule is an E.O. 13771 deregulatory action because it imposes 
less than zero costs by removing a regulatory permit requirement that 
imposes unnecessary costs upon individuals seeking to safely access 
remote lands and waters. The costs associated with the requirement to 
obtain a permit before transporting a bow or crossbow across NPS lands 
or waters outside of a mechanical conveyance are eliminated.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule 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.). This certification is based on information 
contained in the economic analyses found in the report entitled 
``Benefit-Cost and Regulatory Flexibility Analyses: Cost-Benefit and 
Regulatory Flexibility Analyses: Transporting Bows and Crossbows Across 
National Park System Units'' that is available to the public on 
regulations.gov in Docket ID: NPS-2018-0003.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:
    (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more.
    (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions.
    (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.)

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or 
tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per 
year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, 
local or tribal governments or the private sector. It addresses public 
use of national park lands, and imposes no requirements on other 
agencies or governments. A statement containing the information 
required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act is not required.

Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise 
have takings implications under Executive Order 12630. A takings 
implication assessment is not required.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, the rule 
does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the 
preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. This rule only 
affects use of federally-administered lands and waters. It has no 
outside effects on other areas. A Federalism summary impact statement 
is not required.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. 
This rule:
    (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all 
regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be 
written to minimize litigation; and
    (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all 
regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal 

Consultation With Indian Tribes (Executive Order 13175 and Department 

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its 
government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes through a 
commitment to consultation with Indian Tribes and recognition of their 
right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. The NPS has evaluated 
this rule under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and under the 
Department's tribal consultation policy and has determined that tribal 
consultation is not required because the rule will have no substantial 
direct effect on federally recognized Indian tribes.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and 
a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act is not required. The NPS may not conduct or sponsor and 
you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless 
it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment. A

[[Page 47073]]

detailed statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA) is not required because the NPS intends to categorically exclude 
this rule under 516 DM 12.5(A)(10). This rule modifies existing NPS 
regulations in a manner that does not increase public use or introduce 
non-compatible uses to the extent of compromising the nature and 
character of the National Park System or causing physical damage to it. 
The rule does not conflict with adjacent ownerships or lands uses, or 
cause a nuisance to adjacent owners or occupants. We have also 
determined that the rule does not involve any of the extraordinary 
circumstances listed in 43 CFR 46.215 that would require further 
analysis under NEPA.

Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211)

    This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition 
in Executive Order 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects in not 

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 2

    National parks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the National Park Service amends 
36 CFR part 2 as set forth below:


1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 54 U.S.C. 100101, 100751, 320102.

2. Amend Sec.  2.4 as follows:
a. Redesignate paragraph (b)(3) as paragraph (b)(3)(i).
b. Add a new paragraph (b)(3)(ii).
c. Revise paragraph (e) introductory text.
    The addition and revision read as follows:

Sec.  2.4  Weapons, traps and nets.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (ii) An individual may carry or possess an unloaded bow or crossbow 
when accessing otherwise inaccessible lands or waters contiguous to a 
park area when other means of access are otherwise impracticable or 
impossible if:
    (A) The individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from 
possessing the bow or crossbow; and
    (B) The possession of the bow or crossbow is in compliance with the 
law of the State in which the park area is located.
* * * * *
    (e) The superintendent may issue a permit to carry or possess a 
weapon that is not otherwise authorized, a trap, or a net under the 
following circumstances:
* * * * *

Andrea Travnicek,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Water and Science, Exercising the 
Authority of the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2018-20093 Filed 9-17-18; 8:45 am]