Department of the Interior Callsign (Licenses) Assignments

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SCPD

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This information might be helpful for listeners trying to identify federal agencies heard on various frequencies. The Department of the Interior (DOI) allocated, or would it be IRAC, assigned number series to specific DOI agencies callsigns (formatted just like FCC licenses as most of us know). This series involves the last three characters or the number portion of the callsign. The assignments are as follows:

200 Misc agencies
300 Misc agencies
400 Bureau of Land Management
500 Bureau of Indian Affairs
600 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
700 National Park Service
800 Bureau of Reclamation
900 Bonneville Power Administration, Southwestern Power Administration and Southeastern Power Administration, all formerly of the Department of the Interior and subsequently absorbed by the Department of Energy when it was created in 1977.

Some examples of this in my local area are the KOJ437 callsign for the BLM Carson City District and KMC719 of Yosemite National Park.

I don't recall where I first came across this information, but it was quite some time ago, measured in two or three decades. I know that it was official information I ran across while employed by the U.S. Forest Service.

I hope this information is of some use to others.
 

sflmonitor

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I would assume that these designators apply only to the base station/dispatch callsigns right? In my area (Everglades National Park) the dispatch center is 754 but the law enforcement rangers use the 5xx series unit numbers.

Thanks for the list.
 

BCFlash

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sflmonitor, I think you are correct, the Lake Mead National Recreation Area dispatch center is 700; the law enforcement rangers use mostly 4xx series unit numbers, and a few 2xx and 8xx as well in the outlying areas.
 

SCPD

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sflmonitor, yes this is for base stations only. The National Park Service, at least in the west, used the callsigns for almost every base station in the parks. Example: the east entrance of Yosemite National Park, located at Tioga Pass, has a callsign of KMC766. When someone there called dispatch they would say "719, 766." 719 is the number portion of the dispatch center located in the Yosemite Valley. Their procedure has changed and the same call would be made in this manner "Yosemite, Tioga Entrance Station." I've seen the callsign lists for Yosemite, Sequoia-Kings and Yellowstone National Parks and the number of callsigns for the numerous facilities such as interpretive offices, backcountry ranger stations, entrance stations, maintenance offices and visitor centers is staggering. It makes a whole lot more sense to use the names of the locations.

The number series for protection rangers varies by park. In some parks such as Death Valley, the protection rangers use the 400 series. In other parks with more staff each ranger district and function has a number series. Example 100 for HQ personnel, 200 for interpretive staff, 300 for maintenance, 400 for a ranger district, 500 for another ranger district and so on.

I listen to Yosemite and Grand Canyon National Parks frequently. Each use alpha numeric unit designators for protection rangers. Examples: Grand Canyon's South Rim district id as "Sierra xxx," Inner Canyon ranger district "Canyon xxx," in Yosemite the Wawona district as "Whiskey xxx" and Tuolumne sub district rangers as "Tango xxx." Non-commissioned personnel still use the old number series with, for example, those assigned to the Tuolumne sub district IDing as "2xx" as the Mather ranger district, of which the Tuolumne sub district is a part of, uses the 200 series.

Just like the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service doesn't have a national standard for IDing base stations and field personnel. The Forest Service in R5 (California), at least most of the National Forests, use alpha numerics by function, such as "Resources xx," "Recreation xx," "Range xx" and such. In this system the first number is the ranger district with the second number being the rank within the function. The manager of the function, such as the Recreation Officer, ID's as "Recreation 2" for the rec officer on ranger district 2. Other National Forests use the older number series only. An employee on ranger district 2, in recreation (6 on many forests in California), followed by the rank in that function. So the recreation officer would be "2-6" and the recreation field supervisor "2-6-1" and so forth. Unfortunately on other R5 forests recreation was 5 and other functions were different as well. When I would travel to other forests on fires, internal affairs investigations and accident investigations I would have a heck of a time deciphering the radio traffic.

One thing that seems to be consistent for all federal natural resource agencies is the use of clear text instead of 10 codes. We all know how confusing 10 codes can be since so many agencies seem to have differing versions.
 
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SCPD

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Just as a matter of clarification, in my last several years in the Forest Service, it was emphasized that the FCC or IRAC license was a callsign, e.g. KMB670. A unit designator is the ID for a unit, e.g. "Engine 22," "Recreation 21," and "2-6-2." This in response to the question of whether I was referring to base stations or mobile units.

In California many agencies use the name of the jurisdiction for the dispatch or comm center unit designator. Thus the Shasta County Sheriff's Office dispatch center would be "Shasta" and the city of Redding would "Redding." For a few decades Forest Service dispatch centers would ID with the name of the Forest, e.g. "Angeles," "Six Rivers" and "Plumas." With more and more dispatch centers becoming interagency and shared with state and local agencies as well, the city the dispatch center is located in becomes the designator, e.g. "Susanville," the dispatch center for the Lassen National Forest, the eastern portion of the BLM's Northern California district, Lassen National Park's fire function, Cal Fire's Lassen-Modoc Unit, and some local fire department.
 
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