December 7, 2019

Endangered Species Act: Reviewing the Nexus of Science and Policy

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Purpose

On October 13, 2011, the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight will hold a hearing on the nexus of science and policy related to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) 1. The purpose of the hearing is to highlight the combination of science and policy decisions that are made under the ESA. Numerous judicial disputes over
ESA-related actions highlight the challenges in weighing best available science against other policy considerations, often under short deadlines. Congress has frequently considered changes to the ESA as a whole, and has also enacted species-specific ESA legislation, most recently with 2011 legislation concerning the grey
wolf. 2

Although the ESA is designed to protect species, its application is most visible when federally imposed plans to protect and recover a species restrict the actions of private citizens and other entities. For example, landowners may not be able to use their property in a manner they had planned and farmers may not be able to use as much of a river’s water as they need. Since takings claims are rarely successful, the science used to make ESA decisions is critical. <<<Read and Download Entire Report>>>

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