In much the same way that the Bush administration is redefining science around cleaner air, medical studies and more, Congress managed to slip new language into the Endangered Species at. Some of the changes include:
- Defines “best available scientific data” as scientific data, regardless of source, that are available to the Secretary of the Interior at the time of a decision or action for which such data are required by ESA and that the Secretary determines are the most accurate, reliable, and relevant for use in that decision or action.
- Redefines “permit or license applicant” as any person who has applied to a federal agency for a permit or license or for formal legal approval to perform an act.
- Revises criteria for making determinations of endangered or threatened species. Requires the Secretary to make such determinations only sparingly and to prepare an analysis when such determinations are made of the economic, national security, and other relevant impacts and benefits of such determinations.
- Repeals the authority of the Secretary to designate critical habitats.
- Revises ESA recovery plan provisions to require the Secretary to give priority in developing recovery plans to species that are most likely to benefit from such plans, particularly species that are in conflict with economic development activity. Sets forth deadlines for the publication of recovery plans
Read more at: the Library of Congress’ THOMAS site