Date: June 25, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Endangered Species Act requires all federal agencies to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service (the Services) to determine the effect that the activities they conduct, permit, or fund may have on threatened or endangered species. In particular, federal agencies (action agencies) must ensure that their activities do not jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species or adversely modify critical habitat. After several fish species in the Pacific Northwest were listed in the late 1990s, the Services' consultation workload increased significantly in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and the Services were unable to keep up with requests for consultation. As a result, many proposed activities were delayed for months or years. Even under normal workload conditions, the consultation process can be difficult, in part because decisions about how species will be protected must often be made with uncertain scientific information using professional judgment. This testimony is based on ongoing work requested by the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water. It addresses (1) efforts to improve the consultation process, by the Services and by four action agencies in ...
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