Article Describes Process to Complete Structured Effects Analysis under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act
The February 2011 edition of Environmental Management includes an article I co-authored with Dr. Dennis Murphy entitled, The Route to Best Science in Implementation of the Endangered Species Act’s Consultation Mandate: The Benefits of Structured Effects Analysis. The principle purpose of the article is to facilitate the development of rigorous effects analyses under the consultation provisions in section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In the article, we "assess effects analysis as a tool for using best science to guide agency decisions under the Act." After describing the role of effects analysis in the consultation process, "we propose a framework that facilitates identification and use of the best available information in the development of agency determinations," and that "includes three essential steps—the collection of reliable scientific information, the critical assessment and synthesis of available data and analyses derived from those data, and the analysis of the effects of actions on listed species and their habitats." We then go on to both "warn of likely obstacles to rigorous, structured effect analyses and describe the extent to which independent scientific review may assist in overcoming these obstacles." The article may be purchased from the publisher, here. Or, if you are interested in obtaining a copy, please contact me, here.