Guidance on the Use of Best Available Science under the U.S. Endangered Species Act

DENNIS D. MURPHY and PAUL S. WEILAND

The Endangered Species Act’s best available science mandate has been widely emulated and reflects a Congressional directive to ensure that decisions made under the Act are informed by reliable knowledge applied
using a structured approach. The authors contend that more rigorous adherence by the wildlife agencies to the best available science directive and better judicial oversight is essential for effective implementation of the Act, particularly where it has substantial ramifications for listed species, stakeholder segments of society, or both.