Endangered Species:

Public Comments Received on Proposed Listings

RCED-93-220BR: Published: Sep 30, 1993. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the biological information the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) used as the basis for proposed listings under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

GAO found that: (1) between 1989 and 1992, FWS published final rules to list 226 plant and animal species as endangered or threatened under ESA and withdrew proposed rules to list or reclassify 3 species; (2) FWS received comments for about 80 percent of the listed species during the public comment period; (3) although in most instances FWS received five or fewer public comments for each species, 11 percent of the species received more than 25 public comments; (4) FWS summarized public comments regarding the biological basis for 57 proposed listings in its final rules; (5) public comments focused on the adequacy of the biological information used to support the listing proposal, evidence of threat to the species, species' habitat, and the rarity or uniqueness of the species; (6) FWS held public hearings on proposed listings for 24 of the 226 species listed and for 1 of the 3 species it withdrew from its listing proposal; (7) FWS made negative 90-day findings for 23 petitions to list, delist, or reclassify plants or animals; and (8) FWS made negative 12-month findings for 4 petitions to list or reclassify animals.

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