Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
In July 1994, the Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service issued six joint policies regarding implementation of the Act (59 FR 34269-34275), four of which address some aspect of the recovery process. Of these four policies, the Policy on Recovery Plan Participation and Implementation Under the Endangered Species Act reiterates the requirement that plans be completed within 2.5 years of the species' listing date. It further requires that diverse expertise is represented on recovery teams; representatives of affected groups and stakeholders have the opportunity to participate in the planning process; social and economic impacts of implementing recovery actions be minimized; and multiple species plans be developed when possible.
The second policy, Policy Regarding the Role of State Agencies in Endangered Species Act Activities, requires the Service to solicit State agency expertise and participation in both the recovery planning and implementation processes. It also requires that the expertise and authority of State agencies be used in developing monitoring programs for recovered and delisted species.
The third policy, Policy for the Ecosystem Approach to the Endangered Species Act, addresses the need to take a cooperative approach focusing on groups of species dependent on the same ecosystem. It directs the Service to make group listing decisions where possible and to develop and implement recovery plans for multiple listed and candidate species. The policy also emphasizes the importance of integrating Federal, Tribal, State, and private efforts in cooperative, multi-species efforts under the Act.
The last policy, Policy for Peer Review in Endangered Species Act Activities, directs the Service to ensure that all actions taken under the Act are based on the best available scientific information. With regard to recovery, the policy directs that draft recovery plans be submitted for independent peer review to obtain all available scientific and commercial information, and to review scientific data relating to selection or implementation of specialized tasks in draft recovery plans.