1982: Amendment to the ESA

The Endangered Species Act expressly states that listing determinations are to be made “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.” The word “solely” was added in the 1982 amendments to the ESA to clarify that the determination of endangered or threatened status was intended to be made without reference to economic factors, or other non-biological considerations.

Once the determination is made (whether a species is endangered or threatened), however, economics then may be considered in analyzing some possible subsequent actions.


Spotted Owl Background Information.” USDA Forest Service, Public Affairs Office; June 15, 1990.