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FWS Will Correct Faulty Documents in Response to Data Quality Appeal
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife "will end further dissemination" of a faulty draft document regarding Florida panthers and will take several additional corrective measures in response to an appeal of an initial agency decision on a Data Quality petition filed jointly by a now former agency employee and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).
In responding to the request for reconsideration, the Director of FWS stated that to ensure that the Service meets the Data Quality Act's standard for objectivity, he has "directed the Regional Director to immediately update the panther related sections of the Multi-Species Recovery Plan...and publish those revisions for public comment..." A senior FWS official stated that the "Service used panther information that had been scientifically peer reviewed, but we and others engaged in panther science and conservation identified significant limitations in its methodologies and conclusions."
According to an Associated Press story, FWS agreed that "it violated the Data Quality Act of 2000 in three instances by issuing documents based on faulty assumptions..." FWS' top science adviser was quoted as saying that the "documents did not represent a complete and accurate picture of Florida panther habitat needs."
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Click for AP news story
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