Best Available Science

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Best Available Science is a term used in legislation to describe the kind of information that should be considered in developing a plan, policy or decision. It is used in the Endangered Species Act and the Growth Management Act. A number of processes specifically create Best Available Science (BAS), such as Total Maximum Daily Load analysis under the clean water act. When legal actions are used to challenge government decisions, a court will have standards of evidence, which values peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals above other forms of professional opinion evidence. The connection between mechanisms for creation of BAS and places where BAS is required for decision making is important in ecosystem management.