For anyone paying attention, you'll be aware that NSF Bio has been going through some changes. First, they pulled the rug out from everyone and announced they were going to a single proposal cycle per year with a preproposal round. We're now 9 months into that and different groups, including ESA, are making noise about this change.
I've opined in the past that NSF went to the extreme this year to shock the system so that they could eventually land somewhere in between the old and revised proposal cycle. Much like a labor negotiation, the two sides start at the poles and move closer to a middle ground.
Take a look at the survey. If you're a parent you will recognize the technique immediately. There's two questions in the survey. To paraphrase, they are: 1) Do you like the shitty option we jammed down your throat or do you prefer what you were used to? 2) If you prefer 2 deadlines, are you willing to do the work necessary to sustain that model?
Classic parenting. Choose between an acceptable and unacceptable option under the agreement that you will meet my terms to make the acceptable option happen. They're not capitulating to the demands of the PIs, they are just kicking the community in the ass to get people to do what they want you to do.
NSF Bio PIs, welcome to Federal FWDAOTI!
[UPDATE: As noted in the comments, it is possible that the survey was created by the people who spearheaded the ESA letter. On close inspection, the email urging people to look at the survey is non-specific about the origin, but sent by Sarah Hobbie who was involved with the ESA letter. That the ESA folks would word the survey as they have is even more ridiculous than if NSF did it.]