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So here's the description of what I wanted to do:
Take the various operations associated with administering taxonomy, and split them into different permissions levels. So for instance, one permission would be 'view taxonomy terms' and another would be 'add taxonomy terms', etc...
I therefore took the Taxonomy Manager module and made some major modifications to split permissions and change some links, etc... If you do not want to open up the creation and management of taxonomy terms to your users, do not use this modification. It has not yet been fully tested for possible security implications.
This basically replaces the 'administer taxonomy' permission with a much finer grain of permissions. Some operations, such as change siblings, etc... I kept with the original permissions since I didn't actually want my users to be able to do those actions.
Check out the patch and the full version of the module if you like.