|Submission Date||Feb. 28, 2019|
This credit is weighted more heavily for institutions that own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to any of the following:
Institutions may identify legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and regions of conservation importance using the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) for Research & Conservation Planning, the U.S. Information, Planning, and Conservation (IPaC) decision support system, or an equivalent resource or study.
Director of Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies Program
Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance?:
A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:
The Binghamton University campus in Broome County, New York currently encompasses 930 acres of land, of which over 600 is presently undeveloped and in its natural state. The core of this undeveloped land is officially designated the Nature Preserve, and at present encompasses 182 acres of land which includes a 20-acre wetland.
Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:
The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas (including most recent year assessed) and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:
Management of the Nature Preserve and natural areas follows the purpose and priorities of conservation, encouraging biodiversity, education, and research in balance with public use. The general management strategy is to continue or expand programs and projects that have already been established. Management includes an adaptive approach as some management issues require monitoring and adjusting practices accordingly. Large scale physical changes, structures, policy changes, research projects or any activity that affects or potentially damages the Nature Preserve are subject to approval by the Steward, and the Committee for the University Environment (CUE), advocates and administration as appropriate. The same is true for other natural areas, but non preserve natural areas are subject to the Natural Areas Policy signed by President Lois DeFleur which among other things states that development of natural areas should be a last resort and clearly justified.
Different issues may require passive or active management practices. Succession in areas where forest is established, immigration of native animals or plants, maintenance of the dams by beavers that influence water levels, and similar natural processes are examples of issues where we “let nature take its course.” However, monitoring is required in case action is needed.
Active management practices are often required to meet objectives, as is the case in many better known fields of natural resources management. For example, if feasible and approved, actions are taken in order to: protect fragile and rare habitats from the potentially destructive impacts of human visitation while still allowing compatible and appropriate types of public use; control invasive plants that rapidly take over natural communities; save trees from introduced pathogens; and creating native habitats that are missing and would help encourage biodiversity. Maintaining the diversity of habitat requires active practices of cutting vegetation, mowing, or digging out soil in areas such as vernal pools. Specific practices exist for each area and for each type of habitat in the natural areas.
A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:
See details through links on the web site below:
A brief description of plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:
Nearly 70% of Binghamton University’s 930-acre campus is in its natural state. The core of this undeveloped land is officially designated the Nature Preserve, encompassing 187 acres of land which includes a 20 acre wetland. Binghamton uses this large, valuable resource for teaching and learning, research, ecology, arts, literature and outdoor recreation.
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.