Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 78.07
Liaison Cary Gaunt
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

Keene State College
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 John Lorette
Digital Learning Consultant
Digital Learning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, or regions of conservation importance?:
Yes

A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:

Keene State College is fortunate to own 400 acres of pristine wilderness on Lake Nubanusit in the towns of Nelson and Hancock, NH. The acreage is held in conservation and is kept in its natural state. The land is used by some environmental studies classes, but is not formally considered an outdoor learning laboratory for KSC classes. It would be nice to engage more KSC students with this special parcel.

In addition to the Louis Cabot Preserve, the Keene State College Athletic Complex abuts the Ashuelot River Bank and includes a Silver maple floodplain forest, an area of conservation importance in NH.


Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution?:
Yes

A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:

Fairy Shrimp
Mole Salamander
Wood Turtle


Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution?:
Yes

A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:

The Louis Cabot Preserve sits on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Nubanusit and Spoonwood Pond, is a Hemlock – Hardwood Forest called the Louis Cabot Preserve. Acquired by the College in the early 1960s from the Nature Conservancy of N.H. the preserve protects over 7.5 miles of freshwater shoreline which is among the highest ranked areas of ecological importance in New Hampshire. It’s carbon sequestration value equals approximately 1,000 tons/year. This needs to be formally quantified in the future for use in KSC's Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

The Keene State College Athletic Complex along the Ashuelot River Bank includes a Silver Maple Floodplain Forest, an area of conservation importance in NH. Consisting of silver maple trees and a rich ground cover of wildflowers and ferns, floodplain forest utilize disturbance from large-scale floods, which deposit silt and sand along the banks of waterways, help create and maintain unique communities of plants that tolerate flooding and require nutrient-rich soils. Floodplain forests also contribute many free ecological services to our society: they help filter pollutants to prevent them from entering streams, improve water quality, are critical in controlling erosion, and help buffer rivers against catastrophic flooding. The floodplain is also home to ecologically important vernal pools which are populated with threatened species such as Fairy shrimp and Mole salamander larvae.


The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Students in the Environmental Studies department use the land near the athletic complex as a living laboratory and have annually monitored the populations in vernal pools and other important conservation areas. Additionally, the athletic complex is used as a MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) bird-banding site. Migratory bird species are surveyed several times each year.


A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):

These Assessments take place using the KSC athletics complex and surrounding wooded areas. The Keene rail trail passes alongside the athletics fields and connects to the Owl Stadium complex and is surrounded by woods for classes to do these studies in. Population monitoring happens on a semester basis, continuing across seasons if necessary.


A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:

Property KSC owns adjacent to campus houses our athletic fields and a wildlife management area. Keene State College enforces strict conservation practices, in conjunction with the USDA natural resources conservation program, such as delayed mowing and erosion control in order to encourage wildlife. A plethora of wildlife co-exists on this landscape and includes everything from snowy owls and egrets, to red-winged blackbirds, rabbits and deer.


Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :
400

Website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.