Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.18
Liaison Josh Nease
Submission Date May 21, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Radford University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Josh Nease
Sustainability Manager
Academic Programs
"---" 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, and/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:

Radford University leases and manages the 376-acre Selu Conservancy (owned by the RU Foundation); the property is under a Conservation Easement with Virginia Outdoor Foundation. The easement grants perpetual conservation and open-space easement over the property. The open-space easement defines restrictions on land use and development based on clearly defined conservation policies. Land Use Policies include: Natural Resource Stewardship; Species Protection; Open Space & Natural Resources; Open Space Corridors; Karst Goals; and Conservation, and cover the management of forest, riparian buffer, natural heritage resources, and karst features. The property borders the Little River for just over a mile. The entire Selu Conservancy property is managed under these guidelines, established in the Gift Agreement and Conservancy Guidelines.


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?:
Yes

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

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:

Scientists sample in sinkhole habitats, drier upland sites, bluffs, and wetland areas including ephemeral ponds, using microhabitat surveys, time-constrained surveys, drift fences, pitfall traps and funnel/box traps.


A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

The Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation’s Division of Natural Heritage has documented two natural heritage plant species on the property, Paxistima canbyi and Viola walteri, and the restrictions in the Easement will contribute to the continuing success of those species. The Property lies almost entirely within a Source Water Protection Area as defined by the Virginia Department of Health, and the preservation of the Property in its relatively undeveloped state may contribute to the quality of the public drinking water supply in the area. The Property has sinkholes within its boundary and protection of the Property contributes to the protection of groundwater and the karst ecosystem.

All amphibian species are thought to be “sensitive” species largely because of their habitat requirements—most require moist soils with leaf litter and coarse wood debris OR wetlands. In our surveys we have encountered two species that are on Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan as species with conservation need: The Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) which is listed as Tier III and Jefferson Salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum) which is listed as Tier IV.


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

The easement places restrictions on buildings, roads, structures, and utilities; commercial activities; forest management; riparian buffer management; natural heritage resources; Karst features; grading, blasting, filling, & mining; accumulation of trash; and signage.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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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.