Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.85
Liaison Geory Kurtzhals
Submission Date Jan. 10, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Southern Illinois University Carbondale
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Geory Kurtzhals
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability
"---" 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:

To the east, SIU borders Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. To the south, we border Giant City State Park. Technically we are also located within the Shawnee National Forest. SIU also owns land that is part of LaRue-Pine Hills ecological area. https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Crab_Orchard/about.html; https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/Parks/Pages/GiantCity.aspx; https://www.fs.usda.gov/shawnee/; https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/shawnee/recarea/?recid=35185


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?:
No

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:

Surveys were recently completed at Touch of Nature Environmental Center, in support of the planning for bike trails within the Center’s forested area. The methodology used to perform the surveys encompassed walking through the property along a flagged route that indicated where the proposed bike trails were to be built and to visually locate any rare plant species. Some of the areas were not yet flagged, so approximate locations were surveyed, as were any other habitats that looked promising for hosting rare plants. The work was performed on 6 visits throughout the 2019 growing season (May-October). The work was completed by Botanist Christopher David Benda, M.S., Instructor - Flora of Southern Illinois at Southern Illinois University and President - Illinois Native Plant Society Southern chapter.
Note:
-Other assessments have been completed on other SIU land in the past. This is a new assessment referenced above is for the current reporting period. This assessment covers approximately 500 acres of SIU land, currently managed by SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center. Answers above apply to the question: “An assessment to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on institution-owned or -managed land”
-We have answered “no” for the following question because – although assessments of this kind have been completed in the past, we are not aware of any that have been completed/updated within the last 3 years: “An assessment to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or -managed land.”


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

One state threatened species was observed. A total of 18 plants of buffalo clover (Trifolium reflexum) were located in two locations, both near the proposed bike trail route. Another rare plant, goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), was found in a number of locations. This is not a state listed species, but it is on the Shawnee National Forest's Regional Forester's Sensitive Species list and in my opinion, worth mitigating for. A number of GPS coordinates will be provided on the final report and the physical locations have pin flags near them.


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

The survey results will be used to divert the trail away from sensitive plant locations. The botanist will be making a recommendations regarding trail diversions, maps, and locations in the final report. A location for the buffalo clover will be submitted to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Heritage Database, as well.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

Data provided by JD Tanner, Director, SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center

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.