Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.64
Liaison Beth Klein
Submission Date April 23, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

State University of New York at Cortland
OP-11: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Matt Brubaker
Energy Manager
Facilites Management
"---" 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?:

A brief description of any legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance on institution owned or managed land:

The campus Outdoor Education Facility is located at Adirondacks Park , Raqeutte Lake which is adjucents to the state preserve land. Teh site also is a National Historic Landmark.

Main campus at Cortland is also adjacent to the City of Cortland Water Works a preserve for the water department.

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable 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 methodology(-ies) used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Methodologies used to identify environmentally sensitive areas include an assessment of the property and the surrounding geography and species. In many cases, the properties have been owned by SUNY Cortland for a long period of time, as conservation interest and attention to habitat and biodiversity protection have increased and or developed SUNY Cortland has been supportive to those efforts and works with the government agency or entity that has developed the biodiversity protection criteria. The species assessment includes fish / aquatic and wildlife habitat, forest and vegetation, and open space assessment. This assessment approach is consistent with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requirements associated with NYS Natural Heritage Program, Critical Environmental Areas. Portions of all preservation areas owned by SUNY Cortland are assessed each year. The assessment is completed predominantly by biology, ecology, and geography departments during visits and summer session intensive programs to the individual sites. In addition to these hands on learning activities, the following distinct conservation efforts should be noted:
Raquette Lake Property is within the Adirondack State Park which has its own specific set of governing developmental and site use regulations that govern the property owned by SUNY Cortland as well as the surrounding adjacent properties. Of note, directly adjacent the Raquette Lake property is a “Wild Forest Area” as defined by New York State DEC. Within this Wild Forest Area are areas of Rare Plants and Rare Animals that receive additional classification by DEC through their New York State Natural Heritage Program. In addition to the Rare Plants and Rare Animal distinction there is also an area of “Significant Natural Communities” which is also classified through DEC’s Natural Heritage Program. Also of unique note, the buildings on the property are designated as a National Historic Landmark, the first within the SUNY system.
The Hoxie Gorge has registered Old Growth Forest within its boundary and is adjacent the Hoxie Gorge State Forest as designated by the New York State Department of Conservation. The Old Growth Forest is registered with the Old-growth Forest Network. In addition to the State Forest being adjacent to the site, SUNY Cortland establishes area of no disturbance, or no access depending on the level of species activity. This could be for certain migratory bird species, or certain periods of time throughout the year associated with a specific life cycle of a unique species.
The Brauer Education Center is located within land that is designated by the DEC’s New York State Natural Heritage Program as having Rare Plants and Rare Animals, and a geologically unique area.
SUNY Cortland has also been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation earning the distinction of Tree Campus USA. SUNY Cortland went through an extensive documentation process complying with the five core assessment areas of the Tree Campus USA program. Maintain a Campus Tree Advisory Committee, establish a tree-care plan, document a specific annual expenditure to the tree-care plan, annual Arbor Day observance, and the institution needs to sponsor a student in a service-learning project associated with the forestry of the campus.
Utilizing the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as well as the Arbor Day Foundation environmental assessment methodologies SUNY Cortland has developed a very comprehensive understanding of the environmental attributes associated with our properties. This information shared and imbued into the curriculum which further builds upon current reassessment work and closely monitors the health and viability of these resources for future generations of students.

+ Date Revised: July 9, 2015

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

The primary areas assessed by the campus include a variety of species, habitats and environmentally sensitive or unique settings. For the Tree Campus USA assessment, 53 varieties of trees were identified and logged into a database. Some of the varieties include: dawn redwood, English oak, gingko, green ash, honey locust, lofty elm, black walnut, and London Plane Tree, and Hemlock.
At the Raquette Lake property some of the unique species within and adjacent to the area include boreal bird species such as: Wood Warblers and American Bittern. In addition to these boreal bird species, the Wild Forest area and Lake also includes loons, northern pike, bullhead, and fine red pine, white pine, and hemlock tree specimens.
Hoxie Gorge has a stand of old-growth forest within its boundary. This old-growth forest includes Hemlock which date back as old as 1736. Other species dating back to the 1800’s include: sweet birch, red maple, and black cherry. In addition to these tree species, the gorge is also superb bird habitat for yellow warbler, scarlet tanager, louisiana waterthrush, downy woodpeckers, bald eagle, pied-billed grebe, and more. Some of these species and others comprise a list of Species of Greatest Conservation Need which provides additional protection status to the species.
Brauer Field Station is a great sample of the Brauer tract of fossilized small stromotoperoid reef. The property also contains many fossil-bearing Devonian limestone forms along two prominent cliffs.

+ Date Revised: July 9, 2015

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

The campus has three observation fields at Cortland County, Adirondacks Parks and the Albany area of which all three are preserves for wildlife.

The website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity policies and programs(s) is available:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.