Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.02
Liaison Beth Klein
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

State University of New York at Cortland
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Matt Brubaker
Energy Manager
Facilites Operation adn Services
"---" 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 the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:

The campus Outdoor Education Facility at Raquette Lake is located within the Adirondack Park, adjacent to state forest preserve land. The facility itself is also 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 (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:

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:

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, London planetree, 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 include 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 woodpecker, bald eagle, pied-billed grebe, among others. Many of these species are listed as 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 stromotoporoid reef. The property also contains many fossil-bearing Devonian limestone forms along two prominent cliffs.

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.

SUNY Cortland will continue to educate and promote the preservation of natural habitat and instill meaningful experiences in nature for a broader appreciation of ecosystems and natural system restorations.

We will do this through our existing programs.

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.