Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.66
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Justin Heavey
Sustainability Associate
Sustainability Office
"---" 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?:

A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:
Early in the last century, the ESF began to assemble a system of properties that would broadly represent New York’s rich ecological diversity for scientific study and instruction. Today, approximately 25,000 acres of regional campus lands and facilities offer unparalleled learning and research opportunities. The size, scope, and ecological diversity of ESF's regional properties make it unique among institutions of higher education. Together, these lands constitute one of the largest college campuses in the world. Several of the regional campuses are located within the boundary of the 6-million acre Adirondack Forest Preserve:

- Wanakena Campus: The Ranger School, James F. Dubuar Memorial Forest
- Newcomb Campus: Adirondack Ecological Center. Anna and Archer Huntington Wildlife Forest, Adirondack Interpretive Center, Northern Forest Institute
- Cranberry Lake Biological Field Station: Charles Lathrop Pack Experimental Forest
- Warrensburg Campus: NYS DEC Environmental Education Camp, Charles Lathrop Pack Demonstration Forest

ESF Regional Campuses outside the Adirondacks:

- Svend O. Heiberg Memorial Forest & Tully Field Station
- Lafayette Road Experiment Station
- Thousand Islands Biological Station

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?:

A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:
ESF has hosted numerous "bioblitz" events on ESF forest properties. These events are open to the public and engage people in citizen science. Participants help conduct scientific inventories as they learn how interactions between organisms promote biodiversity in the Adirondacks and worldwide. They learn where to look for relevant species and how to identify them while helping track the health of the natural environment. Bioblitz events have explored numerous ecosystems such as lakeshores, marshes, forests and other Adirondack habitats, resulting in extensive species lists for all categories of plants and animals. A 2014 bioblitz identified 279 species in a 24-hour period. The species list and more details from that effort are available at the link below


Matt Schlesinger (NY Natural Heritage Program), with help from Amanda Cheeseman (NY Mammal Survey) and Jill Rahn (Forest Properties), have compiled the species list below from their rare species database for occurrences of natural communities, plants, insects, and fish known to occur within ESF Property boundaries.


Many of the animals on the New York State endangered species list are likely found on ESF Forest Properties and surrounding ecosystems.


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

A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:
Adirondack and Northeastern U.S. forest communities include Mountain Conifer (Spruce Slope), Upper Slope Hardwood Conifer, Northern Hardwood, Hardwood-Conifer (Mixedwoods), Lowland Conifer (Spruce Flat), and Conifer Swamp (Spruce Swamp).


The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:
Over eighty years of research have been incorporated into more than 30 ongoing monitoring efforts at ESF's Adirondack Ecological Center (Newcomb Campus). More than 70 ongoing basic and applied research programs investigate the restoration of wildlife, development of new forestry, impact of acidic deposition on soils and lakes, social organization of deer, movement of soil ions, silvicultural regimes, Adirondack Park biodiversity, and much more.


A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):
The Adirondack Long-term Ecological Monitoring Program (ALTEMP) currently monitors over 100 physical, chemical, and biological attributes to provide the long-term perspective necessary to detect changes and identify trends in the Adirondack ecosystem.

A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:
The Huntington Wildlife Forest’s (HWF) Strategic Plan mandates that forest manipulations must maintain ecological integrity of all populations of threatened or endangered plants and animals, unique plant and animal communities, and all lake, stream and wetland areas; identify and, where possible, halt the invasion of invasive species; and identify and protect cultural resources. The HWF strategic plan also identifies Long-term Management Zones that call for allowing natural processes and natural vegetative succession to be the predominant influence. In addition, the SUNY Board of Trustees designated a 971-acre Natural Area in 1941 to provide an area in the HWF for long-time studies of natural conditions untouched by forest operations. This area represents one of the few remaining large old-growth hardwood and mixed wood forests on HWF.

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

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