Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.10
Liaison Francis Mitalo
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, Riverside
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Fortino Morales
Sustainability Officer
Office of 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, 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:
Through the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, UC Riverside actively maintains four major reserves: the Boyd Deep Canyon Desert, Sweeney Granite Mountains Deserts, Motte Rimrock, and James San Jacinto Mountains Reserves. UC Riversides' natural reserve system also includes other smaller reserves. These field sites currently include research facilities as well as permanent staff. These undisturbed natural habitats form approximately 28,000 acres of land where flora, fauna, and major ecosystems reside. With the threat of development, these reserves serve to preserve many endangered or diminishing species on “habitat islands”. The preservation of these sites is not only beneficial to a variety of animal and plant species, but also to scientists from around the world that use the collected outdoor laboratory research.

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?:
Yes

A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:
Stephens Kangaroo: Endangered
Southern Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog: Endangered
Cooper's Hawk: Vulnerable
Orange Throated Whiptail: Vulnerable
California Gnatcatcher: Threatened
Coachella Valley Fringe-Toed Lizard: Threatened
California Mountain Kingsnake: Near Threatened
Cassin's Finch: Near Threatened
Loggerhead Shrike: Near Threatened
Olive-sided Flycatcher: Near Threatened
Rufous Hummingbird: Near Threatened
Bell's Sage Sparrow: Special Concern
Riversidian Sage Scrub: Diminishing

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

A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:
2015 as part of Physical Master Plan

The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:
California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Protection Act:https://ae.ucr.edu/environmental-planning-ceqa#958802_rfq_for_stem_hs_environmental_consulting_services

Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan:
https://rctlma.org/Portals/0/mshcp/volume1/sec4.html

A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):
--CEQA & NEPA:
Environmental Planning is responsible for assuring campus compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).Environmental Planning is responsible for mitigation monitoring and reporting programs, as well as specialized environmental studies required for campus actions that may affect the physical environment, and prepares or manages the preparation of documentation and applications for environmental permits for campus activities requiring consultations and agreements with other agencies, including the California Department of Fish & Game, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Environmental Planning works cooperatively with campus affinity units to advance campus projects in a way that minimizes environmental impacts and maintains UCR’s unique natural resources and setting.

--Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan:
The State of California administers important Habitat within the Plan Area, including lands managed by the UC Regents. The federal and state governments have acknowledged their role in Conservation and agree to assist in creating an MSHCP Conservation Area that reduces or avoids the need to list additional species and contributes to the recovery of Covered Species. Through the MSHCP and its Implementing Agreement with the participating jurisdictions and special districts, the federal and state governments (including UC regents) have agreed to partner with the participating local jurisdictions and the private sector in assembling, managing, and monitoring the MSHCP Conservation Area. The federal and state governments will undertake the following actions:

--Provide for the Conservation and management of Covered Species and their Habitats on approximately 282,000 acres of existing federal and state lands, excluding military lands except U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lands noted in Section 4.4.1;
--Acquire approximately 56,000 acres of privately owned lands in the Criteria Area from willing sellers of which approximately 6,000 acres will be mitigation for State Permittees;
--Manage federal and state lands; and
--Participate in the monitoring program.

A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:
Adjacent to campus, UC Riverside has 176 acres of land protected from development. The purpose is to provide natural habitat for wildlife while utilizing this land for research and education. In addition to this reserve, UC Riverisde has continued their use of native and adaptive landscaping to promote natural diversity and ecosystems.

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:
Data source from UC Riverside Natural Reserves Program.

Data compiled by Michelle Baron.

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.