Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.26
Liaison Marianne Martin
Submission Date Sept. 22, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Colorado Boulder
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Richelle Reilly
Landscape Architect
Facilities Management-Administration
"---" 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:

There are federally protected wetlands on East Campus and Williams Village. No other species protection has been identified.

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:

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:

The University manages two distinct federally protected and permitted wetlands, one on East Campus adjacent to Boulder Creek, and another on the Williams Village campus adjacent to Bear Creek (Please see attached permit docs). Pinyon Environmental, Inc. (Pinyon), on behalf of University of Colorado at Boulder (CU Boulder), was contracted to complete environmental support for the 19th Street Pedestrian Bridge Project (project) in Boulder County, Colorado. The project was be funded by the Denver Regional Council of Governments Transportation Improvement Project grant, which is being administered by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). This Biological Resources Evaluation Memorandum was prepared to assess existing conditions regarding biological resources and protected species in accordance with federal and state regulations or policies.

The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Pinyon conducted an initial desktop review of biological resources in the project area using Google Earth imagery, the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) online lists of threatened and endangered species, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC) System (CNHP 1997+; USFWS, 2018). Following the initial desktop review, Pinyon conducted two site visits to assess the project area for biological resources. Pinyon first visited the site on August 5th, 2016. The project area was subsequently modified to include the Boulder Creek Path, the parking area directly north of the Boulder Creek Path, a mowed picnic area, and more of the riparian area surrounding the proposed bridge. Pinyon revisited the site on March 6th, 2018, to assess the modified project area for biological resources. Design progressed, and the limits of disturbance increased to account for construction feasibility and therefore the project area was expanded a third time to include a small area to the northeast and southeast. Pinyon revisited the site on October 16, 2018, to assess the most recent project area for biological resources. Photos and field notes were used to document the general habitat conditions.
The following conditions were noted during the site visits:
• Dominant tree and shrub species
• Habitat suitability for federally listed species, state listed species, and state species of special concern • Evidence of migratory birds and other wildlife, including raptor nests within 0.5 mile of the project area
• Noxious weeds
• Waters of the United States (WUS), including wetlands (jurisdictional and non-jurisdictional)
• Senate Bill (SB) 40 resources (i.e., riparian vegetation)
Pinyon used a Trimble Geo XH-6000 global positioning system unit to document locations of noxious weeds and SB 40 resources, and to delineate WUS. Pinyon delineated WUS using methods and technical guidance outlined in the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Wetland Delineation Manual and the USACE Regional Supplement to the Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast Region (Version 2.0) (Environmental Laboratory, 1987; USACE, 2010).

A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):

The proposed project is located between 19th Street and 21st Street, directly south of Grandview Ave (Figure 1). The approximate geographical location of the project is centered at decimal degree coordinates (North American Datum [NAD] 83) latitude 40.011246°, longitude -105.268987°. The project is in Section 31, Township 1 North, Range 70 West, of the 6th Principal Meridian on the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Boulder, Colorado 7.5-Minute Quadrangle (USGS, 1966). The average elevation of the project is approximately 5,360 feet above mean sea level. Boulder Creek flows from west to east through the project area. (Please see attached document: pg. 1 Summary of Biological Resources in the Project Area; and pg. 3. Results for add’l details on the scope of the assessment).

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

Pinyon visited the 19th Street Pedestrian Bridge project area to assess biological resources. Based on the habitat and resources present, Pinyon recommends the following:
• Project-related activities may affect, but are not likely to adversely affect Preble’s mouse. Pinyon will document this determination in a request for concurrence letter to USFWS. Because there is potential for the project to impact threatened and endangered species, concurrence from the USFWS is required before construction activities can proceed.
• The nesting season for migratory birds generally occurs from April 1 – August 31, although raptors may nest as early as February. If construction activities occur during the nesting season, Pinyon recommends that the contractor follows MBTA nest survey guidelines during the nesting season, which are outlined in Revision of Section 240−Protection of Migratory Birds.
• During construction, the project should minimize the spread of noxious weeds. Pinyon recommends that the project plans include Revision of Section 217–Herbicide Treatment. This specification will also be provided to the engineer separately for inclusion in the project for cleaning equipment and other Best Management Practices specific to noxious weed management.
• Based on the scope of the project and the identified potential WUS, it is anticipated that impacts to Boulder Creek would be covered under a USACE Nationwide Permit. Only the USACE has the authority to make final determinations regarding jurisdiction, permitting, and mitigation. Once project designs are finalized, Pinyon will request the appropriate authorization from USACE under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
• Based on the CDOT/CPW guidelines, Boulder Creek and the surrounding riparian area fall under the jurisdiction of SB 40. Because the project includes a new stream crossing and has the potential to impact federally threatened or endangered species, a Formal SB 40 Wildlife Certification from CPW is required before construction activities can proceed. Once impacts to SB 40 resources are quantified, Pinyon will request a Formal SB 40 Wildlife Certification from CPW on behalf of CDOT
In addition to the use of cultural & environmental assessments conducted by third party resource biologists and engineers, as well as academic and research work directed towards sensitive campus lands / resources, UCB also has an inhouse wildlife management team that coordinates closely with the City of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks (OSMP) division, as well as the Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) in the management and accommodation of both large and small flora and fauna. UCB also has a campus wide pesticide use policy as well as an in-house integrated pest management team that oversees and minimizes pesticide use across campus, both indoors and in the natural environment.
2011 UCB Campus Masterplan, Section V: Land and Facilities Plan pgs. 20, 26-27, 36-39 (https://www.colorado.edu/masterplan/)

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:

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.