Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 63.21
Liaison Mark Klapatch-Mathias
Submission Date June 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Wisconsin-River Falls
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
1.00 / 2.00 Kelsey Cowart
Ecological Restoration Institute Coordinator
Plant and Earth Science
"---" 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:

The South Fork of the Kinnickinnic River runs through the UWRF campus. The Kinnickinnic River watershed is characterized by scenic bluff lands, rare oak savannah, original prairie, farmland, white pine forest, wooded coulees, sedge meadows, rare and endangered plant species, and plenty of open space and scenic vistas. Its feeder creeks are cold and clean, containing wild native brook and brown trout, important spawning areas, wetlands, and many springs arising from under picturesque limestone outcroppings. The South Fork is a tributary feeding into the Kinni from the east and flows through the campus of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls before meeting up with the mainstem near Glen Park. The river is classified by the Wisconsin DNR as a class I trout stream. Due to the high quantity and concentration of fish in the river it is heralded as a “jewel of a trout stream” by anglers who fish its waters. The river, South Fork, through campus is primarily home to brook trout as opposed to the main Kinnickinnic River which contains high numbers of brown trout.


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?:
No

A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:
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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:

We recently reviewed a site with a wetland delineation and we see an opportunity for biodiversity improvements. The delineation, however, recognized a site that holds native sedges which are not that commonly seen. We have a prairie/wetland plot residing in the floodplain of the South Fork that holds the sedge meadow. We also have a forest on campus that houses old white pines that pre-date the last planting from the 1960’s.


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

The prairie/wetland plot underwent a wetland delineation through a contractor that identified the outline to the sedge meadow as a classified wetland. The white pine stand have been reviewed with archival photos but have not been formally dated.


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

The assessments were completed to better understand the conditions of each respective site and preserve some of these naturally occurring features during the restoration process.


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

The Ecological Restoration Institute will remain involved with ongoing restoration and maintenance of sites with the University. All our project areas intend to have invasive species controlled this coming year with direct plantings of native trees in our forest systems and native seed dispersal for the prairie site this fall. Both objectives intend to increase native biodiversity and remain considerate of local wildlife and pollinators.


Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :
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Website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.