|Overall Rating||Silver - expired|
|Submission Date||March 3, 2017|
Washington and Lee University
This credit is weighted more heavily for institutions that own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to any of the following:
Institutions may identify legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and regions of conservation importance using the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) for Research & Conservation Planning, the U.S. Information, Planning, and Conservation (IPaC) decision support system, or an equivalent resource or study.
Director of Sustainability Initiatives and Education
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:
W&L owns a 90-acre farm that has an easement on 68.9 of those acres. The easement is held by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, and restricts any land use outside of agriculture, preservation of open space, and for conservation purposes. Additionally, the university has 217 acres of "unimproved land," which has been kept in woodland. The Maury River and Woods Creek run through these properties, and riparian areas have been improved or maintained.
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:
The assessments done on the farm were performed by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. The first assessment was in 2005 when it was determining suitability for the easement. The second assessment was in 2014 when the university was considering putting a solar array on the property. At neither time were rare, threatened or endangered species found, nor was the property found to be an environmentally sensitive area. As stated above, the easement is on the property for preservation of open space. (Although the VOF approved the project, it did not end up getting full support of our Board of Trustees, so it never came to fruition.)
For the rest of our wooded areas on back campus, research, class projects, and explorations by several of our biology and geology faculty (and VMI's faculty) have not yielded any results for rare, threatened or endangered species in our wooded areas.
A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:
No RTEs or environmentally sensitive areas have been found on W&L property. However, the Maury River, which runs entirely within Rockbridge County, is home to two federally endangered species of mussels (the James spinymussel and the Dwarf Wedgemussel), one federally endangered species of plant (Shale barren rock cress), as well as two threatened species (the Madison Cave Isopod and Virginia Sneezeweed).
A brief description of plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:
The rain gardens are used in new construction (Hillel House, Montessori School) and the campus has a no hunting policy on our premises. The Woods Creek corridor and the back campus area are undeveloped, with the exception of trail maintenance. The Master Plan identifies these areas as having low potential for development.
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.