Committee to Plan for College's Natural Areas

04/01/2004

Contributed by Mark Darling

The Natural Areas Stewardship Committee held its first meeting on March 24, 2004.

This group has been charged by the administration to develop a plan for the sustainable management of the College's natural areas.

The committee is embracing this opportunity to educate our community about sustainable resource use; and the conflicts, the values, and the process as manifested in the harvesting of timber. Because decisions about land management can be controversial, the committee is committed to insuring that the process is fair and open. Input will be sought from the entire community as a plan is developed that seeks to achieve a balance of financial, ethical, and environmental responsibility.

Many opportunities and avenues will be offered for members of the community to express their views concerning how natural areas owned by the College are used. Every effort will be made to keep the community informed of the progress of this committee as a natural areas stewardship plan is developed. Comments and questions are encouraged; please direct them to Mark Darling.

The charge to the committee calls for the completion of a plan, as it relates to the College's holdings in the town of Newfield, by December 2004. A plan for the property contiguous to the campus on South Hill should be completed by December of 2005.

The charge to the committee and membership:

To develop a workable plan for the sustainable management of the College's natural areas in a manner that appropriately balances their use for academic research and teaching with the provision of a financial return to the College from environmentally conscious timber management.

The process shall target December 2004 for completion of the plan as it relates to the College's holdings in Newfield, so that timber management practices appropriate for the property can be implemented during the winter of 2005. The plan for the property contiguous to the campus should be completed by December of 2005.

Members of the committee are: Srijana Bajracharya, health promotion and human movement; John Confer, biology; Rick Couture (cochair) physical plant; Mark Darling (secretary), REMP/physical plant; Jason Hamilton (cochair), biology; Rob Porter, assistant professor, therapeutic recreation and leisure services; Lauren Spitz '07, environmental studies; Fred Vanderburgh, physical plant.

Contributed by Mark Darling

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