Vassar Ecological Preserve Conservation Action Plan
The Vassar Ecological Preserve Conservation Action Plan was contributed to by Lindsay Charlop, Keri Vancamp, Meg Ronsheim, Dylan Finley, Lydia Kiewra.
Open spaces in our region have been changing rapidly due to climate change, invasive species, deer overabundance, fragmentation, and overall loss of biodiversity. To help mitigate these issues the Vassar Ecological Preserve developed a Conservation Action Plan. Through the planning process we developed conservation targets, identified the barriers to their conservation, and established a plan to overcome those barriers.
Our goal is to restore areas that aren’t badly invaded, protect rare communities and species, and maintain a diversity of habitats. We identified climate change, invasive species, overabundant deer, habitat degradation, pollinator decline, and human impact as significant barriers to conservation at our site and have developed strategies to mitigate them.
The Conservation Action plan was developed using The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Action Planning (CAP) Process in partnership with the Huyck Preserve with support from the Land Trust Alliance. Throughout this process, Vassar worked with EMMA sites (https://www.emmahv.org/) to provide feedback during the process.
Conservation Action Plan Vision
1) The Vassar Ecological Preserve maintains a diversity of habitats needed to support wildlife, and continues to provide ecosystem services.
2) The threats to conservation targets are minimized to the extent possible.
3) The Vassar Ecological Preserve contributes to corridors of relatively native and intact habitat.
3) The habitats invaded beyond intervention on the VEP remain contained, and can be studied as novel ecosystems.
4) The VEP contains examples of real conservation scenarios that can be used to teach students about conservation, environmental monitoring, and land management.