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Visitor Use Guidelines

Cornell has the good fortune of its setting. On the campus itself, and nearby, there is a wealth of biologically interesting land available for educational and research purposes, and for personal enjoyment and relaxation as well. The lands described in these pages are used by Cornell classes for the study of natural history, and by hikers, bird watchers, artists and others. Despite the many years of regular use of these areas, rare species are still found on some sites, and many sites are ecologically fragile or potentially dangerous.


Please be guided by common sense in your uses of the areas. Trampling in natural areas is a problem, so please stay on the trails whenever feasible or where off-trail use may cause damage to the site. Certain sites are very sensitive, and may not be appropriate for large groups or children. Research, educational, or other activities, must not present a hazard to or interfere with the primary uses of these sites. Generally, only nondestructive and limited sampling is permitted. A rule of thumb is to avoid collecting from any population smaller than 2,000 individuals. Written permission is required to conduct research, for the collecting of plants, animals, or parts thereof - living or dead, and for geological or other site materials. To make arrangements for collecting, research, or large group trips, or for other guidance or information, contact the Natural Areas Program Director or complete a special use permit application.


Several of Cornell's natural areas have been used for many decades, and they are still in good condition. Others, especially the areas on or near campus, show clear evidence of human activities. Our goal is to have all of Cornell's natural areas remain in good condition, while still being used. We ask your cooperation in this ambitious goal. You can help us by serving as a steward of these sites when you visit. Please inform those you bring along about our regulations and the reasons for them. Report situations of which we should be aware to the natural areas program.


Thank you for your cooperation.


Todd Bittner
Director, Plantations Natural Areas
(607) 255-9638