Miami University Natural Areas is only able to meet the goals of providing excellent opportunities for education, research, and stress-relieving activities such as hiking and observation of nature if actions are taken regularly to manage these lands. Though most of these lands are not being actively cultivated, the current state of the land and the organisms that occupy it are influenced by a wide variety of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Past management activities that took place within the boundaries of the Natural Areas.
  • Past and current effects of activities that take place outside of but near the Natural Areas.
  • Widespread natural occurrences including weather, insects and disease, and invasion by other species.

Some of these can threaten the features that we are trying to protect.

Even the prescribed uses of these areas, (education, research, recreation, and observation) and the trails and other facilities developed to accommodate these uses can have an impact on the ecosystems that occupy these lands. The Natural Areas staff, the Miami University Natural Areas Committee, and their partners are tasked with managing the lands to protect the resources and to provide for these uses in the future.

Within the next few years, the Miami University Natural Areas Committee will develop a management plan that will develop overall guidance for investment and maintenance actions, balancing the need for facilities to provide access for recreation, the needs of various species of wildlife, and the opportunities for research. As this is done, there will be opportunities for interested persons to provide input into this process, to help assure a quality outcome.

One of the most pressing threats to the natural communities of the Miami Natural Areas is an overabundance of white-tailed deer. The Deer Management page contains more information of actions being taken to address this.

Other management activities that are currently on-going include Management of Invasive Species and Trail Management. More details on these will be included in future updates to this website, and in the development of the Natural Areas Management Plan.