Regents' Vote Affirms Membership in UC Natural Reserve System
A vote by the UC Regents in January 2014 makes the UC Merced Reserve a member of the large UC Natural Reserve System. By joining the NRS, UC Merced’s campus reserve is now part of a network of 39 permanently-protected reserves found across the length and breadth of California. These protected natural sites encompass many of California's major ecosystems. The Reserves support university-level research and teaching, and are used by students, faculty, and other researchers to study natural systems, communities and ecological processes in these rich, diverse environments.
The UC Natural Reserve System includes more than 750,000 acres, making it the largest university-administered reserve system in the world. Reserve sites are chosen with great care and the criteria for selection includes their natural integrity, biodiversity, and the ecological or landscape characteristics that are not found in other Reserves. According to the NRS operating manual, "Each site should possess exceptional value in illustrating, interpreting, and protecting examples of the major habitat types of California." Permanent university funding to support Reserve operations is also a requirement.