National Park managers are confronted with complex and challenging issues that require a broad-based understanding of the status and trends of park natural resources. As part of the NPS's efforts to support science-informed park management, the National Capital Region Network, Inventory & Monitoring program (NCRN I&M) collects, organizes, analyzes, and synthesizes data on natural resources in 11 of the region's parks.
NCRN I&M's ongoing long-term monitoring began in 2005 and includes stream water quality, forest vegetation including invasive plant species and forest pests and diseases, stream and vernal pool amphibians, and forest birds. NCRN I&M also provides data on landcover and landuse factors and on air quality.
Baseline inventories of bats, birds, fish, small mammals and other species began in 2000 and are now complete except for special targeted inventories which occur periodically as resources are available (American chestnut trees in 2014 and Eastern hemlocks in 2015).
For a full description of ongoing monitoring, reports and briefings, as well as interactive data visualizing tools visit http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/ncrn/.