• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

Meet the Managers: Issue 1

There are seven main programs in Resource Management and Science: (1) Air Quality, (2) Cultural Resources and Archeology, (3) Fire, (4) Fisheries, (5) Inventory and Monitoring, (6) Vegetation, and (7) Wildlife.

 
Plowing rows for native grass seed planting, Cades Cove.

Plowing rows for native grass seed planting, Cades Cove.

NPS photo.

This month, meet the people and projects in Vegetation Management. When you come to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you see spruce and fir on the highest ridges, oaks, maples, and rhododendron on the long slopes, and around your feet, ferns, mosses, and flowers. Clearly, it takes a lot of effort—and a lot of people—to make sure all of these ecosystems are healthy.

What is vegetation management? With the help of scientists in the Park’s Inventory & Monitoring program, vegetation managers monitor forests, grassy balds, meadows, and wetlands over time. They work to eliminate or control invasive species, restore landscapes altered by agriculture, and re-vegetate disturbed areas with native plant species.

Who manages the park’s vegetation? Vegetation managers include foresters, biologists, and horticulturalists.

What projects are Vegetation Managers working on now? Click each title for a brief description.

Exotic Invasive Plant Species Control

Pest & Disease Monitoring and Management

Native Vegetation & Landscape Restoration

Return to main Dispatches from the Field: Issue 1 page.

Did You Know?

An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001.

An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001. Elk once roamed the Smokies, but were eliminated from the region in the mid 1800s by over-hunting and loss of habitat. Other animals successfully reintroduced to the park include river otters and barn owls. More...