Vital Signs Monitoring
Knowing the condition of natural resources in national parks is fundamental to NPS's ability to manage park resources "unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Funded by the Natural Resource Challenge, NPS has implemented a strategy to institutionalize natural resource inventory and monitoring. The effort was undertaken to ensure that the 270 park units with significant natural resources possess the information needed for effective, science-based resource management decision-making. The national strategy consists of a framework having three major components: 1) completion of basic resource inventories upon which monitoring efforts can be based; 2) creation of experimental prototype monitoring programs to evaluate alternative monitoring designs and strategies; and 3) implementation of ecological monitoring in all parks with significant natural resources.