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Classification and Mapping of Vegetation and Fire Fuel
Models at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area:
Volume 1 and Volume 2 (Appendix G) of 2

Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR—2007/076

Stephanie J. Perles1, Gregory S. Podniesinski1, E. Eastman2,
Lesley A. Sneddons3, and Sue C. Gawler3

1 Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
208 Airport Drive
Middletown, PA 17057

2Center for Earth Observation
North Carolina State University
5112 Jordan Hall, Box 7106
Raleigh, NC 27695

3 NatureServe
11 Avenue de Lafayette, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02111

March 2007

U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Northeast Region
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Executive Summary

Vegetation classification and mapping of vegetation associations, fire behavior fuel models, and canopy cover classes were conducted at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, creating current digital geospatial databases for the park.

Sixty-nine vegetation associations that occur within the park were identified and described in detail. This wide diversity of vegetation associations is a result of several factors, including differing bedrock geology, variable topographic features, and lengthy land use history. A map showing the locations of vegetation associations in the park was created following the USGS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program protocols (The Nature Conservancy and Environmental Systems Research Institute 1994a, b, c). These vegetation associations were also crosswalked to the National Vegetation Classification System, as well as the Pennsylvania and New Jersey state classifications, in order to provide a regional and global context for the parks' vegetation. A dichotomous field key was developed for these vegetation associations to assist with field recognition and classification.

The five spatial data inputs required by the FARSITE fire growth simulation model were also developed for the Delaware Water Gap. These data are essential for fire and resource managers to adequate plan for and manage prescribed and wildland fires. Three data layers (elevation, slope, and aspect) were derived using spatial tools in ArcGIS from the existing digital elevation model created by North Carolina State University. The fire behavior fuel model data layer maps 12 fuel models that provide information on fire behavior. The original Anderson (1982) fuel model descriptions, as well as descriptions of the fuels within the park and the relationships between vegetation associations and fire fuel models, are included in this report. A canopy cover data layer was also created for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area using the four cover classes required by the FARSITE program (Finney 1998). In addition, areas of the park with large concentrations of dead or dying trees were identified. These areas, predominantly dead or dying standing eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis), pose an increased fire risk.


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The file for this report is very large, therefore it has been divided into 14 pdf files. Click on a file to open it.

pdf file 1:Volume 1--Front Matter through Project Area

pdf file 2: Materials and Methods

pdf file 3: Results

pdf file 4: Discussion through end of Volume 1

pdf file 5: Volume 2--Front Matter through Key to Vegetation Associations

pdf file 6: Appendix G through Sugar Maple-American Beech-Sweet Birch Forest

pdf file 7: Sugar Maple-American Basswood Forest through Dry Oak-Mixed Hardwood

pdf file 8: Dry Oak-Heath Forest through Bottomland Oak Palustrine Forest

pdf file 9: Red Maple Palustrine Forest through Pine-Mixed Hardwood Rocky Summit

pdf file 10: Hickory-Eastern Red-cedar Rocky Woodland through Wet Meadow

pdf file 11: Silky Dogwood Successional Palustrine Shrubland through Wavy Hairgrass-Common Sheep Sorel Rock Outcrop

pdf file 12: Big Bluestem-Indiangrass Riverine Grassland through Marl Fen

pdf file 13: Water-Willow Emergent Bed through Sparsely Vegetated Cliff

pdf file 14: Calcareous Riverside Outcrop to end