"The National Park Service will preserve and protect the natural resources, processes, systems, and values of units of the national park system in an unimpaired condition to perpetuate their inherent integrity and to provide present and future generations with the opportunity to enjoy them." National Park Service Management Policies 2006
Resource protection and management is a critically important function of the National Park Service. Like other National Parks, Theodore Roosevelt National Park uses a science-based approach to protect the park's natural resources. Resource management extends to a number of interrelated areas of interest including exotic plant control, fire ecology, habitat restoration, mitigating human impacts, and wildlife management.
Proactive and research-based approaches to wildlife management have helped establish and maintain the healthy wildlife populations visitors can enjoy in the park today. Native animals including pronghorn, elk, bighorn sheep, and bison have all been successfully reintroduced in the park since its establishment in 1947. A team of biologists and other scientists, geographic information systems technicians, and resource management professionals work together to better understand the park's wildlife and the issues affecting them. Together, these teams study population dynamics, wildlife movement and distribution, and impacts on vegetation to help manage the park's abundant wildlife.
The park is fenced to prohibit the movement of bison, wild feral horses, and cattle across the park boundary. Other animals including deer, elk, and pronghorn are able to pass over, under, or through the fence. Park service management philosophy allows for self-regulation of ecosystems within the the park whenever possible. With the absence of many natural predators, some species including wild feral horses, bison, and elk must be actively managed by the park. To control population numbers, the park has historically rounded up these three species and culled the herds in accordance with NPS policy.
Did You Know?
Coyotes and badgers both benefit by cooperating to catch prairie dogs. The badger tunnels into the prairie dog burrow after its prey while the coyote waits by the exit to catch prairie dogs fleeing from the badger. More...