Series: Managing Resilient Forests Initiative for Eastern National Parks

Forests in the northeastern U.S. are in peril. Over-abundant deer, invasive plants, and insect pests are negatively impacting park forests, threatening to degrade the scenic vistas and forested landscapes that parks are renowned for. With regional collaboration, parks can manage these impacts and help forests be resilient. This article series explores tools available to park managers to achieve their goals.

  • Article 1: Managing Resilient Forests. A Regional Initiative

    Forest health monitoring

    Forests cover tens of thousands of acres in eastern national parks and these critical resources face a range of interacting stressors: over-abundant white-tailed deer populations, invasive plant dominance, novel pests and pathogens, among other threats. The Resilient Forests Initiative will help parks address these issue collectively. Read more

  • Article 2: Resilient Forests Initiative - Managing Invasive Plants & Pests

    Forest Regeneration

    Park forests are threatened by invasive plants and pests. Strategically tackling invasive plants to protect park’s highest priority natural resources and planning around forest pests and pathogens are important actions in managing resilient forests. Read more

  • Article 3: Resilient Forests Initiative - Managing Deer Impacts

    Deer impacts

    A healthy forest needs to have enough tree seedlings and saplings to regenerate the forest canopy after a disturbance. Analysis of NPS I&M and other long-term datasets makes it clear that many eastern national parks lack adequate tree regeneration due to decades of over browsing by white-tailed deer. Read more

  • Article 4: Resilient Forests Initiative - Forest Complexity

    Canopy gap

    Much of the forest in the eastern United States is around the same age, regrowing after widespread land clearing that peaked between the 1880's and 1920's. Throughout the twentieth century, forests began to regenerate, eventually spreading onto abandoned agricultural lands. Read more

  • Article 5: I&M Networks Support Resilient Forest Management

    Forest health monitoring

    NPS Inventory and Monitoring Networks have been tracking forest health in eastern national parks since 2006. This monitoring information can guide resilient forest management and support parks in adapting to changing conditions through the actions described below. Read more