Effective long-term management and stewardship of natural resources in the Great Lakes Network begins with knowing what's out there. To find out, the National Park Service began an inventory program to gather baseline information about park natural resources. Some of this only required pulling the species lists, reports, and published papers out of the files. Where there were gaps in the information, we initiated field studies to fill those gaps.
All networks were required to complete at least 12 basic inventories that provided the baseline information needed to start a Vital Signs Monitoring Program. The 12 basic inventories are defined in appendix A of the Natural Resources Inventory and Monitoring Guidelines (NPS-75).