“In order to care, you need to know what's there.” –Sonoran Desert Network
Part of the National Park Service's mission is to preserve our parks' natural heritage unimpaired for future generations. But to do so, park managers need a lot of information. First and foremost, they need to know what natural resources, e.g., plants, animals, rock formations, or water bodies, exist in their parks. Next, they need to know where those resources are and how they are doing. Inventories help us answer such fundamental questions about the presence, distribution, and condition of natural resources.
Inventory studies involve collecting data in a given area over a set period of time. While they can help us understand how a park resource is faring, they're not designed to detect change over time. That is where monitoring comes in.
Twelve Basic Inventories
When our program started, we identified 12 basic inventories to help us understand what resources existed in our parks.
This second round of inventories aims to provide parks with the data they need to make science-based management decisions.
Last updated: March 14, 2022