To help protect park natural resources like forests, streams, and wildlife, a team of National Park Service scientists with the National Capital Region Inventory & Monitoring Network (NCRN I&M) is continually assessing conditions at Antietam.
Ongoing NCRN monitoring of forest vegetation occurs at 12 plots spread throughout Antietam's forests and historic woodlots, including the North Woods, Snavely Woods, and the West Woods. At these plots the trees, shrubs, vines, and specific non-woody plants are identified to group or species, and trees are measured and labeled. Any evidence of deer browse on trees or shrubs is noted. Diseases and pests are also noted along with targeted invasive plant species. Fallen and standing woody debris (that provides essential habitat to many types of wildlife) is also monitored.
I&M also monitors forest birds twice each year (at 14 plots) in Antietam's forest areas. Since 2015, I&M has also monitored grassland bird (at 90 plots) within Antietam's grasslands.