Long-term Forest Health Monitoring

Several hemlock seedlings sprout from a moss-covered log on a sun-dappled forest floor.
Several conifer saplings spout from a moss-covered "nurse" log. NPS photo.
 
forest health brief
Download the Forest Health Monitoring Program Brief.

Overview

Forest vegetation and associated resources are a high-priority vital sign.This program monitors the composition and structure of park forests, and collects data for assessing forest soil condition, impacts of white-tailed deer herbivory, and land cover.

NETN uses the concept of ecological integrity to help interpret forest condition to park management staff. A scorecard essentially summarizes and compares current data of several forest metrics to their natural or historical range of variation. NETN recognizes that ecological integrity may not be the primary goal of park resource management, particularly at historical parks and historic sites where cultural resource management may be the priority. Even so, being able to compare the condition of park resources to benchmarks defined by historic condition is valuable because it provides a deeper understanding of resource condition, as well as a consistent baseline for assessment of management goals.

Appalachian Trail Forest Monitoring

The region through which APPA passes is predominantly forested and key stressors of these resources include land use change and habitat fragmentation on lands adjacent to the Appalachian NST corridor, nonnative species, visitor usage, wet and dry deposition, and climate change. NETN has developed a data acquisition protocol using plot-based data collected by the US Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (FIA) to track the overall condition of forest resources along the Appalachian Trail. This protocol is currently under development and will be available by the end of 2018.

 
 

NETN Forest Health Monitoring Materials

 

Forest Health Protocol

Source: Data Store Saved Search 1119. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

 

Reports

Source: Data Store Saved Search 1189. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

 

Database

Source: Data Store Saved Search 1451. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

 

Scanned Field Forms

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2267. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

 

Journal Articles

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2440. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

 

Briefs

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2269. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

 

Forest Health Monitoring Videos and Maps

 
Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
Duration:
5 minutes, 48 seconds

Invasive plants and animals can disrupt ecosystems even in highly protected National Parks. Learn how parks are taking action with help from Inventory & Monitoring as the first alert to new pests and with Exotic Plant Management Teams that tackle invasive species treatment and removal.

 
Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
Duration:
5 minutes, 54 seconds

How forest monitoring in eastern national parks helped reveal issues with long-term forest sustainability, and the successes parks have had in addressing the issue at Gettysburg National Military Park, Rock Creek Park, and Catoctin Mountain Park.

 
 

Staff Contacts for Long-term Forest Monitoring

Program Manager: Aaron Weed
Plant Ecologist: Kate Miller
A.T. Environmental Monitoring Coordinator: Fred Dieffenbach
Data Manager: Adam Kozlowski
Biological Technician (vegetation): Camilla Seirup

Last updated: July 11, 2018