Effective management and stewardship of natural resources in the Northern Great Plains Network parks begins with a basic understanding of the resources. To acquire this understanding, an inventory program was established by the National Park Service with the goal of acquiring baseline information for a set of resources, from bibliographic information to species occurrence and distribution.
Inventories assess and document the current condition of specific natural resources in network parks. A set of 12 basic inventories are defined in appendix A of the Natural Resources Inventory and Monitoring Guidelines (NPS-75). The inventories served as a common starting point for monitoring and were also intended to provide park managers with baseline information on the natural resources in their parks.