Natural Resource Inventories




Natural History Collection




Natural Resource Bibliography

Base Cartographic Information

Park staff using GIS to help the mapping of resources.
Park staff using GIS to help the mapping of resources.

NPS Photo


Natural resource inventorying is the process of acquiring information on park resources, including the presence, distribution, and condition of plants, animals, soils, water, air, geological features, biotic communities, natural processes, and human-induced changes in those resources. Inventories are designed to contribute to a statement of the condition of park resources, which is best described in relation to a standard condition such as natural or unimpaired. Inventories involve both the compilation of existing information and the acquisition of new information.

Park inventories include general and specific descriptive data and historical records. Information collected includes things like legal descriptions, climate information, land classifications, topographic maps, watershed delineations, surficial and bedrock geology maps, hydrologic information, water quality data, air quality data, species lists, vegetation maps, documentation of fires, insect, and disease infestations, etc.

In a world in which natural places have become few and precious, knowledge of the composition and function of relatively unaltered natural systems is invaluable. This program provides a fundamental knowledge of those systems and the technical basis for "ecosystem management".

Natural resource inventories have three primary uses:

  • Documentation of the occurrence, location, and condition of park resources
  • Identification of rare, threatened, or endangered species and ecosystems for purposes of directing management
  • Development of a foundation for implementation of status and trend or monitoring programs

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Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835


(540) 999-3500
Use this phone number to contact us for all of your park inquiries!

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