Alaska's Inventory Program

A scientist conducts a soil inventory.
A scientist digs a soil pit as part of the soils inventory in Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve.

The inventory program provides information for a variety of resources, from bibliographies to species occurrence and distribution. This baseline is used to inform monitoring efforts, long-term management, and stewardship of natural resources in Alaska’s parklands.

Over two-thirds of the land managed by the National Park Service is in Alaska. Because of the vast landscapes, coupled with extreme weather and short field seasons, a regional management approach has been established for base cartography, soils, and landcover inventory programs. The other nine inventories have been managed at a national level.

12 Basic Inventories

When the Inventory & Monitoring Program started, a set of 12 basic inventories was identified to help us better understand and manage park natural resources. These inventories were point-in-time surveys to learn about the location or condition of certain resources, including the presence, distribution, or status of plants and animals, air, water, soils, landforms, and climate.

Imagery of the Yukon River.

Base Cartography

Imagery of the Yukon River, part of base cartography for Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.

A soil core showing organic and mineral layers.

Soil Resources

Soils inventories use soil core, like this one from Kobuk Valley National Park, to map soil types.

A hiker walks a steep vegetated slope above a fjord, next to a rocky cliff.

Landcover/Vegetation Mapping

Landcover inventories map vegetation types in Alaska's parks.

A rock wall showing folds of different strata.

Geologic Resources

Geologic resources are clues to the past and a way to understand the local ecology and physical processes.

A large lake's glassy surface reflects the mountains and sky.

Water Body Location and Classification

The National Hydrography Dataset includes lakes, streams, glaciers, and more.

A woman in an inflatable raft takes measurements of water quality.

Baseline Water Quality Information

Primary sources of water quality information come from the National Water Quality Information System and STORET.

A remote climate station high in the mountains.


Climate information is a critical piece to understand resource trends.

The air quality monitoring station at sunset.

Air Quality Data

Air quality inventories focus on indicator pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act.

Lichens grow on the bark of a tree.

Air Quality Related Values

Some resources are sensitive to air quality, including vegetation, soils, water, and wildlife. This inventory identifies those values.

A ptarmigan well camouflaged in a snowy bush.

Species Inventories

Species inventories provide lists of species occurrence in parks.

Indian paintbrush

Species Occurrence and Distribution

Additional inventories have been conducted in some parks for species of particular interest.

A red sea star in beach stones.

Natural Resource Bibliography

This inventory of park natural resource documents is now a Data Store, the main location to find all park natural resource reports.

National Inventory Reports and Data

Source: Data Store Collection 8080. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Last updated: February 9, 2022