Natural Resource Condition Assessments for Fort Donelson National Battlefield

The Natural Resource Condition Assessment (NRCA) Program provides framework, funding, and publishing support to parks to aid in the synthesis and documentation of natural resource conditions. Condition assessment reports are a tool to describe selected park resources, and record a snapshot of their current condition, identify trends, and identify potential or current threats and stressors. Understanding the condition and trend of natural resources is key for parks and NPS planners to appropriately prioritize and allocate stewardship resources.

A shaded grassy field with fog, and a silhouette of a deer near some trees in the background.
Fog rolls into the park, Fort Donelson National Battlefield, 2013.

NPS Photo

Fort Donelson National Battlefield is located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Tennessee. This park was established to commemorate an important battle in the Civil War and to preserve the area for historical and personal military study. Fort Donelson contains a moderately diverse plant and vertebrate biota which the park and the US Forest Service continually manage.

Traditional NRCA Report: 2013

In an effort to better understand the natural resources and processes present in the park, a Natural Resource Condition Assessment was conducted and published in 2013. National Park Service representatives and the University of Georgia examined the park needs and available data for this assessment. This team chose 12 resource topics to evaluate:

- Air quality

- Fish assemblages

- Water quality

- Bird assemblages

- Exotic plants

- Mammal assemblages

- Vegetation communities

- Reptile and amphibian assemblages

- Rare plants

- Landscape dynamics

- Forest pests and pathogens

- Viewscapes

- Night sky

Overall, the assessment showed that the natural resources within Fort Donelson National Battlefield were in good to moderate condition. Air quality and landscape resource topics were given a good to moderate condition rating; water quality was given a good condition rating; and the biological integrity resource topics were mostly given a good condition status (vegetation communities, forest pests and pathogens, fish assemblages, bird assemblages, mammal assemblage and, herpetofauna assemblages) while the remainder (exotic plants and rare plants) were given a condition rating of moderate concern. Threats and stressors to the park include decreased air quality, decreased water quality, exotic species, animal disease, pests and landscape change. Park managers will continue to work with partners to ensure the continued protection of the natural resource found within this national battlefield.

For other reports and natural resource datasets visit the NPS Data Store.

Source: Data Store Collection 7765 (results presented are a subset). To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Last updated: February 25, 2022


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