Natural Resource Condition Assessments for Grand Portage National Monument

Looking through trees at a wooden depot in a green field, with a blue Lake Superior in the background.
Historic depot from Mount Rose Trail.

NPS photo

Grand Portage National Monument is located in northeastern Minnesota. It protects the site of the historic North West Company fur trading post on Lake Superior’s Grand Portage Bay and the major canoe portage trail connecting the Great Lakes to the lakes and streams of the Canadian northwest. The monument is surrounded by the reservation of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa except where it is bordered by the Pigeon River. It is the only unit within the National Park Service that co-manages natural resources through a Tribal Self-Governance Act agreement. Grand Portage National Monument is home to numerous state and federal species of concern including the Canada lynx, bald eagle, gray wolf, peregrine falcon, and a caddisfly, among others.

Traditional NRCA Report: 2014

In an effort to better understand the natural resources and processes present in this monument, a Natural Resource Condition Assessment was conducted and published in 2014. National Park Service representatives and the University of Wisconsin – Steven Point collaborated to determine park needs and available data. This team chose six resource topics to evaluate:

- Landscape condition

- Biotic condition

- Chemical and physical characteristics

- Ecological processes

- Hydrology and geomorphology

- Natural disturbance regimes

This assessment provided a thorough review of these resource topics and showed that the conditions within the site are mixed. Conditions of significant concern are related to air resources and exotic species in the Pigeon River. Some resource topics and resource indicators such as beaver populations and water quality are in good and stable condition. Improvements have been noted in the aquatic macroinvertebrate populations in Grand Portage and Poplar Creeks, and levels of some organic contaminants have declined. Monitoring efforts in subject areas including water quality, aquatic macroinvertebrate populations, beaver populations, exotic species detection, and vegetation analysis should be continued.

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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