Natural Resource Condition Assessments for Johnstown Flood National Memorial

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.

View of a green field and trees, with three buildings in the background.
Park visitor center and offices, Johnstown Flood National Memorial, 2014.

NPS Photo

Johnstown Flood National Memorial is located in southwestern Pennsylvania. The park commemorates the tragic Johnstown flood of May 31, 1889 and preserves the remains of the South Fork Dam and portions of the Lake Conemaugh bed, as well as historic structures associated with the Johnstown flood. Johnstown Flood National Memorial is significant in portraying the great sense of loss and providing visitors with a unique view of life before and after the flood through the museum collection of historical objects and an archive of historical artifacts.

Although this small park was established for the preservation of cultural resources, these resources are embedded within the natural resources of the park, including streams, wetlands, forested mountains, and other natural areas supporting a variety of wildlife, including rare or regionally important plant and animal species.

Traditional NRCA Report: 2014

In an effort to better understand the natural resources and processes present in this park, a Natural Resource Condition Assessment was conducted and published in 2014. National Park Service representatives examined park needs and available data, and chose six resource topics to evaluate:

- Air quality

- Weather and climate

- Water quality

- Ecosystem integrity

- Biological integrity

- Landscapes

The assessment resulted in mixed condition reports of the selected resource topics. Ecosystem integrity and landscapes were in good condition; biological integrity was given a condition status of moderate concern; air quality and water quality were given a condition score of significant concern; and weather and climate was not assigned a condition rating due to lack of data. The condition or state of these resources is largely beyond a park’s ability to control however, they are important to monitor in order to understand the impacts to other, more manageable natural resources within or immediately surrounding the park. This will help staff to create management plans that will continue to conserve and support the natural resources and processes present at Johnstown Flood National Monument.

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: June 30, 2022


  • Site Index