Natural Resource Condition Assessments for Lake Meredith National Recreation Area

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.

The setting sun reflects off the surface of a lake. A peninsula reaches out into the lake and shrubs are seen in the foreground.
Lake Meredith Summer Sunset.

NPS Photo.

Lake Meredith National Recreation Area and Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument are adjacent parks in the panhandle of Texas, north of Amarillo along U.S. Route 287.

The National Recreation Area was set aside to provide for outdoor recreation as well as primarily serve as a water supply reservoir. Lake Meredith National Recreation Area is also managed for supporting habitats including aquatic, wetland, riparian, and treed uplands supporting a wide variety of wildlife; and preserving the unique geologic features and processes. Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument is set aside to preserve the only known exposed bedrock source of Alibates flint and the long history of flint use and associated archaeological sites, artifacts and quarries. These units are home to a wide variety plants and wildlife, a fascinating geological story and two natural resources critical to the development of human civilization in the Texas Panhandle: water and flint.

Traditional NRCA Report: 2016

In an effort to better understand the natural resources and processes present in these park units, a joint Natural Resource Condition Assessment was written and published in 2016. Staff and management from both Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, and from Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument worked collaboratively with other NPS representatives to complete this assessment. The team chose 14 resource topics to evaluate in these units:

- Viewshed

- Riparian habitat

- Night sky

- Grassands

- Soundscape

- Invasive plants

- Air Quality

- Landbirds

- Geology

- Herpetofauna

- Surface water quality

- River Fish

- Groundwater

- Lake fish

Overall, the resources within Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, and Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument were in moderate condition. Two resources (viewshed and breeding landbirds) had a good condition rating; five resources (night sky, soundscape, air quality, geology, and grasslands) were given a condition of moderate concern; four resources (surface water, riparian habitat, exotic plants, and lake fish) were given a condition rating of significant concern; and the remaining three resources (groundwater, herpetofauna and river fish) were not given a condition status due to lack of data. Threats to the park include drought, climate change, oil and gas production, off road vehicle use, and exotic plants. Resource managers at Lake Meredith National Recreation Area and Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument will continue to consider these threats and concerns to minister to the resources within these areas.

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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