Natural Resource Condition Assessments for Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway

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.

Rocks and green grass and woods line the shore of the river near Stevens Creek.
Shades of green near Stevens Creek.

NPS photo.

The Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway consists of miles of scenic and recreational riverway in the Wisconsin-Minnesota border, and ends where the St. Croix meets the Mississippi River. The upper St. Croix River flows across gently rolling terrain between low banks through areas of dense forests and riparian floodplains. An abundance of wildlife exists within the Riverway. Resource management staff, researchers, and scientists are actively trying to learn what species are found here.

Traditional NRCA Report: 2015

In an effort to better understand the natural resources and processes within the Riverway, a Natural Resource Condition Assessment was conducted and published in 2015. Representatives from the National Park Service and the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point collaborated to determine park needs and available data. This team chose six resource topics and their associated indicators to assess:

- Landscape condition

- Biotic condition

- Physical and chemical condition

- Ecologic processes

- Hydrology and geomorphology

- Natural disturbance regime

Based on the assessment, natural resources within the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway had mixed conditions. Among the most significant threats to natural resources within this riverway are airborne contaminants, water pollutants, exotic/invasive species, diseases, and development adjacent to the riverway. Additional monitoring data will aid resource managers in stewarding these important natural resources.

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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