Natural Resource Condition Assessments for Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

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.

White columns in a garden set against a distant view of a mountain peak in the autumn.
View from Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site looking west across the lawn toward Mt. Ascutney, Vermont.

NPS Photo

Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of America’s greatest sculptors lived in the area now called Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site from 1885 until his death in 1907. During his lifetime he created over 150 works of art, from exquisitely carved cameos to heroic-size public monuments. Works such as the “Standing Lincoln” monument and the Shaw Memorial continue to inspire people today and his design for the 1907 Twenty Dollar Gold piece is considered America’s most beautiful coin. Over 100 works of the sculptor are exhibited at the park.

Located in New Hampshire, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site is bordered on two sides by the Blow-Me-Up Brook and the Blow-Me-Down Brook, traversing through upland forest.

Traditional NRCA Report: 2018

In an effort to better understand and manage the natural resources of the park, a Natural Resource Condition Assessment was completed and published in 2018. Staff from the National Park Service (NPS) and State University of New York used the NPS Vital Signs Indicator Framework to identify 25 indicators of natural resource condition. The report includes 5 resource topics:

- Air and climate

- Geology and soils

- Water quantity and quality

- Biological integrity

- Landscapes

The assessment found that many of the natural resources in the park were of moderate or significant concern and data gaps were prevalent for many others, preventing the authors from assigning condition ratings. While the site supports a wide variety of native flora and fauna, due to the site’s relatively small size, the condition of natural resources is particularly affected by stressors originating outside of the historic site’s boundaries, including climate change, air pollution, road impacts, invasive species and regional wildlife trends. The assessment revealed several data gaps which could be filled by additional site monitoring if funding permits.

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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