Natural Resource Condition Assessments for Saratoga National Historic Park

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.

A line of American soldiers marches across a field at twilight as a light remnant haze of gunsmoke drifts in the air.
Marching through a mist of time.

NPS photo.

Saratoga National Historic Park preserves and protects the sites associated with the first significant American victory against the British at Saratoga during the American Revolution. The park is located near the southern extent of the Adirondack Mountain region in New York’s upper Hudson River Valley. SARA’s vegetation community is comprised of a mosaic of grass fields, shrubland and forests which has changed in size and composition since 1777. Forests cover the largest percentage of the park, with deciduous trees abundant in the mature forests, and hemlocks common on steep ravines in the park. Grasslands comprise almost one-third of the park, and each grassland field has a unique management history. Forty-three species of mammals, 181 species of birds, 20 species of fish, 19 species of reptiles, and 19 species of amphibians are listed as present or probably present in Saratoga National Historic Park.

Traditional NRCA Report: 2014

In an effort to better understand the natural resources and processes within this park, a Natural Resource Condition Assessment was conducted and published in 2014. Representatives from the National Park Service and Pennsylvania State University collaborated to determine park needs and available data. This team chose 12 resource topics to assess:

- Air quality

- White-tailed deer herbivory

- Soils

- Fish community

- Stream water

- Bird community

- Invasive exotic plants

- Amphibians and reptiles

- Invasive exotic animals and disease

- Visitor usage

- Forest vegetation

- Landscape dynamics

The conditions of the indicators for each resource topics varied. Although SARA fundamentally serves as a historical cultural park, its matrix of forest, agriculture and grasslands serve as a unique biological refuge within an increasingly urban environment. It is imperative that Saratoga National Park personnel continue their interaction with local and regional entities to make sure that the park’s interests are known and included in local and regional planning efforts. Furthermore, a lack of baseline data in relation to natural resources limits the evaluation of trend statistics and reduces the overall number of ecological integrity assessments within the park.

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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