Natural Resource Condition Assessments for Vicksburg National Military 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.

Painting showing a green field with white headstones, trees, and a white pergola on a hill.
Early 20th century postcards of Vicksburg National Cemetery.
Vicksburg National Military Park is located in the heart of Vicksburg, MS adjacent to the Yazoo Diversion Canal flowing into the Mississippi River. Although the Park was originally created to commemorate an important Civil War site, it harbors a variety of important natural resources. The forest within the park is less than 100 years, and represents an important island of protected forest within a largely urban setting.

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. The National Park Service partnered with the University of Georgia to examine the available data and current needs of the Park, and assessed the pertinent indicators within eleven main resource topics:

- Atmospheric deposition

- Weather and climate

- Hydrology and water quality

- Exotic plants

- Terrestrial vegetation

- Rare plants

- Fish assemblages

- Bird assemblages

- Mammal assemblages

- Herpetofauna assemblages

- Adjacent land use

Based on the number of rankings falling within each condition category, the overall summary of natural resource assessments is as follows: 27.3% good, 36.3% fair, 18.2% poor, and 18.2% not ranked. Trend was not assessed for most attributes. For assessed attributes, 18% had improving trends, 18% had stable trends, and no trend was assigned for the remaining 64%. The Park faces persistent threats such as atmospheric pollutants, decreased water quality, exotic plant species, non-native or invasive wildlife, and landscape change adjacent to the Park. Resource managers will use the information from this assessment to support and conserve the important resources in Vicksburge National Military Park for years to come.

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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