The landscape of the American Southwest is a record of human relationships with the natural environment. It gives testimony to the contrasting values of cultures, competition for limited resources, and other environmental and cultural changes that have taken place since humans have been present. The National Park Service is mandated to preserve, protect, and manage natural resources to maintain ecosystem integrity. An essential component of this mission is vital signs monitoring, a national effort in cooperation with other federal and state agencies to determine trends in the condition of natural resources. The following are vital signs and other effects related to human use of the environment for which we currently have information.