For the more information about water resources in the National Park Service, please visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/water/.
Natural Resource Condition Assessments
- What are current conditions for important park natural resources?
- What are the critical data and knowledge gaps?
- What are some of the factors that are influencing park resource conditions?
Natural Resource Condition Assessments (NRCAs) evaluate and report on the above for a subset of important natural resources in national park units (hereafter, parks). Focal study resources and indicators are selected on a park-by-park basis, guided by use of structured resource assessment and reporting frameworks. Considerations include park resource setting and enabling legislation (what are this park's most important natural resources?) and presently available data and expertise (what can be evaluated at this time?).
In addition to credible condition reporting for individual resources and indicators, NRCAs also strive to provide a meaningful discussion of overall findings and recommendations by park areas (watersheds, habitats, or other areas of interest to park managers). This helps to highlight emerging or cross-cutting issues and park areas and resources in greatest need of management attention.
Science-based information delivered in NRCAs will assist park managers in their ongoing efforts to take an integrated (interdisciplinary) and strategic approach to resource planning and decision making. It can also be used by park managers to communicate current resource condition status to interested stakeholders and the general public.
Natural resource condition assessments are part of an overall water resource planning effort. Visit the planning section of this website to learn more about the National Park Service water resources planning program.
Last Updated: September 11, 2012