Creating a framework for reporting ecological conditions
A new science newsletter created for the National Capital Region Network (NCRN) of the National Park Service is now available on the IAN website. This newsletter is the product of the May 2005 Vital Signs workshop, with participants from each of the 11 National Parks within the NCRN. Knowing the condition of natural resources in the National Parks is critical to conserving the parks unimpaired for the enjoyment of this and future generations. The National Park Service (NPS) is implementing a series of programs designed to provide a stronger scientific basis for management actions. The Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) program was initiated in 1990 to help fulfill this mission. The intent of NPS monitoring is to track a subset of resources and processes, known as “Vital Signs,” that represent overall ecological health, known or hypothesized stressors, and natural elements of important human value. The information obtained through Vital Signs monitoring will have applications for management decision-making, research, education and promoting public understanding of NPS natural resources.