Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Natural Resource Condition Assessment
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park provides a wealth of natural resource values, due to its location spanning four physiographic provinces. These resources were assessed using the Vital Signs framework. Overall, the natural resoures in Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park are in moderate condition but are under threat from surrounding land use, regionally poor air quality, overpopulation of deer, and the recent documentation of the presence of emerald ash borer and white-nose syndrome within the park. Climate change is predicted to negatively affect many of the natural resources of the park, including increasing ozone levels and particle pollution, raising the water temperature of cold-water, trout-supporting streams, changing forest composition, and affecting exotic species and forest pests and diseases.