Natural Resource Condition Assessments
IWS and the National Park Service (NPS) are collaborating on a series of Natural Resource Condition Assessments (NRCAs) for parks in the Pacific West and Intermountain Regions.

What are NRCAs?

Assessments are based on NPS Vital Signs Monitoring, spanning 270 Parks across the United States.  Each assessment:
1) focuses on park-specific natural resources and their management;
2) evaluates and reports on current conditions, critical data and knowledge gaps associated with these resources; and
3) describes resource threats and stressors common to multiple parks.

NRCAs provide a snapshot-in-time evaluation of resource conditions for the most important park resources. Gathered information will assist NPS managers to develop management priorities, partnerships, park plans, and education efforts. NRCAs also provide information for professionals in the ecological sciences and a better understanding of the resource management of NPS units.

The final reports are published as part of the NPS Natural Resource Publication Series.

Involvement with this study supports the mission of IWS, which includes gathering information necessary to maintain biodiversity.

IWS work involves 12 parks or park groups. Following are some examples:

Pacific West Region  
Great Basin       Photo by Wolfgang Artmüller

Cabrillo National Monument


* Document available here

Lake Mead

Channel Islands National Park


* Document available here

Fort Vancouver gate with pointy boardsPhoto by Visitor7

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site


Golden GatePhoto by Adbar

Lewis and Clark National Historic Park


Pu'ukohola Heiau temple ruinsPhoto by Bamse

Pu'ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site


Kaloko Honokohau shore

Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park


Pu'uhonua o Honaunau statuesPhoto by Kobac

Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park


Intermountain Region Parks  

Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument

New Mexico

Black Canyon of the Gunnison       Photo by Lisa Lynch

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park



Zion National Park


Background photo: Curecanti National Recreation Area, Colorado

Further description and examples can be found at:

Email Dr. Schwemm for more information