Natural resource inventories are extensive, point-in-time efforts to determine the location or condition of resources, including the presence, class, distribution, and status of plants, animals, and abiotic components such as water, soils, landforms, and climate.
The primary purpose of the inventory phase of the I&M program is to assess and document the current condition and knowledge of natural resources in the parks. Combining existing data and current research, and comparing the existing conditions to the natural or desired state of the parks provides a solid baseline for management and long-term monitoring. These projects have also facilitated the exchange of ideas and information among parks of the Northern Colorado Plateau.National and network field studies and data collection are being conducted on plants, animals, water, soils, geology, climate, and other resources as identified in the Inventory and Project table. An Inventory Study Plan, which identified park-specific priorities and specific components involved in conducting inventories for vascular plants and vertebrate animal inventories, was completed by the network in 2000.
This is part of a broader National Park Service initiative to complete basic resource inventories in all national parks with significant natural resources.
In its network parks, the NCPN has inventoried fish, amphibians and reptiles, birds, mammals, vascular plants, and invasive plants, and conducted vegetation mapping.