National Park Service

Cumberland Piedmont Network (CUPN)

Inventory & Monitoring at
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

White Rocks at CUGA White Rock Cliff Face at Cumberland Gap NHP
NPS LogoOfficial Cumberland Gap NHP Website
CUPN park map
Location of Cumberland Gap NHP in the Cumberland Piedmont Network. Click for larger image.

Cumberland Gap is a natural pass located where the borders of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia meet. It has been used as a transportation corridor since prehistoric times. Migratory large game created a path through the gap long before people arrived. The Gap later became a Native American route to hunting grounds in Kentucky; however, it is best known for its importance in opening the interior of our nation to settlement by early colonists. This diverse Park of 22,376 acres encompasses much of the east-west oriented Cumberland Mountain, with many caves, streams, bogs, rock outcrops, and cliffs. Much of the Park is covered by second-growth forests of mixed deciduous and oak-hickory species.

The Cumberland Piedmont Network inventory program has provided this park with a vegetation community classification and map, and updated vascular plant and vertebrate species lists. During the vegetation community classification work, over 30 distinct associations were documented and mapped, including two globally rare communities: a dry calcareous forest/woodland and Cumberland streamside bog.

The Network monitoring program at this park includes six vital signs involving repeated visits to established sites following procedures set forth by each monitoring protocol: cave aquatic biota, cave bats, forest vegetation communities, invasive species early detection, ozone/foliar injury, and water quality. The cave aquatic biota and cave bat protocols are scheduled for completion in 2013. Water quality monitoring began in 2007 and continues on a monthly schedule for two years "on," five years "off," at ten sites. Forest monitoring began in 2011–2012 with the establishment of 16 long-term monitoring plots. More new plots will be established over the next couple years, followed by a five-year revisit schedule, occurring in mid-August. This park has a portable ozone monitor on loan from Air Resources Division, and foliar injury is assessed on-site every six years, beginning in 2008. The Invasive Species Early Detection protocol was completed in 2012 and will be used by field crews to monitor for priority exotics during their scheduled field work.

Park managers are using inventory and monitoring data to create resource stewardship strategies for achieving desired future conditions. The links to inventory and monitoring reports are provided on this page.

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View Publications by Topic

  • Resource Briefs
  • Inventory & Assessment Reports
  • Monitoring Reports
  • Protocols
  • Plans/Pubs/Other

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Vegetation Communities
Water Quality & Quantity
Other

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Birds
Fish
Herps
Mammals
Natural Resource Condition Assessment

2014 Natural Resource Condition Summary Tables Air Vegetation Water

Plants
Vegetation Mapping & Accuracy Assessment
Wetlands
Other

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Ozone & Foliar Injury
Vegetation Communities
Water Quality & Quantity

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Invasive Species Early Detection
Ozone & Foliar Injury
Vegetation Communities
Water Quality & Quantity

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Other
Last Updated: December 30, 2016 Contact Webmaster