National Park Service

Northeast Temperate Network (NETN)

Parks in this Network

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Identifying plant species in a forest plot at Acadia National Park.
Identifying plant species in a forest plot at Acadia National Park. NPS photo.
  • Assess status and trends in the composition, structure, and function of NETN forested ecosystems



Download Program Brief:

forest health brief

NETN has developed a long-term monitoring program for forest resources in response to the identification of Forest Vegetation as a high-priority vital sign for the network. This program also provides data for three additional high-priority vital signs: Forest Soil Condition, White-tailed Deer Herbivory, and Land Cover.

Adapted from the U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis Program, the NETN forest protocol monitors a representative suite of site and vegetation measures in an extensive network of randomly located permanent plots.

NETN uses an Ecological Integrity Scorecard to help interpret forest condition for parks. The sorecard examines several data points and compares them to their natural or historical range of variation. NETN recognizes that "ecological integrity" may not be the primary goal of park resource management, particularly at historical parks and historic sites where cultural resource management may be the priority. Even so, being able to compare the condition of park resources to ecological integrity benchmarks is valuable because it provides a deeper understanding of park condition, as well as a consistent baseline for assessment of management goals.

Appalachian Trail Forest Monitoring

Because of the unique geography and logistical challenges associated with the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.), a modified version of the NETN long-term forest monitoring protocol was developed to monitor forest vegetation along the A.T. The changes reduce the gear requirements to a level appropriate for backcountry work, make the protocol cheaper and faster to implement, and more suitable for a volunteer and likely less skilled field crew. Within A.T. forested systems key stressors include land use change and habitat fragmentation on lands adjacent to the trail's corridor. The overall goal of the program is to assess the current status of forest resources within the Appalachian Trail corridor, and to create a process that promotes monitoring of those resources.

NETN Forest Health Monitoring Materials

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Field Forms

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NETN Forest Health Monitoring Sites

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Northeast Temperate Network Staff Contacts for Long-term Forest Monitoring

Name Title/Position Phone Number Email Address
Aaron Weed Program Manager 802-457-3368
ex. 237
Kate Miller Plant Ecologist 207-288-8736
Camilla Seirup Biological Technician /Project Leader 207-288-8738
Fred Dieffenbach Environmental Monitoring Coordinator - Appalachian NST 802-457-3368 ext. 236
Adam Kozlowski Data Manager 802-457-3368 ex 240
Ed Sharron Science Communication Specialist 802-457-3368
ex. 223
Last Updated: October 17, 2017 Contact Webmaster