National Park Service

Southern Plains Network (SOPN)

Natural Resource Condition Assessments

Cinder cone at Capulin Volcano NM
Cinder cone at Capulin Volcano NM

The Natural Resource Condition Assessment (NRCA) program was recently developed by the National Park Service to provide parks with current information on the status of natural resources. NRCA projects evaluate and report on current conditions, data gaps, and threats and stressors to the natural resources in parks. The projects are tailored to individual parks to provide information that will support management and planning of park lands.

Although the NRCAs are tailored to parks, their defining characteristics are:

  • assess indicator-level conditions and summarize overall condition findings by park areas
  • emphasize geospatial (map) products in addition to narrative condition summaries
  • apply a set of reference conditions (reference values) as the comparative basis for reaching current condition judgement
  • use assessment framework to help guide the project work and report study findings
  • document the data and methods used, and communicate critical data gaps along with uncertainties or level of confidence associated with the study findings

NRCA reports are organized around a set of guidelines established at the national level to maintain consistency and assure that each park receives the information it needs. Standards for spatial data included in the reports are also being developed. A description of the national NRCA program and a link to the report guidelines can be found at

The table below shows the progress of the natural resource condition assessments and provides links to the final reports once they are published.

Park Current Status Report Link(s)
Bent's Old Fort NHS Complete July 2015 Final Report
Capulin Volcano NM Completed February 2012 Final Report and Resource Briefs
Chickasaw NRA Completed February 2016 Final Report
Fort Larned NHS Completed October 2014 Final Report
Fort Union NM Completed August 2011 Final Report and Supplement
Lake Meredith NRA /
Alibates Flint Quarries NM
Completed January 2016 Final Report
Lyndon B. Johnson NHP Completed February 2016 Final Report
Pecos NHP Completed August 2011 Final Report
Sand Creek Massacre NHS Completed November 2013 Final Report
Washita Battlefield NHS Completed January 2014 Final Report

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