NPScape is a landscape dynamics monitoring project that produces and delivers to US National Parks a suite of landscape-scale datasets, maps, reports, and other products to inform natural resource management and planning at local, regional, and national scales. Changes in the composition and configuration of different land cover types within and adjacent to parks have been shown to greatly affect biological and physical processes, including habitat availability, animal movements, potential for invasion by exotic plants, water quality, and in-stream habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms. Information about changes and trends in landscape-scale indicators in and around parks can help park managers anticipate, plan for, and manage associated effects to park resources.
To provide parks with the best available information regarding land ownership and land management, NPScape partnered with GAP and organized a review of conservation measures (i.e. GAP Status Codes) for approximately 300 natural resource parks across the US. While incorporating these review comments into PAD-US version 1.2, GAP also updated park boundaries from the National Park Service (NPS) Land Resources Division and NPS Wilderness Areas from Wilderness.net.
NPScape delivered these new PAD-US conservation status measures along with other important landscape dynamics measures related to population, housing, roads, land cover, and landscape pattern. Combined, these measures are now being used to evaluate the environmental drivers, natural systems, and conservation context of parks. GAP appreciates any opportunity to update and apply PAD-US with federal partners.