Physical Resources

The goal of the National Park Service is to preserve, protect, and understand physical resources and the dynamic processes that affect them. An essential component of this mission is vital signs monitoring, a national effort taking place in cooperation with other federal and state agencies to determine trends in the condition of natural resources. The following are vital signs and other resources for which we currently have information. They include ecosystem drivers, the major forces that create and modify our parks and operate at regional, continental, or even global scales with cascading effects on virtually all other park resources. Physical resources also include landscape-scale indicators that tell us something about changes in the ecosystem beyond their individual status or trend and other resources of interest.