TUPELO, MS: After ten years of planning, field verification, and refinement the Natchez Trace Parkway has acquired a complete vegetation mapping inventory. Working through the National Park Service Natural Resource Stewardship and Science office, the Gulf Coast Inventory and Monitoring Network, NatureServe, and the United States Geological Survey were hired to provide the needed technical expertise for such a large endeavor. The resulting vegetation map illustrates the vegetation and land cover on Parkway land. “This baseline data is valuable information to Parkway management for managing habitat, watersheds, wildlife, and fire,” stated Chief of Resource Management Lisa McInnis.
The vegetation mapping inventory is an effort by the National Park Service (NPS) to classify, describe, and map detailed vegetation communities in more than 270 national park units across the United States. The primary objective is to produce high quality, standardized maps, associated data sets of vegetation, and other land cover occurring within parks. This information complements a wide variety of resource assessment, Parkway management, and conservation needs. NPS vegetation mapping follows well-established procedures that are compatible with other agencies and organizations. In addition, stringent quality control procedures ensure the reliability of the vegetation data and encourage the use of resulting maps, reports, and databases at multiple scales. “This map will be a great tool for resource management planning,” stated Superintendent Mary Risser.