The Northern Colorado Plateau Network (NCPN) is one of 32 National Park Service (NPS) inventory and monitoring networks nationwide that are implementing vital signs monitoring in order to assess the condition of park ecosystems and develop a stronger scientific basis for stewardship and management of natural resources across the National Park System. The network approach facilitates collaboration and information sharing, and will provide parks with a minimum infrastructure for initiating natural resource monitoring that can be built upon in the future.
The NCPN consists of 16 parks with diverse cultural and natural resources distributed across four states and three physiographic regions. Ecosystems include desert grasslands, shrublands and woodlands, forested terrestrial systems, and aquatic systems, including large rivers, perennial streams, seeps, springs, and cave systems. Parks in the network range in size from 16 to more than 136,000 hectares, and include one national historic site, one national recreation area, eight national monuments, and six national parks.
All NPS inventory and monitoring networks share a common set of goals: