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The State of Olympic National Park – The Natural Resource Condition Assessment

Release Date:

The USGS and National Park Service (NPS) have published the first Natural Resource Condition Assessment for Olympic National Park. A Natural Resource Condition Assessment, or NRCA, is a report that evaluates a subset of important natural resources in a NPS Unit. 

Olympic National Park (OLYM) is located at the very northwestern most portion of Washington State, encompasses three distinct ecosystems, and includes one of the largest wilderness areas in the lower 48 states. The OLYM NRCA, jointly written by a team of USGS and NPS scientists, answers five questions of primary interest to OLYM managers by evaluating 12 focal resources. The report also describes the general condition of other OLYM physical and biological components. The five questions were focused on the effects of top predators on ecosystem health, resource harvest for human use, trends and impacts on key species, effects of non-native or invasive species, and airborne contaminants. Authors identified emerging issues and information needs such as expanded or enhanced monitoring of elk populations and riparian vegetation, declining size of the razor clam population, continuous increase in the number of invasive plants in OLYM, and identification of environmental conditions that negatively impact protected species found in OLYM. The NRCA is intended to serve as a platform for natural resource managers to use in developing future resource stewardship priorities and planning.


NPS News Release: Condition of Olympic National Park Resources Evaluated in New Report


McCaffery, R.M., Jenkins, K.J., eds., 2018, Natural resource condition assessment- Olympic National Park: National Park Service NPS/OLYM/NRR—2018/1826, p. 510