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Natural resource condition assessment: Olympic National Park

December 1, 2018

The Natural Resource Assessment Program aims to document condition and trends of selected park resources while identifying emerging issues and information needs. This information is intended to serve as a platform for natural resource managers to use in developing future resource stewardship priorities and planning.

Olympic National Park (OLYM) on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula protects remarkable examples of several Pacific Northwestern ecosystems, including the glacier-capped Olympic Mountains, oldgrowth temperate rainforests, pristine river systems, and wild Pacific coastline and islands. The park provides habitat for numerous plants and animals, including at least 16 animal and eight plant taxa endemic to the Olympic Peninsula. The park’s lakes and rivers support over 70 stocks of Pacific salmonids and 29 native freshwater fish species. The rocky intertidal community is one of the most complex and diverse shorelines in the United States.

Although we conducted in-depth assessments on a limited number of resources, the general condition of several other physical and biological components of OLYM ecosystems is described in Chapter 2, along with an overview of park history and ecology. In Chapter 3, we describe how we chose our focal resources and measures, as well as our protocol for conducting the assessment. In Chapter 4, we provide a detailed assessment of each resource, with a summary of condition and trends. In Chapter 5, we further interpret and discuss the implications of each focal resource status, highlighting future areas for monitoring and research. We summarize the general findings from our assessments below.