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Blog

GSMNP Wetland Inventory Growing

leah kirk

Wetlands in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) are uniquely valuable ecosystems. Open marshes, mountain fens, and high-elevation seeps are just a few of the wetland types found in the park.

            The rarity of wetlands in the park coupled with their biological importance has led park managers to make their identification and inventory a focus of resource management activity. To fulfill this need, a park-wide wetlands inventory project was started in 2010. Fieldwork conducted since then has provided a more comprehensive understanding of existing wetland resources in the park.

The first step in the GRSM wetlands inventory process is developing detailed Geographic Information System (GIS) maps. The rarity of wetlands in the park coupled with their biological importance has led park managers to make their identification and inventory a focus of resource management activity. To fulfill this need, a park-wide wetlands inventory project was started in 2010. Fieldwork conducted since then has provided a more comprehensive understanding of existing wetland resources in the park.

The first step in the GRSM wetlands inventory process is developing detailed Geographic Information System (GIS) maps that assist field scouting efforts to locate wetlands. The next step involves using advanced GPS technology and wetland “field indicators” to map (delineate) wetland boundaries, while simultaneously collecting biological information on each site. Finally, these new data are systematically being added to the GRSM wetlands database and several data sets that are publically available including the National Park Service Data Store, the USFWS National Wetlands Inventory database, and ESRI ArcGIS Online.

 This GRSM Wetlands Story Board provides broad information on wetlands and highlights biologically unique wetland types in the park. To help ensure wetlands protection in the Smokies, GRSM Inventory & Monitoring staff started a park-wide wetlands inventory project in 2010. The project is still on-going, with over 450 wetlands inventoried and mapped to date. Fieldwork conducted since the start of the project has provided us with an improved understanding of the current extent of wetlands throughout the park, the diversity of these wetlands types, and the information needed to direct wetlands protection.

The next step involves using advanced GPS technology and wetland “field indicators” to map (delineate) wetland boundaries, while simultaneously collecting biological information on each site. Finally, these new data are systematically being added to the GRSM wetlands database and several data sets that are publically available including the National Park Service Data Store, the USFWS National Wetlands Inventory database, and ESRI ArcGIS Online.

This GRSM Wetlands Story Board provides broad information on wetlands and highlights biologically unique wetland types in the park. 

To help ensure wetlands protection in the Smokies, GRSM Inventory & Monitoring staff started a park-wide wetlands inventory project in 2010. The project is still on-going, with over 450 wetlands inventoried and mapped to date.

Fieldwork conducted since the start of the project has provided us with an improved understanding of the current extent of wetlands throughout the park, the diversity of these wetlands types, and the information needed to direct wetlands protection.