Vegetation Mapping at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Kansas, and Homestead National Monument, Nebraska
These projects were conducted as part of the Inventory and Monitoring Program of the National Park Service to provide baseline inventories of the biological and geophysical resources for all natural resource parks. The specific objectives of these projects included 1) using aerial photography and satellite data to determine and map the 12 vegetation and mapping classes based on the National Vegetation Classification System, and 2) collect plot data to ensure map accuracy. See http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/index.cfm for more information about the NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program.
The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve encompasses 10,894 acres in eastern Kansas, just north of Strong City. This park unit is the first to protect a large acreage of tallgrass prairie. Located in the Flint Hills, the park consists of rocky prairies in the uplands and deep-soiled prairies in the lowlands. It also contains some wet prairie ravines, riparian forests, former cropland, and restored prairie.
Homestead National Monument encompasses 184 acres in Gage County, Nebraska. This unique site hosts the oldest prairie restoration in the National Park system, and the second-oldest tallgrass prairie restoration known, as well as small remnants of native tallgrass prairie and bur-oak forest.