Water Quality – 02 Executive Summary

Klamath Network Water Quality Report (Phase II)

Executive Summary


The Klamath Network (KLMN) is one of 32 National Park Service (NPS) networks responsible for developing vital signs-based monitoring programs for managing the longterm ecosystem health of the nation’s parks. The park units of the Klamath Network are Crater Lake National Park (CRLA), Lassen Volcanic National Park (LAVO), Lava Beds National Monument (LABE), Oregon Caves National Monument (ORCA), Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP), and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (WHIS). National Park Service networks are required to formulate Vital Signs Monitoring Plans, consisting of three phases: Phase I compiles background information and data on network park unit resources and presents conceptual models for each park unit ecosystem; Phase II provides an augmented Phase I and the selection and prioritization of vital signs; and Phase III will include the entire scope of information in Phases I and II, as well as the monitoring objectives, sampling designs and protocols, and data management and analysis procedures of a long-term vital signs monitoring program. The Klamath Network Phase II Water Quality Report is intended to provide an overview of the previous water quality related inventory and monitoring work conducted in each of the network’s six park units and provide guidance in the direction of future monitoring objectives. The Phase II Report summarizes the activities undertaken to select vital signs to be used for monitoring the aquatic resources of Klamath Network park units.

The primary goal of the National Park Service Inventory & Monitoring (I&M) Program is to assess and monitor the long-term ecological health of park units. Other benefits of the program include the ability to detect change in resource condition and evaluate resource responses to management actions. Moreover, the program aims to create baseline knowledge of the condition of park unit resources for use by park unit scientists and those in academia or the private sector, and to create an effective method for data management, analysis, and reporting. Through information and data sharing the program hopes to increase public awareness of park unit activities and resources. The I&M program first focuses on inventories of park unit resources to assess the ecological health of the park units. While many aquatic resource-related inventories have been conducted within the Klamath Network, some fundamental inventories have not been completed. Then, given basic inventory data, a monitoring plan will be created to collect broad-based scientifically sound information on the current status and long-term trends in the health, composition, structure, and function of park unit ecosystems.

The I&M program was created through the Natural Resource Challenge, a method of improving natural resource stewardship in national parks. The Natural Resource Challenge requires managers to know the status or condition of natural resources under their stewardship and monitor long-term trends in those resources to conserve them unimpaired for future generations. Moreover, vital signs monitoring achieves the Category 1 goals found in the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) which requires that federal agencies account for money spent by reporting on the results of their activities.