The Ecological Integrity Assessment Framework: A Framework for Assessing the Ecological Integrity of Biological and Ecological Resources of the National Park System

Robert S. Unnasch

This document provides an overview of the Ecological Integrity Assessment Framework, a methodology to guide planning for the conservation of biological and ecological resources in U.S. National Parks. The framework is intended for use by the National Park Service's Biological Resources Management Division, in pursuit of its goals to develop agency-wide products that improve management of biological resources in parks and maintain a broad ecosystem-based framework for park management.

The Ecological Integrity Assessment Framework combines aspects of the conservation planning processes developed by NatureServe and The Nature Conservancy; and rests on established ecological theory as well as on the experiences of these two organizations, and many others worldwide.

This report identifies NPS programs for which the proposed methodology would provide a complementary or significantly expanded set of tools to guide the conservation of biological and ecological resources. It then summarizes the methodology's core concepts and describes its key elements. The report concludes with recommendations on how the National Park Service might further explore the methodology and its potential for application throughout the agency.

NatureServe Author(s)

Citation

  • Unnasch RS, Braun DP, Comer PJ, and Eckert GE. 2009. The Ecological Integrity Assessment Framework: A Framework for Assessing the Ecological Integrity of Biological and Ecological Resources of the National Park System. Report to the National Park Service.