Red Foxes, Pacific Fishers, Pollinators & Trails

March 13, 2015Farah AnwarNPF Blog

National Park Foundation grants connect youth to parks through educational programs, help inspire people to become the next generation of park stewards, and also protect and preserve our national parks. Our programs help expand and upgrade trails, restore landscapes, protect threatened habitats and wildlife, and preserve historic places.

Here are some specific examples of our grants and programs in action:

NPF funding provided the opportunity for Crater Lake National Park’s wildlife team to place 126 wildlife cameras throughout the park to determine the distribution of mesocarnivore species including the Sierra Nevada red fox and the Pacific Fisher, two species currently being reviewed for listing under the Endangered Species Act. No red foxes were captured on the cameras; however, two red foxes were observed by the field crew and park staff.  Cameras also captured an image of a Pacific Fisher, which is the first image of a Fisher in the park! In total, the park documented 32 species as part of this project and is awaiting genetic analysis to see if there were any additional species. 

Marmot on rock

Many of these species are rare to uncommon in the park (pine marten, bobcat, mountain lion, porcupine, raccoon, etc.), so documenting their presence provides much needed information about the distribution of these species.  This information helps park managers make informed decisions about the impacts of management activities for rare species including the effect of visitor activities on the animals. The park also highlighted the wildlife documentation through social media and received great feedback on their efforts.

At Manassas National Battlefield Park, over 9,000 acres of habitat have been urbanized in the past decade, contributing to the habitat loss of native keystone pollinator species. The park has identified 18 acres of upland meadow habitat that are not reaching their full ecological capacity due to exotic plant infestations.  A habitat vegetation survey and species surveys of birds, plants and pollinators has been completed to monitor populations and trends. In the spring, the park will host volunteer seed planting days to engage local communities in their habitat restoration project. Additionally, the park developed a video to educate the public on the importance of pollinators.

Volunteers spreading seeds at Manassas National Battlefield Park

National Park trails span more than 18,000 miles across all corners of the nation and carry a lifetime of memories, joys and discoveries. Trails are a great way to connect with visitors and deepen connections to our public lands. Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area’s trail to Panola mountain was built in the mid 1970’s by the Youth Conservation Core. Unfortunately, the popular trail fell into disrepair and hasn’t been usable for that last five years. With a grant from NPF, the park hosted a National Trails Day, which completely restored the trail and now offers visitors a dynamic view of the back of the mountain and access to the South River.

Young adult volunteering at park

Our grants and programs preserve the diverse ecosystems and historic places that make America unique and they also help families and young people, both current and future park stewards, find their own special connections to our national parks. 

To support projects that help protect our country’s special places, click here.  

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