Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Stretching over more than 200,000 ha, this exceptionally beautiful park is home to more than 3,500 plant species, including almost as many trees (130 natural species) as in all of Europe. Many endangered animal species are also found there, including what is probably the greatest variety of salamanders in the world. Since the park is relatively untouched, it gives an idea of temperate flora before the influence of humankind. © UNESCO
2017 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
The threat of the Emerald Ash Borer is rated as high.
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
Exceptional natural beauty
Outstanding example of the diverse Arcto-Tertiary geoflora era
Significant example of continuing biological evolution
Diversity of Flora and Fauna
Animals: Research indicates that there are 65 species of mammals, over 200 varieties of birds, 50 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians in the Park. The Park is also home to the world’s greatest diversity of salamander species (31) - an important indicator of overall ecosystem health - and is the center of diversity for lungless salamanders, with 24 species.Within the boundaries of the Park there are a number of threatened or endangered species; including 3 mammals, 3 fish, and 1 arthropod. In addition, there are 15 animal species listed as Federal Species of Concern found in the Park (GSMP 2012).
Plants: An average of 85” of rainfall annually, the variations in elevation, temperature, and geology provide ideal habitat for over 1,600 species of flowering plants, including 100 native tree species and over 100 native shrub species - a level of floristic diversity that rivals or exceeds other temperate zone protected areas of similar size In addition the park has a vast number of non-flowering plants, including 450 bryophytes-mosses, liverworts, and a few hornworts. Non-flowering species also include some 50 ferns and fern allies and at least one horsetail. There are three federally listed threatened and endangered plant species, and in addition over 300 species of native vascular plants are considered rare (GSMP 2012)
The threat of the Emerald Ash Borer is rated as high.
However, the ever shrinking Park budget continues to create management challenges, causing some programs to remain underfunded. While the park cannot collect visitor entrance fees, it does receive and retain funding from backcountry usage and from camping. NPS 2016 Foundation Document (NPCA 2004, NPS 2008)
|№||Organization/ individuals||Project duration||Brief description of Active Projects|
|1||Park staff||Park Superintendent|
|2||Park staff||Chief, Science and Resource Management: Division chief, manages all projects concerning science and resource management in the park.|
|3||Park staff||Chief, Resource Education: Division chief, manages all resource education programs in the park.|
|4||Park staff||Chief, Resource and Visitor Protection: Division chief, manages all resource and visitor protection issues in the park.|
|№||Site need title||Brief description of potential site needs||Support needed for following years|
|1||N.A.||Park research needs are listed on the park web page www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/science_needs.htm|
DLiA (2012) Discover Life in America, All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory.
All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) (2012), Discover Life In America. <http://www.dlia.org/>. Accessed March 2013.
|2||IUCN (1982) World Heritage Nomination - IUCN Technical Evaluation, Great Smoky Mountains National Park (United States of America). Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/259/documents/>.|
|3||NPS (2003) National Park Service Great Smoky Mountains National Park Briefing Statement: Non-native wild hog control. <http://www.nps.gov/grsm/parkmgmt/upload/wildhog.pdf>.|
|4||NPS (2004) National Park Service Briefing Statement: Response to Exotic Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Infestation, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. January 28, 2004. <http://www.nps.gov/grsm/parkmgmt/upload/HWA-04.pdf>.|
|5||NPS (2008) Strategic Plan for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. October 1, 2008 – September 30, 2012. <http://www.nps.gov/grsm/parkmgmt/upload/2008strategicplanpm…;.|
|6||NPS (2014) National Park Service: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Nature and Science. <http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/index.htm>.|
|7||NPS (2015) National Park Service: Great Smoky Mountains National Park Pest and Disease Monitoring. <http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/dff109-pest.htm>.|
|8||NPS (2016) Foundation Document: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee. October 2016. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. <https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/management/upload/GRSM_FD_SP…;.|
|9||NPS (2017) National Park Service: Parks Statistics for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. <https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/management/statistics.htm>. Accessed 11 August 2017.|
|10||Stephen E. Moore, Matt A. Kulp, John Hammonds, and Bruce Rosenlund (2005) Restoration of Sam’s Creek and an Assessment of Brook Trout Restoration Methods, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Water Resources Division, Natural Resource Program Center. Technical Report NPS/NRWRD/NRTR-2005/342 http://www.nature.nps.gov/water/fisheries/assets/reports/gr…|
|11||World Heritage Committee (2002) Decision 26 COM 21B.27 Great Smoky Mountains National Park (United States of America). Budapest, Hungary. <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/259/documents/>.|
World Heritage Committee (2006) Decision 30 COM 7B.27 Great Smoky Mountains National Park (United States of America). Vilnius,
|13||World Heritage Committee (n.d.) Great Smoky Mountains National Park Statement of Significance (United States of America). <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/259/>.|