Resource inventories are essential for understanding the species, habitats, and ecological processes present on lands acquired by Jeffco Open Space. Each year, the Natural Resources team prioritizes inventory efforts to keep pace with new land acquisition. Work begins in the spring, and continues until late fall as data are collected across the entire growing season. While vegetation surveys are the primary focus, the team also collects substantial data on wildlife and water resources to produce a complete ecological description for a property. The team often conducts focused investigations of special-status species, such as rare wildflowers and golden eagles, which are prioritized during resource inventories.
Inventory data are then analyzed to support the broader framework for a balanced approach to park development and management in alignment with the mission of Jeffco Open Space. Resource inventories are also used to plan long-term monitoring of vegetation, wildlife, and water resources, which in turn guides adaptive land management.
Given the sheer number of species and habitat types along the Front Range, the Natural Resources team collaborates frequently with other programs, agencies, consultants, and researchers to design and implement inventory and monitoring efforts.