air quality issues in national parks and wilderness areas
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AIR QUALITY ISSUES IN NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDERNESS AREAS

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AIR QUALITY ISSUES IN NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDERNESS AREAS. Tonnie Cummings formerly with National Park Service. Class I Areas. Some national parks and wilderness areas have special protection under the Clean Air Act

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air quality issues in national parks and wilderness areas

AIR QUALITY ISSUES IN NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDERNESS AREAS

Tonnie Cummings

formerly with

National Park Service

class i areas
Class I Areas
  • Some national parks and wilderness areas have special protection under the Clean Air Act
  • In these areas, the focus is on protecting natural resources from air pollution
  • Area managers are required to “…err on the side of resource protection…”
class i air quality issues
Class I Air Quality Issues
  • Visibility
  • Ozone damage to plants
  • Acidification of lakes and rivers
  • Mercury and other toxic metals harming wildlife
visibility

Visibility

Which would you rather see?

ozone
Ozone
  • Causes early leaf drop (bye-bye fall colors!)
  • Reduces plant health and lifespan
  • Lowers plant reproduction
slide18
Although deposition in the Pacific Northwest is relatively low, some of our mountain lakes have very little buffering capacity:

Acid sensitive: <100 units

Pacific Northwest lakes: <20 units

mercury
Mercury
  • Highly toxic
  • Affects nervous system
  • Greatest harm is to developing organisms
  • Biomagnifies (Question: what does this mean?)
what can you do

What Can YOU Do?

Everything you do to reduce air pollution in your community can help parks, too!

for additional information
For Additional Information
  • National Park Service Air Quality Program: http://www2.nature.nps.gov/air/
  • U.S. Forest Service Air Resource Management: http://www.fs.fed.us/air/
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Air Quality: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/habitats/

airQuality.html

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