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

Tonnie Cummings

formerly with

National Park Service


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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…”



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Class I Air Quality Issues

  • Visibility

  • Ozone damage to plants

  • Acidification of lakes and rivers

  • Mercury and other toxic metals harming wildlife


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Visibility

Which would you rather see?



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Ozone

  • Causes early leaf drop (bye-bye fall colors!)

  • Reduces plant health and lifespan

  • Lowers plant reproduction




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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


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Mercury low, some of our mountain lakes have very little buffering capacity:

  • Highly toxic

  • Affects nervous system

  • Greatest harm is to developing organisms

  • Biomagnifies (Question: what does this mean?)


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What’s a Park Manager to do??? low, some of our mountain lakes have very little buffering capacity:


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Collect data on pollution levels and effects low, some of our mountain lakes have very little buffering capacity:


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Lead by example low, some of our mountain lakes have very little buffering capacity:


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Share the information low, some of our mountain lakes have very little buffering capacity:


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What Can YOU Do? low, some of our mountain lakes have very little buffering capacity:

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


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For Additional Information low, some of our mountain lakes have very little buffering capacity:

  • 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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Questions? low, some of our mountain lakes have very little buffering capacity:


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