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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


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    1. AIR QUALITY ISSUES IN NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDERNESS AREAS Tonnie Cummings formerly with National Park Service

    2. 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…”

    3. Can you name the following parks/wilderness areas?

    4. Class I Air Quality Issues • Visibility • Ozone damage to plants • Acidification of lakes and rivers • Mercury and other toxic metals harming wildlife

    5. Visibility Which would you rather see?

    6. Ozone Damage

    7. Ozone • Causes early leaf drop (bye-bye fall colors!) • Reduces plant health and lifespan • Lowers plant reproduction

    8. Acid Sensitivity

    9. Acid Deposition

    10. 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

    11. Mercury • Highly toxic • Affects nervous system • Greatest harm is to developing organisms • Biomagnifies (Question: what does this mean?)

    12. What’s a Park Manager to do???

    13. Collect data on pollution levels and effects

    14. Lead by example

    15. Share the information

    16. What Can YOU Do? Everything you do to reduce air pollution in your community can help parks, too!

    17. 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

    18. Questions?