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Scenic views and native vegetation images from parks within Southern Colorado Plateau Network.

Air Quality at Bandelier National Monument

What’s in the Air?

Map of Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico
Bandelier NM, New Mexico

Most visitors who come to national parks expect clean air and clear views. Bandelier National Monument (NM), New Mexico, protects ancestral Puebloan dwellings in a beautiful landscape of mesas and canyons, and enjoys moderately good air quality. However, both local and distant air pollutant sources - including power plants, oil and gas development and production activities, and the Santa Fe and Albuquerque metropolitan areas - can degrade air quality at the park. These air pollutants can harm the park’s natural and scenic resources such as soils, surface waters, vegetation, and visibility.

How is air pollution affecting Bandelier National Monument?

  • Fine particles of air pollution cause haze in the park, affecting how well and how far visitors can see vistas and landmarks. more »
  • Ozone concentrations in the park are elevated to levels known to cause injury to sensitive plants, but dry conditions in upland areas may limit ozone uptake and injury in plants. more »
  • Nitrogen carried by rain, snow, and dry particles into park ecosystems has reached levels known to affect lichen diversity. more »

What is the National Park Service doing about air pollution at the park?

  • Monitoring nitrogen, sulfur, fine particles, and haze to assess status and trends. more »
  • Working with the Four Corners Air Quality Task Force, a group of state, federal, and local agencies, and tribes, to develop strategies to reduce regional air pollution and protect and restore park resources. The NPS also reviews plans for development that may increase air pollution in national parks. more »
  • Reducing fleet vehicle fuel consumption, developing a carpooling program, installing energy efficient lighting, and communicating sustainability at local events and in employee housing and offices. more »

Featured Content

Impacts icon

Pollutants including nitrogen, sulfur, ozone, and fine particles affect resources such as soils, surface waters, and scenic vistas. Find out how on our Bandelier NM Air Pollution Impacts web page.

Studies and Monitoring icon

Studies and monitoring help the NPS understand the environmental impacts of air pollution. Access air quality data and see what is happening with Studies and Monitoring at Bandelier NM.

Related Links

Last Updated: January 26, 2015