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Scenic views and native vegetation images from parks within Chihuahuan Desert Network.

Air Quality at Guadalupe Mountains National Park

What’s in the Air?

Map of Guadalupe Mountains in Texas
Guadalupe Mountains NP, Texas

Most people who visit national parks expect clean air and clear views. While Guadalupe Mountains National Park (NP), Texas—home to portions of the world’s most extensive and significant limestone fossil reef, and diverse biological areas from the Chihuahuan Desert to conifer forest—experiences moderately good air quality, the park lies downwind of pollution from oil and gas development, power plants, and even sources in Mexico. These pollutants can harm the park’s natural and scenic resources such as vegetation and visibility.

How is air pollution affecting Guadalupe Mountains National Park?

  • Fine particles of air pollution sometimes cause haze in the park, affecting how well and how far visitors can see vistas and landmarks. more »
  • Nitrogen deposition exceeds levels known to affect biodiversity of plants in similar desert and temperate forest communities, favoring invasive plants that can displace native vegetation. more »
  • Ozone concentrations in the park are elevated to levels known to cause injury to sensitive plants, but dry conditions may limit ozone uptake and injury in plants. more »

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

  • Monitoring fine particles, haze, nitrogen, and sulfur to assess status and trends in visibility. more »
  • Working with federal, state, and local agencies, industry, and public interest groups to develop strategies to reduce 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 the park’s carbon footprint through energy conservation measures like replacing incandescent lights with LED lighting to insulating houses and replacing single-pane windows with energy-efficient double-paned windows, as well as promoting the use of the government van pool. more ».

Featured Content

Impacts icon

Pollutants including fine particles, nitrogen, sulfur, ozone, and mercury affect resources such as streams, soils, and scenic vistas. Find out how on our Guadalupe Mountains NP 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 Guadalupe Mountains NP.

Related Links

Last Updated: December 30, 2016