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Scenic views and native vegetation images from parks within the Central Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Network.

Air Quality at Denali National Park & Preserve

What’s in the Air?

Map of Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska
Denali NP & Pres, Alaska

Denali National Park & Preserve (NP & Pres), Alaska, consistently has some of the best visibility and cleanest air measured among all national parks. Considering the low population density and relatively sparse industrial activity, it is not surprising to discover that Alaska has such good air quality. However, there are some sources of air pollution in Alaska, including vehicles, industry, power plants, and naturally-occuring wildfires. In addition, prevailing winds carry pollutants from international sources into Alaska. These air pollutants can harm the park’s natural and scenic resources such as streams and lakes, plants, fish, and visibility.

How is air pollution affecting Denali National Park & Preserve?

  • Fine particles of air pollution sometimes cause haze in the park, affecting how well and how far visitors can see vistas and landmarks. more »
  • Very small amounts of toxic airborne contaminants including mercury and pesticides deposit onto park waters and lands, and bioaccumulate in fish. more »
  • Ozone levels are generally very low, although sometimes they are elevated over background levels due to long-distance transport of ozone and its precursor molecules. more »
  • While low in comparison to other national parks, the deposition of nitrogen and sulfur compounds in Denali NP & Pres could affect biodiversity of lichen and plant communities. more »

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

  • Monitoring mercury, nitrogen, sulfur, ozone, fine particles, and haze to assess status and trends. more »
  • Evaluating the impacts of air pollution on park ecosystems. 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 »
  • Using environmentally-friendly shuttle buses and reducing the number of vehicles on the park’s only road, and participating in Climate Friendly Parks to further reduce air pollutant emissions in the park. more »

Featured Content

Impacts icon

Pollutants including mercury, ozone, sulfur, nitrogen, and fine particles affect resources such as forests, streams, wildlife, and scenic vistas. Find out how on our Denali NP & Pres 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 Denali NP & Pres.

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Last Updated: December 30, 2016