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Air Quality at Arches National Park

What’s in the Air?

Map of Arches National Park in Utah
Arches NP, Utah

Most visitors expect clean air and good visibility in parks. Arches National Park (NP), Utah, a red rock wonderland known for sandstone arches, soaring pinnacles, massive fins, and balanced rocks, enjoys relatively good air quality. However, upwind emissions from disturbed dry lands as well as urban and industrial sources can degrade air quality at times. Airborne pollutants can harm the park’s natural and scenic resources such as soils, vegetation, and visibility.

How is air pollution affecting Arches 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 is approaching levels known to favor invasive, weedy plants that can adversely affect native plant communities and wildlife habitat.  more »
  • Estimated ground-level ozone concentrations are high enough to induce plant injury under certain environmental conditions, and ozone-sensitive vegetation is found in the park. more »

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

  • Monitoring nitrogen, sulfur, ozone, fine particles, and haze in the region (specifically, Canyonlands NP, Utah) to assess status and trends in air quality. more »
  • Evaluating the impacts of nitrogen deposition on park ecosystems. more »
  • Working with federal, state, and local agencies, industry, and public interest groups, such as the Four Corners Air Quality Task Force, to develop strategies to reduce air pollution and protect and restore park resources. The park actively collaborates with researchers who are investigating causes and consequences of regional dust emissions that affect air quality. The NPS also reviews plans for development that may increase air pollution in national parks. more »
  • Using alternative energy sources where possible and evaluating strategies for reducing vehicle emissions in the park. more »

Featured Content

Impacts icon

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

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Last Updated: February 12, 2016