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Air Quality at Canyonlands National Park

What’s in the Air?

Map of Canyonlands National Park in Utah
Canyonlands NP, Utah

Most visitors expect clean air and good visibility in parks. Canyonlands National Park (NP), Utah, a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries, enjoys relatively good air quality, but upwind emissions from disturbed drylands, urban areas, and industrial sources such as oil and gas development, can degrade air quality. These airborne pollutants can harm the park‘s natural and scenic resources such as soils, surface waters, vegetation, and visibility.

How is air pollution affecting Canyonlands 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, soils, 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 to assess status and trends in air quality.  more »
  • Evaluating the impacts of nitrogen deposition and dust 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 and the Western Regional Air Partnership, 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 »
  • Creating public awareness, using alternative energy sources where possible, and implementing 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 Canyonlands 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 Canyonlands NP.

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Last Updated: December 30, 2016