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

Air Quality at Chiricahua National Monument

What’s in the Air?

Map of Chiricahua National Monument in Arizona
Chiricahua NM, Arizona

Most visitors who come to national parks expect clean air and clear views. Chiricahua National Monument (NM), Arizona, a wonderland of rock spires, pinnacles, columns, and balanced rocks, enjoys moderately good air quality due in part to the rural setting of the surrounding Sonoran Desert. However, upwind urban and industrial sources—including the Tucson and Phoenix metropolitan areas, oil and gas development and production, and power plants—can degrade air quality. Pollution sources in Mexico can also affect 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 Chiricahua 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 may limit ozone uptake and injury in plants. more »
  • Nitrogen and sulfur are carried by rain, snow and dry particles into park ecosystems, and may affect sensitive aquatic and terrestrial resources. 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. 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, particularly from proposed mining and power production sites. The NPS also reviews plans for development that may increase air pollution in national parks. more »
  • Converting to an environmentally-friendly vehicle fleet, and adapting park facilities and infrastructure to conserve energy. 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 Chiricahua 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 Chiricahua NM.

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Last Updated: December 30, 2016