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Air Quality at Zion National Park

What’s in the Air?

Map of Zion National Park in Utah
Zion NP, Utah

Most visitors expect clean air and good visibility in parks. Zion National Park (NP) — home to a scenic canyon country full of high plateaus, a maze of slot canyons, and a diverse ecosystem — enjoys relatively good air quality, but upwind urban and industrial sources can degrade the air resource. 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 Zion 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 »
  • 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 »
  • Nitrogen deposition exceeds levels known to affect biodiversity in arid and semi-arid plant communities, favoring invasive plants that can displace native vegetation. more »
  • Mercury concentrations in some fish are elevated and exceed wildlife and human health thresholds. more »

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

  • Monitoring fine particles, haze, and ozone to assess status and trends. more »
  • Working with federal, state, and local agencies, industry, and public interest groups, such as the Western Regional Air Partnership, to develop strategies to reduce air pollution and protect and restore park resources, including the incorporation of air quality into management of wild and prescribed fires. The NPS also reviews plans for development that may increase air pollution in national parks. more »
  • Implementing the Zion Shuttle and replacing thousands of vehicles in the park each year with high capacity vehicles powered by liquefied natural gas, constructing environmentally-friendly buildings, and saving water (and thus power) with xeriscape landscaping around buildings at the park. more »

Featured Content

Impacts icon

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

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Last Updated: January 30, 2015