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Montana Contaminants Workshop

An April 2008 interagency, post-WACAP workshop on contaminants science, health, outreach, and future research needs.


This agency-only workshop was hosted by the National Park Service (NPS) as a follow-up to study results released by the Western Airborne Contaminants Assessment Project (WACAP). Because of the complex and critical nature of the information, findings –– as they pertain to Glacier National Park and Montana –– were discussed and clarified, and attendees had the chance to directly interact with several of the principal investigators. The links here provide workshop results, Glacier-specific background information from WACAP, and resources on the WACAP study.

Glacier NP – WACAP Results

Review of WACAP results relevant to Glacier National Park.

Additional WACAP Resources


Major Conclusions

  1. We need to encourage more research & monitoring of waterbodies in Montana to understand the distribution of air contaminants. More research is needed for us to understand the effects on wildlife and human health of the incorporation of contaminants into the aquatic food chain. WACAP results cannot be extrapolated to include the status of aquatic resources at other lakes/streams, both at high and low elevation sites.
  2. Communication between agencies will create a better understanding of public health and wildlife health concerns and risk awareness. We need a "shared message" that we can get out to the public.
  3. Given shared airsheds and watersheds between Montana and neighboring states and provinces, any future assessments of toxic air contaminants and resources sensitive to air pollutants should be considered in the context of regional partnerships, such as the Crown Managers Partnership and the Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP).

Meeting Action Items

Agency-identified next steps resulting from the MT Contaminants Workshop »  Action Items (pdf, 17kb)

Meeting Notes

A detailed synopsis of the 1-day workshop » Meeting notes (pdf, 79kb)

Meeting Logistics

Science Presentations

WACAP PIs presented an overview of WACAP results for Glacier NP and Montana, and elaborated on issues pertaining to contaminant deposition, human health thresholds of contaminants in fish, and evidence of industrial impacts in Glacier NP.
overview photo

Human Health Perspective

As a result of the workshop, Glacier NP worked with the State of Montana to develop a fish consumption guidance brochure (pdf, .3mb) for park visitors and fishermen. A briefing (pdf, 0.6mb) provided by the NPS Office of Public Health offers perspective on how to interpret WACAP results in the context of human health.

Follow-Up Partnerships

The workshop facilitated communication between agencies, identifying partnerships with the US Fish & Wildlife Service and potential opportunities with the US Environmental Protection Agency.

updated on 01/12/2009   I   I  Email: Webmaster