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Air Quality at Pinnacles National Park

What’s in the Air?

Map of Pinnacles National Park in California
Pinnacles NP, California

Most people who visit national parks expect clean air and clear views. However, Pinnacles National Park (NP), California, protecting spectacular remains of an ancient volcano field and an extensive mixed chaparral ecosystem, is encroached upon by adjacent population growth and the San Francisco Bay Area to the north. Air quality in the monument is impacted by mobile sources as well as by particulates from road dust, agricultural activities, and burning. These pollutants can harm the monument’s natural and scenic resources such as vegetation, surface waters, and visibility.

How is air pollution affecting Pinnacles 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 »
  • Levels of nitrogen and sulfur deposition are relatively low but the mixed chaparral ecosystem at the monument may be affected by even low levels of nitrogen deposition. more »
  • Ground-level ozone concentrations are high 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 »
  • Working with federal, state, and local agencies (e.g. Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District), industry, and public interest groups to develop strategies to reduce air pollution, obtain permits for prescribed burns, and protect and restore park resources. The NPS also reviews plans for development that may increase air pollution in national parks. more »
  • Increasing use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles, improving energy conservation measures in park facilities, and reducing waste emission through composting and recycling. Learn more about the steps Pinnacles NP is taking as part of the Climate Friendly Parks program.

Featured Content

Impacts icon

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

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Last Updated: February 03, 2016