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Air Quality at Capitol Reef National Park

What’s in the Air?

Map of Capitol Reef National Park in Utah
Capitol Reef NP, Utah

Most visitors expect clean air and good visibility in parks. Located in the heart of Utah’s red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park (NP), a treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and bridges, enjoys relatively good air quality, but upwind emissions from disturbed drylands, urban areas, and industrial sources can degrade air quality. These airborne pollutants can harm the park’s natural and scenic resources such as soils, vegetation, wildlife, and visibility.

How is air pollution affecting Capitol Reef 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 health thresholds. more »

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

  • Monitoring fine particles and haze 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. The NPS also reviews plans for development that may increase air pollution in national parks. more »
  • Using an environmentally-friendly vehicle fleet and adapting park facilities and infrastructure to conserve energy at the park, including implementation of the Environmental Management System to enable better tracking of environmentally-related initiatives. more »

Featured Content

Impacts icon

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

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Last Updated: December 30, 2016