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Scenic views and native vegetation images from parks within Upper Columbia Basin Network.

Air Quality at Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve

What’s in the Air?

Map of Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve in Idaho
Craters of the Moon NM & Pres, Idaho

Most visitors who come to national parks expect clean air and clear views. Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve (NM & Pres), Idaho, a volcanic landscape of lava fields and sagebrush steppe, enjoy moderately good air quality. However, there are some nearby and regional sources of air pollution, including industrial facilities, agricultural activities, and mining operations. 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 Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve?

  • Fine particles of air pollution cause haze in the park, affecting how well and how far visitors can see vistas and landmarks. more »
  • Nitrogen is carried by rain, snow and dry particles into park ecosystems, and areas receiving more nitrogen have more invasive plants and fewer native plants. 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 »
  • High levels of mercury have been found in snowpack in the region, and may pose a potential health risk to wildlife. more »

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

  • Monitoring fine particles, haze, nitrogen, sulfur, ozone, and mercury to assess status and trends. more »
  • Evaluating the impacts of air pollution on park ecosystems. more »
  • Working with federal agencies such as the Department of Energy, state and local agencies, industry and public interest groups to develop strategies to monitor air quality, 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 »
  • Reducing emissions through energy efficient lighting, transportation measures, and waste diversion and reduction efforts. more »

Featured Content

Impacts icon

Pollutants including nitrogen, sulfur, ozone, and fine particles affect resources such as vegetation and scenic vistas. Find out how on our Craters of the Moon NM & Pres 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 Craters of the Moon NM & Pres.

Related Links

Last Updated: January 26, 2015