McDonald Valley Fog, NPS photo, B.R. McClellandBackpacker at Lake Francis, NPS photo, David RestivoSmoke Column, NPS photo, Somer Treat

Protecting and monitoring air quality and resources affected by air pollution in the national parks is the responsibility of the National Park Service under the NPS Organic Act and the Clean Air Act. Air pollution is among the most serious threats to national parks. All federal land managers are required to protect plants, wildlife, soils, water quality, cultural resources, as well as visitor and park staff health from the adverse impacts of air pollution. The majority of sources of air pollution affecting national parks come from outside the parks and include power plants, factories, burning of fossil fuels, and automobiles. However, pollution is also emitted from sources within the parks such as automobiles, wildfires, and construction.

Haze from air pollution can degrade the quality of landscape viewing throughout the Crown of the Continent. Poor air quality can also lead to respiratory problems for residents and those visiting the area. Pollution can also harm ecological resources including water quality, soils, plants, and animals.