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A screening procedure to evaluate air pollution effects in Region 1 wilderness areas, 1991 /

About: The article was published on 1997-01-01 and is currently open access. It has received 2 citations till now. The article focuses on the topics: Wilderness area & Air pollution.

Summary (11 min read)

Introduction

  • The 1977 Clean Air Act amendments reinforced by the 1990 amendments gave the Forest Service the "affirmative responsibility" to protect air quality related values ( AQRVs) of certain wilderness areas from adverse air pollution effects.
  • The Forest Service must recommend to the appropriate air regulatory agencies, usually the state, whether a proposed emission source will have adverse impacts on wilderness resources.
  • Air quality related values -the features or properties of a Class I wilderness that made the area worthy of designation as a wilderness area and that would or could be adversely affected by air pollution.

Non-PSD Permits

  • The states may require non-PSD permits for stationary emission sources greater than some specified emission level (e.g., 25 tons/year in Montana) but less than the emissions level that would require a PSD permit.
  • The requirements for these permits are guided by the State Implementation Plan and involve some regulatory constraints such as New Source Performance Standards, other control technology, or emission limitations.
  • Forest Service participation in evaluation of non-PSD permits is on a consultant basis and requires effective and proactive information sharing with the state.

Aquatic Resources Background information

  • The northern Rocky Mountains contain many important aquatic resources located within federally designated wilderness areas.
  • This survey was conducted in fall 1985 and it covered the major mountain ranges in the western United States, including the Sierra Nevada, the Cascade Range, and the Rocky Mountains.
  • For each of the subregions in the Western Lakes Survey, w^ilderness lakes had lower concentrations of ANC and base cations than did non-wilderness lakes.
  • The aquatics working group evaluated various scenarios that might change the nature and chemistry of atmospheric deposition in Region 1.

Working Group Approach

  • There is not enough data on aquatic biota in the northern Rockies to assess their potential response to changes in chemical conditions resulting from changes in air quality.
  • A variety of potentially interactive stresses may result from the cumulative impacts of different pollution sources.
  • Therefore, the aquatics working group decided that screening parameters should be This working group focused considerations of the PSD process on soils, vegetation, and land animals.
  • Unfortunately, as noted earher for aquatic resources, determinations of dose-response relationships are very limited for wilderness resources.
  • Region 1 has a responsibility to help meet the national goal and the state standard.

Screening Parameters

  • Recognizing these uncertainties, a list of priority screening parameters (table 2) was developed.
  • ANC, pH and specific conductance, were considered to be essential screening parameters.
  • Information on the presence of important biological species should be collected when possible, but the working group cautions that extensive biological screening or monitoring is expensive when done accurately.
  • Screening parameters were defined broadly as specific terrestrial components of wilderness ecosystems that should be surveyed and monitored for stress by air pollution.
  • A variety of visibility screening parameter indices exist or are under development, but only those that could also be related to current, practical measurement techniques were considered .

Screening Criteria

  • These screening criteria are sensitivity thresholds for the screening parameters, based on anticipated chemical thresholds for biological populations.
  • Rationale was based on the working group's collective understanding of data from eastern North America and Europe because of the paucity of information on western United States species.
  • These screening criteria can be used to classify water bodies into representative groups:-1. Dilute systems, with low ANC and base cations that might be especially sensitive to acidic inputs; 2. Those that might be especially sensitive to nutrient inputs; or 3.
  • Other data describing screening parameters (table 10) for terrestrial resources likely are available from diffuse sources and should be compiled and archived in a single location.
  • Ability to further define criteria for the other visibility parameters is limited by the paucity of SVR and particulate data in Region 1 and the northern Rockies.

Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC)

  • After compilation and assessment of chemical and biological conditions in each wilderness area and identification of sensitive receptors, the next important step is to determine how screening parameters and receptors may respond to incremental changes in the mass of pollutants associated with atmospheric deposition.
  • Responses to incremental change may be based on model projections or simple empirical relations.
  • Due to the lack of dose-response information for most western aquatic species, the aquatics working group agreed upon interim LACs, based on empirical relationships between chemistry and biota in other areas of the United States.
  • The recommended LACs (table 4) include the amount of change that could occur without significantly changing an AQRV or sensitive receptor.

Monitoring Programs

  • From 1989 to 1994, the University of Montana's Flathead Lake Biological Station has been sampling two lakes in the Bob Marshall Wilderness (Stanford et al.
  • The Forest Service sampled 108 lakes in the Selway-Bitterroot, Cabinet Mountains, and Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness Areas in 1992 and identified several lakes for long-term intensive monitoring (Story 1993) .
  • Story (1993) noted that lakes rated as highly sensitive using ANC criteria also had pH values that would lead to highly sensitive designations in the PSD process.
  • That was not the case for specific conductance unless the criterion for "highly sensitive" was lowered from 1 0 to 5 |U.S / cm.
  • Moreover, several of the very dilute lakes reported by Story exceeded the anion criteria given in table 4, which could be explained by geochemistry of bedrock in the lake catchments.

Screening parameter

  • Threshold or range Cumulative change should be <10% of baseline condition.
  • Any significant change from baseline will likely damage biota (pH -6.0); no change allowed.
  • Cumulative change should be <10% of baseline condition.
  • Any significant change from baseline will likely damage biota (pH -6.0); no change allowed.

No LAC developed

  • Cumulative change should be <10% of baseline condition.
  • No LAC developed Should not be elevated to >50 |jg/l ^Minimal measurable ANC any time during ttie year.
  • Some dilute lakes in Region 1 hiave natural anionxation ratios as tiigti as 0.46, hence this LAC applies to lakes with naturally low anionxation ratios.
  • This far exceeded the 10% criteria recommended herein.
  • Story's data suggested that the criteria given herein are reasonable and should be used in the PSD process, but screening criteria probably should be reconsidered as additional data allows a better understanding of how to separate natural and anthropogenic variation in ionic constituents.

Modeling Approach

  • Mathematical models can be used to evaluate the potential response of aquatic resources to changes in atmospheric emissions of nitrogen and sulfur.
  • The general validity of the model has been verified by comparison with estimates of lake acidification inferred from paleolimnological evidence of lake change.
  • Estimates of short-term change during snowmelt, referred to as episodic acidification (Wigington et al. 1990) , were not addressed.
  • A horizontal configuration was used for the Region 1 lakes, and the soil compartments were assumed to be spatially homogeneous.
  • MAGIC was calibrated using an optimization procedure that selected parameter values so that the difference between the observed and predicted measurements was minimized.

Selection of Lakes for Modeling

  • Data used in the workshop modeling effort were selected from lakes for which major ion chemistry data were available.
  • Candidate lakes included those sampled in the Western Lakes Survey , by the University of Montana (Stanford et al. 1990a) , and by Montana State University (Pagenkopf 1982) .
  • Primary criteria for lake selection were: 1 . Low alkalinity waters within each wilderness area; 2. Availability of complete ion chemistry for the lakes; and 3.
  • Availability of data about lake and catchment morphometry.
  • Lakes with lowest alkalinity are located in the Selway-.

Model Deposition Scenarios

  • The MAGIC model was used to estimate the acid-base chemistry of the 15 study lakes in response to atmospheric inputs of major ions.
  • Pre-industrial conditions were established as per those of the year 1845.
  • "SOf concentration in wet deposition multiplied by average annual precipitation of 134 cm.
  • The model was run for the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness lakes using deposition scenarios that increased SO/" by 3 and 5 times greater than present; several other scenarios were run for selected lakes to observe the lake response to extreme loadings of SO/" (table 8 ).

Results and Inferences From Simulations

  • Model output suggested that the wilderness lakes selected for study have a moderate capacity to neutralize acidic inputs (table 8).
  • Data that would be very useful to improve model projections are summarized by variable in table 9.
  • Knowledge of the soils, particularly those surrounding the lake or located in flowpaths to the lake are essential to mass balance calculations and modeling of change.
  • Among the least known, yet important, properties of the soils that needs to be characterized is sulfate adsorption.

Future Monitoring of Wilderness Lakes

  • The most fundamental problem facing current efforts to review PSD applications concerns the lack of data describing normal seasonal and annual variation in baseline conditions.
  • Selection of lakes for monitoring within wilderness areas should include a number of important considerations: However, particularly sensitive biota may be restricted to non-lacustrine environments, obviating the need to examine streams and wetlands in addition to lakes.
  • The logistics and cost of establishing representative baseline conditions at enough sites to characterize wilderness areas must be balanced with the need to conduct longterm monitoring at a few sites.
  • Long-term records are required to unequivocally demonstrate change (Magnuson 1990 ).

Research Needs

  • Only a limited and very preliminary understanding of the sensitivity of wilderness water bodies and biota exists for wilderness areas.
  • Simulation and other evaluations leading to PSD decisions are conducted with a great deal of uncertainty, owing to lack of dose-response data.
  • Research linking the ecological role of fire and visibility is needed along with a better understanding of quantitative relationships between visibility, fuel loading, and fire management scenarios.
  • Clearly defining screening parameters and demonstrating criteria for both plume and haze impacts remams problematic.

Terrestrial Resources Background Information

  • Most of the existing information on d ose-response relations for terrestrial biota concerns effects on vegetation.
  • The working group considered reports from other screening workshops and identified sensitive plants found in Region 1 that may be useful in the PSD screening process.
  • They included Alnus incana and A. viridis , Populus tremuloides , Prunus emarginata (bitter cherry), Acer negundo (box elder), and Amelanchier alnifolia and A. utahensis , which commonly occur in Region 1 wilderness areas.
  • Hill established that three other species, Sympiioricarpos oreophilus (mountain snowberry), Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama), and Oryzopsis hymenoides (Indian ricegrass) are relatively sensitive to sulfur dioxide, with symptoms at 1 ppm in two hours.
  • Closely related species that may be sensitive indicators are fructose species that attach to trees: Alectoria sannentosa, Bryoria fremontii, Usnea hirta, U. laricina, Ramalina sp., and Evernia spp. Genera in the "reindeer lichen" groups, Cladonia and Cladina, have also been shown to be sensitive, as has Lobaria pulmonaria.

Ozone

  • The most phytotoxic air pollutant is ozone, which has been shown to produce visible foliar mottling in the following species at less than 200 ppb in 2 hours of field fumigation: Populus tremuloides .
  • Geranium fremontii (Fremont's geranium), and Senecio serra (tall butterweed) (Treshow and Stewart 1973, Harward and Treshow 1975) .
  • At fumigation for 3 hours per day for a week with 50 to 150 ppb ozone, foliar effects were evident in Achillea millefolium iyarrow), Oienopodium album (lamb's quarters), C./remonf// USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech.
  • Species of these genera are present in this region.
  • About 122 ppb has been recorded at Fortress Mountain in southern Alberta (Bohm 1 989), suggesting that ozone contamination can be serious in the Rocky Mountains.

Nitrogen Compounds

  • Nitrogen compounds apparently cause few direct adverse effects on vegetation, except at high concentrations.
  • Nitrogen deposition may produce a fertilizer effect and prevent trees from properly acclimatizmg to winter conditions.
  • Nitrogen gases may interact with sulfate ions in wet and dry deposition and increase soil acidity.
  • Increased acidity may mobilize metals in toxic concentrations.
  • Nitrogen gases are also a precursor, with hydrocarbons, in complex reactions that form ozone.

Particulates

  • Toxic effects of particulates on plants and animals have not been studied in sufficient detail to draw inferences about wilderness biota in Region 1.
  • Gas and solid phases of wood smoke, which is produced throughout the region by slash burning and wildfires, are mutagenic to the bacteria Salmonella typimurium, especially in the presenceof NO^(Kleindienstetal.
  • The inference is that key microbial components of forest soil systems may be directly impacted by particulate deposition.

Soil chemistry

  • Acid/base saturation, pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC), metals, and nutrient (C, N, P) storage pools (measures should complement those listed in providing capability for direct assessment of the degree of impact from changing air quaUty.
  • Soil microorganisms (biomass and productivity per unit soil volume) provide critical information about important relationships between vegetation and storage and recycling of organic matter and nutrients that control forest productivity.
  • No specific parameters or sensitive receptors for wildlife were developed because of the lack of dose response information.
  • This should be adjusted as more information becomes available.

Future Monitoring

  • Time-series trends for variables describing screening parameters (table 1 0) will be indicative of ecosystem vitality relative to changing conditions of pollutant deposition.
  • Responses to air pollution may not always be specific and stresses such as drought or winter damage can mimic pollution symptoms.
  • Both types of data are required for a successful screening process.
  • Moreover, collection of data should be consistent between Rocky Mountain wilderness areas (that is, not specific to Region 1) and cooperative with other monitoring and evaluation Consideration should be given to establishing plots in which no collecting occurs, but in which periodic quantitative observations, such as photographs and quantitative sampling of plant communities, are made.
  • Collections of bone marrow samples of game animals at check stations should be considered for monitoring chemical contaminants of mammals.

Laboratory Studies

  • Detectable internal damage and changes in spectral characteristics generally precede visible external damage.
  • Dose-response data can be coupled with other information, such as presence or absence of a cuticle, stomatal characteristics, internal microscopic damage, or characteristic external signals, to produce alternative modeling approaches for assessing direct impacts of pollutants.
  • Preliminary choices of species for experiments should be those cited in the literature as sensitive, such as conifers, lichens, mosses, and understory plants listed earlier in this section.
  • Exposed perennial alpine species such as Geum rossii (Ross's avens), Silene acaulis (moss campion), Eritrichium nanum (alpine forget-me-not).
  • Polygonum bistortoides (American bistort), and Deschampsia cespitosa (tufted hairgrass) might be good choices.

Field Studies

  • In some instances it is possible to apply known amounts of a potential pollutant to a plant community and record cumulative responses, such as changing proportions of species through time, movement of the pollutant through soil, possible fertilizer effects of nitrogen, and some interactions between organisms and between organisms and soil.
  • Field testing is important in giving more realistic observations of effects than lab testing, but variables are difficult to control.
  • Study of impacts and flux of pollutants through the land-water interface should be done in cooperation with aquatic research objectives.
  • Nitrogen and sulfur entering a system are mobile and excess amounts may enter aquatic systems.
  • New technologies, such as spectral data from remote sensors, may provide direct or correlative inferences with regard to baseline forest conditions.

Visibility Background Information

  • Congress also declared the national goal of remedying and preventing any existing visibility impairment in Class I areas due to humanmade pollution (Sec. 169A.(a)(l)).
  • The 1990 CAA amendments reaffirmed the importance of visibility protection in Class I areas.
  • At the state level, visibility is the only AQRV for which Montana has a standard.

Modeling Visibility Changes

  • Three EPA models, VISCREEN, PLUVUE, and PLUVUE II, address impairment in terms of plume visibility impacts (Latimer and Ireson 1988, Johnson et al. 1980).
  • Models to predict regional haze impacts are being developed but are not currently available.
  • The Forest Service should work closely with other federal land management agencies, the EPA, and the state air quality agencies to develop and refine diagnostic and deterministic models that formalize an empirical understanding of uniform and layered haze dynamics.
  • Transport, dispersion, and chemical transformation of emissions in response to differing meteorological conditions are key issues if spatial and temporal distributions of aerosol and gas concentrations within wilderness areas are to be assessed and predicted accurately.
  • The effect that light-scattering and absorbing aerosols have on the visual appearance of a scene and the simulation of these effects is another critical area that modelers should consider (Latimer 1991) .

Limits of Acceptable Change

  • A stepwise procedure was recommended to meet the Forest Service's Clean Air Act responsibilities in unim-paired wilderness areas .
  • The Region must first decide, on the basis of information in the PSD permit application, if the proposed emissions will cause a change in visibility from the current condition.
  • Model output showing violation of this criterion would trigger further visibility analysis.
  • An adverse impact depends on the geographical extent of the visibility impairment, intensity, duration, frequency, and time of year.
  • This recommended method should fulfill and help focus Region 1 visibility responsibilities under 40 CFR 52.21 (29) of the Clean Air Act.

Future Monitoring of Visibility

  • The first priority should be documenting the resource in Class I areas.
  • The airsheds between Glacier National Park and the Yellowstone area need to be inventoried and characterized in a scientifically sound and reproducible method.
  • The information can be used to evaluate permit applications.
  • The following monitoring strategy should be used to gather information on screening parameters and better understand variability in visibility.
  • All monitoring plans should be coordinated with the IMPROVE committee and visibility programs of the National Park Service and other federal and state agencies.

Alternative Management Actions

  • Each working group independently discussed how the Region should implement an effective screening process to routinely and promptly evaluate PSD permit applications.
  • Recommendations from each working group were similar and are synthesized here.

Document Baseline Conditions

  • Resources and measures should be systematically inventoried so that changes can be predicted from clearly established baseline conditions.
  • Periodically re-evaluate screening criteria and LACs as new monitoring and research results are forthcoming.
  • Item 7 is especially important because screening criteria must be legally defensible, scientifically based, and include public perception and desire.
  • Criteria are dynamic in an adaptive management sense and essentially drive the other steps in the process.

Recognize Critical Uncertainties

  • The working groups recognized that critical uncertainties exist with regard to estimating loads of pollutants that may be deleterious to specific organisms.
  • Once impacts to specific biota are observed in the field, severe damage already may have occurred within the ecosystem.
  • Episodic and cumulative effects from multiple sources of pollutants further complicate the analysis process.
  • Moreover, the "value" of ecosystem components is not well understood.
  • Existence of uncertainties underscores the need to ensure that truly integrative screening parameters and sensitive receptors have been identified and are being carefully monitored.

Implement Monitoring Within

  • Wilderness Areas Now Effective monitoring and research are keys to Region 1 's task of protecting aquatic, terrestrial, and visibility resources.
  • An interagency and interdisciplinary coordinating committee should be formed immediately to determine how to implement a holistic, integrated monitonng strategy, including considerations of design of statistical analysis to demonstrate significant changes over natural interannual variation.
  • This strategy should not duplicate but supplement efforts of other agencies, and should be as cost efficient and effective as possible.
  • Buffer zones around wilderness areas are becoming increasingly altered by human use and inhabitation.
  • Thus, air pollution from diffuse sources may be impinging on wilderness areas.

Use Better Modeling Approaches

  • Each working group tried to address the issue of appropriate modeling technologies in the context of predicting USDA Forest Service Gen.
  • Monitoring data pertaining to screening parameters should be examined systematically in relation to proposed emission levels and according to law.
  • This workshop and the other regional air workshops did not determine a specific management action for dealing effectively with air pollution problems that are outside the PSD process.
  • The Forest Service must continue to foster strong working relationships with the local and state air quality agencies, EPA, and interagency programs such as IMPROVE.
  • Smoke from slash burning and prescribed fires on Forest Service lands and adjacent private forest lands will be an increasingly important air pollution issue.

Involve the Public

  • Finally, public involvement and understanding in all phases of the air program is essential.
  • The Regional coordinating committee, recommended earlier in regard to monitoring, should develop approaches for public involvement and education so that all parties have a common understanding of air quality issues in Region 1.
  • The material presented here on the Bob Marshall Wilderness was taken from the following source: Acheson, A.L. 1989.
  • Bob Marshall Wilderness air quality related values management plan.

Aquatic Ecosystems

  • Aquatic ecosystems are the biotic community of a lake or stream plus the community's abiotic environment.
  • Many forms of recreation depend on the quality of aquatic ecosystems including fishing, birding, photography, and swimming.
  • Aquatic ecosystems, especially those with low alkalinities, are known to be sensitive to acid deposition.
  • Montana adopted a state visibility standard to prevent visibility degradation in Class I areas.

Wildlife

  • Elk have historically been important in the Bob Marshall Wilderness but are just one of a variety of species that are presently found there.
  • Recent research indicates that terrestrial wildlife may be indirectly impacted by air pollution through a USDA Forest Service Gen.
  • Endangered species that frequent the area include the grizzly bear, gray wolf, and bald eagle.
  • Nongame species include pine marten, wolverine, fisher, coyotes, golden eagles, osprey, and pileated woodpeckers.
  • The Scapegoat Wilderness has the usual array of Montana wildlife.

Scenery and Visibility

  • Since its designation as a Primitive Area in 1937, this area has been recognized for its outstanding physical attractiveness.
  • The scenic beauty of the Mission Mountains Wilderness is one of the characteristics or attributes most highly valued by visitors both within and outside the area.
  • Smoke from both artificial and naturally ignited forest fires has perhaps the most significant implications on air quality, visibility, and odor of any pollutant in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.
  • The Cabinet Mountains contain some of the finest examples of glaciated geology in the West.
  • The ability to view and photograph these same features at all times of the day is key to accomplishing the intent of preserving the Cabinets in their natural state for the enjoyment of humankind.

Water Quality

  • The management plan for the Anaconda-Pintler recognizes that the area produces high quality water due to the relatively undisturbed soil mantle.
  • Many of the streams in the Anaconda-Pintler drain into Rock Creek and the Big Hole River.
  • The high mountain streams in the Scapegoat Wilderness produce unpolluted clear water.
  • At least 8 lakes are found within the wilderness including Heart Lake, which is regarded as one of the deepest and largest in the wilderness.
  • It appears water quality would be largely independent of air quality.

Vegetation

  • There are seven plant species of concern known to exist in the Anaconda-Pintler, some of which are globally significant by the Nature Conservancy and Montana Natural Heritage Program standards.
  • Of the seven known species, six are considered critically imperiled in the state and the other is listed as imperiled.
  • Though not confirmed as residents, the small yellow lady's slipper (Cypripedium calceolus L. var. parviflorum) and the northern bastard toad-flax (Geocaulon lividum) are also sensitive plants that probably occur within the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness.
  • Huckleberries are plentiful and, while in season, are a key staple in the diet of the grizzly.
  • Subtle changes in soil pH can have significant adverse effects on the vegetation.

Odor

  • The "smell of the forest" in general and the scent of evergreens and wildflowers in particular are an important part of the wilderness experience for many visitors.
  • Odors and fragrance contribute to the quality of a wilderness experience.
  • Odor and fra-grance also ties in with the discussion of smoke management in the visibility section.
  • There is the strong effervescence of high mountain air, crisp and breathtaking in the early morning.
  • There is no scent of civilization and the hint of wildflowers and blowing pollen from the green boughs is a value of the wild landscape that cannot be described.

Soil and Geology

  • Soil and its underlying geology are resource values affected by acid deposition associated with increased levels of nitrogen and sulfur oxides in the atmosphere, especially in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.
  • As is typical of the Idaho Batholith, the decomposed granitic soils are shallow, are acidic, are susceptible to leaching of metals and nutrients, and have little buffering capacity to neutralize acid deposition.
  • There is abundant rock outcrop that further limits the availability of soils to buffer acid precipitation.
  • Changes in soil acidity, caused by air pollution, can adversely affect both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Terrestrial Ecosystems

  • Any damage from air pollution to forest ecosystems interferes with relationships between forest plant communities and the wildlife communities associated with these ecosystems.
  • Recent research indicates that terrestrial wildlife may be indirectly impacted by air pollution through a loss or change in food resources or habitat.
  • Bioaccumulation of metals mobilized by acidification can also occur in certain wildlife species.
  • Impacts are usually tied to some aspect of an animal's life history that depends on the aquatic ecosystem.
  • Many plant and animal communities exist in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and may be affected by air pollution.

Climate

  • A general easterly airflow across the Continental Divide is influenced by a combination of the jetstream and high /low pressure cells that occur far to the east and west.
  • As a result, strong air movement across the Scapegoat Wilderness is fairly typical.
  • These strong airflows created a virtual fire storm that expanded the 1988 Canyon Creek fire to 250,000 acres that included a large portion of the Scapegoat.
  • Due to the mixing effect of these westerly winds, local sources of air pollution are largely obscured.

Gates of the Mountains Wilderness

  • Visibility Perhaps the most spectacular vista from the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness is the view of the Big Missouri River as it passes through a narrow gorge that forms the western boundary of the wilderness itself.
  • The Lewis and Clark journals described the rock cliffs in the narrow gorge as parting like a gate as the explorers travelled upriver.
  • From Moores Mountain, Candle Mountain, and Willow Mountain the vistas are largely of lower foothills and rolling plains that extend for great distances onto grasslands and agriculture.
  • Under almost all cloudless days all points within the wilderness are clearly visible and landmarks up to 60 miles are easily recognized.
  • There are no snowcapped peaks or lakes or large streams that would attract visitors.

General Information

  • Recreational use of the Gates is limited to day trips from one trailhead to another because of the absence of water and lack of diversity.
  • Chinooks and the general strong easterly flow of air during much of the year give rise to these stronger than average winds.
  • Airflow over the Gates wilderness is strong enough during much of the year to offset the effects of local air pollution.
  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, and marital or familial status.
  • (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.).

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I IQnA
^^^^^'^
States
Department
of
^^^^
Agriculture
Forest
Service
Rocky
Mountain
Forest
and
Range
Experiment
Station
Fort
Collins,
Colorado
80526
General
Technical
Report
RM-GTR-294
U^S
A
Screening
Prppe^ure
to
Evaluate
Air
Pollution
f
ffectslin
Region
1
Wilderness Areas,
Jack
Stanford
Ann
Acheson
David
Brakke
Sharon
Eversman
Kristi
Savig
'S^/^^l^
Joe
Eilers
Heceivedby:
iQdezlng
Branoti

Abstract
Stanford, Jack;
Acheson,
Ann; Brakke, David;
Eversman, Sharon; Savig,
Kristi;
Eilers,
Joe.
1997. A screening procedure to evaluate air
pollution effects
in Region
1
wilderness
areas,
1991. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-294.
Fort Collins,
CO:
U.S. Department of
Agricul-
ture, Forest
Service,
Rocky Mountain Forest
and Range Experiment
Station. 34
p.
Based
on mandates contained in the 1977
and 1990 Clean Air
Act amendments
(Public
Law
95-95) and the 1964 Wilderness Act (Public
Law 88-557),
25
scientists
and 15
managers
discussed
approaches for
evaluating air pollution effects on
aquatic, terrestrial,
and visibility
resources in wilderness areas administered
by Region 1 of the Forest
Service. Participants
identified screening parameters that may predictably
vary with changes in air
quality.
Criteria
for those parameters were identified for
assessing permit applications involving
new
emis-
sions that may impact wilderness values. Region
1 participation in the
multi-agency
process
for evaluating proposed emissions would require
a monitoring program,
effective
analysis
methodology, and proactive review and consultation.
Keywords: air
pollution, wilderness,
acid neutralizing capacity
The
Authors
Jack
Stanford is with the University of Montana, Flathead Lake Biological Station.
Ann Acheson is with the USDA
Forest
Service Regional Office, Region 1.
David Brakke
is with the University of Wisconsin, Department
of
Biology.
Sharon
Eversman is with
Montana
State University, Department of Biology.
Kristi Savig is with
Air Resources Specialists Inc.
Joe
Eilers is with E&S
Environmental Chemistry Inc.
Publisher
Rocky
Mountain Research Station
Fort
Collins, Colorado
July
1997
You may order additional
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following media. Please
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Telephone
(970)
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DG message R.Schneider:S28A
FAX
(970)
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E-mail /s=r.schneider/ou 1 =s28a @
mhs-fswa.attmail.com
Mailing Address Publications Distribution
Rocky Mountain Forest and Range
Experiment
Station
3825 E. Mulberry Street
Fort Collins,
CO
80524
Cover
photo: Mission
Mountains
Wilderness

A
Screening Procedure to
Evaluate
Air Pollution Effects
in Region 1
Wilderness
Areas,
1 991
Jack
Stanford, Ann Acheson, David Brakke, Sharon Eversman,
Kristi Savig, and
Joe
Eilers
Contents
Acronymns
v
Introduction 1
Key
Terms and Definitions 1
The Regulatory Process
3
Prevention of
Significant Deterioration
3
Other
Legal Requirements
3
Workshop
Goals and Objectives
4
Aquatic
Resources
4
Background Information
4
Working Group Approach
6
Screening
Parameters
6
Screening
Criteria
7
Limits
of Acceptable Change
(LAC)
7
Monitoring Programs
8
Modeling Responses to Atmospheric
Deposition of Pollutants
9
Future Monitoring of
Wilderness Lakes
14
Research Needs
15
Terrestrial Resources
15
Background
Information
15
Working Group
Approach
16
Screening
Parameters
16
iii

Citations
More filters
01 Jan 2000
TL;DR: Cole et al. as mentioned in this paper presented a survey on the nature and management of threats to wilderness ecosystems, including wildfire, air, water, and exotic species, in a time of change conference.
Abstract: Cole, David N.; McCool, Stephen F.; Borrie, William T.; O’Loughlin, Jennifer, comps. 2000. Wilderness science in a time of change conference—Volume 5: Wilderness ecosystems, threats, and management; 1999 May 23–27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-5. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 381 p. Forty-six papers are presented on the nature and management of threats to wilderness ecosystems. Five overview papers synthesize knowledge and research on wilderness fire, recreation impacts, livestock in wilderness, nonnative invasive plants, and wilderness air quality. Other papers contain the results of specific research projects on wilderness recreation impacts and management, wilderness restoration, fire and its management, and issues related to air, water, and exotic species.

21 citations

01 Jan 2000
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a case study that traces the development of scientific knowledge of the effects of S and N on wilderness resources, and discuss the need for monitoring, modeling and data synthesis tools.
Abstract: Federal land managers are responsible for protecting air quality-related values (AQRVs) in parks and wilderness areas from air pollution damage or impairment. Few, if any, class 1 areas are unaffected by regional and global pollutants, such as visibilityreducing particles, ozone and deposition of sulfur (S), nitrogen (N) and toxics. This paper lays out the basic definitions and research findings that managers need to protect natural resources and scenic vistas. A detailed case study is presented that traces the development of scientific knowledge of the effects of S and N on wilderness resources. Gaps in our understanding of deposition and its effects, and managers’ need for monitoring, modeling and data synthesis tools are discussed, with recommendations on how to use science and technology to protect AQRVs in wilderness areas and parks. External threats to wilderness areas come in many forms. One of the most pervasive stresses is air pollution from local, regional and global emission sources. Federal land managers (FLMs) were initially concerned about the effects of local air pollution on surface waters, native vegetation, soils, wildlife and cultural resources. These threats included sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), fluorides, lead (Pb) and soot from power plants, industries and urban areas. The United States has made considerable strides since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970 to clean up local sources of pollution. However, with the advent of “tall stacks” on large point sources, there is now more opportunity for long-distance transport of pollution to parks and wilderness areas. The greatest air pollution threat to natural resources and scenic vistas in remote wilderness areas currently is from regional and global pollutants. The focus of this discussion will be on regional pollution issues: visibility, ozone and deposition of sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) compounds (also known as “acid rain”). Other air pollutants of concern in wilderness areas will be defined, but not explored in any depth. The detailed case study of deposition includes information on (1) history of deposition research and monitoring, (2) what we know, (3) gaps in our knowledge, (4) how managers have used the data, (5) current needs of managers, and (6) research, monitoring and assessment strategies for FLMs. Definitions and Overview _________ Basics of Class 1 Air Quality Class 1 Areas—Wilderness areas over 5,000 acres in size, and national parks greater than 6,000 acres were singled out for special protection from air pollution under the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1977. There were 158 units in 1977 that received this level of protection. They are managed by the following Federal Land Managers (FLMs): USDAForest Service (USFS) (88 wilderness areas); DOI-National Park Service (NPS) (48 national parks and 1 international park); and DOI-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) (21 wilderness areas). Figure 1 shows the distribution of NPS protected areas. It is possible to add class 1 areas through a process known as redesignation. Five Native American lands that have been “redesignated” class 1. Federal Land Managers—For the purposes of this discussion, the agencies that have stewardship over public lands designated as class 1 are known as federal land managers (FLMs). These include DOI-National Park Service, DOI-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and USDA-Forest Service. FLMs that will not be specifically discussed in this paper are the DOI-Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages one class 1 wilderness area, and the Native American tribes, which can redesignate their lands as class 1. The three FLMs with the largest number of class 1 parks and wilderness areas have joined forces as part of the Federal Land Managers Air Quality-Related Values Work Group (FLAG), in an effort to coordinate activities in protecting air quality-related values (AQRVs) from air pollution. This group has recently issued a draft report that outlines the major air quality concerns and starts the process of setting thresholds and critical loads to protect sensitive resources (FLAG 1999). Legal Responsibilities—The array of legislative requirements to protect parks and wilderness areas from air pollution are listed in the FLAG report (1999). These include the FLMs’ Organic Acts, park and wilderness enabling legislation, Wilderness Act and Clean Air Act and its amendments. The National Environmental Policy Act requires that air quality be considered in environmental impact statements (EISs) for significant federal actions. Details of these mandates are included in Bunyak (1993). Methods used by FLMs in an effort to control air pollution effects in class 1 areas include: (1) new source review of proposed air pollution sources within 100 km of the wilderness boundary, (2) request for Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) to be installed on large power plants to remedy visibility impairment, (3) participation in regional air quality groups to implement the regional haze regulations (i.e., Western Regional Air Partnership), (4) providing U SD A Frest Srvice Proedings R M R S-15-VO L-5. 2000 75 Figure 1—National Park Service Class 1 areas. Crater Lake NP Olympic NP

6 citations

References
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01 Jan 2000
TL;DR: Cole et al. as mentioned in this paper presented a survey on the nature and management of threats to wilderness ecosystems, including wildfire, air, water, and exotic species, in a time of change conference.
Abstract: Cole, David N.; McCool, Stephen F.; Borrie, William T.; O’Loughlin, Jennifer, comps. 2000. Wilderness science in a time of change conference—Volume 5: Wilderness ecosystems, threats, and management; 1999 May 23–27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-5. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 381 p. Forty-six papers are presented on the nature and management of threats to wilderness ecosystems. Five overview papers synthesize knowledge and research on wilderness fire, recreation impacts, livestock in wilderness, nonnative invasive plants, and wilderness air quality. Other papers contain the results of specific research projects on wilderness recreation impacts and management, wilderness restoration, fire and its management, and issues related to air, water, and exotic species.

21 citations

01 Jan 2000
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a case study that traces the development of scientific knowledge of the effects of S and N on wilderness resources, and discuss the need for monitoring, modeling and data synthesis tools.
Abstract: Federal land managers are responsible for protecting air quality-related values (AQRVs) in parks and wilderness areas from air pollution damage or impairment. Few, if any, class 1 areas are unaffected by regional and global pollutants, such as visibilityreducing particles, ozone and deposition of sulfur (S), nitrogen (N) and toxics. This paper lays out the basic definitions and research findings that managers need to protect natural resources and scenic vistas. A detailed case study is presented that traces the development of scientific knowledge of the effects of S and N on wilderness resources. Gaps in our understanding of deposition and its effects, and managers’ need for monitoring, modeling and data synthesis tools are discussed, with recommendations on how to use science and technology to protect AQRVs in wilderness areas and parks. External threats to wilderness areas come in many forms. One of the most pervasive stresses is air pollution from local, regional and global emission sources. Federal land managers (FLMs) were initially concerned about the effects of local air pollution on surface waters, native vegetation, soils, wildlife and cultural resources. These threats included sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), fluorides, lead (Pb) and soot from power plants, industries and urban areas. The United States has made considerable strides since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970 to clean up local sources of pollution. However, with the advent of “tall stacks” on large point sources, there is now more opportunity for long-distance transport of pollution to parks and wilderness areas. The greatest air pollution threat to natural resources and scenic vistas in remote wilderness areas currently is from regional and global pollutants. The focus of this discussion will be on regional pollution issues: visibility, ozone and deposition of sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) compounds (also known as “acid rain”). Other air pollutants of concern in wilderness areas will be defined, but not explored in any depth. The detailed case study of deposition includes information on (1) history of deposition research and monitoring, (2) what we know, (3) gaps in our knowledge, (4) how managers have used the data, (5) current needs of managers, and (6) research, monitoring and assessment strategies for FLMs. Definitions and Overview _________ Basics of Class 1 Air Quality Class 1 Areas—Wilderness areas over 5,000 acres in size, and national parks greater than 6,000 acres were singled out for special protection from air pollution under the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1977. There were 158 units in 1977 that received this level of protection. They are managed by the following Federal Land Managers (FLMs): USDAForest Service (USFS) (88 wilderness areas); DOI-National Park Service (NPS) (48 national parks and 1 international park); and DOI-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) (21 wilderness areas). Figure 1 shows the distribution of NPS protected areas. It is possible to add class 1 areas through a process known as redesignation. Five Native American lands that have been “redesignated” class 1. Federal Land Managers—For the purposes of this discussion, the agencies that have stewardship over public lands designated as class 1 are known as federal land managers (FLMs). These include DOI-National Park Service, DOI-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and USDA-Forest Service. FLMs that will not be specifically discussed in this paper are the DOI-Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages one class 1 wilderness area, and the Native American tribes, which can redesignate their lands as class 1. The three FLMs with the largest number of class 1 parks and wilderness areas have joined forces as part of the Federal Land Managers Air Quality-Related Values Work Group (FLAG), in an effort to coordinate activities in protecting air quality-related values (AQRVs) from air pollution. This group has recently issued a draft report that outlines the major air quality concerns and starts the process of setting thresholds and critical loads to protect sensitive resources (FLAG 1999). Legal Responsibilities—The array of legislative requirements to protect parks and wilderness areas from air pollution are listed in the FLAG report (1999). These include the FLMs’ Organic Acts, park and wilderness enabling legislation, Wilderness Act and Clean Air Act and its amendments. The National Environmental Policy Act requires that air quality be considered in environmental impact statements (EISs) for significant federal actions. Details of these mandates are included in Bunyak (1993). Methods used by FLMs in an effort to control air pollution effects in class 1 areas include: (1) new source review of proposed air pollution sources within 100 km of the wilderness boundary, (2) request for Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) to be installed on large power plants to remedy visibility impairment, (3) participation in regional air quality groups to implement the regional haze regulations (i.e., Western Regional Air Partnership), (4) providing U SD A Frest Srvice Proedings R M R S-15-VO L-5. 2000 75 Figure 1—National Park Service Class 1 areas. Crater Lake NP Olympic NP

6 citations

Frequently Asked Questions (1)
Q1. What are the contributions in this paper?

In this paper, Stanford et al. discussed approaches for evaluating air pollution effects on aquatic, terrestrial, and visibility resources in wilderness areas administered by Region 1 of the Forest Service.