Air Resource Management

Progress has been made toward improving air quality across the United States since the enactment of the Clean Air Act in 1977. But air quality on Forest lands and even wilderness areas is far from pristine. As the human population and its resulting consumption of goods, urbanization and industrialization continue to grow, the Forest Service Air Program must understand how air quality affects resources in order to work cooperatively with industry, state and federal groups to prevent and reduce air pollution and its effects to natural resources and human health.

The Forest Service monitors the effects of pollution that may impair visibility, harm human health, injure trees and other plants, acidify or cause unnatural fertilization of streams and lakes, leach nutrients from soils, and degrade cultural resources, like archeological sites and historical buildings. Activities on Forest Service lands that can affect air quality such as prescribed burning and activities off Forest Service lands such as mining are also monitored to ensure compliance with air regulations for human health and impacts to natural resources.


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