BTNF publishes air quality monitoring technical report for the Bridger Wilderness
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
November 30, 2010
PINEDALE - The Bridger-Teton National Forest recently published a General Technical Report (GTR) on air quality monitoring in the Bridger Wilderness (published by the Rocky Mountain Research Station as GTR 248). The report, titled "Lake and Bulk Sampling Chemistry, NADP, and IMPROVE Air Quality Data Analysis on the Bridger-Teton National Forest", analyzes the results of years of samples taken from multiple monitoring sites on and near the Pinedale Ranger District since the mid 1980’s. Analysis and publishing of the data was funded by the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee in conjunction with the Greater Yellowstone Area Clean Air Partnership, a cooperating group of state and federal air quality managers.
The Clean Air Act requires Federal Land Managers to protect air quality and air quality related values in Class I Areas such as the Bridger Wilderness and other federal lands. In compliance with the Clean Air Act, the Bridger-Teton National Forest participates in several different types of air quality monitoring programs. They include: the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP), long-term lake monitoring, bulk deposition monitoring (wet and dry deposition), and the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE), among others. These programs collect data on precipitation chemistry, lake chemistry, bulk deposition chemistry, and visibility with the goal of monitoring forest health and making recommendations for maintaining or improving air quality and ecosystems on Forest Service lands.
The report analyzes existing air quality data to gain a more complete understanding of regional and local trends in air quality and to better understand possible effects to the Bridger-Teton National Forest and, more specifically, the Bridger Wilderness. The intent of this report is to provide useful information for understanding and managing air quality in southwest Wyoming, including natural gas field exploration and development effects on air quality related resources.
Ted Porwoll, Air Quality Technician and co-author of the report, stressed the importance of the air quality monitoring efforts. "It would seem like 25 years is a long time to monitor air quality in a rural area of the west, but really it takes that much data to identify a trend, especially with the changes we have seen in development and climate over the last decade or so. We’re fortunate to have had these programs in place since the 1980’s and for the foresight of those who originally took on the task of monitoring. Things are changing rapidly in our neck of the woods and it’s important that we keep our finger on the pulse of these ecosystems so that we can better understand and protect them for the future."
This publication is only available online at http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_gtr248.html.
For more information on the air quality monitoring efforts on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, call the Pinedale Ranger Station at 307-367-4326.