Rocky Mountain National Park Initiative

The Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) Air Quality Initiative was formed in 2004 to study and recommend strategies related to air quality. The main focus has been atmospheric nitrogen deposition, which impacts park ecosystems.  Other major air quality issues are ozone and regional haze. Participating agencies include the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 8, and the National Park Service (NPS).

Two-thirds of the park is near or above treeline, creating fragile high-elevation ecosystems that park managers are responsible for protecting. Atmospheric nitrogen deposition has become better understood over time, and scientific research and monitoring have documented changes to ecosystems in the park. The park’s unique resources are at risk from nitrogen deposition.

Using a collaborative approach, the participating agencies developed and are implementing the Nitrogen Deposition Reduction Plan that focuses on voluntary approaches instead of a new regulatory program to reduce nitrogen deposition.

This website is a clearinghouse for information on the issue, including the 2012 Milestone Report, Nitrogen Deposition Reduction and Contingency Plans, atmospheric studies, current research and monitoring data, policy tracking and state Air Quality Control Commission activities, and links to other resources.
Milestone Report
Nitrogen deposition reduction plans
Nitrogen deposition research and monitoring
Ammonia monitoring 
    Emission reduction strategies
    Ammonia emission reduction strategies: 
    Oxides of nitrogen reduction strategies: 
    Legal and policy tracking
    Air Quality Control Commission activities 
    National Park Service air quality websites
    For questions, requests for presentations or for documents prior to 2007, contact:
    Lisa Devore