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Program Spotlight

Janice Peterson of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is the recipient of this year’s Paul Miller Air Resource Management Award. This award recognizes singularly outstanding performance by an air quality specialist, manager, scientist, or technician who displays excellence through initiative, skill, determination, commitment, and/or achievement in furthering the stewardship of air resources on National Forests and Grasslands. She is recognized for her significant leadership during the 2012 wildfire season in Washington. Janice demonstrated tremendous skill working in coordination with county, State, and Federal partners to share information about smoke forecasts, summarize monitoring data, and communicate this information to community decision-makers and the public. The result of her effort was a model for future coordination of air quality impacts from wildfires in Washington and Oregon.

National Protocols for Sampling Air Pollution-Sensitive Waters for National Forest System lands

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The Forest Service is issuing guidance through two new documents to help protect and monitor forest ecosystems from potential adverse effects of air pollution. The Federal Land Managers' Interagency Guidance for Nitrogen and Sulfur Deposition Analysis was developed in coordination with the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It supplements the 2010 Federal Land Managers’ Air Quality Related Values Working Group (FLAG) Report which guides Federal Land Managers in the process and thresholds used to determine the significance of air pollution impacts to Class I wilderness areas. This supplement improves the consistency in language and process when assessing impacts from sulfur or nitrogen deposition.

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The Forest Service also has published RMRS-GTR-278WWW National Protocols for Sampling Air Pollution-Sensitive Waters for National Forest System lands. The protocols provide a consistent framework regarding where, when, and how to conduct water sampling for the purpose of evaluating and monitoring air pollution effects on aquatic ecosystems. This consistency will aid the Forest Service in assessing regional and national impacts to surface waters from air pollution. Training DVDs have been developed by Missoula Technology and Development Center to support field implementation. Click here to link to the lake sampling video and the stream sampling video.

The Forest Service Air program has recently published a report summarizing our national air program and the state of the atmosphere affecting national forests and grasslands. 2010 Forest Service Air Program accomplishments and successes are also highlighted.

The Forest Service has released the first national Watershed Condition Framework report and an interactive map with classifications. Atmospheric effects to water quality, soil condition, and terrestrial condition were included as part of this assessment.