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Pacific Southwest Research Station
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Albany, CA 94710-0011
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General Technical Report
Title: Guidelines for evaluating air pollution impacts on class I wilderness areas in California
Author: Peterson, David L.; Schmoldt, Daniel L.; Eilers, Joseph M.: Fisher, Richard W.; Doty, Robert D.
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-136. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 34 p
Station ID: GTR-PSW-136
Description: The 1977 Clean Air Act legally mandated the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) of air quality related values (AQRVs) on wilderness lands. Federal land managers are assigned the task of protecting these wilderness values. This report contains guidelines for determining the potential effects of incremental increases in air pollutants on natural resources in wilderness areas of the National Forests of California. These guidelines are based on current information about the effects of ozone, sulfur, and nitrogen on AQRVs. Knowledge-based methods were used to elicit these guidelines from scientists and resource managers in a workshop setting. Linkages were made between air pollutant deposition and level of deterioration of specific features (sensitive receptors) of AQRVs known to be sensitive to pollutants. Terrestrial AQRVs include a wide number of ecosystem types as well as geological and cultural values. Ozone is already high enough to injure conifers in large areas of California and is a major threat to terrestrial AQRVs. Aquatic AQRVs include lakes and streams, mostly in high elevation locations. Current sulfur and nitrogen deposition is probably too low to warrant immediate concern in most areas (with the exception of nitrogen deposition at some locations in southern California), although the low buffer capacity of many aquatic systems in California makes them sensitive to potential future increases in acidity. Visibility is considered as a discrete AQRV. Guidelines are presented for determining degradation of visibility based on sensitive views in wilderness areas. Estimates of current deposition of ozone, sulfur, and nitrogen are compiled for all California wilderness areas. Recommendations are included for resource monitoring, data collection, and decision criteria with respect to the disposition of permit applications.
Key Words: Acidic deposition, air pollution, air quality related values, ozone, wilderness, visibility
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Peterson, David L.; Schmoldt, Daniel L.; Eilers, Joseph M.: Fisher, Richard W.; Doty, Robert D. 1992. Guidelines for evaluating air pollution impacts on class I wilderness areas in California Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-136. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 34 p.
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