hiker resting on a rock 

Rocky Mountain National Park Air Quality

Seminal research conducted by the National Park Service shows that air pollution is creating acid rain and damaging the park ecosystem.

Rocky Mountain National Park Air Quality Fact Sheet

Research shows that air pollution levels are 60% higher than the ecosystem can sustain. This means that the park is already becoming uninhabitable for wild plants and aquatic species. Twenty years of air and water samples are showing:

  • Species are less diverse in mountain lakes and streams because of increasing nitrogen levels in rain that falls to the ground, acidifying streams and soils
  • A shift from wildflowers to grasses
  • High concentrations of ground-level ozone
  • Poor visibility caused by air pollution


  • Exhaust from cars and trucks
  • Emissions from manufacturing operations that produce the goods and services we use
  • Emissions from coal-fired power plants that produce electricity
  • Dust containing nitrogen from farm activities like fertilizing and livestock operations

What You Can Do

Drive less and reduce car exhaust

Use less electricity at home and at work

  • Get help and rebates from EnergySmart
  • Change lighting to make it more efficient
  • Use proper insulation to control temperatures
  • Turn off televisions and power computers off completely when not in use

Get involved

What We’re Doing

Boulder County Public Health is:

Learn More

 Related Links


Air Quality Program

Main: 303-441-1564
Submit a question



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