Maintaining good air quality is important not only for human health but also for the health of natural resources. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service monitors air quality in selected sites to minimize harm from human-caused air pollution to wildlife and sensitive wildlife habitat on national wildlife refuges. These efforts promote biological integrity and diversity and the environmental health of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

What We Do

Our Services

Polluted air injures plants and other wildlife, acidifies water and degrades habitats. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, working with other federal agencies, states and regional networks, protects air quality by ensuring compliance with the Clean Air Act, the Wilderness Act and the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, with a special emphasis on Class I Wilderness Areas, described below.  

Where We Monitor

Class I Wilderness Areas are sites of more than 5,000 acres that Congress formally designated as wilderness before August 1977. As a federal land manager for wilderness, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for protecting the air quality of these sites, including visibility affected by human-made air pollution.

Below are Class I sites monitored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Access Air Quality Data

The Clean Air Status and Trends Network offers downloadable data and more information about monitoring air quality. See the data collected.

Clean Air Act Information

Learn more about the effects of poor air quality and how researchers monitor air quality for human health. See effects and research here.