Title

Nitrogen Deposition in the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)

Date of Award

3-17-2006

Document Type

Capstone Project

Disciplines

Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science

Department

Environmental Policy And Management

Advisor

Timothy Gablehouse

Keywords

Ammonia -- Environmental aspects -- Colorado; Atmospheric deposition -- Colorado -- Rocky Mountain National Park; Atmospheric nitrogen oxides -- Environmental aspects -- Colorado; Clean Air Act; dry N deposition; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); NADP/NTN; National Park Service (NPS); Nitrogen Cycling; Nitrogen Deposition; Rocky Mount

Abstract

This project will discuss the most current data existing from several ongoing studies on nitrogen deposition in the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), study nitrogen deposition effects on every aspect of the ecosystem, and attempt to predict the future ecosystem effects of nitrogen deposition in the RMNP. Nitrogen oxides and ammonium carried in air currents and deposited in ecosystems are believed to cause changes in forest and soil biogeochemistry in the RMNP. Total nitrogen deposited into the RMNP's forests, lakes, and streams has increased to more than 15 times its natural level, which is believed to exceed the critical load that the park's ecosystems can bear. Finally, this project will evaluate the legal authorities available to the State of Colorado and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to lower NOX and ammonia to protect ecosystems in the RMNP.

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