The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been actively studying acid rain for the past 15 years. When scientists learned that acid rain could harm fish, fear of damage to our natural environment from acid rain concerned the American public. Research by USGS scientists and other groups began to show that the processes resulting in acid rain are very complex. Scientists were puzzled by the fact that in some cases it was difficult to demonstrate that the pollution from automobiles and factories was causing streams or lakes to become more acidic. Further experiments showed how the natural ability of many soils to neutralize acids would reduce the effects of acid rain in some locations--at least as long as the neutralizing ability lasted (Young, 1991). The USGS has played a key role in establishing and maintaining the only nationwide network of acid rain monitoring stations. This program is called the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN). Each week, at approximately 220 NADP/NTN sites across the country, rain and snow samples are collected for analysis. NADP/NTN site in Montana. The USGS supports about 72 of these sites. The information gained from monitoring the chemistry of our nation's rain and snow is important for testing the results of pollution control laws on acid rain.