2017 Monitoring and tracking wet nitrogen deposition at Rocky Mountain National Park

Natural Resource Report 2019/1905
By: , and 



The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the National Park Service (NPS), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Nitrogen Deposition Reduction Plan (NDRP) in 2007 to address the effects and trends of nitrogen deposition at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). The agencies chose a glidepath approach to reduce wet nitrogen deposition to a level of 1.5 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year (kg N/ha/yr) by the year 2032 to protect sensitive ecosystems within RMNP from adverse effects. Another goal of the NDRP is to “reverse the trend of increasing nitrogen deposition at the park.” Trends in wet deposition data were analyzed at three sites in RMNP and three regional sites outside of the park. Wet nitrogen deposition (5-year rolling average) at Loch Vale in RMNP was 3.3 kg N/ha/yr, which is above the glidepath (2.4 kg N/ha/yr) in 2017. Wet nitrogen deposition has not decreased at RMNP or other sites in the region over the long-term. Ammonium concentrations showed a statistically significant increasing trend at all sites and nitrate concentrations showed a significant decreasing trend at four of the five sites over the period of record. In more recent years (2011-2017), wet nitrogen deposition showed no significant trend at monitoring sites in RMNP. Ammonium concentrations also showed no significant trend over the short-term, however nitrate concentrations did significantly decrease at two of the six sites.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Other Government Series
Title 2017 Monitoring and tracking wet nitrogen deposition at Rocky Mountain National Park
Series title Natural Resource Report
Series number 2019/1905
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher National Park Service
Contributing office(s) Colorado Water Science Center
Description vi, 37 p.
Country United States
State Colorado
Other Geospatial Rocky Mountain National Park
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Additional publication details