- Natural Background Visibility
- Water Quality
- Floral Diversity
- AQRV Type VISIBILITY
- AQRV Type WATER
- Pollutant Exposure Concern Thresholds
- General Information
Dolly Sods Wilderness, which is on the Allegheny Plateau, is named for the pioneer Dahle family which owned and cleared some of the land for pasture ('sods' is an old term for grassland). Evidence of human presence in the area is apparent. Remnants of the extensive network of roads and trails necessary to harvest timber in the late 1800's and early 1900's can still be seen. Grazing, once an important use, no longer occurs. A harsh climate resembling that found much farther north is a major influence. Dolly Sods is about 10 miles from Petersburg, West Virginia, and 175 miles from Washington, D.C. Originally 10,215 acres were designated as the Dolly Sods Wilderness in 1975 in the Eastern Wilderness Areas Act.
The Dolly Sods Wilderness has been designated as Class I air quality under the Clear Act Amendments of 1977 and recent additions to the Wilderness has increased the size to 17,776 acres.
Air Quality Related Values
The scenic beauty of the Dolly Sods Wilderness is a primary attraction for its users. Features include rock escarpments which provide panoramic views of the deeply incised Red Creek, the high-elevation plateau, mountain summits, and surrounding ridge lines. Visual diversity is enhanced by contrasting wetland/bog associations, high-elevation spruce, mixed hardwoods, and early successional vegetation such as blueberry. Users enjoy the sense of solitude and a variety of landforms and associated vegetative communities and wildlife. Extensive thickets of rhododendron and mountain laurel throughout the wilderness provide pleasing diversity during their flowering period. Lower Red Creek is rock-strewn and fast flowing, and periodically flows out of the channel. Its waters are stained reddish-brown from the wetlands and other vegetation in the creek's upper reaches. Most of the recreation use within the Dolly Sods Wilderness occurs along Red Creek.
|Natural Background Visibility|
|Site Specific Rayleigh scattering coefficient:||Clearest 20% Natural||Clearest 20% 2000-2004 Baseline||Haziest 20% Natural||Haziest 20% 2000-2004 Baseline||Average Annual Natural||Annual Average 2000-2004 Baseline|
|Standard Visual Range (km)||272||115||138||21||196||52|
|Haze Index (dv)||3.63||12.28||10.39||29.04||6.89||20.09|
Red Creek is the dominant water resource of this wilderness. Fed by numerous tributaries, the creek is stained reddish-brown with tannic acids from headwater wetlands and other vegetation. All waters are acid and unproductive. Some nongame fish species are present, including the uncommon pearl dace. Red Creek has historically been a marginal fishery, however there is a small population of native brook trout.
The overstory is dominated by a mixture of second-growth northern and Allegheny hardwoods which are 60 to 80 years old. There are separate components of oak, heath, and associated species. Second-growth beech, birch and maple, dense rhododendron, laurel, blueberry, and other heath vegetation are common. Red spruce is common in the upper elevations, and some oak is found at lower elevations. Extensive thickets of rhododendron and mountain laurel are found throughout the wilderness. There are scattered pockets of wetland/bog associations, and about 1000 acres in a grass/forb stage.
Resource Concern Thresholds
|AQRV Type: VISIBILITY|
|Sensitive Receptor||Sensitive Receptor Indicator||Thresholds|
|Natural Visibility||Light Extinction||In specific Class I areas to maintain consistency with Regional Haze implementation plans or BART, the visibility threshold for concern is not exceeded if the 98th percentile change in light extinction is <5% for each year modeled, when compared to the 20% best natural background values.|
|Natural Visibility||Light Extinction||For sources generally further than 50 km from a Class I area, the visibility threshold for concern is not exceeded if the 98th percentile change in light extinction is <5% for each year modeled, when compared to the annual average natural condition value for that Class I area.|
|Plume Blight||Absolute Contrast||Screening Analysis: For near field sources (within 50 km of a Class I area), no additional analysis will be requested if screening analysis of a new or modified source can demonstrate that its emissions will not cause a plume with hourly estimates of DeltaE (color difference index) greater than or equal to 2.0 or the absolute value of the contrast greater than or equal to 0.05 when modeled against natural conditions.|
|Plume Blight||Absolute Contrast||Refined Analysis: No further analysis will likely be requested if a new or modified source can show that impacts from a new or modified source will stay with the threshold of DeltaE <1.0 and |C| <0.02 modeled against natural conditions.|
|Plume Blight||Color Difference Index||Screening Analysis: For near field sources (within 50 km of a Class I area), no additional analysis will be requested if screening analysis of a new or modified source can demonstrate that its emissions will not cause a plume with hourly estimates of DeltaE (color difference index) greater than or equal to 2.0 or the absolute value of the contrast greater than or equal to 0.05 when modeled against natural conditions.|
|Plume Blight||Color Difference Index||Refined Analysis: No further analysis will likely be requested if a new or modified source can show that impacts from a new or modified source will stay with the threshold of DeltaE <1.0 and |C| <0.02 when modeled against natural conditions.|
|AQRV Type: WATER|
|Sensitive Receptor||Sensitive Receptor Indicator||Thresholds|
|Aquatic Organisms||Chemistry||Effective sulfur deposition may significantly impact aquatic organisms at levels above 11 kg/ha/yr. Total sulfur plus 20% of nitrogen deposition at levels exceeding 14 kg/ha/yr may cause ANC loss that would impact aquatic organisms.|
|Perennial Streams||Chronic Acid Neutralizing Capacity||To maintain healthy biological functioning in perennial streams, the chronic acid neutralizing capacity must be >= 25 ueq/l. Acid neutralizing capacity below 10 ueq/L (the red line) are expected to cause adverse impacts.|
|Perennial Streams||Episodic Acid Neutralizing Capacity||To maintain healthy biological functioning in perennial streams, the episodic acid neutralizing capacity must be >= 0 ueq/l.|
|Pollutant Exposure Concern Thresholds|
|Pollutant Exposures||Level Name||Thresholds|
|S+20%N||Red Line||Total sulfur plus 20% of nitrogen deposition at levels exceeding 14 kg/ha/yr may cause ANC loss that would impact aquatic organisms.|
|Sulfur||DEPOSITION||The target load for sulfur deposition is 0 kg/ha/yr.|
|Sulfur||EXCEEDANCE||The Deposition Analysis Threshold for sulfur deposition below which estimated impacts from a source are considered negligible is 0.010 kg/ha/yr.|
|County(s):||Grant, Randolph, Tucker|
|Forest Service Administrative Unit(s):||Eastern Region (Region 9) -- Monongahela National Forest|
|Elevation Range:||2,620 - 4,122 feet|
|Detailed wilderness information:||https://www.wilderness.net|
|GIS Map/Official Boundary:||https://www.wilderness.net/NWPS/|