National parks offer areas both big and small that seek to protect the natural processes within their boundaries. However, these protected lands are not isolated islands. In many parks, factors from outside their borders have major impacts to processes inside of them. These impacts can even affect your experience as a visitor: air pollution generated far away from a park will affect air quality within the park, and a rapidly changing climate can jeopardize historic structures or alter a native ecosystem.
At just over 2 square miles, Devils Tower National Monument is a very small park unit. Many of the environmental factors affecting the park originate from outside its boundaries. Some are native to the forests and prairies of the Black Hills region. Some are human-caused. All of them provide a learning oppotunity to study how these factors affect the natural processes within park boundaries.
Some of the environmental factors studied at Devils Tower, and across the park service, include:
Last updated: April 9, 2019