Effects of Noise on Wilderness

Sweeping view of undulating, green mountains and valleys.
A vivid blue sky frames this sweeping view of undulating, green mountains and valleys.


“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” — Edward Abbey

When noise covers up natural sounds, the entire natural ecosystem shows the effects. Places of deep quiet are most vulnerable. Human noise sources stress this system, which creates a domino chain of effects for both animals and humans.

The NPS works to preserve wilderness character, and keep it unimpaired for future generations. While no park is immune to some degree of noise, soundscape management plans based on NPS policies and regulations assess noise threats and help optimize wilderness areas to their natural conditions.

Learn more about what the NPS is doing to improve soundscapes.

Last updated: February 12, 2018