The National Park Service has identified the natural soundscape as an important resource for both wildlife and park visitors. Human produced sounds, such as noise from automobiles and aircraft, can interfere with the ability of animals to detect predators or prey as well as visitor enjoyment of natural peace and the sounds of nature. The National Park Service’s efforts to address this problem include Air Tour Management Plans and Soundscape Management Plans. Acoustical monitoring of the park environments provides important input to these plans.
HMMH assisted the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in the collection of data for the Air Tour Management Plan Program. HMMH conducted long-term noise measurements and daily observations at a variety of locations in some of our National Parks, including the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Mount Zion, and Glacier National Parks. HMMH installed monitoring sites, conducted routine site maintenance, and created logs of natural and human-generated sounds at a variety of front-country and back-country sites.
The acoustic monitoring program was conducted simultaneously with visitor experience surveys. These data were input for later analysis by the Volpe Center of the relationship between aircraft noise exposure and the associated human response.