Cherokee Nation also operates an air monitoring station that is sometimes referred to as the IMPROVE-Newkirk station. The Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) program is a cooperative measurement effort governed by a steering committee composed of representatives from Federal and regional-state organizations. The IMPROVE monitoring program was established in 1985 to aid the creation of Federal and State implementation plans for the protection of visibility in Class I areas (156 national parks and wilderness areas) as stipulated in the 1977 amendments to the Clean Air Act.
The Cherokee Nation was selected to participate in the program to evaluate “natural background” levels of pollution for the western IMPROVE program. This site is located on Cherokee Nation tribal lands near the old Chilocco School north of Newkirk Oklahoma.