The Southwest region contains soils, natural water sources, Class I and II quality air, and geological formations. The area also contains an abundance of wildlife. The resources are monitored and protected.
Southwest soil comes from a variety of sources, including the area deserts, the Colorado Plateau, the Gypsum Dune Fields and the Uplands. Water comes from the springs, groundwater, rivers and streams and washes of the Southern Colorado Plateau, the Heiser Spring, the Southern Plains and other places. Under the Clean Air Acts of 1977, the air in the Southwest region is classified as Class II. Nine parks in the Southwest region are classified as Class I airsheds, meaning the air is naturally confined or channeled. The air in the parks is strictly monitored.
Many of the Southwestern geological formations are established national parks and are protected by law from human use. Of the 180 parks, 49 contain volcanic features and 24 have geothermal features. Each area in the Southwest is home to an indigenous species of animal, from common birds to creatures that date back to prehistoric times. Each state hosts organizations that protect and monitor resources. National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program is one of the many agencies that also monitors the area.