The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) Night Skies Program contributes to the recognition of certain outstanding NPS lands as dark sky places. A combination of efforts including measuring resource condition, within- park outdoor lighting control, education outreach for visitors, and engagement with surrounding communities helps establish and maintain such places. In certain circumstances, communities and protected areas join forces in a cooperative effort to preserve the natural nocturnal environment of a region. One recent example, the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative, is taking lighting, conservation, and educational steps to fulfill the mission of the NPS Call To Action- Starry Starry Night. This voluntary initiative forms America’s first Dark Sky Cooperative, and links communities, tribes, businesses, state/federal agencies, and citizens in a collaborative effort to celebrate the view of the cosmos, minimize the impact of outdoor lighting, and ultimately restore natural darkness to the area. We[AN1] present progress and accomplishments of established dark sky parks and reserves in the western U.S., with particular emphasis on public response to the actions taken and the results achieved.
AUTHORS/INSTITUTIONS: D.M. Duriscoe, N. Ament, Night Skies Program, U.S. National Park Service, Bishop, California, UNITED STATES