NOAO < EDUCATION < FM2.6.04

Night Sky preservation and restoration in U.S. National Parks

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.

Dan Duriscoe

AUTHORS/INSTITUTIONS: D.M. Duriscoe, N. Ament, Night Skies Program, U.S. National Park Service, Bishop, California, UNITED STATES

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