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GCPBA RiverNews 6/29/16 - Grand Canyon Night Skies To Become More Spectacular

The article below is from TECHLY. Maybe we'll be able to see many more stars at night from our river camps.

The Grand Canyon’s magnificent skies are set to become even more incredible

by Ronan O'Connell
June 28, 2016

It scarcely seems possible, but the Grand Canyon is about to get even more spectacular.

One of the most visually astonishing places on the planet, this natural wonder soon will have some of the most amazing night skies in the US thanks to a plan to remove light pollution in the area.

In a joint operation by the US National Park Service and the International Dark-Sky Association, the Grand Canyon National Park has been declared a provisional “International Dark Sky Park”.

This means great effort will be taken to ensure the public lighting in the park does not pollute the natural light, allowing visitors to get even clearer views of the night sky.

IDA Executive Director Scott Feierabend said the plan could help to ensure “the Colorado Plateau remains a protective harbor for some of the best night skies in the country”.

The IDA founded its Dark Sky Places conservation program in 2001 to try foster the concept of reducing light pollution in areas with incredible night skies, with a lot of these areas located inside national parks across the world.

Under the plan, thousands of light fixtures within the Grand Canyon National Park will be upgraded to varieties which offer sufficient ground-level illumination without significantly reducing the clarity of the night sky.

IDA says that about 43 per cent of the lighting within the Grand Canyon National Park meets their criteria and does not need to be changed. The aim is to have a 100 per cent adherence rate in time for the 100th anniversary of the park in 2019.

The Park’s deputy chief of science and resource management, Jane Rodgers, is excited to see the impact of the program, saying, “Grand Canyon offers a spectacular night sky that visitors come from all over the world to experience.”

If it can achieve 100 per cent compliance, the Grand Canyon will become one of eight national parks on the Colorado Plateau which are classified as Dark Sky Parks.

GCPBA RiverNews is a service of Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association.
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1,901 Posts
Sounds like good news I 'spose. Kinda makes me wonder why National Parks should need ANY light, really, something for the rangers housing perhaps, campers have more flash lights then they need, all the visitor centers should be closed by dark anyway. Maybe they need some security lights for those pissed off at them? Ya, get rid of some of the stupid, dam culture supporting, electric light!!!!
It's sad that so many people in this country are actually SCARED of the dark, huge power waste, and loss for the soul.

2,261 Posts
Yeah, Las Vegas has a very large impact when it comes to light across the region. I swear you can even see the light from the Zion region.

That said, from what I have gleaned from soundscape and light shed studies, the impact of even reducing a little local light on night skies is exponentially larger than the effort.

Lucky to live in a place with some of the best night skies. Even in town I can go out and see more stars than my eyes/mind can fathom. Totally support the NPS in this introspective and valuable endeavor.
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