International Dark Sky Places

Stars over Big Bend National Park by Tyler Nordgren

   Interest in our International Dark Sky Places is on the
   rise.  Learn all about them here.>>

Contact:

Robert Wagner
Board Member
International Dark-Sky Association
http://www.darksky.org
Kansas City, MO
Cell 913-244-7608

 

Night Sky Protection Act 2009 – Press Release 1/23/09

For Immediate Release

 

Night Sky Protection legislation was filed in the Kansas House this week and can be viewed at: http://www.kslegislature.org/bills/2010/2064.pdf


Night Sky Protection legislation is expected to be filed in Missouri in the upcoming weeks. The Act requires the states to monitor Light Pollution in protected areas including state parks that allow camping and military installations with night training requirements. After documenting Light Pollution origins, the state will publish voluntary compatible development guidelines to help communities control Light Pollution, save money and preserve natural skies for observation, recreation and training. The Act proposes a statewide goal of near natural visibility conditions by 2055 for protected areas.


Potential negative effects of Light Pollution on training is encouraging military interest in this environmental problem. The Department of Defense consistently expresses a need to "train as we fight," emphasizing 24 hour operations and stressing "our fighting men and women must train in realistic, natural environments." While the military must be able to carry out their mission in remote locations where Light Pollution doesn't exist, Light Pollution throughout the Midwest has resulted in a night sky several times brighter than natural conditions. Light trespass, glare, and increased night sky brightness impairs night vision training and reduces training effectiveness. Providing natural nighttime training conditions helps our troops develop confidence in nighttime operations, improves overall operational capabilities, enhances nighttime effectiveness and ultimately minimizes casualties. In Fiscal Year 2006, the Department of Defense provided $11.8B and $3.6B to the Missouri and Kansas economies respectively.


Additional Information:
On February 9, 2009 at 7pm in the Plaster Student Union Theatre, Missouri State University is hosting a panel discussing the causes, prevention, and ecological consequences of light pollution and the challenge of preserving dark skies in our national parks. 

 

Pictures and 10-second movies of the night sky over various state parks are available on the Missouri and Kansas Night Sky Protection Act websites listed below. All photographs were taken by Robert Wagner and are available for free use. Attached is some additional information on these pictures.


“During my review of the Missouri and Kansas Night Sky Protection Acts, I found several parks in good condition but was unable to identify a state park or Federal Class 1 Area with a completely Light Pollution free night sky. To help students learn about this problem, I am offering a $100 bounty for the individual or group that can prove me wrong. This is an educational reward and I hope everyone takes the time to learn about this problem and contact their legislators for support of this Act.” Robert Wagner. See the websites below for details.


2009 International Year of Astronomy Dark Skies Awareness Project
Wyoming Light Pollution Bill filed 2009
Montana Light Pollution Bill filed 2009
Washington Light Pollution Bill filed 2009
Maine Light Pollution Bill filed 2009
Texas Light Pollution Bill proposed for 2009

 

Additional States expected to file bills this year - HI, NY, MA, NH, NM

 

Contact Information:
Stanley L. Rasmussen, Regional Counsel
Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations and Environment)
601 East 12th Street, Suite 647
Kansas City, MO 64106
Ph: 816-389-3448
Cell: 816-804-1674
Fax: 816-389-2006

 

Jason R. Holsman
State Representative 45th District
Missouri House of Representatives
201 E Capitol - 105J
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Phone: 573-751-6607

 

Jason Grill
State Representative 32nd District
Missouri House of Representatives
201 W Capitol – 109G
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Phone: 573-751-4066

 

Tom Sloan
State Representative 45th District
Kansas House of Representatives
300 SW 10th Street, Room: 110-S
Topeka, KS 66612
Phone: 785-296-7654

 

Mike Hayden
Secretary, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks
1020 S Kansas Ave 200
Topeka, KS 66612-1326
785-296-2281

 

Additional Information and Quotes from the military>>

 

Kansas Night Sky Protection Act Homepage

 

Missouri Night Sky Protection Act Homepage