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Encompassing towns, NF, new dary-sky preserve in Idaho totuted as model of collaboration

With August comes the Perseid meteor shower, that time of year when Earth passes through a cloud of cometary dust and gravel that can produce hundreds of shooting stars in a single night. The annual phenomenon reminds us that all of humanity resides upon a single stone hurtling through space at breathtaking speed. Closer to home, it also reminds us of the growing problem of light pollution, which each year prevents most Americans from seeing the Perseids and other common celestial events.

Fortunately, awareness of the value of natural darkness is building. One promising new development is the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve, an oasis of wilderness located about 150 miles east of Boise. Last December the reserve was recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association as the world’s 12th Dark Sky Reserve and the first designation of its kind in the United States. The reserve, which was years in the making, reflects collaboration among municipalities, land managers, private citizens and others. Their work demonstrates that communities can enjoy the modern benefits of well-lit lives without sacrificing the wonders of the night sky.


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