Dark Sky Champions – Highlights from the 2020 Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit

Dark Sky Champions – Highlights from the 2020 Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit

Two sessions featuring guest panelists from across Utah

The Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative in collaboration with the National Parks Conservation Association helped to develop two “dark-sky-themed” sessions for Utah’s 2020 Outdoor Recreation Summit. Now that the Summit is over, we are thrilled to share the sessions with you! Find links and descriptions below!


Utah is home to some of the darkest skies in the nation and is a national leader in dark sky protection and preservation. Community leaders throughout Utah recognize natural nighttime darkness as an important natural resource and understand the economic, ecological and cultural value of protecting the dark. Watch this panel session from the 2020 Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit if you want to better understand the benefits of protecting dark skies, how community leaders are achieving their goals, and important lessons learned.


According to the New World Atlas of Artificial Night Sky Brightness, nearly 80 percent of North Americans can no longer see the Milky Way due to light pollution. Places where the night skies are free from artificial light pollution have become increasingly popular tourist destinations. Astronomical tourism, or “astro tourism,” is a form of nature-based tourism specifically concerned with the viewing of celestial objects, space and the physical universe. In this session we will explore what it means to be a dark-sky-friendly community, delve into the economic benefits of astro-tourism, and highlight a variety of night sky conservation efforts throughout the state of Utah.


Town of Torrey Earns Utah’s First International Dark Sky Community Designation

Helper, Utah Certified as International Dark Sky Community

Moab’s Amazing Night Skies

Boulder Night Sky

Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks

Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation

Utah Office of Tourism

National Parks Conservation Association

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