Announcing a New Home for the Dark Sky Cooperatives

Announcing a New Home for the Dark Sky Cooperatives

The Institute of Outdoor Recreation & Tourism at USU becomes new home to the Western Dark Sky Cooperatives

Read the full announcement here

Exciting New Beginnings in 2022!

We have some exciting news! The Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range Dark Sky Cooperatives will be working with the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism (IORT) at Utah State University, our new home base! In a new partnership, IORT and the Natural Sound and Natural Night Sky Division of the National Park Service have joined together to support the work of the Cooperatives through their leadership, technical support, and outreach. This is a great opportunity to broaden the exposure of each Cooperative and to build new connections.

The Program Coordinators, Aubrey Larsen, representing the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative, and Ashley Pipkin, representing the Basin and Range Dark Sky Cooperative, will continue as the primary contact and lead for each respective group.

Starting in February, the Dark Sky Cooperatives will begin a joint monthly newsletter/ spotlight campaign that will be hosted by both the Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range Dark Sky Cooperatives, alternating between months. This month we are sharing the press release announcing the new partnership.

For the full press release, continue reading below…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 21, 2022

Contact: Jordan W. Smith, Ph.D.
Director, Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
Utah State University
jordan.smith@usu.edu

The Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism at Utah State University partners with the National Park Service and becomes the home of western dark sky cooperatives. The night skies across much of the American West are some of the darkest in North America. However, opportunities to see deep into the night sky are being threatened by light pollution. Through concerted efforts to conserve dark night skies, the American West can continue to provide opportunities to gaze up and ponder the vastness of not only our galaxy, but the thousands of galaxies that we are just beginning to learn about.

To preserve access for public inspiration, education, and enjoyment of western night skies, the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism at Utah State University is partnering up with the National Park Service and becoming the home of the Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range Dark Sky Cooperatives. Each cooperative brings together local, state, and federal land management agencies with tribal partners, businesses, and nonprofits to celebrate the cosmos, minimize the impact of outdoor lighting, protect and restore natural darkness, and promotes astronomy-based outdoor recreation and tourism. The new partnership capitalizes on the management and policy leadership of the National Park Service and the educational and training leadership of the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.

The work of the Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range Dark Sky Cooperatives spans four objectives:

  • Coordination & Network Building. The Cooperatives coordinate efforts, communicate effectively, share resources and information, and provide mutual support to the larger network of dark sky advocates throughout their respective regions.
  • Outreach & Education. The Cooperatives assist in the creation, promotion, facilitation, and improvement of the public’s understanding of the benefits and implications of night sky conservation.
  • Tools, Guides, & Resources. The Cooperatives support, create, and share actionable tools, guides, and resources that support landscape scale approaches to dark sky conservation.
  • Support & Technical Assistance. The Cooperatives provide direct support and technical assistance to build the knowledge and capacity of stakeholders relative to their own dark sky conservation goals and activities.
LEARN MORE

If you would like to learn more about either the Colorado Plateau or Basin and Range Dark Sky Cooperative, please visit cpdarkskies.org or brdarkskies.org. If you would like to learn more about how your organization can get involved with the cooperatives, please reach out to Lisa Stoner (IORT Assistant Director of Outreach and Education; lisa.stoner@usu.edu .

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