The Western Night Skies Council

The Western Night Skies Council (WNSC) values the preservation of the last remaining large ‘pools’ of natural darkness in the Lower 48 states and presents a platform for sharing resources and information, increasing dialogue, and providing mutual support for the diverse groups of night sky conservation advocates throughout the Western United States.

Aubrey Larsen, CPDSC Coordinator at
Jake Powell, GNAR Initiative Lead at

About the Council

Artificial sky brightness as a ratio to natural sky brightness highlighting the 11 western states.


61 International Dark Sky Parks & Places

40 + Council members

20 International Dark Sky Communities

11 Western States

2 Dark Sky Cooperatives

1 Big starry sky

The Western Night Skies Council is composed of 40+ individuals representing state and federal agencies, community leaders, tribal nations, educational institutions, non-profits, and local businesses throughout the West. The council meets virtually on a quarterly basis and hosts webinars throughout the year.

WNSC Webinar Library

Webinar Library

Check out a library of recorded webinars!

Hosted by the GNAR Initiative

The Council’s Favorite Dark-Sky Resources

@Westernnsc | linktree

Find links to the Western Night Skies Council’s favorite dark sky resources.

Western Night Skies Council

WNSC Seminar Series

Council-sponsored webinars are open to all interested participants and provide opportunities for knowledge and skill-sharing, interactive Q&A’s, network building, showcasing dark-sky advocacy work, and fostering connection, communication, and collaboration.

Dark Skies Over Public Lands

September 28, 2021 at 2:00pm MT

Where do you go to enjoy a starry night sky? For many of us the answer to this question is our public lands. Out West we are fortunate to have access to a vast number of National and State Parks, BLM lands, and National Forests to explore by day and by night. Public land managers play a key role in preserving and protecting the natural and cultural features that so many of us cherish — especially dark skies. On September 28th join a panel of public land managers as they explore the unique challenges and opportunities their organizations face when it comes to protecting dark skies over public lands.

Other Resources

  • Dark-Sky Toolbox: Dark-sky tools and resources curated by the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative.
  • GNAR Toolkit: More resources for gateway and natural amenity region communities.

Desired Outcomes

  • Increased communication and collaboration between dark-sky advocates
  • Sharing of best practices, tools, resources, information, and skills
  • Clarification as to who is doing what where
  • Amplification of night sky advocate voices
  • Decreased stigmatization of the dark skies movement
  • Entities working together that would not normally do so
  • Opportunities to connect students and young professionals with projects, internships, and career opportunities

About The Dark Sky Cooperatives & GNAR

The Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range Dark Sky Cooperatives support and promote landscape-scale night sky conservation efforts throughout two of the darkest remaining regions in the Western U.S. and the GNAR (Gateway, Natural Amenity, Recreation) Initiative aims to leverage research, education, and capacity building to assist communities, land managers, and others in gateway and natural amenity regions throughout the West in preparing for and responding to planning, development, natural resource management, and public policy challenges.