The Western Night Skies Council

The preservation and protection of the dark sky is inherently a regional effort, and connection, communication and collaboration among dark-sky advocates often leads to greater success. In an effort to provide a platform for increased communication, connection, and collaboration among dark-sky advocates throughout the Western States, the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative in partnership with the GNAR Initiative is spearheading the formation of a Western Night Skies Council.


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

Click here to download a pdf overview of the Western Night Skies Council

About the Council

The vision for the Western Night Skies Council (WNSC) is to provide a platform for increasing dialogue, sharing resources and information, and providing mutual support for the diverse groups of night sky conservation advocates throughout the Western United States.

The council is composed of 12-15 core members representing state and federal agencies, community leaders, tribal nations, educational institutions, non-profits, and local businesses throughout the West. Core council members will have an opportunity to meet virtually on a quarterly basis. The structure of these meetings will be determined based on group input, preferences, and goals.

In addition to council meetings, there will be quarterly webinars open to all interested participants. Webinar sessions will provide opportunities for showcasing dark-sky advocacy work, knowledge and skill-sharing, interactive Q&A’s, network building, and other opportunities to learn and connect. Webinars will be recorded and eventually build a Western Night Skies video library.

Desired Outcomes

While specific goals and priorities will be determined by council members, the following are 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

Western Night Sky Council Webinar Series

Open to all who wish to participate!

2020 Schedule coming soon!

Council Kick-Off Meeting

*Note that council meetings are by invitation only. All are welcome to participate in WNSC Webinars (see above).

Council members are invited to participate in a kick-off meeting in early October to discuss the WNSC, determine basic goals, and discuss ideas for the first Western Night Skies Council Webinar.

Resources (Coming Soon)

  • WNSC Webinar Library: a library of recorded video webinars.
  • Cosmic Connections Board: Projects, internships, and career opportunities for students and young professionals.
  • Council Member Contact Page: Want to connect with a council member from your State? Find the information you need here.
  • 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.

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.