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City of Rocks National Reserve achieves Dark Sky Park certification

ALMO, Idaho (KIFI) — City of Rocks National Reserve has received full certification as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).

City of Rocks National Reserve, or “City,” does not have any artificial lighting within the reserve's boundaries; thus, it preserves the night sky with minimal light pollution. City's dark skies are experienced today as they were by Shoshoneans and their ancestors, and by immigrants on the historic California Trail and early settlers.

City partnered with nearby Castle Rocks State Park to improve outdoor lighting at several locations, including an administrative unit and visitor center, to meet the certification requirements. All outdoor light fixtures in Castle Rocks State Park are now dark-sky friendly and compliant with City's lighting management plan.

“Even though City of Rocks is exceptionally dark with its current practices, they committed to lead by example by finding an avenue to demonstrate quality lighting to its visitors,” IDA’s Director of Conservation Ashley Wilson said. “It’s this level of dedication and incredible nighttime experience that warrants the coveted Dark Sky Park certification.”

City recognizes a naturally dark night sky is a shared cultural heritage and should be preserved for future generations to experience. With development encroaching from the Magic Valley of Idaho and the Salt Lake Valley of Utah, it is important to preserve what is one of the last vestiges of truly dark sky available to the public in the United States. City receives more than 120,000 visits annually and is committed to continuing to monitor light pollution near the reserve.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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