SLV GO! to host community information session on Sangre de Cristo Dark Sky Reserve

by Dani Robben, SLV GO!

San Luis Valley Great Outdoors (SLV GO!) will be hosting two community information sessions about the proposed Sangre de Cristo Dark Sky Reserve and its requested amendments to the county’s outdoor lighting ordinances. The community information session invites Saguache County residents to learn more about the proposed International Dark Sky Reserve, the benefits of dark skies, and how dark sky regulations actually increase lighting on the ground in your community. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in dialogue with Sangre de Cristo Dark Sky Reserve Coalition partners that are working together to preserve dark skies in an effort to combat light pollution, increase energy efficiency, enhance astro and eco-tourism in the region, improve health and safety, and to protect nocturnal wildlife and habitat.

The first community information session will be held in Saguache at the Saguache Library at 702 Pitkin Avenue on Thursday, February 17 at 5:00 p.m. The second community information session will be held in Crestone at the Baca Grande Library at 67487 CR T on Friday, February 18 at 5:00 p.m.

The International Dark Sky Association’s (IDA) International Dark Sky Places program encourages communities, parks and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through responsible lighting policies and public education. Amendments to the county’s lighting ordinances are based on the following five key principles to minimize the effect of light pollution: Lighting should 1) only be used when needed, 2) only light the area that needs it, 3) be no brighter than necessary, 4) minimize blue light emissions, and 5) be fully shielded. Newly adopted lighting ordinances would grandfather in existing lighting infrastructure and apply to new construction and potentially lighting upon replacement. The Sangre de Cristo Dark Sky Reserve Coalition intends to submit an International Dark Sky Reserve application to the IDA by the end of 2022, potentially becoming the world’s largest dark sky designated area.

San Luis Valley Great Outdoors’ (SLV GO!) mission is to provide residents and visitors throughout the San Luis Valley with accessible and inclusive outdoor recreation opportunities that balance conservation, connect communities, improve wellness, encourage stewardship, and contribute to the economic vitality of the region.

If you have any questions, please call Dani Robben at 218-407-0399, or email danirobben@slvgo.com.