“Oregon Outback International Dark-Sky Sanctuary”
Strategy to Nominate a Landscape-scale
The nomination application goes first to IDA staff who screen it for completion. Once deemed complete, it then goes to IDSP Review Committee who reviews and makes recommendations for IDA Board approval or sends it back to the applicant for revision.
On November 5, 2021, the Oregon Outback Dark Sky Network (ODSN) submitted a pre-application to IDA to nominate “The Oregon Outback International Dark Sky Sanctuary” (IDSS). The purpose of this memorandum is to describe the project’s background and the strategy that the ODSN has pursued to ensure an efficient, streamlined the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) nomination in Southeastern Oregon that cultivates collaborative partnerships, promotes community-appropriate recreation opportunities, respects public and private lands, and leverages the opportunity to create the largest international dark sky place in the world. The primary objective behind the strategy is to yield a more beneficial and equitable nomination within the remote Oregon Outback.
A landscape-level International Dark Sky Sanctuary nomination in the Oregon Outback would benefit the region environmentally, recreationally, economically, and culturally. Given its vast size it would generate dark sky awareness throughout the Pacific Northwest Region and perhaps beyond. The ultimate sanctuary scenario of a large portion of land within three counties would be triple the size of the current largest International Dark Sky Place in the world, Death Valley National Park. Even if the nomination were to stop at Phase 1A, it would still be the largest IDSP world-wide and would be more than three times larger than the current largest IDSS. This affords an exciting opportunity among Southeastern Oregon community members, business leaders, and statewide dark sky advocates.
As there are numerous components required for an IDA nomination application, a phased approach that provides for broadened partnerships and community support at the grass-roots level is a practical means to achieve the greater vision – and most importantly – to sustain it. This memorandum was prepared to describe the nomination strategy, to invite feedback, and to further cultivate partnerships to actualize an IDSS in one of the most pristine and deserving places in the United States.
The Oregon Dark Sky Network is looking to get more sky quality measurements from citizen scientists from areas in Lake, Harney, and Malheur Counties CLOSE to or in towns and cities. It takes about 2 minutes. Anytime about 90 minutes or more after sunset is the time to take the measurement. (You don’t need cell coverage, you can check the GAN website before leaving the house, take a screenshot of the constellation to be observed and come back home and enter your response).
To learn more about Globe at Night, go to https://www.globeatnight.org/eclipse-2017/webapp/. If you capture the zodiacal light in a photo, please share it with ODSN. The next 10 days is really the best chance to see it until spring.