Idaho Nature January 08, 2018
This Region In Idaho Is The Very First Of Its Kind In The Entire Country
Idaho was just nationally recognized for something pretty amazing. The International Dark Sky Association officially named a portion of Idaho as the country’s very first dark sky reserve. Idahoans have long been aware that we have the very best night skies which are perfect for gazing up at the stars. Idaho skies are one of the greatest perks of living in the Gem State. However, it’s pretty cool that our wonderful state is getting recognition from the rest of the world about just how awesome our skies are. This amazing region can truly be found only in Idaho!
Idahoans know that one of the best things about our state is getting such a spectacular glimpse of the night sky every night. Our skies are simply unparalleled by any other place in the country.
A huge portion of Central Idaho was just designated as a "dark sky reserve", proving that we really do have the best skies in the country.
No other place in America has this designation except for Idaho. Regions must "possess an exceptional or distinguished quality of night sky, view of the stars and nocturnal environment" in order to get this special designation, according to the
International Dark Sky Association website.
Not only was it named a dark sky reserve, but it was even given "Gold Tier" status which is the highest status based on the quality of the night sky.
Gold Tier status means that Central Idaho's light pollution is so low that almost nothing comes in the way of viewing the pristine night sky. In the reserve, you can even view interstellar dust clouds of the Milky Way. How cool is that?
The dark sky reserve officially takes up about 1,416 square miles of Central Idaho.
The reserve encompasses towns like Stanley, Ketchum, and Sun Valley and the vast Sawtooth Wilderness Area. It's the third largest reserve in the world. There are only 12 dark sky reserves total. Idaho now stands in the ranks alongside magnificent places like Aoraki Mackenzie in New Zealand, Westhavelland in Germany, and Mont-Mégantic in Québec.
Research shows that the Milky Way is obscured by light pollution for about 80% of Americans.
However, here in Idaho we value our night skies and therefore limit light pollution to a minimum. Both Blaine and Custer counties have approved ordinances in the past which limit light pollution, ensuring residents can view the glimmering Milky Way.
There's only a few places in the country where you can get a good view of the night sky filled with stars and galaxies. However, Idaho is now officially the one place in the country with the darkest skies.
It's probably about time for you to plan an overnight trip to one of these Central Idaho communities! To learn more about the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve,
What do you think about this exciting news? Be sure to check out this
gorgeous time lapse footage of the Milky Way over Idaho.