“June is an appropriate month to celebrate and bring awareness to the importance of dark skies as more Coloradans [and visitors] venture outdoors with the warming weather and are awed by the brightness of the Milky Way and celestial planets.” - Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources
Excessive use of artificial light at night, also known as light pollution, can overwhelm nature's rhythms and disrupt life's ability to tune into nature’s cycles. It can also adversely affect the well-being of wildlife in numerous ways including disrupting breeding rituals of nocturnal frogs and causing birds that migrate at night to wander off course.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Library of Medicine, light pollution is increasing at twice the rate of population growth and 83% of the global population now lives under a light-polluted sky. Light pollution does not only occur in highly populated areas, but has expanded into rural areas and open spaces, diminishing Colorado’s beloved dark skies.
Respecting wildlife and being considerate of others come naturally when we plan ahead and prepare our nighttime activities with stewardship and preservation of the night sky in mind. We invite you to join the growing number of people in Colorado and around the world in protecting the nighttime environment and celebrating the night sky filled with stars as a shared heritage of all living things.
Yours in stewardship,
Tim Wolfe Dana Watts
Director Executive Director
Colorado Tourism Office Leave No Trace
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Responsible Lighting Practices from IDA-Colorado Chapter
The International Dark-sky Association and Illuminating Engineering Society provide guidance for responsible use of artificial light at night that can be applied when at home, and when recreating and camping in Colorado’s great outdoors. Responsible lighting practices include:
- Turn off lights when not in use, and use light only where and when you need it
- Keep indoor light indoors – use curtains at home and cover windows and openings in RVs, camper vans, and tents
- When light is needed, use warm color temperature lights, in particular red-light flashlights, headlamps, filters and coverings
- Use only the minimum brightness necessary
- Shield all lights and point them downward
Shareable Resources from Care for Colorado Coalition:
- Colorado Tourism Office: Colorado Stargazing: Experience the Night
- Leave No Trace: 3 Ways to Eliminate Light Pollution While Camping
- IDA: LIght Pollution Effects on Wildlife
- IDA: Lights Out Colorado Link (bird migration)
- IDA: 5 Principles of responsible lighting
- IDA Colorado Chapter - Colorado’s 15 IDA certified International Dark Sky Parks and Communities
- National Park Service (Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division)
- Colorado Parks & Wildlife: Stargazing
#CareForColorado Social Media Posts
Share any of the “Trash the Trash”’ social media posts below to encourage and inspire visitors to Care for Colorado on all their adventures. Easily use one (or all) of these ready-to-go social posts, or create your own. Don’t forget to tag @VisitColorado and @LeaveNoTraceOrg.
- Did you know that more than 80% of migrating birds travel at night? Remember to always turn off any unnecessary lights that may attract or disorient birds traveling through the night sky. This will help save energy too! #CareforColorado #LeaveNoTrace
- Before installing or replacing a light, determine if light is needed. Consider how the use of light will impact the area, including wildlife and the environment. #CareforColorado #LeaveNoTrace
- Light at camp can be a fatal attraction for insects. Animal species that rely on insects for food are negatively impacted when bugs are attracted to your campsite. Try to only use lights when you need them and remember to turn them off when you leave your site or go to bed. #CareforColorado #LeaveNoTrace
Care for Colorado Coalition “Unveil the Night” Success Stories
- 5280: Your Guide To Stargazing in Colorado
- AFAR: Colorado Could Soon Be Home to the World's Largest Dark Sky Reserve
- Wet Mountain Valley: Stargazing Content
- Spanish Peaks Country: Southern Colorado Astronomical Park
- Colorado Springs: 2022 Rocky Mountain Star Stare Annual Star Party
- Colorado National Parks and Monuments with Stargazing Programs:
Wildfire Seasonal Outlook
Governor Polis and fire agencies across the state provided their annual wildfire outlook in April, and officials warn that 2022 has the potential to be another devastating wildfire year. Current long-range forecasts indicate above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation from now into June. As such, the focus for our next Coalition meeting in June will be on fire safety and prevention. The CTO wants to also remind coalition members that we have the Crisis Communications Toolkit as a resource available to all.
Care for Colorado Coalition News
- Stewardship Member, Angler's Covey, was nominated for an Orvis award
- June 16th: Leave No Trace workshop Grand County, CO
- Colorado Concierge: Join more than 1,000 tourism professionals and become a Certified Colorado Concierge. This is a free workforce-development resource to build your Colorado expertise. Help us share Colorado-style hospitality with all visitors and residents.
If you have any news or success stories that you would like to share in next month’s newsletter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Care for Colorado Coalition
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