Several years ago, thanks to former Goldendale Observatory Interpretive Specialist Steven Stout, Goldendale Observatory State Park in Washington State was awarded the prestigious distinction of being certified as one of the first-in-the-world Dark Sky Parks by the International Dark-Sky Association. It features one of the nation’s larger and more accessible public telescopes. Built in the late 1960’s by amateur astronomers in Vancouver, Washington, Goldendale was chosen as the location for their telescope because of the clear and dark night sky, an indispensable requirement for such a large telescope.

    Now, thanks to the historical neglect in protecting its dark sky natural resource by the City of Goldendale and Klickitat County - along with indifference and opposition from local State Park personnel to dark sky education and advocacy for protection - the Goldendale Observatory State Park has achieved a singular distinction: it is the first and only Dark Sky Place ever to be decertified by the IDA:

The whole link is frustrating. Not just for the light pollution but in how the park staff and city seemed to want to get rid of the observatory, the park itself and kick the amateur astronomers completely out of any policy or process.

Link to a light pollution map where you can see the spread of light pollution around the observatory.


These kind of maps are always of interest to me. They show just how close we are to the edge. We, being those in urban centers, and the edge being wide open land. Everything about this screams "embrace a meritocracy" to me, but then, this only really works in places with a large enough population to have experts in these topics.

posted by francopoli: 323 days ago