80°F
weather icon Clear

Dark skies bill moves through legislature

The Nevada Senate has recently passed a bill to form a “Dark Sky Places” program that would encourage communities around the state, including those in Nye County, to recognize and foster the growing importance of dark skies.

The bill aims to amend the statute authorizing the Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation to create a program to award a state-level dark sky designation for communities working voluntarily to celebrate and preserve the dark sky natural resources that they have in abundance.

SB52 also promotes responsible lighting practices and other methods to reduce light pollution from the built environment to help preserve dark skies. The bill recognizes the communities and places in Nevada working to promote and conserve their outdoor recreation opportunities, sustainably and responsibly, including the vast dark skies that many of these communities enjoy, said Colin Robertson, administrator of the Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation.

“SB52 leverages the new Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation to educate and inform the public about the importance, benefits, and value of Nevada’s dark night skies,” Robertson said in an email.

The main goal of the legislation is to encourage communities across the state to recognize and work to foster the growing importance of dark sky - and outdoor recreation-driven preservation and tourism in local, especially rural, communities, Robertson said. Communities across the state would be eligible to participate in the program.

There is a growing body of evidence pointing to the importance of rural community and economic development driven by outdoor recreation and outdoor recreation-based tourism, particularly in rural communities, Robertson said.

Another big goal of the legislation is to encourage communities in Nevada that are working to diversify their economies “around sustainable outdoor recreation to include healthy, fun, safe opportunities to recreate at night, too, and to work to conserve and protect the dark sky resources in those communities,” Robertson said.

The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate Natural Resources Committee and then passed again unanimously by the full Senate last week. The next steps include Assembly Natural Resources Committee review, and if passed, it would undergo full Assembly review.

If approved by the Assembly, the bill would be submitted to Governor Steve Sisolak to become law.

THE LATEST
LGBTQ foster recruitment a focus for Pride Month

If you want to make a real difference in the life of children in rural Nevada, become a foster care provider.

Post-primary: 2 commission seats decided

The Nevada primary is meant to narrow down party selections ahead of the November general election, but for some local races, Nye County voters voiced their final decisions on Tuesday.

GALLERY: DAV BBQ offers an afternoon of camaraderie

Camaraderie. It’s something felt in all sorts of groups but undoubtedly one of the strongest senses of camaraderie can be found among those who have served their country.

Nye County Water District scores its first grant

The Nye County Water District has secured its first ever grant, a fact that has officials feeling excited and optimistic about the momentum that the district is finally seeing.

Death Valley worker dies in crash

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. — A gofundme account has been established for the family of a Death Valley National Park employee who died following a vehicle crash there late last month.