Thursday, August 14, 2014

Think Globally, Act Locally  near Doss

The International Dark-Sky Association awarded Enchanted Rock SNA coveted International Dark Sky Park status. 

When ERSNA Superintendent Doug Cochran first arrived last summer, he told me his primary objective was to honor the TPWD mission statement:  To manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.  Doug and TPWD has indeed made good on this objective, and the daunting 106 page application for the designation shows, step by step, how he, TPWD, and a host of passionate volunteers have committed to the dark sky movement in the past, present, and future.

ERSNA Interpretive Ranger Scott Whitener educates park visitors, and a lot of that is focused on night sky issues with school presentations, full moon hikes, and star parties.

Fredericksburg Astronomy Club member Jason Fry conducted studies of the level of light for the application.

Friends of Enchanted Rock president Melissa Mial, who helped with the application and coordinated efforts for programs and connections.

Mayors Mike Viredell (Llano) and Jeryl Hoover (Fredericksburg), Fredericksburg CVB president Ernie Loeffler, HCA executive director Christy Muse, and TPWD executive director Carter Smith, all participated with letters of support..

Park neighbor Steve Muckelroy sent a letter pledging to use only dark sky friendly lighting in his building plans.  

McDonald Observatory's Bill Wren made many visits here to educate both government officials and the public about the issue, and has done so tirelessly for many years.  Fredericksburg area HCA dark sky committee members kept the issue on the front burner with area residents and government.

Lance Allred wrote the history and the introduction for the application.  Nita Hazle wrote the piece on vernal pools.

Kendric Kattner, Houston attorney and astronomer, wrote an outdoor lighting ordinance for Fredericksburg to consider, also put in many hours pulling together the application.  He donated and set up the night sky light monitor and computer equipment required by IDA.  

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead  

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