By Joanne Kendrick
Chair, Dark-Sky Committee
Keep Sedona Beautiful
Sedona AZ (August 13, 2014) – Keep Sedona Beautiful is very excited that Sedona has been named the 6th International Dark-Sky Community in the US and the 8th in the world! We thank the community for their support in pursuing this well-deserved designation from the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).
In the August 6 edition of the Red Rock News, Sedona Councilwoman Barbara Litrell was quoted, “On one hand we don’t meet the criteria [for a Dark-Sky Community designation by the IDA] and on the other hand we don’t deserve it.” Fortunately, it is the IDA who determines whether Sedona meets the stringent requirements to be named a Dark-Sky Community and it is the IDA who determines whether Sedona deserves it.
To set the record straight: the IDA did not lower its standards when it designated Sedona as a Dark-Sky Community. In fact, Sedona was held to a higher standard than the Dark-Sky Communities designated before because the IDA raised the bar specifically for Sedona, not for any other applicant for the Dark-Sky Community designation before Sedona’s.
The additional IDA outdoor lighting requirements levied on the City were met when two new lighting policies were adopted by the City Council on June 24, 2014. With this, the IDA determined Sedona had passed the higher-bar hurdle and granted Sedona the Dark-Sky Community designation.
And from now on, all applicants for the Dark-Sky Community designation by the IDA will be held to that higher standard. Sedona’s successful efforts for earning the designation thus set the bar higher than it was before, and as a result will make all future Dark-Sky Communities even better.
This designation calls for celebration by all who proclaim to care for Sedona’s dark sky, and for working together to preserve dark skies for future generations.
If you need further verification of the Sedona Dark-Sky Community designation, please contact John Barentine at the IDA office in Tucson, John@darksky.org.
In response, a Letter to the Editor by Juliette Colangelo
Big higher standard….. Where was it when we needed it? Payoff to ADOT and their funded “study” to say we kept our dark skies. Don’t know how we lost our view of the milky way then….BUT Hey, we’re better than Dallas! So I guess that’s why we got a newbie from Dallas chairing that committee.