Ordinances and the Process of Becoming a Dark Sky Community

APA Idaho


Thursday, October 12, 2017
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. MDT

CM | 1.25

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A community’s “BIG” night sky is one of its most valuable natural resources. One avenue for communities to preserve this resource is through the adoption of lighting ordinances. The cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley have taken steps towards preserving the night sky of their respective communities through the adoption of lighting ordinances. The city of Ketchum passed one of Idaho’s first dark skies ordinances in 1999, and adopted an updated version in May of 2017. The city of Sun Valley is currently in the process of updating their dark skies ordinance.

The city of Ketchum is also currently working towards becoming an accredited dark sky community with the International Dark-Sky Association. Dark Sky Communities are “places around the world that recognize and promote excellent stewardship of the night sky through responsible lighting and public education.” Additionally, both Ketchum and Sun Valley cities are working in collaboration with multiple regional partners to establish the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve.  Dark Sky Reserves are “formed through partnerships of land managers who have recognized the value of the natural nighttime environment through regulations and long-term planning.

 The first portion of this session will cover lessons learned from the representatives from the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley, focusing on the challenges of providing public education and implementation of each community’s respective approach. The second half of this session will focus on the local and regional efforts to achieve Dark Sky Community and Reserve accreditation.

 This session will provide anyone interested in light pollution management and dark sky preservation with a first-hand account of the experiences of educating and implementing a lighting ordinances designed to protect the night sky.


Betsy Mizell

Confirmed Speaker

Betsy Mizell is the community engagement associate at the Idaho conservation league. She has been working on the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve efforts for over two years. She is an avid proponent of a quality night sky. Read More

Micah Austin, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Micah Austin, AICP, has a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University and is currently the Planning and Building Director for the City of Ketchum, Idaho. Prior to working for Ketchum, Micah worked for the City of Hailey and City of Jerome. Micah also worked for the Town of Ellettsville ... Read More

Carl Anderson

Confirmed Speaker


Contact Info

Diane Kushlan, dkushlan@fiberpipe.net