Lake County is Largest International Dark Sky Sanctuary

LAKE COUNTY, Ore. — You’ve heard of state and national parks but have you heard of Dark Sky Sanctuaries? These protected areas focus not only on the land itself, but the sky above it. The sky can be protected for scientific value, for the public to enjoy, or for cultural heritage.

Oregon’s Outback, largely including Lake County, was named the largest International Dark Sky Sanctuary. The skies above the sanctuary’s 2.5 million acres are some of the darkest in the world.

We spoke with Bob Hackett, the executive director for Travel Southern Oregon, who said, “There’s a certain quietness out enjoying this kind of special sky. It’s one of the quietest places on the planet out there. And I think it’s in that spirit really that most people will appreciate these pristine night skies.”

Stargazers, both aspiring and practicing, can head to Lake County for those breathtaking views.

The move is also so exciting, that Governor Tina Kotek presented the Oregon Governor’s Award for travel and tourism achievement to the Oregon Outback Dark Sky Network. The award was given at the Oregon Governor’s Conference on Monday.

Lake County Libraries can also help you make the most out of those celestial views by checking out one of their ‘night sky adventure kits’. The kits come with instructions, star charts, a sky quality meter, and more for stargazers to enjoy.

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Taylor Owen produces and anchors NBC5 News Your Place @7. The Orange County, California native graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in English Literature. Taylor knew she wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest and moved to Southern Oregon after graduation. Taylor started at NBC5 as a receptionist. Soon, however, her writing and organizational skills were noticed, launching her new career in journalism. In her spare time, Taylor has her nose in a good book. She loves the classics.
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