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Harney County After Dark: Dark Skies Presentation
For billions of years, night on this planet was lit only by the moon and stars, and life evolved under regular cycles of bright days and dark nights. All that has changed in the last 130 years, and night on Earth is now liberally colonized with artificial light. The overabundance of light at night has dire ecological consequences for plants, birds, fish, amphibians and other wildlife, as well as for human health and culture.
In this talk, we will delve into the importance of darkness for nocturnal wildlife as well as for the billions of migrating birds that use starry night skies to navigate. We will briefly explore the night’s wondrous mysteries and the incredible natural resource that we have right here in southeastern Oregon—the largest intact area of pristine dark skies in the lower 48 states! Astrotourism is on the rise, and some of the best world class dark skies in Oregon are found above Steens Mountain, the Alvord Desert, Hart Mountain, Summer Lake and Malheur NWR.