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Preserving Dark Skies in the North Fork Valley - Delta County Independent - Sep 9, 2020

On Sept. 3, the Black Canyon Astronomical Society (BCAS) met with Aaron Watson, director of Dark Skies Paonia, to discuss recent and future efforts to maintain dark skies in the North Fork Valley.

Watson started by showing a light pollution map of the area, in which Grand Junction and Montrose caused the most dense light pollution in the immediate area, while a small patch of light pollution could be seen near Paonia — Watson said that the light comes from coal mining operations upvalley rather than the town itself.

With potential to be designated as a dark sky town, the process has been underway to reduce light pollution in the area.

“A survey was done in Paonia at the beginning of the year, asking residents how they felt about dark skies,” Watson said. “An overwhelming majority, I think it was up near 80% of residents, put that they were in favor of dark skies in Paonia. We have a strong base of support here.” Read more...

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