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Goblin Valley Gets International Dark Sky Park Designation

Deokpyeongbong Peak, South Korea

Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park is now officially an International Dark Sky Park. The designation announced Tuesday comes from the non-profit International Dark-Sky Association in Tucson, Arizona. Scott Feierabend is the executive director of the IDA. He says benefits of dark skies include energy saving, pollution reduction and minimizing the negative impacts of light pollution on ecosystems around the world and in backyards.

“Just losing touch of the stars and the grandeur of the universe," says Feierabend, "that we really are a small speck on the scale of grander things and not being able to look up as we once were to just the beauty and magnificence of the starlight sky I think is a, there’s a spiritual loss that we’ve suffered as well.”

Feierabend says the designation application involves commitments from the nearby community as well as state park officials to darken the night sky and educate the public about its benefits.

“So we look for community engagement that demonstrates that not just a handful of individuals really is on board with the dark sky designation and when all those things come together we have a magnificent result,” Feierabend says.

The designation process takes one to two years. Goblin Valley State Park officials plan a free celebration on the night of October 1st with a star party in the park. 

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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