Magazine article Sunset

Starstruck

Magazine article Sunset

Starstruck

Article excerpt

Chad Moore, founder and program manager of the National Park Service's Night Sky Program, works to preserve one of the West's last best places--our dark sky.

My dad was in the Navy, and when we were stationed in Honolulu, my parents got me a telescope. I'd go out to observe the night sky from the beach--there was no farther place to go to escape the city light. It made me aware of the finiteness of our resources.

THE CUTTING EDGE I moved the program from Bryce Canyon, Utah, to Fort Collins because while Bryce Canyon is in the heart of dark sky country, Fort Collins is the place to save it. It's on the front lines--Colorado State University and the National Park Service's science and technology center are here. It's also on the doorstep of the West: The prairies end and, a half-mile from where I'm standing, the Rockies start. I think this contrast between dense cities and wild places is what draws so many scientists and green technology to Colorado.

HOW IT ALL STARTED I was working at Pinnacles National Monument in Northern California and by 1998, in the two years I'd been there, the skies had gotten brighter from light pollution. …

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