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3 more Utah state parks awarded International Dark Sky Park status

The Milky Way Over Kodachrome Basin State Park.
Ryan Andreasen

SALT LAKE CITY — Three more Utah state parks — Jordanelle, Kodachrome Basin and Rockport — have been awarded International Dark Sky Park status.

According to the Utah Division of State Parks, the latest designations brings the total of designated dark sky state parks to eight, the most in the nation. In total, there are 21 officially designated dark sky places in the state.

Jeff Rasmussen, Utah State Parks director, acknowledged the effort that has been put toward attaining these designations saying, “I have proudly supported our state park system’s contribution to Utah’s global leadership in the number of designated International Dark Sky Places. Jordanelle, Rockport and Kodachrome Basin state parks’ staff, interns, volunteers and partners have worked tirelessly over the past five years to help these parks earn this international honor.”

The International Dark Sky Association, which awards the designation, says the certification does not carry legal or regulatory authority. Instead, it demonstrates a commitment by parks to improve night skies through the use of more energy-efficient, sustainable lighting. Certification also reaffirms the park’s commitment to educate the public and nearby communities about the importance of good lighting and opportunities to work together toward common goals.