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Know the West

Outen the lights

  I am glad to know someone with the Park Service is concerned about preserving the night sky (HCN, 12/10/07). My husband and I have sat on the edge of Bryce Canyon as well as Mesa Verde, both rims of the Grand Canyon and Zion at night enjoying the starlit sky and seeing the Milky Way, which used to be visible from our backyard. In addition to the amount of light pollution from distant cities surrounding the parks, however, my concern is the amount of light within the park that obstructs nighttime viewing. When we stayed in the Far View Lodge at Mesa Verde a couple of years ago, I was disappointed to step out of my room on the very top of the mesa and be blinded by the lights in the parking lot. After months of waiting for our rim-view cabin on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, I couldn't believe the guests in the cabin next to ours felt the need to leave the outdoor light on the entire night! On the edge of the Grand Canyon! Please cap all lights in the national parks and set an example for the rest of the country!

Joanne Bergman
Lawrence, Kansas