Sedona City Council To Vote On Receiving Dark Sky Label

September 09, 2013

Sedona City Council will decide whether it is going to take a stand on light pollution. It votes Monday on a resolution to seek approval from the International Dark-Sky Association. The label would both applaud Sedona’s dark skies and set guidelines to keep them that way. The International Dark-Sky Association has only recognized four communities in the world for preserving the darkness of their night skies. Requirements include having a code to address over-lighting and holding dark-sky awareness events.

Flagstaff was the first such community, and Sedona Mayor Rob Adams thinks his city should be next. He said keeping the night skies dark is a quality of life issue.

"It’s almost like looking at the red rocks, you know. When you look at the sky and you see how brilliant the stars are – it just, you know, it has an impact on your soul," Adams said.

Councilwoman Barbara Litrell said she also loves dark skies but cannot support an official designation. She said Sedona skies suffered a big loss in 2012 when the Arizona Department of Transportation installed more than 100 lights along the main highway in town. Litrell said Sedona had a chance to stand up for its night sky.

"We missed one of our greatest opportunities to do so, and now we seek to be rewarded with a Dark-Sky designation. It doesn’t add up to me," Litrell said. "I don’t feel comfortable putting those two things together and saying, 'It works.'"

But others in the city have felt comfortable. The Dark-Sky designation is already supported by the chamber of commerce and board of supervisors in Yavapai and Coconino counties.