Responsible Lighting in Saskatchewan
Cypress Hills Dark-Sky Preserve
September 28, 2004
On September 28, 2004 at approximately 10:00 pm CST, a declaration was made creating a unified CYPRESS HILLS DARK-SKY PRESERVE. It was signed at the Cypress Hills West Block Ranger's Station in Saskatchewan, Canada and includes Cypress Hills Centre Block (SK), Cypress Hills West Block (SK), Cypress Hills West Block (AB) and Fort Walsh National Historic Site (SK). Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park (CHIPP) is now the largest Dark-Sky Preserve in Canada with a total of 39,600 hectares (97,800 acres).
The signing took place as part of the Canadian Parks Council Conference, where about 70 park managers from all across Canada and the northwest U.S. were in attendance to witness this historical event. The Dark Sky Preserve was formed through a partnership of Saskatchewan Environment, Alberta Community Development, Canada Parks agency and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC). Representing the RASC at the ceremony were Bob King (Calgary, AB), Vance Petriew (Regina, SK) and Richard Huziak (Saskatoon, SK). Park Managers Brad Mason (CHIPP SK) , Rick Goett (CHIPP SK), Julie MacDougall (CHIPP AB) and David Rohatensky (Ft. Walsh) are delighted at the declaration and look forward to protecting their natural dark skies environmentally, historically and culturally for park visitors to enjoy.
Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Centre Block has been the home of the annual Saskatchewan Summer Star Party (SSSP) for the past 8 years. Amateur astronomers from all over the world come to the SSSP to enjoy the dark skies and natural beauty the park has to offer.
National Light Pollution Abatement
OnAugust 6, 2005, The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada presented it's National Light Pollution Abatement Award to the agencies involved with the CYPRESS HILLS DARK-SKY PRESERVE. Over 250 amateur astronomers attending the annual Saskatchewan Summer Star Party were on hand to witness the event.
In May 2005, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada voted to award its National Light Pollution Abatement Award to Alberta Community Development, Saskatchewan Environment and Parks Canada Agency for their work in reducing light pollution within the Cypress Hills Dark-Sky Preserve.
Richard Huziakfrom the RASC - Saskatoon Centre officiated the ceremony held in the Cypress Hills Resort Inn. Vance Petriew, from the RASC - Regina Centre, presented the awards on behalf of Peter Jedicke, President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and on behalf of all 27 RASC Centres across Canada.
Accepting the award on behalf of Alberta Community Development was Rosemary Jones, Planning Team Leader. Keith Bocking, Heritage Appreciation Team Leader and Aaron Domes, Visitor Services Officer were also in attendance from Alberta.
Assistant Deputy Minister, David Phillips, accepted the award on behalf of Saskatchewan Environment. Brad Mason, CHIPP Saskatchewan Park Manager, Rick Goett, CHIPP Saskatchewan Park Supervisor, Melody Nagel-Hisey, CHIPP Naturalist where in attendance from Saskatchewan.
Cheryl Penny, Superintendent South Saskatchewan Field Unit, accepted the award on behalf of Parks Canada Agency. David Rohatensky, Fort Walsh National Historic Site Manager, was also in attendance from Saskatchewan.
In Elkwater, Alberta, the RASC - Calgary Centre recently instituted a light bulb exchange program to provide better outdoor lighting for cottagers. On the Saskatchewan side, cottage owners unanimously agreed to support the Dark-Sky initiatives within Cypress Hills Centre Block.
For new releases of this event visit the following websites:
Royal Astronomical Society of Canada News Release