Keep it dark
Why do we live here?
First, for community. This is just a great place to be.
Second, for the natural beauty that surrounds us.
Let’s break down part two: Daytime. Mountains, clouds, trees in breathtaking patterns we see and feel every day.
Night. The sky closes down the terrestrial but opens up the heavens. We see the Milky Way! When it is clear, our stars are amazing. And the Aurora Borealis too! When it glows, unbelievable, but just a little bit of extra light, and no Aurora. Most of the people on earth can no longer see even the Milky Way. But here, we still can.
Not many places in Washington still have such a night sky, but we could lose it with more and more growth. We need some conscious effort to protect our dark sky.
Request: If you have outdoor lights that are brighter than the brightest star (Sirius) at a distance, please reduce the light going out (use shields, motion detector or turned off). When we need to use outdoor lights, like off-loading something (I do this), or welcoming friends, good. Use until the task is done. Outdoor lighting should be managed. (And thank you to so many who do this.)
I suspect lights are unlikely to deter our limited property crime here. A motion detector is a good option. Startle the bad ones, and the lurking predators. Animal migrations are also affected.
We are doing pretty good across the valley, but if you have an outdoor light, particularly ones with long visual sight distance (hilltops, etc.), please reduce it somehow to help protect our precious night sky.
Two recent books published about the Supreme Court case that changed environmental law forever, and incidentally saved the Methow Valley, are well worth reading. All the world’s troubles stem from ignorance of the relationship of nature to overpopulated and over consuming humanity.
Disney’s empire and the ski lift industry personify all our problems, and that’s why I just reviewed these two books in these pages.
They both detail the good, the bad and the ugly, about why the Sierra Club’s Legal Defense Fund evolved into Earthjustice here, and Ecojustice in Canada. They are why and how we have a Redwood National Park, an expanded Sequoia National Park, and saved Jumbo from becoming another large ski lift resort. Please read both books: “Dawn at Mineral King Valley,” and “Disneyland on the Mountain.”