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Advocates propose dark sky designation for swath of SE Oregon

A map shows a broad expanse of southeast Oregon where the dearth of light pollution makes dark, star-lit night sky possible. The bright splotches show the relative brightness detected in and around population centers. (International Dark Sky Association)

Known for its fertile fields, vast rangelands and rugged scenery, Malheur County has another critical resource that’s rapidly diminishing across the globe – a night sky relatively free from artificial light.

That loss of dark sky elsewhere has sparked a movement to celebrate and preserve the remaining dark sky areas.

In Oregon, advocates are focusing on the remote territory known as the Oregon Outback and have organized as the Outback Dark Sky Network. Their goal is to nominate a swath of Lake, Harney and Malheur counties as the Oregon Outback Dark Sky Sanctuary through the International Dark Sky . . .