Pollution of dark night skies with artificial light is a problem in much of the world. We have only begun to explore its ecological effects, such as impacts on migrating birds, turtles, and other species, as well as possible impacts on predator processes and plant dynamics whose phenology depends on day length.
National parks represent some of the last opportunities to protect nighttime darkness. We can often identify specific sources of light pollution outside of park boundaries, and work with our neighbors to modify them. We also need to identify sources of light pollution generated by the National Park Service within parks and take steps to ensure that our lighting systems in parking lots, maintenance yards, and other facilities are properly designed.
- Manning, R., E. Rovelstad, C. Moore, J. Hallo, and B. Smith. 2015. Indicators and standards of quality for viewing the night sky in the national parks. Park Science 32(2).
- Smith, B.L. and J.C. Hallo. 2013. A system-wide assessment of night resources and night recreation in the U.S. national parks: A case for expanded definitions. Park Science 29(2): 54–59.
- Henderson D., M.A. Yocke and H. Hogo. 1985. Night Sky—A Valuable Resource In the Nation's National Parks. Park Science 6(1):18–19. (244 KB PDF)