CARSON CITY, NV – May 21, 2021
Today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed Senate Bill 52 into law. He was joined by Lt. Governor Kate Marshall, whose Office sponsored the legislation in coordination with the Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation.
The bill establishes a voluntary, locally-led "Dark Sky Designation" program focused on protecting and enhancing Nevada's iconic night skies for their ecological, astronomical, cultural, and economic importance.
“From Lake Tahoe to Beatty to Ely, Nevada’s extraordinary dark night skies provide ample opportunity for stargazing, and this bill is a reflection of the State’s commitment to protecting our bountiful and beautiful natural resources,” said Gov. Sisolak. "The ‘Dark Sky Designation’ will help continue our focused efforts on improving our economy by helping to create opportunities for jobs and recreation businesses.”
The Nevada Dark Sky Designation Program will be developed to recognize and support local, community-led efforts to protect, conserve, and promote Nevada’s dark sky resources for their benefits.
“Nevada is home to some of the most beautiful night skies on the planet,” said Lt. Governor Marshall. “The signing and implementation of the Dark Skies Bill celebrates this uniquely Nevadan asset by encouraging protection of this public resource, while also sharing it with visitors to our state and thereby increasing tourism opportunities for rural cities and counties.”
"The Dark Skies Bill builds on Nevada’s long history of preserving our state’s amazing natural heritage,” said Colin Robertson, Administrator of the Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation. “I look forward to working with local and rural communities to solidify Nevada as a world-class dark sky destination to bolster the economy while bringing an additional form of responsible and sustainable tourism to the state.”
Dark night skies are a quickly vanishing resource across the nation. Excessive artificial “light pollution” not only impairs night-sky viewing opportunities, but can also impact public health and quality of life, outdoor recreation experiences, astronomical research, and native plant and wildlife species.
With its basin-and-range topography and natural make up, Nevada is particularly well-positioned to become a national leader in dark sky tourism. Senate Bill 52 promotes responsible energy-efficient lighting practices and other methods to preserve Nevada's natural dark skies, while advancing a sustainable outdoor recreation economy, supporting public health, and protecting the natural environment.
Photos of the bill signing are attached to this release.