Dark skies over Oracle? Committee has inaugural meeting

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

The Milky Way rises over Oracle on June 3, 2013. Mike Weasner | Submitted

A time lapse photo of the northern sky taken June 2. 2013.
Mike Weasner | Submitted

Oracle resident and astronomer Mike Weasner (far left) addresses the Oracle Dark Sky Committee. John Hernandez | Miner

San Manuel Miner

The Oracle Dark Skies Committee had its kick off meeting Thursday, April 10 at the Kannally Ranch House in Oracle State Park. The meeting was well attended and plans are being developed to have Oracle State Park become a designated International Dark Skies Park (IDSP). Once Oracle State Park is designated as an IDSP, it will become the model for additional parks within the Arizona Parks system to follow. The IDSP designation will be good for Arizona, Pinal County, the Copper Corridor, Oracle, and the environment.

The Oracle Dark Skies Committee is being led by Mike Weasner of Oracle. He is an amateur astronomer with a BS degree in Astrophysics. Mike is a former fighter pilot, pilot instructor, former manager in the US Air Force Shuttle Program and a retired senior manager for a large aerospace company. The committee will be gathering support letters from politicians, businesses, organizations, government agencies and others as well as looking for sponsors.

The International Dark Skies Association (IDSA) is an organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the night time environment and our heritage of dark skies through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting. They are considered the authority on light pollution and are consulted by government agencies in developing lighting ordinances. The IDSA is the approving authority making Oracle State Park an International Dark Skies Park provided they meet the qualifications. It is believed that Oracle and the lower San Pedro Valley have some very good dark skies.

Achieving the International Dark Skies Park designation will bring recognition to Oracle State Park. The IDSA has thousands of members in 70 countries. They also have chapters and affiliates around the world. Other benefits the park would receive are:

• Increased educational opportunities for science projects for local schools.

• Oracle State Park and the community of Oracle would reap economic benefits from increased visitation to the area.

• County wide public relations and economic benefits from having an International Dark Sky Park in Pinal County. Visitors coming to the park would be exposed to the Copper Corridor area and Pinal County.

• Through the education of residents, light pollution will be reduced which will result in long term health, environmental, and economic benefits within Pinal County.

The Oracle Dark Skies Committee will be meeting every week on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Kannally Ranch House in Oracle State Park. If interested in volunteering, sponsoring, or would like more information contact Mike Weasner at 520-289-3402 or email: mweasner@mac.com.

John Hernandez (529 Posts)

John Hernandez lives in Oracle. He is retired and enjoys writing and traveling. He is active in the Oracle Historical Society. He covers numerous public events, researches historical features and writes business/artist profiles.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    White Bell Soap Company in Oracle, AZ, a family affair

    June 22nd, 2017
    by

      The White Bell Soap Company was started by two Oracle sisters. Diana White and Bethany Bell. The business offers […]


    Sea Lions mark second win at home; Adrian Garcia named ‘Beast of the Week’

    June 22nd, 2017
    by

      The Sea Lions Swim Team hosted a swim meet in Mammoth against the Parkside (Florence Anthem) Piranhas on Saturday […]


    Local teams open Little League Minor All Stars games in Hayden

    June 22nd, 2017
    by

      The District 11 Minor Division Little League Tournament finally got started after a few changes to the bracket caused […]


    Arizona Rick the Balloon Cowboy to visit Copper Corridor

    June 22nd, 2017
    by

      A balloon with no air is just a piece of plastic. It just flops around and is really no […]


  • Additional Stories

    Along the Gila: Fourth of July and Other Copper Corridor Tidbits

    June 22nd, 2017
    by

      The new Apache Sky Casino is beginning to make a real mark on our area. It is becoming a […]


    Rose Canyon Campground reopens June 16; Recreationists reminded to be ‘Bear Aware’

    June 22nd, 2017
    by

      The Coronado National Forest, Santa Catalina Ranger District, reopened Rose Canyon Campground on Friday, June 16 at 7:00 a.m. […]


    Superior Chamber welcomes Jim Schenck to AmeriCorps VISTA

    June 15th, 2017
    by

      The Superior Chamber’s Business Attraction & Retention Committee welcomes Jim Schenck to the team as an AmeriCorps “VISTA”—Volunteer in […]


    Sea Lions win home meet; Martin Madrid named ‘Beast of the Week’

    June 15th, 2017
    by

      The Sea Lions Swim Team hosted a swim meet in Mammoth against the Globe Piranhas on Saturday, June 10.  […]


  • Copperarea

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Southeast Valley Ledger