Boundary Waters Canoe Area Designated Dark Sky Sanctuary
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was recently given a rare designation.
The International Dark-Sky Association, a group that combats light pollution, has named the BWCA the largest Dark Sky Sanctuary in the world, meaning that it is on a very shortlist of the most remote and darkest places in the world.
12 other places in the world share this distinction with the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and only 6 are in the United States and it's the only one in Minnesota. The full list is below.
The International Dark-Sky Association has 5 different classifications, communities, parks, reserves, sanctuaries, and places. The BWCA was designated a sanctuary because of its remote location and few threats to the quality of the night sky.
The IDA says, "This designation confirms what people in this area have enjoyed for thousands of years: naturally dark skies, starry nights, and astounding northern lights displays. Boundary Waters is a mixture of glacial lakes, streams, rocky cliffs, towering rock formations, sandy beaches, and forests."
- !Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park (South Africa)
- Aotea / Great Barrier Island (New Zealand)
- Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (U.S.)
- Cosmic Campground (U.S.)
- Devils River State Natural Area - Del Norte Unit (U.S.)
- Gabriela Mistral (Chile)
- Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument (U.S.)
- Massacre Rim (U.S.)
- Niue (NU)
- Pitcairn Islands (B.O.T.)
- Rainbow Bridge National Monument (U.S.)
- Stewart Island / Rakiura (New Zealand)
- The Jump-Up (Australia)