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Dark Sky Park Accreditation for Bunya Mountains
Bunya Mountains is split into Western Downs Regional Council (WDRC) & South Burnett Regional Council (SBRC). International Dark Sky Association (IDSA) accreditation for Bunya Mountains as a Dark Sky Park is proposed, accredited at Gold status when nominated.
Astronomer James Barclay initiated the nomination process but SBRC lacked expertise regarding the Light Management Plan stating in November 2018 they did not support Bunya Mountains Dark Sky Park despite previously supporting it with a Letter of Support & in the media & majority of total ratepayer support at 10th February 2019 meeting.
Queensland’s Minister for Environment & Parks & Wildlife Service support Dark Sky Park “in principle”. We ask SBRC & WDRC to confirm their support for Bunya Mountains National Park & Russell Park, Bunya Mountains Dark Sky Park. There is no street lighting in Bunya Mountains & as current light readings of 21.78 are above the 21.75 Gold Tier IDSA status, all that is required is basic lighting adjustments by a minority of house owners.
Dark Sky Park at Warrumbungle National Park:
Bunya Mountains is the primary natural areas tourism destination in drought declared Western Queensland. UNESCO recognised Bunya Mountains qualities in 2010 with the world’s largest forest of Gondwana period Bunya Pines & the cultural significance of Bunya Mountains to Australia’s First Nations peoples.
International research confirms a Dark Sky Park for Bunya Mountains National Park would bring astro tourists to the Bunya Mountains region, increase property values & rental yields & assist the conservation of noctural fauna such as powerful owls, antechinus, tawny frogmouths, mountain possums, fire beetles,melomys, flying foxes & microbats. By better conserving the nocturnal fauna species, this would also significantly assist the natural regeneration of Bunya Mountains’s flora. There are 130 nocturnal species that would directly benefit & 1500 fauna & flora species in total including 5 endangered fauna species.
From 1992 to 2012, light pollution doubled globally & the world’s dark skies & the fauna & flora that rely on them - including humans - are now at threat.
Can you please ensure that this opportunity being presented is taken up with local government support to improve Bunya Mountains’s long term economic and environmental sustainability?
These are the Aoraki McKenzie
Zealand DarkSky Reserve reports:
Winklmoosalm International Dark Sky Park:
Why is this important?
The world is quickly losing its dark skies due to light pollution. Light pollution doubled globally between 1992 and 2012. Bunya Mountains has unique fauna including fire beetles and powerful owls that need dark skies for their survival with Australia's vulnerable nocturnal fauna being at threat of extinction given the impacts of climate change.
How it will be delivered
Emails to mayors and officials at both councils