Bill Text: TX SR656 | 2015-2016 | 84th Legislature | Enrolled

Bill Title: Recognizing the Dark Skies of Texas at Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Passed) 2015-04-30 - Reported enrolled [SR656 Detail]

Download: Texas-2015-SR656-Enrolled.html
         WHEREAS, The Senate of the State of Texas is pleased to
  recognize the value and the beauty of the dark night skies over
  Big Bend Ranch State Park; and
         WHEREAS, Big Bend Ranch State Park is the largest state
  park in Texas; it covers 311,000 acres in West Texas between
  Presidio and Lajitas; the park is bordered on the south by Farm to
  Market Road 170, which runs along the Rio Grande and the
  international boundary to Mexico; and
         WHEREAS, In addition to excellent stargazing, the park
  offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy hiking trails, mountain
  biking, recreation areas, primitive camping, and river access; and
         WHEREAS, Big Bend Ranch State Park has received worldwide
  recognition for having some of the darkest night skies in the
  world; with a night sky rating of Class 1, or "absolute darkest
  skies" on the Bortle Light Pollution Scale, the park offers the
  perfect venue for astronomical observations; and
         WHEREAS, In an effort to preserve the view at night, seven
  counties and their cities in the Big Bend area have passed
  ordinances against avoidable light pollution; these efforts have
  focused on eliminating light sources that hamper observations of
  the night sky, such as those carried out at the McDonald
  Observatory, one of the state's most valuable assets, which is
  located near Fort Davis; and
         WHEREAS, The dark skies of Big Bend allow everyone to
  become an astronomer and to view millions of stars otherwise
  obscured by the light pollution that plagues modern society; and
         WHEREAS, Big Bend Ranch State Park is located near the
  border city of Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico; our good neighbors to
  the south have also taken steps to reduce light pollution and
  save electrical energy by installing 1,000 light-emitting diode
  downward-oriented street lights, with more reduced lighting to
  come; and
         WHEREAS, Tourism is the lifeblood of the Big Bend area's
  economy, and it is important to be able to market Big Bend Ranch
  State Park as a year-round astronomy destination for such events
  as star parties, amateur astronomer gatherings, nighttime
  photography sessions, and school or university field trips as
  well as for general tourism; the renewed focus on the Dark Skies
  of Texas will bring new jobs and revenue to an otherwise
  under-utilized area of Texas; and
         WHEREAS, The City of Presidio and Big Bend Ranch State Park
  are hosting the Texas Dark Skies Festival on the last weekend of
  October; the festival features activities related to astronomy,
  outer space, science fiction, and other "out of this world"
  Presidio's annual "Dude of the Dead" Music Festival; these events
  combine education, fun, food, and music into a massive Border
  Zone event for all to enjoy under the Dark Skies of Texas; now,
  therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the Senate of the State of Texas, 84th
  Legislature, hereby recognize the Dark Skies of Texas at Big Bend
  Ranch State Park and commend the surrounding communities for
  their efforts to preserve this valuable and unique Texas
        President of the Senate
        I hereby certify that the
    above Resolution was adopted by
    the Senate on April 30, 2015.
        Secretary of the Senate
         Member, Texas Senate