Idaho Lands Nation's First International Dark Sky Reserve

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A giant chunk of central Idaho with a dazzling night sky has become the nation's first International Dark Sky Reserve.

The International Dark-Sky Association late Monday designated the 1,400-square-mile reserve. The area's night skies are so pristine that interstellar dust clouds are visible in the Milky Way.

Supporters say excess artificial light causes sleeping problems for people and disrupts nocturnal wildlife and that a dark sky can solve those problems, boost home values and draw tourists.

Opposition to dark sky measures elsewhere in the U.S. has come from the outdoor advertising industry and those against additional government regulations.

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In November, the International Dark-Sky Association named the central Idaho town of Ketchum an International Dark Sky Community. The town limits night lighting and is within the new reserve.