Previously there were only 12. JUST 12. In the entire world. Minnesota’s magnificent Boundary Waters have earned the 13th spot!
The BWCAW was certified this year as the 13th International Dark Sky Sanctuary in the world. At 1.098 million acres, it’s the largest Dark Sky Sanctuary and is the first federally designated wilderness site to get this designation. It’s also the first sanctuary in Minnesota to get the designation.
The designation is given by the International Dark Sky Association, a nonprofit formed in 1988 with the goal of reducing light pollution and protecting night skies.
The U.S. Forest Service has been working since 2008 to get the Boundary Waters Dark Sky Sanctuary status.
Here’s the full list of Dark Sky Sanctuaries;
- !Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park (South Africa)
- Aotea / Great Barrier Island (New Zealand)
- Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
- 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)