Valley Voice: Bright Lights

Dear Army Corp of Engineers,

Please be advised the lighting you have installed at your facility and storage yard in Lake Isabella appears to be two to three times brighter than any other lighting in the town. This overwhelmingly bright lighting is a safety hazard due to blinding or distracting drivers on 178 and 155, as well as on surrounding local roads. Since the Corp of Engineers dam project will take many years this lighting will most likely not be temporary.

People who live in our remote rural community enjoy being able to see the night sky. Tourists come here to experience stars in the sky. Light pollution makes your facility an eyesore and is detrimental to tourism.

We can appreciate the need for lighting in your facility, but would hope the Army Corp wishes to be a good neighbor while working in our community and will find ways to comply with the intent of Kern County Dark Sky Ordinance Section 19.81, such as:

1. Aiming lights down and installation of shields to keep lighting within your facility instead of lighting up the valley.
2. Avoiding metal halide, mercury vapor, and quartz light source types. Using lower wattage bulbs or dimmers. This would also be more efficient and save on electrical usage and tax dollars while still providing sufficient lighting for your facility.

Last month I left several messages for your Isabella Dam Project Manager Veronica Petrouch on her voicemail at 916 557-7245, but have not heard back from her. I look forward to your response as to how the Army Corp can help protect Lake Isabella’s rural characteristic of access to a natural dark sky environment.

Chris Horgan
Executive Director,
Stewards of the Sequoia

 

Photo by Chris Horgan

 

Dear Corp of Engineers,

Looking forward to your response to my prior letter and phone calls.
Not only are your too bright lights polluting the night sky on a daily basis, but as you can see the Fourth of July fireworks at Lake Isabella were outshone by your too bright lighting at the Corp Lake Isabella facilities. This took away significantly from the viewing pleasure and visual impact of the costly firework display.
When can the Corp lower the lighting output, direct them more specifically at the ground areas in need of lighting and install shields, in keeping with the intent of the Kern County Dark Sky Ordinance?

Chris Horgan
Executive Director,
Stewards of the Sequoia