In March 2012, the Executive Director of the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) notified the Sedona Dark Skies Committee that any application from Sedona requesting International Dark Sky Designation would not be seriously considered. According to IDA officials, because the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) had installed roadway lighting in West Sedona, it disqualified Sedona from consideration for the International Dark Sky Designation. Although Sedona Chamber of Commerce, City of Sedona, and ADOT officials attempted to change their minds by pointing out that the lighting design complied with IDA standards, it didn’t work. Amid disappointment and frustration, the Dark Skies Committee was disbanded.
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There it was. A loud, distinctive, and short “peek” directly overhead. Then another and then several in a row: what birders refer to as the “rattle call.” The glare of the afternoon sun made it a little difficult to look up in the direction of the sound, but after a bit of repositioning, there he was — busy working at a small hole in the skeleton of what appeared to be a pinyon pine.