U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., applauded western New Mexico’s Cosmic Campground on being designated International Dark Sky Sanctuary. The Cosmic Campground is the first International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) location on U.S Forest Service land and the first dark sky sanctuary designated in the United States, the El Defensor Chieftain reported.

“The Cosmic Campground in Catron County brings visitors from around the United States and the world to enjoy New Mexico’s unmatched wild places,” said Heinrich. “Outdoor recreation is a huge draw for the state and contributes to our economy as a whole. I was glad to support the Cosmic Campground’s effort in becoming an International Dark Sky Sanctuary, and I am pleased with their success. This designation will elevate the status of western New Mexico as a true destination for star gazers and dark sky enthusiasts all while boosting the economies of local communities.”

The new International Dark Sky Sanctuary is a 3.5 acre (1.42 hectare) site in the Gila National Forest of western New Mexico. Located between the Gila Wilderness and the Blue Range Primitive Area, the Cosmic Campground is situated in an exceptionally dark part of the lower 48 states. It features a basic infrastructure to support campers and offers a 360-degree, unobstructed view of the night sky.

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