February 7, 2019 600 AM
DEL RIO— Devils River State Natural Area has been designated an International Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), making it the only Dark Sky Sanctuary in Texas. As the sixth International Dark Sky Sanctuary to receive the title, Devils River SNA is recognized as a one of the darkest and most ecologically fragile sites in the world. Sanctuaries are typically found in very remote locations with few nearby threats to the quality of its dark night skies. With limited access for recreation, the IDA designation will help preserve the night skies and natural landscape of Devils River SNA.
Joining Big Bend Ranch State Park, Copper Breaks State Park, South Llano River State Park and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Devils River SNA is the fifth park to hold a prestigious IDA designation in the Texas State Park system.
Located in southwest Texas, Devils River SNA is far from cities and is home to one of the most pristine rivers in the state. The state natural area lies in the cross section of three ecological regions making it a biologically diverse habitat for plants, fish and native wildlife, including a rare salamander and several protected fish species.
With a rating of a 2 on the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale, Devils River’s sky is dark enough to see the Milky Way and other astronomical clusters. The scale ranges from Class 1, the darkest skies available on Earth, through Class 9, inner-city skies, and measures how well astronomical objects can be seen in the night sky.
For more information about the Dark Skies Program at Texas State Parks, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s website.