The Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument has been awarded international “Night Sky Province” status, the Bureau of Land Management has announced.

The monument received notice from the International Dark Sky Association Friday for the unspoiled quality of its pristine and breathtaking night skies, the BLM office in St. George, Utah announced in a news release.

“We celebrate this prestigious designation which recognizes what visitors to the Monument have known and treasured since its inception—that the Parashant’s flawless night skies represent another portion of the impeccable, cherished, cultural and natural resources tied directly to the management of these public lands,” Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument Manager Pam McAlpin said of IDA’s announcement.

The million-acre Grand Canyon-Parashant occupies about a million acres of land in northwestern Arizona along the Arizona Strip, bordering Grand Canyon National Park to the north and Nevada to the west. The monument was proclaimed by President Clinton in 2000.

Night Sky Places are sought out by the scientific community, eco-tourists and astronomy enthusiasts worldwide, the release said. Issued such status earlier were Big Bend National Park in Texas and Death Valley in California.

The Monument’s new “International Night Sky Province” status could also prove to be a boost to local economies which rely heavily on tourism dollars by attracting a more diverse group of low-impact visitors to the remote Monument, including the scientific community, eco-tourists, and astronomy enthusiasts, the release said.

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