Previously Koinosuke wrote the post Turn the Lights Out. In it Koinosuke describes the wonder of a truly dark sky and the problem of light pollution. The Dakota Dunes was identified as a needless contributor to rural light pollution.
Recently I was camping at Pike Lake on a cloudy and soon to be rainy night. Looking to the east I saw these lights. I was a bit confused before realizing they were from the Dunes.
This is a time-lapse exposure but it does not greatly overexpose the lights. You can judge for yourself based on the lights from the trailer near the bottom of the picture.
Do they really need such lights in a rural setting. True they may have a marketing purpose, but in this case I have never seen them from Saskatoon. Nor from highway 11 on trips to and from Regina. Nor from highway 7 on the way to and from Calgary. The lights server only to irritate the Casino’s neighbors and others who know it is already there. They needlessly pollute the night sky.
Recently I was in a truly dark place-Death Valley California. My companion was a little unsure of my “crazy” idea to go on foot out to the sand dunes at midnight to look at the stars. Never the less, armed with flash lights and lots of fluids we ventured into the 100 degree night. We were rewarded with a stunning panorama of stars of which the following picture is a poor facsimile.
The milky way was so bright that my companion initially mistook it for northern lights.
Death Valley is a dark sky reserve but even here you can see the yellow glow of Las Vegas and its casinos. The Luxor with its upward beam of light is one of the worst offenders. The Dunes and the other Saskatchewan casinos appear to be imitating this design with their upward pointing tee-pee lights.
If the people of Whitecap want to build a casino that is up to them. It is their land and their community. However is it really necessary to pollute the night sky. Especially since the lights are visible only to those who already know it is there.