Many elected officials are unaware that they can improve bird safety and save money, while ensuring public safety, by limiting light pollution.  You can send an email (see below) with tips on simple actions they can take.

Email Template

To Local Governments

TO: [city council member, city staff member, county commissioner, etc.]

CC: lights-out-colorado@darksky.org

FROM: [you]

SUBJECT: Migratory birds and [name of town or county]

Dear [person’s name],

My name is ______ and I’m a resident of ______. I’m writing to encourage ______ to participate in Lights Out Colorado in order to save birds, energy, and money.  Please consider what you might do to help migratory birds.

Twice each year, billions of birds take flight on arduous migrations between wintering and breeding grounds. According to Dr. Kyle Horton, assistant professor at Colorado State University, “The vast majority (80%) of birds in North America migrate at night, making it imperative to limit artificial light pollution for the conservation of migratory birds.”  Artificial light can attract and disorient birds resulting in an inability to navigate to their destination.  Artificial light is part of the problem for the steep decline in bird populations—29% since 1970.

Our local government has a number of options for actions we can take to help birds.  These include dimming streetlights by midnight and installing better shielding on public lighting.  You can see photographs and other material concerning public lighting at

https://lights-out-colorado.idacolorado.xyz

Thank you for your time and consideration.  If you can make these simple changes in our community, you truly can have a positive impact on the birds that share it.

Sincerely,

[your name]

[your street address]

[your city, state, and zip]

Notes about the template:

TO: If you know a single person (or if a single person represents your neighborhood), that’s often more effective than addressing the entire city council or similar group. If you want, you might include the entire group in the CC:

CC: include “lights-out-colorado@darksky.org– so we can send a follow-up email.

Signature area: It’s important to include your street address; many local government officials won’t even read emails that are not from their jurisdiction. Once you have started the conversation with this first email, we’ll send a follow-up that officials might be interested in because of your email.

Thank you for speaking up for birds and trying to help them on their tough migration journeys! If you know others that would be willing to also speak, please consider sharing this opportunity with them.