Action Alert: Help Bring Dark Skies to Portland and Multnomah County

Right now there are two opportunities to advance the reduction of light pollution in the Portland metro area. In just a few minutes, you can help bring dark skies to Portland and Multnomah County.

Portland Skyline in fog - Mult Co Courthouse lit up
Photo by Rich Uchytil

1. Tell Multnomah County that it is time to come into alignment with the City of Portland and Metro Regional Government by requiring bird safe building and lighting standards for their own buildings.

We need your help pushing Multnomah County to uphold its responsibility to come into alignment with the City of Portland and Metro Regional Government on bird-friendly building and lighting design. Despite language in the 2016 County Comprehensive Plan that prioritizes the development of bird friendly building and lighting policies, they have made no progress on these commitments in over 6 years! In fact, in 2020 the County erected the brightest building on the Portland skyline—the Multnomah County Central Courthouse, pictured above—in spite of serious concerns raised by Bird Alliance of Oregon about the lighting design of this building.

More recently, the County committed to working with Bird Alliance of Oregon on integrating bird-safe building and lighting design into the scheduled update of their high performance building design standards. However, in spite of abundant evidence that bird safe design can be completely cost neutral or very low cost, and comes with important co-benefits—including reducing HVAC demand, reducing carbon emissions, and reducing wasteful light and energy—this commitment has stalled out as well. At a time when jurisdictions across the nation are adopting bird safe standards in both the public and private sector, including most recently in NYC, the County is shirking its responsibility to taxpayers and to wildlife.

Please email Chair Kafoury and Commissioners Meieran, Jayapal, Vega Pederson and Stegmann: 

2. Thank City Council for earmarking funding to develop sensible lighting code.

We need your help thanking Portland City Council for following up on the Dark Skies Report of 2020 by earmarking funding in the 2022/2023 budget to develop sensible lighting code. This is an important step forward to ensure that we start protecting what we have left of Portland’s dark skies, which are critical for healthy ecosystems and for human health and safety! Please email Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioners Mapps, Rubio, Hardesty and Ryan at

Thank you for taking the time to advocate for the reduction of light pollution in the Portland metro area – it’s time advancement on this issue is made for the benefit to wildlife and our community!