Yes, IDA (International Dark-Sky Association) has been working to preserve the night sky for 25 years or so. I've helped with the effort here and there but this is the first time I've been this involved. The night sky is as much a part of the natural environment as the land is. It's just that most people don't even know it's there anymore. Artificial light at night (ALAN) has big environmental consequences and has a significant impact on human health, again something most people aren't aware of. It's all connected. I'm starting some new projects soon, some of which will work to make people more aware the night sky of their ancestors is still there. ALAN is the one form of pollution that is completely reversible.
Good letter. There needs to be a more integrated look at environmental issues in local planning. Shortsightedness has us on the brink. Unlike the threat of nuclear annihilation of our youth (I'm an old retired guy, too) this one is already happening.
Where are you in SoCal? I'm in the Santa Monica Mountains in Agoura. The Milky Way was pretty easily visible on good nights but I'm afraid my eyes have deteriorated more than the light pollution has.