MBCA is proud to support Joshua Tree National Park in its application to the International Dark-Sky Association for special Dark Sky Park status. Here is our June 2016 letter in support of the Park's application.
Our local office of the National Parks Conservation Association has also sent a letter in support of the Park's application.
An essential characteristic of the Morongo Basin and Joshua Tree National Park that brings tourism revenue to our communities is our dark night skies. Astronomers at all levels appreciate the chance to see deep sky objects in our area, and city dwellers marvel at the number of stars they can see even without telescopes. Several MBCA members worked with the Morongo Basin Dark Skies Alliance several years ago on night sky issues, and others are currently working on a San Bernardino County Dark Skies Committee initiated by Supervisor James Ramos, which is currently (January 2017) working with the County to improve the lighting code and its enforcement, as well as to develop some educational programs.
The International Dark Sky Association has answers to almost anything you can think of about dark skies, including why dark skies are important, how to help your neighbor understand the need to shield their lights, and other helpful ideas.
Locally, there are several groups that interpret the night skies for residents and visitors: