Dark Night Skies


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:


  • San Bernardino County Dark Sky Committee

    In April 2016, San Bernardino County District 3 Supervisor James Ramos appointed the San Bernardino County Dark Sky Committee (SBCDSC) to interact with the County about its lighting regulations and code, in consideration of the need of dark skies to maintain both lifestyle and the tourism economy in the Desert and Mountain regions of the County.

    Three MBCA Board members are part of this Committee:  Pat Flanagan, Seth Shteir, and Laraine Turk.

    As of October 2016, the Committee has worked with Joshua Tree National Park and the International Dark Sky Association as the Park pursues a Dark Sky Park designation from IDA.  The Committee will also be involved in the Park's Night Sky Festival on October 28-30, 2016.

    Discussion with the Supervisor and County Code Enforcement is planned for November. 
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