Welcome to the Morongo Basin Conservation Association.  MBCA advocates for the healthy desert environment that nurtures the region's rural character, cultural wealth and economic well-being.   If you share that vision, join us
  • Latest from News

    Eblast April 11, 2019


    Desert Wise Living Landscape Tour: 
    April 27 & 28, 2019

    San Bernardino County RECE Policy 4.10: Update

    Paradise Valley Development: Threatens Joshua Tree National Park

    San Bernardino Countywide Plan: Update

    9th Annual Landscape Tour: April 27 & 28.

    Make plans to attend this year’s Desert Wise Living Landscape Tour featuring Morongo Basin properties showcasing drought-tolerant landscapes.

    Saturday, April 27 will feature 11 east-end sites and
    Sunday, April 28 will feature 10 west-end sites.

    This popular, self-guided tour features beautiful home landscapes, a native plant nursery at the Joshua Tree National Park visitor center, two exclusively native plant re-vegetation sites at Sky’s the Limit in Twentynine Palms and Big Morongo Canyon Preserve in Morongo Valley.

    Tour participants will have the unique opportunity to talk with the experts - the homeowners whose inspiring personal sanctuaries blend low water consumption with artful desert living. They’ll see an abundance of native, drought-tolerant and water-efficient plants as well as creative uses of other landscaping elements—from architectural shading and outdoor “rooms,” pathways, sitting areas to rocks-capes, found objects, yard art and potted plants. Many sites incorporate energy and water efficient features.

    For information and to register for the event, go to the registration page at MBCA’s web site.

    Renewal Energy Conservation Element 4.10: Board of Supervisors adopt original language.

    The Board of Supervisors voted on February 28 by a 4 to 1 margin to adopt the original language of RECE 4.10. This language prohibits industrial scale Renewable Energy developments within RL zoned land and areas included within existing community plans. MBCA Board members along with many other community members presented compelling reasons for the Board to adopt the original 4.10. While we applaud the decision by the Board, some of the national media coverage misinterpreted the vote as a rejection of solar renewable energy rather than a victory for the health and welfare of the County residents. MBCA continues to support the use of renewables through roof-top distributed generation within the built environment.

    While the adoption of 4.10 will serve to protect desert residents from future inappropriate development, there remain applications for many thousands of acres of industrial scale renewable energy developments that were accepted by the County during the course of deliberations over 4.10. MBCA is continuing to follow, track and provide substantive comments on projects within the Lucerne Valley area including: Ord Mountain (483 acres), the adjacent Calcite sub-station, Sienna Solar North, South, East and West (1630 acres) and Calcite Solar Project generation project (664 acres). Cumulatively these projects would have a devastating affect on the quality of life, property values, and the scenic vistas of this community. In addition to the Lucerne Valley projects MBCA is following proposals in the Newberry Springs and Daggett areas where thousands of acres of inappropriately placed industrial scale developments are planned for areas within the Mojave River water-course, an area that is prone to creating dust should the existing surface be scraped.

    Paradise Valley Development: threatens Joshua Tree National Park

    A 1,848 acre community within a 5,000 acre specific plan boundary is proposed in Riverside County on the southern border of Joshua Tree National Park. This development with 8,490 new dwelling units and up to 1,380,000 square feet of non-residential development would have a tremendous affect on the Park.

    Chris Clarke, of the National Park Conservation Association has stated: This new city would place 20-25,000 new human residents directly along the southern border of the park, furthering the urban walling-off of the park, with serious consequences for the ecological integrity of the park.

    MBCA will continue to track this project and will provide information on how to provide substantive comments in opposition and will provide updates on any of the scheduled hearings.

    We encourage you to learn about this ill-conceived development by reviewing the information from the Riverside County planning department (here) and to write, email, or call the Project Planner: Russell Brady (rbrady@arivco.org) at Riverside County Planning Department PO Box 1409 Riverside, CA 92502-1409. (951) 955-3025.

    As of this writing, the Riverside County Planning Commission is scheduled to consider this development on May 15, 2019 at 4080 Lemon St., 1st floor, Riverside CA.

    San Bernardino Countywide Plan

    MBCA continues to provide comments and recommendations to the County as they develop the new Countywide Plan. This plan will be an entirely web based plan with the goal of providing a user-friendly and transparent means for addressing physical, social and economic issues facing the unincorporated portions of the County. Visit the Countywide Plan website for more detailed information. MBCA has urged the County to strengthen goals and policies within the Countywide Plan and subsequent Implementation Plan to insure protection of the County’s natural resources. A Draft EIR of the proposed Countywide Plan is to be released within the next several months and we will provide links to the document when it is released.

    Thanks to all the members and supporters of MBCA for your continued interest and attention to the many issues affecting us here in the Morongo Basin! I hope to see many of you on the Landscape Tour later this month!


    Steve Bardwell President
    Morongo Basin Conservation Association

    Your 2019 MBCA Board 

    Steve Bardwell, President                          Pat Flanagan, Director       
    David Fick, Vice President                         Meg Foley, Director
    Laraine Turk, Recording Secretary            Mike Lipsitz, Director
    Marina West, Treasurer                              Ruth Rieman, Director
    Sarah Kennington, Past President             Seth Shteir, Director


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  • Upcoming events

    Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 08:00 AM through April 14, 2019

    Permaculture Design Certification Course with Warren Bush

    This in-depth Permaculture Design Course is certified by the Permaculture Research Institute & taught by internationally-known consultant Warren Bush.

    UPDATE: There are a number of one-day classes within this series available for registration including a naturalist's walk along a watershed with Mark Wheeler on April 8 and classes on rainwater harvesting and greywater systems with Nicholas Holmes on April 9. See the Harrison House registration page for details on these and other sessions during the Warren Bush series.

    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 06:30 PM
    Hi Desert Nature Museum in Yucca Valley, CA

    Wildflower Tourism Ethics, CNPS Presentation

    At the California Native Plant Society Mojave Chapter Meeting, Joshua Tree resident and board member Chris Clarke will lead a discussion on the effects of tourism on our fabulous desert wildflower season, including best practices for reducing damage, and how to educate those unfamiliar with desert resources. Read more at the Mojave Chapter's website.

    See all events

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  • Pat Flanagan
    commented 2017-07-12 21:28:54 -0700
    Thank You. this new Events service is much appreciated.