Mike Lipsitz, Director

Mike_Lipsitz2.jpgFollowing a decade of forays to the desert Southwest to camp and explore the backcountry in 2004 I pulled up roots in NYC and relocated to the unincorporated community of Landers. Life in Morongo Basin offered a stark contrast to my twenty years in the concrete jungle. Not lost on me was the irony that the Basin is so much larger than NYC and many times more fragile.

My position on the MBCA board allows me to channel my concerns for the astonishingly fragile desert environment into worthwhile projects aimed at preserving the magnificent desert here. A look inside MBCA offers a glimpse of a dynamic organization that routinely juggles a dozen projects at a time … some get support, others suffer from protest, still others aim to educate and inform.

Much of my personal involvement has focused on stopping the proliferation of utility-scale solar energy plants both in our desert communities and in the pristine desert that surrounds them. I’ve also taken a leadership role in a number of community cleanups including major cleanups at Giant Rock and at illegal dump sites in and around Landers. Nothing, however, offers me greater satisfaction then ridding our rural roads and open desert of illegally discarded tires. I have initiated a handful of “tire roundups” making use of the county’s indispensable assistance along with that of many volunteers.

To date, those efforts have cleared almost 10,000 illegally discarded tires from in and around Landers and re-directed them to programs that are using them for a variety of projects including supplementary fuel for high-temperature kilns at nearby Mitsubishi Cement Corp. and processing to become padding at playgrounds, and as base material in new road construction.

My other community involvements include several years on the board of the Landers Community Association, past service as treasurer for the Flamingo Heights Community Association, newsletter editor for the Morongo Basin Historical Society, and newsletter editor for the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council. I also founded and published for several years a monthly newsletter that went to almost 600 local LGBT subscribers and helped to organize and produce the Basin’s first three Gay Pride Celebrations one of which was considered the largest such event ever held in the Basin.

I hold a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri – Columbia and have been employed as an assignment reporter at KCDZ-FM since 2009. I also write a local “neighborhood news” column that appears in the weekend edition of the Hi-Desert Star.

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