Steve Bardwell, President


My relationship with the natural world began with family camping trips throughout the deserts and mountains of southern California. My love and appreciation of the outdoors grew with my involvement with the Boy Scouts over the course of my pre-college education. I was very fortunate to have had mentors and encouragement that enabled me to earn a Bachelor of Architecture degree Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and eventually become a licensed architect. Beginning my practice in the communities of Big Bear Lake in the County of San Bernardino I have pursued my profession for nearly 45 years, and now continuing to practice, albeit on a much more limited basis, here in the Morongo Basin.

My wife and I have lived full time in the Pioneertown area since 2009 after vacationing / week-ending here for 20 years. Our home has been featured in MBCA’s Desert Wise Living landscape tour as an example of energy and water-wise living appropriate for this desert. We generate our own electricity and obtain water from our own well. Living in an off-grid home constantly reminds us of the finite amount of water and energy we consume.

As a board member of MBCA for the past nearly 7 years years I have been working with my community and fellow board members to advocate for the installation of appropriate renewable energy systems, such as locally generated rooftop solar. I was a member of the citizens committee advising the Morongo Unified School District as they contracted to add solar to nearly all the schools within the district.  I have served as chair of the Third District Dark Sky Committee to push for enactment of a lighting ordinance to protect our precious dark night skies. I am a strong supporter of the arts here in the Morongo Basin, and as a former board member of the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency I am committed to sharing my experiences of living in the high desert and informing artists from around the world about the California desert. I was involved in the successful efforts to pass and implement the Bobcat protection act and I am working for the designation of the Joshua tree as a candidate for endangered species under the California Endangered Species Act. I am the appointed representative for the Pioneertown community on our County Supervisor’s Municipal Advisory Council where I am active and engaged in tracking the many issues affecting our local community and the Mojave Desert.

I have a strong interest in working to protect and maintain the intact-ecosystem of the Mojave Desert. I am interested in learning about, and informing my community on the importance of utilizing our most precious resource: water. I believe we must transition to a 100% renewable energy future and, by eliminating the use of fossil fuels at the earliest time possible, begin to seriously address the existential threat of climate change.

Working with the engaged people in our vibrant community who are striving to maintain the special qualities of the Morongo Basin motivates me to stay involved.





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