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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Sky Island Alliance

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: Sky Island Alliance is dedicated to the protection and restoration of the native species and habitats in the Sky Island region - home to an incredibly diverse group of plants and animals. With volunteers, scientists, land owners, public officials and agencies, SIA works to establish protected areas, restore healthy landscapes, and promote public appreciation of the region's unique biological diversity.

Target demographics: wildlife and protect wild places.

Geographic areas served: Southeastern Arizona, Southwestern New Mexico, Northern Sonora and Chihuahua.

Programs: Landscape Restoration, Wildlife Linkages, Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment, Adopt-a-Spring and more!

Community Stories

93 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sky Island Alliance does a great job of engaging with agencies, policymakers, landowners, and the general public to make important changes on the ground in the sky island region of southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico. They mobilize hundreds of volunteers to do the hard labor of landscape restoration and produce citizen science that really makes a difference on both sides of the border. They bring science to decision making processes and land management to improve the resilience and adaptability of the regional environment in ways that benefit human populations and wildlife alike. It is a unique, and therefore absolutely essential, organization.

kevindahl

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a donor and strong supporter of the incredibly effective work done by Sky Island Alliance in the "sky island" region of the U.S. Southwest and northwestern Mexico. They involve all sorts of people in citizen science and hands-on restoration projects. They are skilled, science-based advocates of the vulnerable wildlife and unique habitats of this beautiful area.

Debbie Cramer B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sky Island Alliance is focused on habitat preservation of the unique Sky Islands of the Southwest. Our Sky Islands offer habitat for hundreds of species that could not exist without the this complex topography offering amazing stacked biogeographic communities. The Sky Island Alliance preserves springs and other water resources which is critical for wildlife in our changing climatic future. As a professional wildlife biologist, specializing in the study and preservation of bats, the Sky Island Alliance is protecting and restoring habitat which is critical for bat species diversity in the Southwest.

Tina N.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Sky Island Alliance for over 5 years now. The experience to learn more about my community and to contribute to the well being of the desert has been priceless. In the process, I have also created a partnership for my leadership students at the University of Arizona. 100's of Blue Chip Leadership students have been able to contribute to land restoration and in return get to learn more about the community they live in. The partnership has been fantastic and I am thankful that a partner like SIA is willing to teach my students and me about my environment!

Ellie S.1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been a member, volunteer and adviser for Sky Island Alliance for almost 10 years. I am involved with many environmental nonprofit organizations, but SIA is closest to my heart. They do great work to protect my special place--the Sky Islands.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a retired teacher, an artist, and wannabe botanist, and have been volunteering with Sky Island Alliance for about five years. Not sure where I originally heard about their work trips, but I blindly signed up for one going to Aravaipa TNC to pull the exotic Vinca from a three + acre area surrounding the creek. It was very hard work and seemingly endless, but I returned several times more after that first trip and could see the results of our efforts. Clearing the invasives and then planting natives made a huge impact on the landscape. The knowledgeable staff is so generous sharing their expertise with us "citizen scientists." Other trips include the Chiricahuas to clear a seep of sedge, and to the Gila Wilderness to restore a burnt out area around the ruin, and always checking up on previous work and plants. They do the most wonderful work and the staff are always so friendly, knowledgeable, and appreciative. It has been a great opportunity for me to travel and visit places in Southern Arizona that I wouldn't have otherwise on my own. I also sometimes volunteer at the office and at event tables. I have made some lasting friendships with both staff and other volunteers. Don't let the photo fool you, relaxing at the end of a work day is part of the job. Thank you Sky Island Alliance!

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with and contributing to Sky Island Alliance for more than 20 years. It's a one-of-kind organization that's deeply rooted in this place that I call home. Not only does it use science and advocacy to protect the beautiful and diverse Sky Islands region, it does a fantastic service in connecting community members directly to the many magical places to be found outdoors in the Sky Islands.

I'm particularly loyal to SIA as an organization that's truly bi-national, working on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border and treating the region holistically, as nature intended. Every day SIA proves that the international border need not divide us as they bring Sonorans and Arizonans together to do the important work of caring for our world-renowned natural heritage in the Sky Islands region.

In this time of division, rancor, widespread ignorance and hatred, SIA is a brilliant ray of hopeful collaboration that could very well be our salvation. SIA heals the landscape and the people who live on it at the same time, and I'm very grateful for the work that this organization does and the positive impact that it's had on my life.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I like Sky Island Alliance because this is a unique organization that works on environmental conservation on both sides of the US-Mexico border. For this reason, I am proud to serve on its board.

Tasia N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an undergraduate student studying Ecology and Conservation Biology. I did a summer internship with Sky Island Alliance this last summer. They were so good to work for and have amazing, knowledgeable staff. Their work is based in recent science, years of experience, and a solid understanding of the local environment and ecosystems. I also appreciated that their restoration work was well rounded and not just focused on some of the more charismatic organisms. They do such good amazing work and are a fantastic organization. I learned a lot while working there and if given the chance would absolutely work with them again.

Eric S.5

Donor

Rating: 5

As a donor and volunteer, I appreciate the focus of the work that Sky Island Alliance does and the depth with which they permeate the local environmental movement.

Rosemary S.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a wildlife field biologist and tracker who has volunteered with Sky Island Alliance since 2014.
I respect and support this organization and recommend it highly to everyone.
Sky Island Alliance conducts vital conservation work throughout the Sky Island region of Arizona and Mexico. Their staff is well educated, experienced and professional. Their scientific work is cutting edge and their volunteer programs top notch and engaging.
If I had to choose only one organization to support in Arizona, Sky Island Alliance is always my first choice.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sky Island Alliance is one of our favorite partner's in the field of environmental conservation and restoration who champion biodiversity and strive for cutting edge native plant materials practices. As the native plant nursery manager for Borderlands Restoration, it makes a world of difference to work with an organization that prioritizes planting and seeding out local and regionally adapted plants into the landscape and can thoughtfully plan and execute their projects with so much integrity and care for the landscapes they work.

LeslieAnnE

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sky Island Alliance is unique among conservation groups for its community oriented and community building focus. SIA uses contributions for its various conservation endeavors as do other charitable organizations, but I believe the SIA approach to using volunteers is vital for the future of conservation and protection of natural areas. People want to protect nature and they want to be physically involved in an action to carry out these protections. By welcoming volunteers to document animals and plants, to help remove invasive plants, to work together to clear springs and even build water sources for wildlife, SIA fosters volunteers with lasting connections to the land and each other. SIA helps participants become more knowledgeable and proactive in a place, and therefore more rooted and at ease in their place on Earth.

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Donor

Rating: 5

Sky Island Alliance is carrying out ongoing citizen active involvement in monitoring and restoring natural areas, which heals not only the natural areas, but the hearts and minds of the people involved. It is a treasure and needs support from all of us!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Sky Island Alliance came to the Gila Cliff Dwellings to help a slow-to-recover burned hillside in the monument. Their enthusiasm, the diversity and the energy of the volunteers, and the work they accomplished in such a short time was simply amazing.

Years prior to being on site, Sky Island invested huge amounts of time and effort gathering native plant seeds from the Monument and then growing new plants to place on the hillside. This not only guaranteed native plants were going into the site, but were already adapted to surviving in this particular location.

There are not enough ways to say "Thank you!" for the work done. Come see the hillside and how well it's recovering now!

Malcolm R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been on one trip so far. These are dedicated people who care about the world we leave for the future. If you love the outdoors like I do, this is one non-profit doing the real ground work in southern Arizona and New Mexico.

Sky J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved off and on with SIA since the mid-1990s. Through many ups and downs, SIA has persisted and been one of the most effective and hands-on conservation organizations in the southwest. Our region would be a much poorer place for people and wildlife without SIA.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sky Island Alliance is a great, hard working organization that uses science and research as a basis for helping preserve and protect the precious sky island regions which are so important to southern Arizona and northern Mexico for a multitude of reasons. Sky Island Alliance is working to make a difference!

Emma F.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first heard about SIA when I was college and I remember thinking "I need to get involved with them anyway I can." SIA is so appealing because it is implementing restoration on a systems based approach that goes past political boundaries and is therefore able to be effective in conserving the habitat of so many species in this region.

Brian N.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first experience with Sky Island Alliance was for a mountain lion survey in the Huachuca mountains. It was an amazing learning experience to walk with experienced trackers and to discover the presence, through tracks, of bear and mountain lion in the area. We found three sets of bear prints and 3 different mountain lion tracks, and I loved the hands on training I received. It was an unforgettable experience. I'm so glad for the existence of the Sky Island Alliance because it has the foresight to work toward preserving our unique "islands" while there is still time to do so. It shows a unique selflessness to work for the benefit of other species other than ourselves, and I am thankful for their dedication to this cause.

Laurel7

Donor

Rating: 5

Excellent organization working a special natural area.

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Donor

Rating: 5

This organization focuses on the conservation of a unique area with unique wildlife. They use donated funds wisely.

1 Eleodes O.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It was in 2009 when I met SIA for first time. At that day, they shared an incredible flora and fauna workshop at Rancho El Aribabi, Sonora. I was a 19th year old student of biology, I consider that experience as revealing, my entrance the amazing world of the biota.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Sky Island Alliance for the past 16 months. The staff are very warm people. I'm inspired by their passion for the environment. I have learned a lot about native plants, insects, critters and water resources while working on land restoration projects with them. Sky Island Alliance takes me to scenic places, often on the back-roads, that I'd never otherwise have the opportunity to see. I highly recommend this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SIA is a very important organization that works to ensure the preservation of the health of the land, water, and wildlife. I volunteer for them as often as possible.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sky Island Alliance (SIA) has great classes, like the Wildlife Tracking class that helped further my skills as a consulting wildlife biologist/environmental scientist. SIA staff members are truly passionate and that definitely comes across in correspondence for volunteer work and in their social image. I firmly believe SIA is performing a vital role in documenting biological and conservation data for the sky islands of Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico!

kathleenbethel

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Sky Island Alliance has been an incredible influence in our community for the better protection of species in our world. They defend and protect those who cannot speak for themselves by collecting data on the current status of species and the changes to their environment. We are so fortunate that the dedicated staff, care so deeply and work so hard on all of our behalf.


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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Sky Island Alliance changed our family's life. We became involved in 2000 and are now devoted environmentalists as a family. My daughter has now earned $93,000 worth of scholarships because of her work volunteering for SKy Island Alliance! They took her under their wing as a young Middle School student, taught her to track, let her adopt remote sensing cameras and allowed her to intern with them. The result? She is majoring in Conservation Biology now. We can never say enough good things about the care this organization gives to its volunteers and the attention it gives to the other species that share our planet.

Board Member

Rating: 5

SIA is an exemplary organization, with a well-balanced approach to the compelling message of conservation. Everyone involved, from volunteers, to staff, to board members work together to celebrate and steward the uniqueness of this incredible region.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In late April I spent four days at the Aravaipa Canyon Preserve at a wildlife tracking workshop learning the basic skills. The staff members from Sky Island were extremely knowledgable and capable teachers, patiently walking us through our first identifications and providing a much broader picture of how tracking provides data on a wide array of wildlife in our region. The staff communicated both the practical information and skills as well as a passion for their work to protect and preserve wildlife. I would highly recommend this organization to anyone who wants to support an outstanding environmental organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with Sky Island Alliance for eight years. Because the work they do is science-based and collaborative, the alliance has caused good things to happen. The staff and members have been able to restore damaged areas, protect Arizona's wildlife, and give residents of this politically backward state hope that clean water and clean air will not be destroyed by ignorance or corporate greed. By reaching out to like-minded citizens and groups in northern Mexico and eastern New Mexico, SIA has insured the future health of the Sky Islands.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sky Island Alliance is doing important environmental work on many fronts - working to eliminate invasive, non-native species that threaten our delicate ecosystems, mapping and assessing springs, creating wildlife safety bridges and tunnels, and more. I have participated in two projects so far - locating and assessing natural springs in the Galiuro mountains and planting native grasses and milkweeds/digging out invasive vinca (periwinkle) in Aravaipa Canyon. It's hard work and SO much fun! I love spending time in the mountains.

The staff are clearly committed to SIA's mission; they are energetic, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The volunteers I've met are great people and share my love of the outdoors. I'm proud to be a member of Sky Island Alliance.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked with Sky Island Alliance (SIA) as a field and office volunteer off and on for over a decade. The field projects are worthwhile, and always draw an interesting crew of volunteers. The projects feel like they're making a quantifiable difference as you work. I will probably continue to work with SIA as long as I live in Arizona.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I love being a board member for SIA because it is focused on tangible change on the land and the communities that I care for. The reach of the restoration work is impressive, the effort to empower Mexican conservation practitioners is commendable and the science being generated is immediately applicable to resolve conservation issues. All this makes SIA not only a great non-profit but an indispensable partner in a region that has very few conservation groups stewarding one of North America's most biodiverse regions.

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Board Member

Rating: 4

I've been recently invited to join the Sky Island Alliance as a Board Member, a challenge that I think is worth the effort as this group has done great things to restore and promote the conservation of a beautiful binational region.
I look forward to a closer collaboration!

Donor

Rating: 5

Sky Island Alliance is doing some of the most innovative and important conservation work in the desert Southwest - from the critical science and analysis to the on-the-ground conservation and restoration work with springs, habitat, and species that represent the unique biodiversity of this region. I am an enthusiastic donor and proud to be part of this organization of dedicated professionals and volunteers.

pat frederick

Board Member

Rating: 5

This group of enthusiastic people is working every day, sometimes 7 days a week, to make sure springs are found, measured and restructured if they have been damaged, they replant damaged areas in private and public lands, they track animals so that populations are known and highway drivers are aware of crossings and even so that overpasses can be built. The group has enthusiastic volunteers who work to do the planting and hauling rock to rebuild erosion channels, to count reptiles or insects for census needs, to find new species and to educate both each other and university student learners who are great volunteers.
I volunteer myself because I consider the land and its wildlife the only reason I enjoy going outdoors. If I was a city dweller I would be numbed and stifled but instead I live on the edge of the areas this group is helping revitalize.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

The Board is informed of the details of the working biologists and the overall plan of direction for this organization. There is a general directive to follow the organizational outline very closely. The ED is on the carpet, so to speak, to answer all queries and responds with direct answers and examples. The entire organization responds with enthusiasm about their goals and plans such as the motion cameras which "capture" animal facts in wild lands and the restructuring of roads, streams and such that have been damaged by the use of the public or landowners. There is a high regard for land owners in all planning and a high regard for the SIA as evidenced by the high number of volunteers which work for the group.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I grew up in the region of the sky Islands and I love its landscapes and wildlife. I have seen pumas, bears, owls, eagles, beavers and many other animals in the mountains and valleys around the region and want that my children and my descendants can see what I have seen in the field. Conservation and restoration work done by Sky Island Alliance has been great. In Northeastern Sonora in Mexico, there are few organizations that promote conservation of natural resources, SIA is one of them. Actions not words ...

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Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for Sky Island Alliance since 2002. Over this time I have seen SIA become increasingly effective in protecting and restoring the wildlife and wild lands of the Sky Island region, both in the U. S. and Mexico. A dedicated staff with the help of many volunteers and donors, and in partnership with numerous nonprofit and government organizations works tirelessly for conservation in the Sky Islands.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sky Island Alliance does amazing work protecting and restoring the wildlife and wild lands of the Sky Island region. It is the only organization dedicated to conservation across the entire Sky Island landscape, including both the US and Mexico.

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