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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Excellent organization working a special natural area.
This organization focuses on the conservation of a unique area with unique wildlife. They use donated funds wisely.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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.
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.
Sky Island Alliance creates a unique opportunity for the public to connect to their local wild lands. As a volunteer, I have engaged in meaningful habitat restoration work with like-minded individuals. The Sky Island staff always create a welcoming environment; as a result, the organization has cultivated a large cadre of dedicated, long-term volunteers. We adventure to wild places to restore the land and ourselves.
I grew up here, hiking these mountains and exploring our wonderful desert regions. I'll probably never see a jaguar in the wild, but knowing that these magnificent cats are out there and that Sky Island Alliance is leading the charge to protect wildlife corridors makes me proud to be a donor and board member of this terrific group. I encourage everyone reading these reviews to join, become a volunteer, and help make the Sky Islands a permanent home for all native wildlife.
"Boots on the ground" sounds too catchy a phrase, but it does in fact describe one of this organization's enduring qualities - dedicated staff doing work to affect positive changes for conservation and the environment. These efforts range from overseeing volunteers in land restoration projects to working with public and private landowners on maintaining or opening wildlife corridors in the region.
If you're looking for a worthy group to honor with a donation, consider Sky Island Alliance.
As a Tucson native and lover of the outdoors, Sky Island Alliance is my absolute favorite local non-profit. The advocacy and collaborative nature of the work they do is so key to the diversity and beauty of our natural spaces.
I first became involved in 2015, through a friend's recommendation. This year, we have tripled our giving and become regular monthly donors. And I am now on the Board, and getting involved in some committee work.
Our family is also looking to adopt a Spring soon. Can't wait to see what Sky Island accomplishes in their next 25 years!
Sky Island is a wonderful organization, I have volunteered with Sky Island Alliance for over seven years. Starting when I was middle school a they helped me grow as a scientist conducting cutting-edge research projects using noninvasive monitoring through tracking and remote cameras. This fueled my passion for the Sonoran desert and the Sky Island region and they are why I am studying wildlife conservation at the University of Arizona today. Sky Island Alliance is full of wonderful, caring individuals who truly wish to see our natural resources protected and restored.
The work of Sky Island Alliance is unlike any other organization in the region! They are building strong partnerships, preserving wild places, protecting our region's precious water resources...and always having a lot of fun doing it!
If you have money, donate. If you have time, volunteer. If you have a voice, tell your friends about this great group!
First, you need to know what our desert Sky Islands are. They stick up out of the broad desert valleys that stretch the Great Basin and Range region of the American west. The Sky Islands are incredibly important to wildlife, offering habitats with water and habitats above the grass, cactus and desert scrub . The Sky Island Alliance (SIA) works to protect the mountains and the corridors that connect them despite our human foot/road/freeway prints. This grassroots organization does more than that, it restores habitat, conducts field surveys, trains trackers and raises awareness with citizen scientists, volunteers of all kinds as well as public lectures, etc. An exceptionally active and worthwhile nonprofit that profits both wildlife, landscapes and humans.
I interned with SIA as a senior in college and was provided with many great networking opportunities and field experiences. I would recommend any student looking for an internship to apply with Sky Island Alliance, they are true to their mission and do such an amazing amount of work for the number of staff working there. They need volunteers and interns to continue their amazing work - so get out there, you will have a great time!
I feel extremely proud to be involved in the conservation of the Sky Island Region as a staff member with SIA. We are able to achieve all we can in habitat restoration, wildlife connectivity, climate change adaptation study and more because we have the support of so many equally passionate volunteers and conservation partners in the U.S. as well as in northern Mexico.
About a decade ago, Sky Island Alliance approached the Forest Service, where I worked as a staff officer, to offer volunteer services to help with some difficult ecological restoration projects. One entailed wading out in stinky cattle stock tanks to capture invasive bullfrogs to help recover native frog and fish populations. I was so impressed. They were so dedicated, worked very hard without complaint, showed much interest in learning and sharing knowledge, and were all great fun to spend time with. This was just the start of many environmental improvement projects on public land that continue to this day. Thank you, SIA, for all the good work you do!
Sky Island Alliance is a wonderful grassroots organization. They do great work restoring habitat, conducting important field surveys, advocating for the Sky Islands and raising awareness of the importance of plants, animals & the environment to our well being. One of their best features is how they involve members in all of the work they do. Keep up the great work! Paula H.
Sky Island Alliance fills a really unique niche in the region - a bi-national conservation effort that combines the best conservation science with outstanding on-the-ground restoration work. On any given weekend you can join dedicated staff and volunteers in fieldwork to help restore portions of our unique landscapes and learn about our region's natural history. As an organization committed to the power of partnerships, SIA works with land managers of all stripes - ranchers and communities, government agencies, and other non-profit organizations on both sides of the border. Join in - volunteer, donate, educate yourself about this important work!
Sky Islands Alliance does great work in the field of environmental conservation and advocacy. They have wonderful, expert staff and a dedicated cadre of volunteers (such as myself0 which is truly inspiring. They have forged wonderful liaisons with organizations, ranchers, and politicians both in the US and Northern Mx to further the cause of preserving our wild lands .
Sky Island has been such a large contributor to my interest in wildlife biology today and I am grateful for all the work they put into the effort they put into saving our sky island and desert seas. I started volunteering at Sky Island Alliance when I was in Sixth grade and have never stopped. The staff are wonderful and supportive of a student interested in wildlife conservation, and the efforts they are making to protect both the wildlife and habitat has led me to major in wildlife conservation at the UofA this year.
Sky Islands is a great non-profit serving critical environmental needs in Southern Arizona. I have enjoyed partnering with them on many projects involving public lands, youth engagement, and overall community health. They have a great staff to boot. Please help support this local organization.
I interned with Sky Island Alliance over the summer, and it was one of the best things I've experienced. They are by far one of the best conservation organizations I know of. All of their staff know so much and are an absolute joy to work with. If I still lived in Tucson, I would be volunteering with them every chance I got. The work they do for the nature and wildlife of the sky islands and the surrounding areas is amazing. I'm so happy that SIA is out there advocating for our wildlife.
I have been a volunteer with Sky Island Alliance for 14 years, tracking as part of the Wildlife Linkages program. I am very impressed with the organization. It has a robust restoration program, making good use of many, many volunteers. It is a conservation organization that works by education and research and not by confrontation. People who work for the organization are very well informed and they work to help others to become informed regarding habitat issues in our Sky Islands.
I am a volunteer and monthly donor, and full disclosure, also have had the honor of working for Sky Island Alliance for eight years! From wilderness to wildlife linkages and communications and development, I've watched this organization grow as I have grown in my many roles here. Although our budget and staff are small, we have a powerful impact in conserving the Sky Islands, and I am extremely proud of our work and our volunteers and supporters. What a fun, passionate group! Together we can get anything done - and we have! I give to only a few organizations, and this one remains on my list, and will for many years to come. The organization has seen many changes in the past year, and now we are poised for some really exciting and great things... there is no better place to give your time and money right now!
Sky Island Alliance is restoring southern Arizona. This organization with mostly volunteers restores riparian, desert, and mountain habitats for plants and animals. It does very important work. The staff are extremely knowledgeable about the local Sky Island ecosystems. They are absolute experts. This is a welcoming organization for volunteers. I have learned so much being a volunteer with Sky Islands.
The Sky Island Alliance is an effective, hardworking organization, free of the corporate trappings of many larger environmental organizations. Think globally & act locally, you can't do better that the SIA. Landscape restoration and preservation, Spring assessments, Biological surveys... this is a boots in the mud, dirty hands, bunch that won't shy away from hard work or waste your valuable donations. I give all of my free time and $$ to these folks!
The Sky Island Alliance is a “boots on the ground hands in the dirt” kind of an organization. Based in Tucson Arizona, they focus their attention on the unique Sky Island region that straddles the US, Mexican border. Important work is accomplished by this amazing group. By mobilizing teams of volunteers to collect data, restore habitat, document regional diversity, map wildlife corridors… They help preserve, protect & restore this incredible region.
My favorite project managed by the SIA is the Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment program. Teams of volunteer citizen scientist work side by side with trained biologist, university students and agency officials from the US and Mexico to catalog the amazing diversity of the remote, rugged mountain ranges that make up the Sky Islands.
I really can't say enough nice things about this terrific group. This is where I spend my volunteer time and make my cash donations. The projects are always fun and deeply satisfying, I honestly feel like I'm making a difference when I work with these guys!
Sky Island Alliance is amazing! I was initially impressed with their conservation work in southern Arizona from stories and articles that I had heard and read. When I was about to jump into volunteer work with them--I found my own small community in need. My attention shifted toward my home, but --lo and behold-- SIA recognized my community's need as well. I soon found myself working side by side with SIA's amazing group of dedicated people.
I am grateful for all the work that Sky Island Alliance does in our region to protect and preserve the sky islands--and especially grateful for all the work they've done and continue to do in the little corner of the Patagonia Mountains that I call home!
The Sky Island Alliance for me is an example of training citizens to be natural historians and stewards of the natural world in the borderlands of the Southwestern US. Their data are synthesized into real-world conservation efforts that set an example to other.
This group, Sky Island Alliance, is studying climate changes on the ground, starting with water. Not too surprising in the desert. But, knowing how facts about seeps and springs are changing is almost as important as knowing how to reverse it. One must study any aspect of life on earth to know what it means, and what the future could be like, and also know if there are changes one direction to the other. Sky Island is studying and working to know our environment for the health of our Sky Island area so that the animals and the humans have a better place to live and benefit from in all ways.
This group of conservation oriented people works by bringing international scientists and citizens together to discover the wildlands of the Sonoran Desert. It does work with developers, ranchers, interested citizen trackers, re-establishing water courses, advising road planners about crossings and wildlife tracks to surrounding mountains and much much more. Because the Sonoran Desert knows no barrier walls or fences we deal with the lovers of the desert from both sides of the international border and the animals that traverse the geography in the area.
The "sky islands" are sources of genetic diversity that all the inhabitants need to visit in order to maintain their species. This occurs across the Sonoran Desert and therefore human interruptions of the acreage is important and crucial. Repair and knowledge of the area is very important to all inhabitants. Groups such as the Sky Island Alliance are quietly protecting, teaching and repairing as much as they can as fast as they can.
These guys really care about what they do! I have never had a bad experience volunteering with SIA and I don't expect to. I can only hope they are able to continue to receive funding so that the important research they are involved with can continue for many years to come.
SIA has been organizing, teaching, encouraging local participation for the preservation of this incredible biodiversity that we call the Sonoran Desert. Who else goes out there and builds ladders in the cattle water tanks so that the frogs and other little water seekers can get in and get out safely!
These people DO! I give them triple Hip Hip Hoorays and five stars!
The scope of their mission crosses the national borders of USA and Mexico! Not always a savory endeavor in these times of border tragedies. However, I have faith that they will be the ones to succeed!
I know of no other grassroots organization who does so much to nurture the preservation, awareness, restoration, advocacy of cherished places. Their "place" is the sky island region of southwest Arizona and I have been supporting them for years. They put together tremendous volunteer outings with outstanding hands-on accomplishments, they reach out to the neighboring sky islands south of the border, they have raised an awareness of jaguars and are a strong voice of advocacy on their behalf, they work to preserve, protect, restore the land, as well as raise awareness of the greater need for conservation efforts in the area. This is one of the best action-oriented, boots on the ground, passionate and community minded groups I've ever encountered!
Arizona's borderlands with Mexico are at tremendous risk due to fragmentation of lands, wasteful unneeded strip mining, water depletion, and degradation of landscapes by traffic from border patrol vehicles, migrants, and border criminals. Plus, global climate disruption is degrading the biome habitats of the various elevations of the Sky Islands. All the while there continues to be important evidence of successful struggles of remnant megafauna populations such as the ocelot and even the jaguar in the USA. Sky Island Alliance works tirelessly to protect, preserve, and restore the natural world of the borderlands. As a borderlands art & heritage photographer, I've worked with this group since 2004 in various ways, supporting it as I can. Without this group, the Sky Islands would be in much more dire circumstances.
Sky Island Alliance is one of those run-silent-run-deep organizations which has the delicate and inclusive skill of building bridges between and among seemingly disparate groups. They bring opposing and opinionated people together to see each others' points of view and to find common ground. Their staff understands issues from the ground up--from deep ecological studies of sky island flora and fauna, up through the action arena inspiring volunteer boots on the ground to care for threatened natural places, and at the top, advocating as a team player on Capitol Hill to bring about changes in wildland management policy.
I'm a new volunteer, I recently attended their 20th Wildlife Tracking Workshop, part of their wildlife linkages program. SIA staff were so knowledgeable about wildlife, natural history, the issues and their work. I left feeling very informed and confident in my abilities to identify wildlife and completely understood how my work as a volunteer was directly supporting their mission and makes a clear difference to protect the astounding biodiversity of the Sky Islands region. From a volunteer perspective, that is the most I could ask for.
SIA is a great non profit organization. Their work across the border (US-MEX) forges true friendship and teamwork between nations to protect our Sky Islands. Also by being a volunteer now I can put in practice what I have learned in my community.