Sky Island Alliance is an amazing local/regional conservation organization undertaking important work that other groups are not, working collaboratively with partners in two countries and four states. SIA does a lot of critical work with not a lot of funding; they do a superb job of effectively applying donor dollars to ensure change on the ground and movement forward.
Sky Island Alliance is unique in this region in its ability to put boots on the ground and exact real change on the landscape, in policy and education. I am constantly impressed with their ability to respond to emergent issues and keep donors/members informed about what's going on and how we can plug in to make a real difference.
I have volunteered with this group for a number of hands on projects such as ORV damage rehabilitation, bat mine surveys, and frog surveys.
I have also tabled to spread the word. SIA is involved in protecting the sky Islands of southern Arizona and wildlife corridors with Mexico. The chance to work in the field has strengthened my commitment for land protection by seeing the positive effects of my efforts. This is a stronger bond than just contributing money.
The Sky Islands Alliance (SIA) is a major player in the conservation of some of the most important ecosystem services providers of northwestern Mexico and southwestern USA. The persistence of the ecosystems in mountains sorrounded by a desert sea, not only assures the maintenance of biodiversity and human culture, but guarentees the most important commodity of desertlands: water. Throughout its work, SIA has promoted research, conservation, management and sustainable use of these unique ecosystems for now 20 years. SIA has influenced my academic work and has steered the way I perceive research and conservation to such degree that I have ended writing research papers directly isnpired by its activieties. Its involvement with research scientists as well as with the inhabitants of remote ranches up in the mountains truly reflects SIA's mission of working across a transversal section of the society to achieve conservation, restoration and sensible development of the region ecosystems.
Sky Island Alliance is one of the most important environmental forces in Southern Arizona and the region. They are very creative, knowledgeable, constructive, and approachable in their environmental projects. They are easy to work with, both from a government agency client perspective and for their cadre of volunteers and members.
Their projects demonstrate experience and professionalism in approach. I am familiar with SIA as a field contact for the Bureau of Land Management, and also as a volunteer in a few Forest Service projects. The project leaders are always good communicators with government staff and volunteers alike, and they make projects fun!
I worked with SIA on several projects in the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. I was struck by their adherance to BLM regulations while carrying out restoration and protective work, which required excellent working knowledge of environmental law.
i took SIA's 5-day mammal tracking workshop in 2008 and volunteered with them on several occasions. They have top notch scientists working for them and do a great job of getting the general public actively involved and excited about conservation. They do so many different things from science to policy to education, they seem to be covering so many different bases in conservation, an approach I think is necessary to effectively make a difference for preserving wildlands and wildlife. If I could suggest anything it would be for some staff members to get additional training in professional public outreach and ethics so they can rise above some of the petty politics that exists between different conservation organizations in the area. However, I would say again that overall they are doing an outstanding job and I'd love to see them win more support for their efforts in preserving the Sky Islands.
Great enviro group for S AZ. Now I am writing more blah blah b/c they won't let me click on Submit. Grrr....
I have been volunteering at the office and have gone on many of their outdoor landscape restoration volunteer weekend trips. The staff are the best of their field and the work they do is not only protecting and conservation the Sky Island region but they are active in restoration, which many nonprofits don't do as much of.
I first learned of Sky Island Alliance when I visited Southern Arizona 7 years ago. Several SIA staffers worked on a mountain lion track count project at Saguaro National Park for which I was volunteering. I was impressed by their knowledge, vision and passion for the Sky Islands -- and also by their very "doable" plan for preserving the area with the help of the community. I live on the East Coast, but I continue to support the SIA and the work they're doing to keep the unique and biologically diverse Sky Islands area healthy.
The mountains of Southern Arizona are a unique ecology, differing from the dry valley floor. The Sky Island Alliance multiplies the impact of various agencies working to protect the birds, animals and plants in the mountains. Cooperation in education, advocacy and research is a way to maximize the work of all.
I first learned about Sky Island Alliance as an undergrad in college. I was looking for a class project combining my interest in wildlife research and photography. Over coffee I met with two SIA staff, Mike and Sergio, to talk about my ideas, and we set up a date to go out in the field setting remote camera traps for a mountain lion and jaguar study... a turning point for me and the best weekend of my life. In the course of three days of rough hiking and great food, I saw my first lion tracks. In the evening, watching the sun set over the rugged mountains - jaguar country - I felt a powerful connection to the land and the people who were working to protect it. I returned home sore, tired, scratched and bloody, and knowing exactly what I wanted to do for my life and career. I continued to volunteer with the organization for the next two years with wildlife tracking, jaguar conservation and Wilderness designation, eventually getting a part-time job with SIA doing Wilderness outreach for the Tumacacori Highlands in 2008. Today, I work full time as a wildlife biologist for Sky Island Alliance and am gearing up to take on a position as their Wildlife Linkages Program Coordinator. It all began with good people doing good work to protect and restore a region special for its great biodiversity, and special to me as my home. There is a great sense of camaraderie and scientific work ethic with this small organization, which relies on volunteers and big ideas to achieve conservation action in a region that spans four states in two countries. I greatly admire this organization and the work it does.