Sky Island Alliance is a bi-national grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the rich natural heritage of native species and habitats in the Sky Island region of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.
We work with volunteers, scientists, land owners, public officials, and government agencies to establish protected areas, restore healthy landscapes, and promote public appreciation of the region's unique biological diversity.
Welcome Jan Holder!
Sky Island Alliance Executive Director
Read a personal letter from Jan here.
SAVE THE DATE!
Saturday, September 20, 2014
SIA's Annual Volunteer Picnic will be a great opportunity to meet Jan in person, and enjoy the company of staff and friends as we thank and appreciate our many wonderful volunteers. All all welcome. Check our calendar of events for more details, coming soon.
Our Board and Staff are excited to be bringing on Jan Holder as our new Executive Director. Before joining Sky Island Alliance, Jan Holder held the position of Executive Director for the Gila Watershed Partnership in Eastern Arizona. Over a span of twelve years, she led a collaborative effort that engaged widely diverse stakeholders to work across political, social, economic, cultural, and geographic boundaries to identify and address environmental issues throughout the Upper Gila Watershed of Arizona. Jan worked with the partnership’s broad constituency to restore the riparian areas as well as upland and forest vegetation, and improve wildlife habitat, water quality, and river function. Jan engaged critical stakeholders throughout Graham and Greenlee Counties to identify the watershed’s declining water resources, and develop a plan for bridging the increasing gap between supply and demand.
Previously, Jan worked for the Southeast Arizona Land Trust, where she developed conservation strategies, and developed, wrote, and negotiated conservation easement to protect land in strategically important areas in Southeast Arizona. Jan co-managed a cattle ranch with her husband in the Upper Eagle Creek area of Greenlee County, Arizona, and was founder of Ervin’s Grassfed Beef, a predator-friendly beef company that distributed products in 11 western states and in Alain Ducasse in the Essex House in New York City, the most expensive restaurant in the country. Prior to that, Jan spent over ten years in the marketing industry, working for various national companies such as America West Airlines and Chase Bank.
Jan served on the Defenders of Wildlife’s Wolf Compensation Advisory Board from 2001 to 2004, on the Bureau of Land Management’s Resource Advisory Council from 2004 to 2010, and she chaired the University of Arizona’s Udall Center’s Common Ground Roundtable Sustainable Ranching Committee. Jan was awarded the Public Lands Foundation Landscape Stewardship Award for 2008, and in 2011 she received the Department of the Interior’s Partners in Conservation Award from the Secretary of the Interior in Washington D.C. She currently serves on the core team for The Cross Watershed Network, an organization dedicated to facilitate and enhance collaboration between watershed practitioners throughout the arid West.
Protect, Connect, Restore:
Bringing it Together for the Jaguar and Ocelot
Above: Jaguar in the Sierra Azul, Sonora, (c) 2010 Sky Island Alliance/ El Aribabi. Below: Map of the biological influences of the Sky Island region (c) Sky Island Alliance; created by Louise Misztal and Nick Deyo.
Ocelots and jaguars are once again calling the Sky Islands their home... or have they been here all along?
Throughout the majority of the last 17 years at least one jaguar has been present in the Arizona/Sonora borderlands, and as many as 8 different individuals have been photographed during this time. SIA documented the first living record of an ocelot in Arizona in 2009 - and a short time later recorded the first evidence of ocelots breeding in the Sky Islands, with a kitten and mother filmed on camera in Sonora, Mexico.
To help these elusive and secretive wild cats stay and thrive, Sky Island Alliance is advocating for jaguar and ocelot conservation in the region: by promoting greater public understanding of the importance of carnivores; informing critical habitat designation; identifying and mapping their best habitat and movement corridors; analyzing motion-activated camera data to determine wild cat activity patterns and behavior; and supporting non-invasive wildlife monitoring.
Do you want to learn more about jaguars and ocelots in the region? Read Sky Island Alliance's peer-reviewed paper, "Wildlife Survey and Monitoring in the Sky Island Region with an Emphasis on Neotropical Felids," published in the proceedings of the 2012 Madrean Conference.
Protecting these spotted cats also helps us explore and protect other critters too! See photos and videos of more wildlife from our motion-activated cameras.
Knowing that jaguars and ocelots are present in our Sky Island region is one of the reasons we are passionate about what we do. Please help us continue this important work.