Sky Island Blog

The case for protecting our public lands

May 23, 2017

Across the United States, public lands provide clean water and open space and support healthy human communities. In the Sky Islands, public lands encompass most of our mountains, providing a haven for a diversity of plants and animals, enjoyment for all of us, and essential services like clean air and flowing creeks that support our…
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Defending science and taking action on climate change

April 20, 2017

The proposed federal budget released in March brings into sharp focus the impacts of the Trump administration’s unwillingness to accept the settled science on climate change, or any science really. There is a particular disregard for the science responding to climate change. Science is core to Sky Island Alliance’s mission, and we’ve long invested in…
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Sky Island Alliance volunteers are turning heads in Sonora!

March 28, 2017

Our Alianza Mariposa Monarca volunteers are working hard to raise awareness of monarch and pollinator conservation in the Sky Island communities of Sonora, Mexico. Alianza Mariposa Monarca is a group of over 20 student volunteers from Universidad de Sonora who are helping us fill a vital information gap regarding the status of monarch butterflies in…
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What makes good pathways for wildlife? Abundant clean water!

Pathways for wildlife aren’t literal roads or trails. On their journey north to stake out new territory, jaguars need regular access to clean water and food, and they need safe and secluded passage through wild areas free from development and disturbance. With your help Sky Island Alliance will protect and restore these vital resources. When…
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Sky Island conservation is powered by YOU!

March 21, 2017

I first met Sky Island Alliance nearly 13 years ago as one of the hundreds of volunteers who power our conservation work each year. It was a joy to spend two days in beautiful, rolling grasslands, digging in the dirt. That trip opened my eyes to the spirit of people-powered conservation and drew me into…
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Embattled Borderlands: A Virtual Visit to the U.S.-Mexico Border

March 14, 2017

Tour the stunning natural and cultural richness of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands in this story map created by award winning photographer and writer Krista Schlyer. Krista collaborated with researchers, filmmakers, photographers and conservation organizations, including Sky Island Alliance, to paint a vivid portrait of the borderlands region and the threats posed by the proposed border wall…
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Sky Island jaguars need you to speak up!

February 28, 2017

updated 3/6/2017 – additions are in bold italics Please ask the USFWS to protect the habitat and pathways that jaguars need to recover in the United States by submitting comments on their recently released Jaguar Draft Recovery Plan. The plan could be improved in a number of areas, and your voice can amplify the need…
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See place-based wildfire analysis on our Story Map

February 6, 2017

Throughout 2015 and 2016, we monitored two locations in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona to document the effect that rock structures have on soil moisture and compare performance of the structures in one landscape that had suffered severe wildfire and one that had not yet burned. Now you can dig into the full, interactive…
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Our pledge to you: Sky Island Alliance will stand strong for binational conservation

January 31, 2017

Over the past week we’ve been busy at Sky Island Alliance preparing to host a workshop in Sonora, Mexico where we will train a cohort of Mexican university students and agency personnel in springs ecosystem surveys. Despite their incredible importance to landowners and wildlife, the springs of Mexico’s Sky Islands are poorly mapped and understood, and…
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Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

January 2, 2017

WOW! We did it! YOU did it! We exceeded our goal and raised a whopping $69,566! * On behalf of the entire staff and board at Sky Island Alliance, I want to offer a sincere thank you to everyone who made a gift to our year-end campaign. We look forward to working harder than ever…
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Our New Year’s Resolutions to you!

December 30, 2016

Our New Year’s Resolutions to you: We resolve to build robust crossborder partnerships to preserve vast open spaces and provide safe crossings for wildlife throughout the Sky Islands! We resolve to monitor more springs and restore life-giving waters and landscapes to ensure that all species–big and small–thrive in the Sky Islands! We resolve to provide…
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Welcome Tadeo Pfister, Regional Program Manager

December 15, 2016

I am thrilled to welcome Tadeo Pfister to the Sky Island Alliance team as our Regional Program Manager. Tadeo brings a wealth of experience working in coastal Sonora Mexico on education, research, conservation and restoration initiatives. His strong relationships with Mexican nonprofits, academic institutions, government agencies, and local communities in coastal Sonora will enhance the…
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Welcome Scott Wilbor, Conservation Science Director

November 15, 2016

I am thrilled to announce that Scott Wilbor has joined the Sky Island Alliance team as our Conservation Science Director. Scott brings years of experience working as a conservation biologist in the Sky Island Region and Arizona on diverse conservation issues. Scott was instrumental in developing the science-based system of Important Bird Areas for Audubon…
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Some post-election thoughts and reasons for hope

November 11, 2016

Following the election, I sent the message below to Sky Island Alliance staff and board members. I’m sharing it with you now, hoping the message brings you encouragement too. Whatever your political leanings, the new administration will clearly present challenges to environmental conservation and funding for cross-border collaboration. We have a lot of work to…
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Happy Trails Jessica!

October 25, 2016

We are sad to announce that after 10 years of dedicated service at Sky Island Alliance, Jessica Moreno has decided to move on to new adventures on October 31. Many of you know Jessica from attending one of the dozens of tracking trainings she’s conducted in Arizona, New Mexico and Sonora, meeting her at one…
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This lonely pine flycatcher built her nest at Aliso Spring in 2016, credit Jennie Duberstein

Pine flycatcher—harbinger of climate change, ray of hope for adaptation

October 4, 2016

By Louise Misztal Five years ago I wrote—in the pages of this very newsletter—about the effects of climate change that were already visible in the Sky Islands and that the region’s ecosystems and species were facing new and more complex challenges as a result. What I wrote then is still true to today. “[W]arming has…
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Call to action: Help protect this Mexican reserve important to wildlife!

September 13, 2016

Leer en Español A recent blog post from Sky Island Alliance board member Juan Carlos Bravo makes a strong call to action to protect the Ajos-Bavispe Natural Protected Area in Sonora, Mexico. Ajos-Bavispe encompasses over 496,000 acres of conservation lands and contains the highest concentration of Priority Species in the whole country, including jaguars, bison,…
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¡Ayuda a proteger esta Reserva Mexicana de gran importancia para la fauna silvestre!

Read this in English Un reciente post del miembro de la mesa directiva de Sky Island Alliance, Juan Carlos Bravo, hizo un fuerte llamado a la acción para proteger el Área Natural Protegida Ajos-Bavispe en Sonora, México. Ajos-Bavispe abarca más de 200,724 hectáreas de tierras de conservación y contiene la mayor concentración de especies prioritarias…
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La importancia de la hermandad—¡para nuestros parques!

August 26, 2016

English text below Son finales de febrero, el último día de nuestra reunión de parques hermanos del 2015. Estoy de pie en el borde de uno de los puntos de observación en el parque Coronado National Memorial. El sonido de risa, charlas, y el clic de fotos tomadas a mis espaldas. Mi mirada fija en…
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Documentando Atropello de Animales en México

English text below. El monitoreo de Atropello de Animales no es divertido. Es desgarrador ver a un coyote juguetón, tejón solitario, o a una majestuosa lechuza sin vida a un lado de la carretera. Mentiría si dijera que nunca he derramado una lágrima al documentar estas observaciones. Por otra parte, cada cadáver que encontramos es…
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