Sky Island Blog

Volunteer Dispatch: Ecology as contemplative practice, pt. 4

March 21, 2018

by Valarie lee James, Sky Island Alliance Adopt-a-Spring volunteer “Darwin’s manner of deep watchfulness allowed the ordinary ground of life to become sanctified, to be brought into Sensus plenoir—a fuller sense—through the offering of simple attention.” – Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author and naturalist. “…what would it mean for contemplative practice to be considered an integral…
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Too much at stake—no border wall in our Sky Islands!

March 6, 2018

The Sky Islands are a Continental Crossroads, a place where cultures from two countries and multiple Native Nations mix and mingle, where black bear, coati, and jaguar meet. It is a place of transitions and extremes—extreme heat of the desert summer broken by cool mountain tops and monsoon rain and extreme diversity of plants and…
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Volunteer Dispatch: To everything a season, pt. 3

February 7, 2018

by Valarie lee James, Sky Island Alliance Adopt-a-Spring volunteer “Within the recesses of the forest, even when in the midst of it (the deafening noise of the insects), a universal stillness appears to reign,” – Darwin, Brazil, 1830s. Sky Island Alliance Volunteer Log Fall 2017 Visit to the Spring In Fall of 2017, our adopted…
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Our resolutions to make 2018 a whole lot better

January 25, 2018

For all of us who care about our fellow humans, clean air and water, and sharing space with other creatures, 2017 was a roller coaster ride, and 2018 is starting out with more of the same. I’ve spent the first part of January taking stock and thinking about what we can do in 2018 to…
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Volunteer Dispatch: The life of a desert spring, pt. 2

October 24, 2017

by Valarie lee James, Sky Island Alliance Adopt-a-Spring volunteer Sky Island Alliance Volunteer Log Monsoon 2017 Visit to the Spring Our first visit to the spring at the height of the Sonoran Desert Summer exceeded our expectations, yielding water flow, nothing short of a miracle. Now, at the end of the monsoon season, we continue…
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Volunteer Dispatch: The life of a desert spring

August 3, 2017

by Valarie lee James, Sky Island Alliance Adopt-a-Spring volunteer Sky Island Alliance Volunteer Log Our First Visit to the Spring: Summer 2017 Note to the Reader: the whereabouts of this wilderness spring is not revealed to ensure the survival of its unique ecosystem. Deep in a mountain range in southeastern Arizona, dry summer grasses flanking…
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Taking a stand for clean water!

August 1, 2017

Join us in defending clean water in the Sky Islands. Last week, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that he will move forward to repeal the 2015 Waters of the United States Rule, also known as WOTUS or the Clean Water Rule. This announcement opens a 30-day public comment period. Please take action to preserve this…
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BEE-lieve it or not, it’s National Pollinator Week!

June 21, 2017

by Marci Caballero-Reynolds, Doris Duke Conservation Intern National Pollinator Week has arrived, and it’s time to celebrate and learn about our pollinators here in the Southwest. The Sky Island Region contains important migratory corridors for bees, flies, bats, butterflies, moths, ants, birds, and bats that have formed mutualistic relationships to blooming plants. With a rapidly…
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¡Ajos-Bavispe obtiene un ascenso!/Ajos-Bavispe gets a promotion!

June 8, 2017

English text below. por Mirna Manteca ¡Estamos celebrando buenas noticias sobre uno de nuestros colaboradores más grandes en Sonora! La Reserva Forestal Nacional y Refugio de Fauna Silvestre Ajos-Bavispe ha sido oficialmente reclasificada como Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Bavispe. Gracias a Wildlands Network y una larga lista de individuos y organizaciones interesadas,…
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Why I Give

May 24, 2017

We launched our Pathways for Wildlife campaign to the public on Arizona Gives Day to resounding support from our community of donors, volunteers, and partners. To date, we have raised more than $18,000, with nearly half of that coming in during 24 hours on Arizona Gives Day, a statewide day of giving. We asked folks…
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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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