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Sky Island Alliance is a 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 (Arizona, New Mexico) and northwestern Mexico (Sonora, Chihuahua).
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.
In response to increasingly dramatic changes in the Sky Island region, Sky Island Alliance initiated a climate change adaptation project in 2009. Sky Island Alliance is worked with partners including Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS), the Udall Foundation U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, EcoAdapt the University of Arizona Institute of the Environment,and School of Natural Resources and the Environment to connect leading planners and thinkers in natural resource management and conservation with experts on regional climate impacts and adaptation. We are working to increase resilience in the region by ensuring implementation of climate-smart, landscape level management and conservation. Outcomes include convening of climate change adaptation workshops, climate adaptation plans for the region and specific ecosystems and resources, and implementation of adaptation strategies.
Sky Island Alliance is currently implementing a volunteer driven adaptation project to survey and restore springs to enhance ecosystem resilience and adaptation capcity for widllife.
Sky Island Alliance is a grassroots non-profit 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.
Since 1991, we have engaged a wide range of partners, creating alliances and collaborating with scientists, landowners, agency personnel, planners, conservation organizations, volunteers, individuals, decision makers and foundations. We understand the Sky Islands from a biological perspective, where species and habitats do not recognize political boundaries, reinforcing the importance of ecoregional conservation. Due to this vision of the region, we engage in an integrated approach to conservation: we protect and restore native species, healthy and diverse ecosystems, and natural evolutionary processes; safeguard and improve wildlife movement across the landscape (connectivity) and reduce barriers to wildlife migration (landscape permeability); increase public understanding and appreciation of the Sky Island region and importance for sustainable human activities; guide land planning processes to ensure conservation based land management; and, promote Wilderness, National Conservation Area, and other protective designations by federal, state, and local governments. For almost 20 years, Sky Island Alliance has been working with numerous partners to build resilience in the region through protection and restoration of cores and corridors, and through the reduction of what are now termed “nonclimate stressors.” We seek to further this critical work and increase resilience in the landscape as well as ensure the implementation of climate-smart adaptive land management.
The Sky Island region is a biological bridge where the temperate Rocky Mountains and Colorado Plateau meet the subtropics of the Sierra Madre Occidental, the Sonoran and the Chihuahuan Deserts. The grassland valleys and mountain islands of the Sky Islands are globally important because of the rich diversity of species and habitats, and act as a stronghold of such magnificent keystone predators as the jaguar and Mexican wolf. This landscape harbors a huge slice of our nation’s natural heritage—well over half the bird species of North America, 29 bat species, over 3,000 species of plants, and 120 species of mammals – a diversity greater than anywhere else in the United States. The Sky Island region is equally rich in human culture—contemporary, historic, and prehistoric.
We envision a Sky Island region where: healthy, diverse and resilient ecosystems support native species and functioning ecological processes; native species and communities have permanently protected core areas; native animals and plants move and disperse across the landscape and threats and barriers to landscape permeability are minimized; development is guided by planning that considers future generations of all species; residents of the region treasure its unique values and the ecosystem services they rely on, and advocate for the conservation of those values and services; and residents share a sense of community that includes people on both sides of the international border.
Protect and restore native species, healthy and diverse ecosystems, and natural evolutionary processes in the Sky Island region.
Protect and restore wildlife movement across the landscape (connectivity) and reduce barriers to wildlife migration (landscape permeability).
Increase public understanding and appreciation of the Sky Island region and develop a land ethic and sense of place among the region's residents to support our broader vision for conservation.
Ensure conservation based land management on public lands in the region.
Secure Wilderness, National Conservation Area, and other protective designations by federal, state, and local governments.
Establish baseline data on various forms of wildlife and vegetation in select locations principally in the Mexican Sky Islands of northern Sonora and Chihuahua and in the borderlands of Arizona and New Mexico.