Sheltering in our Place

I was planning to share an update with you today about our Wildlife at the Wall campaign to protect wildlife in the Sky Island borderlands. I still want to share updates with you, but as I’ve prepared this message the world around us has transformed. And, I’ve been thinking of you and your dedication to our natural world and what I might say to you.

The last weeks brought sudden and drastic changes to our lives. As we hold our loved ones near, and try to keep our families safe and cared for as our communities shut down, uncertainty over what will happen next is palpable. If you’re like me, you could use some grounding and calm, a connection to something greater than yourself. Amidst the turmoil, I took a moment yesterday in my yard to connect with nature, to inhale the scents of spring bursting forth in the Sky Islands, to soak up the diversity life around me going about its business of blooming, eating, pollinating, and singing.

Inspiring and empowering people to connect with and care for the wildlife, water and lands of the Sky Islands is core to our work at Sky Island Alliance. Keeping wildlife connected and thriving involves people, all of you, people who love the Sky Islands and are moved to take action to care for them.

During these extraordinary times, I will endeavor to stay connected with you and help you stay connected to the Sky Islands.

We continue vital work to protect pathways for wildlife. Despite communities coming to a near standstill, border wall construction is marching forward right through natural gems like the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge.Pathways for cross-border wildlife are under imminent threat from border wall construction that will sever the Path of the Jaguar through the Pajarito, Patagonia, Huachuca, and Peloncillo Mountains and end jaguar recovery in the U.S..

Thanks to your dedication, we are able to continue time-sensitive work to study border wildlife, advocate for science and law to be respected, and raise public awareness about what we stand to lose if this border wall is built. We hope you will continue to support us in this work through the coming weeks.

Our amazing staff is the backbone of our work, so we’ve shifted work out of the office to keep staff safe, and we’re supporting their needs to stay healthy and take care of their families. We care deeply about the well-being of the volunteers that make our conservation work possible so we have postponed work with volunteer groups. We’re fortunate to be able to carefully continue field work with staff checking wildlife cameras in the great wide open, which is a buoy for our spirits.

For me, being immersed in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature is a light in dark times. I hope we can be a beacon of light for you in the coming weeks, even if you can’t get outside. Follow Sky Island Alliance on social media via the buttons below, and right here on email to get regular doses of nature that I hope will brighten your day and connect you to all the amazing life you have helped protect.

From all of us at Sky Island Alliance, may you have the strength and stability of a Sky Island mountain during these troubled times. May you find comfort and joy in the nature that surrounds you, and may you find pride in all you’ve done to care for the Sky Islands.

And know that we are right here continuing our work to keep wildlife thriving and connected and water flowing. Take good care of yourselves and your family.

In community,


Louise Misztal
Executive Director