I appreciate closing the year with reflection on where I’ve been, where I’m going next, and what I’ve learned that I want to carry with me. Here at Sky Island Alliance, we’ve marked our weeks, months, and seasons this year with special glimpses of our beautiful wildlife neighbors and springs through several of our programs: our Border Wildlife Study, Sky Island FotoFauna, and Spring Seeker.
This past spring, we were thrilled to snap the first photo of a bear in the Border Wildlife Study, marking the changing season. Through the summer, we caught intimate peeks at elf owls, foxes, and skunks in the dark of night. And this fall, we were delighted to see our first porcupine in the study!
Seeing these creatures brought us joy. Each sighting invigorated us to tell their stories and fight the border wall construction that currently bears down on their homes.
As we close the year here at Sky Island Alliance, we’re taking a lesson from our friends and neighbors, the bears. Staff and I are taking a little time during these short winter days to rest, rejuvenate, and digest all that’s happened this year.
We’re having a short hibernation to renew our strength and resolve to protect our wild neighbors and the places they call home; to heal the land that has been damaged by border wall, fire, and drought; and to engage young leaders in the magic of studying springs and wildlife and protecting them through their gained knowledge.
We’re strengthened in this work by each of you who also loves and cares for these special places and animals alongside us.
Your donations, time, and kind words, and your sharing the work of Sky Island Alliance with friends, family and beyond, is building the resilient network we need to protect the Sky Islands. I’m grateful for your steadfast support this year while so much else around us changed and challenged us.
In celebration of our wild neighbors and the season, I’m sharing an ode to the wildlife of the Sonoran Desert by our very own Emily Burns. I hope you will find time to enjoy it with a hot beverage and loved ones. I know I sure did!
In the new year, our bear friends will continue to walk among us and we will continue to tell their story. I hope you join us in the work to keep their home safe and to share the joy and wonder of the Sky Islands with the world.
From all of us here at Sky Island Alliance, we wish you a happy New Year filled with love, light, peace, and wildness.
Sending you and yours bear hugs,