San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA)


Mission Statement

SJMA empowers local residents and visitors to explore, learn about, and protect the spectacular lands of Southwest Colorado.


SJMA is emerging as a regional leader in public lands stewardship and conservation education in Southwest Colorado. Our role continues to expand as land management agencies confront unprecedented challenges. We have a three-fold approach to public lands conservation: (i) directly engaging the local community in stewardship projects that improve conditions on the ground, (ii) educating the public on how to responsibly visit public lands without harming key watersheds and forests, and (iii) fostering a conservation ethic that will stand the test of time by connecting youth of all ages to the outdoors through science-based education.
Our public lands are a key driver of Colorado’s $62 billion outdoor recreation economy. Each year, more and more visitors flock to Southwest Colorado in large part to explore the spectacular mountains, wild streams, and wide-open spaces. SJMA is committed to caring for the irreplaceable landscapes of the San Juan National Forest and Rio Grande National Forest so that Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy can continue to thrive. We are asking you to join us in supporting this critical mission.

Program Details

Recent accomplishments and programs:
Weminuche Wilderness Stewardship Fund: In 2019, SJMA launched the Weminuche Wilderness Stewardship Fund to promote “Leave No Trace” education, improve trail access, and conduct stewardship projects in Colorado’s largest wilderness area. At a time when there were no federal rangers in the Weminuche Wilderness, SJMA raised funds to put rangers back in the Weminuche and improve public access to key trails. Our goal is to create a new model of wilderness management where the local community directly contributes to wilderness stewardship through volunteer efforts and financial contributions.
Durango Nature Studies Merger: In early 2020, SJMA merged with Durango Nature Studies to expand our capacity to provide high-quality conservation education programming across the San Juan Mountains. The combined education program will serve youth from pre-school through university and adults of all ages. In conjunction with the merger, SJMA is launching a new pilot program in Montezuma County focused on providing youth with career pathways to jobs in the outdoors. We are also launching a “Forest Fridays” program to provide standards-based science lessons on Fridays when local schools are not in session. At a time when rural schools have been cut to four-day weeks, SJMA is leading the way with science-based education that connects youth to the great outdoors. All told, SJMA’s education program will grow by an estimated 500% in 2020.
SJMA is creating model programs that demonstrate how the local community can help protect the irreplaceable natural resources that we all treasure. We invite you to join us as we foster a long-term conservation ethic that will help protect our public lands for the long-term.
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PO Box 2261
Durango, CO 81302
United States
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