By Brent Schoradt, SJMA Executive Director
Today is the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. Fifty years ago, on April 22, 1970, more than 20 million Americans joined together to demand greater protections for our forests, watersheds, and air. This collective action helped lead to the passage of America’s bedrock environmental laws. Within months, President Nixon signed the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act was soon to follow in 1972. Since the first Earth Day, Congress has added nearly 100 million acres to the National Wilderness Preservation System, including the Weminuche Wilderness in 1975.
Earth Day is a great reminder that, in our democracy, ordinary citizens can help determine the fate of our most treasured natural resources, and the Earth itself. This is the ethos of the San Juan Mountains Association. Since its founding in 1988, SJMA has empowered the public to explore, learn about, and protect the spectacular public lands of Southwest Colorado.
In celebration of Earth Day, SJMA encourages everyone to get outside and enjoy your public lands in a safe and meaningful way. Look around, think of those who came before and left this magnificent natural legacy in Southwest Colorado. Think of what you can do to inspire and empower the next generation to care for our public lands and pass on a legacy of conservation through the ages.
This year, SJMA merged with Durango Nature Studies in our quest to build a sustaining conservation ethic in Southwest Colorado. Our goal is simple: to inspire the next generation of land stewards through science-based outdoor education.
We all know that many folks are unable to donate right now. If you are able to donate today, you have the power to give on behalf of those who cannot. You can stand up for our public lands and help our entire community build a conservation ethic that will stand the test of time. Your donations make a difference and we sincerely thank you for contributing.
Many of the organizers and participants of the original Earth Day, were young people inspired to act during challenging times. Your donation today will help us inspire the next generation to stand up for our public lands and face the unprecedented challenges that await them.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Payroll Department, all donations to SJMA during this difficult time will be matched, up to $7,000, doubling your impact. Moreover, all donations of $50 or more will receive a free “Wild for the Weminuche Wilderness” t-shirt. What a great way to get kids outdoors and show your support for our local public lands.
Thank you for standing with SJMA on this Earth Day. Your support means the world to us.