Our Beginnings

Our Beginnings SJMA was created in 1988 to assist the San Juan National Forest in providing education and interpretation of public lands in Southwest Colorado. SJMA has a participating agreement with the San Juan National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management Tres Rios Field Office to develop educational programs, publications and volunteer projects, as well as provide interpretive services. Click here to see an ongoing list of our projects in stewardship, education and interpretation.


We commit to the following priorities:
  • Educating our volunteers, our partners and the public, with a renewed focus on youth.
  • Connecting people including the public, land managers and our volunteers
  • Connecting people to each other and to our natural and cultural resources.
  • Inspiring respect for our ideals among our partners, the public and our volunteers.
  • Strengthening our image and visibility in the community, our membership, volunteer groups, and the partnerships that contribute to meeting our mission.
  • Supporting our volunteers, staff and partners by providing opportunities for growth and creativity.
  • Diversifying funding sources by identifying and pursuing new opportunities.


“How wild it was, to let it be.” – Cheryl Strayed


"All good things are wild and free."


In pursuit of our mission, the Board, Staff and Volunteers of SJMA commit to embracing these organizational values:
Care for Heritage Resources:
  • We foster protection of the region’s irreplaceable cultural treasures.
Respect People and Ideas:
  • We build passion for SJMA’s goals and ideals through positive interaction with the public.
Inspire Enthusiasm and Commitment in Our Supporters:
  • We support responsible behavior, and by being fair-minded, we seek a balance among differing land-use interests.
Promote a Strong Land Ethic:
  • We instill in people an appreciation for the integrity of the land and how their actions impact the ecosystem.
Connect People to the Land:
  • We provide opportunities for personal experience and enjoyment in our natural surroundings.
Educate through Involvement:
  • We teach volunteers and other supporters through hands-on participation.

What We Do

We commit to building an organization widely recognized for conservation education and sustainability programs by:

  • Providing a broad range of rich and enjoyable programs
  • Inspiring people to work together to respect and enjoy the land.
  • Treating staff and supporters with respect and decency while nurturing their growth.

In addition to our core priorities of facilitating education, preservation and exploration of the San Juan Mountains, we are specialize in interpretive services. We staff the local San Juan Mountains forest service desks, provide guide service, and a variety of other services to help you get out and discover all that the San Juan's have to offer...

Have questions? Need help? Reach out and we are happy to help!

Discover the special places of the San Juan's.
A passion for protecting the San Juan Mountains
Inspiring education about the San Juan Mountains


Like all great non-profits, we can't do it without the support of our contributors and volunteers! If you want to help, please consider volunteering and / or donating whatever you can.