Who We Are

Founded in 1988, the San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA), promotes the exploration and protection of public lands in Southwest Colorado through stewardship and conservation education for people of all ages.

EXPLORE: Through our wide-ranging visitor information centers, we provide guidance on where to go and how to enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly.

LEARN: Through in-school lessons, field trips, summer camps, afterschool programs, interpretive hikes for adults and community events, we aim to inspire conservation ethics in all ages.

PROTECT: Through paid and volunteer stewardship programs, we help protect natural and cultural resources and encourage public lands visitors to minimize their impact.

Our Goals

We commit to building an organization widely recognized for conservation education and public lands stewardship by:

  • Providing education and stewardship programs that are impactful and contribute to meaningful change in participants' actions on the landscape.
  • Encouraging public land visitors to recreate responsibly while minimizing impacts to nature resources
  • Create stewardship programs that are of value to federal land partners and make a noticeable improvement on the landscape.
  • Becoming a top-end nonprofit organization, reflecting best practices in organizational management and financial stability.
  • Ensure people of all cultures and backgrounds have equitable access to the public lands of the Southwest Colorado.

Want to learn more? Check out SJMA's Strategic Plan, 2021 for extensive detail on our goals, strategy and objectives.


In pursuit of our mission, we commit to embracing these organizational values:

  • We reach out to all ages and demographics of people and respect all users of public lands, striving for equitable access to public lands and our programs.
  • We approach teaching and learning with empathy and curiosity, working hand-in-hand with the people, partners and communities we serve to understand and involve them.
  • We face challenges head-on, using science-based knowledge and creativity to find innovative and effective solutions.
  • We are dedicated leaders with strong commitments to collaboration, teamwork, accountability and producing a high standard of work products and services.



As interpretive partners for the San Juan National Forest, Rio Grande National Forest and the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests and several Bureau of Land Management Field Offices, we have a role in protecting more than half of Colorado's federal public lands.


SJMA is thankful for the generosity of our corporate and community partners such as Backcountry Experience, Durango Outdoor Exchange, Alpine Bank, Durango Motor Company and the Community Foundation serving SW Colorado.


Ever wonder how your membership and donations support SJMA?
Learn more by reviewing SJMA's annual Impact Reports. These detailed documents provide insight into our reach across the San Juan Mountains. Our partnership with the San Juan, Rio Grande, and GMUG National Forests as well as the regional Bureau of Land Management field offices provides a solid foundation for our work, but it is through sponsorships, memberships, and donations that we are able to leverage that work across the region.


We can't do all of this great work without the support of our contributors and volunteers! Please consider becoming a member, volunteering and / or supporting us with a financial contribution.