By Chris Blackshear


Protecting the San Juans for Future Generations

The San Juan Mountains Association is a grassroots organization whose members share values and passion for our public lands and cultural treasures. We are based in Durango, Colorado and are the non-profit interpretive partner for the San Juan National Forest and BLM Tres Rios Field Office.


San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA) helps to protect Southwest Colorado’s public lands by organizing hands-on stewardship programs for our seasonal workers and our dedicated and passionate volunteers. For decades, our volunteers have been the heart of our programs donating tens of thousands of hours to conduct visitor outreach, promote Leave No Trace principles, and even provide trail maintenance.

With the increased visitation to our public lands, the need for more boots on the ground is higher than ever. Thankfully, SJMA now hires a group of outdoor-loving, seasonal workers to fill rolls in:

  • National Forest Wilderness Stewardship Crew Members,
  • Forest Ambassadors, and
  • Snow Ambassadors.
Wilderness Crew Member, 2023


SJMA develops and conducts a variety of cultural activities within the Cultural Program.  Consistent with SJMA’s mission, the cultural program provides education and interpretation of the broad range of cultural resources on public and other lands, including prehistoric and historic archaeological remains, ethnographic resources, and the records and data associated with these resources.  Educational and interpretive activities include field venues for participants of all ages. The Cultural Program consists of the Southwest Colorado Cultural Site Stewardship Program and several cultural projects.

We Need Your Help!

SJMA is committed to the protection and stewardship of the incredible lands of the San Juans and the Weminuche Wilderness.  The SJMA provides education and interpretation of the broad range of hands-on projects to improve and protect the San Juan Mountains.  Whether you can give your time, give money or become a member, we can’t do it without your help!

Naturalist Volunteers, 2023