Every time I go out to the ranches and drive more than five minutes past the headquarters, I see wildlife. Not just rabbits and little birds: antelope, eagles, snakes, even once a lion! Those animals, besides being native inhabitants of this region, are there with the strength and vigor they have because of the efforts by the ranches to maintain healthy habitats and connected open spaces.
The ranches, now and for decades past, have been at the front lines of wildlife conservation. They might not always do what the general public think is right, but nor does the public always advocate for what the ranchers think is best. In the long term, however, management decisions come down to collaboration between all parties involved: the ranches, the agencies, and the public.
Collaboration, as so many active Diablo Trusters know, is one of the three key words of our community, and one I use when telling strangers and friends about the Diablo Trust: conservation, collaboration, education.
The two main articles in this issue, Bats: Plentiful, Diverse, & Threatened in AZ, and From Generation to Generation, Pt. 1, cover those three topics. In Bats, we read about the little flying mammals that, while being so integral to our ecosystem, are being threatened by development and the specter of the westbound white nose syndrome. In Generation to Generation, Pt. 1, we learn a little bit about the history of conservation on the ranches. Longer versions of these articles can be found online at www.diablotrust.org/news.
Through fundraisers like AZ Gives Day (p8), which this year raised more than $1000 for us to donate to the Summer Agricultural Institute, regular meetings like the Book Club (p5), and insights into ranch life (pp4, 8), everyone involved can continue their education about the collaboration that supports our conservation (see what I did there?). Of course we also have semimonthly field trips, called Days on the Land, which take participants all around the region to learn more about the intricacies of working landscapes and the people, wildlife, and livestock who live “out there.”
We have a great summer lined up, including our Sportsman & Recreation Day on the Land in July (p9), and our Annual Camp-out in August (p11). Consider joining our book club, attending a movie night, or just staying in touch with us! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and can find our schedule at www.diablotrust.org/calendar.
See you, and all sorts of creatures, on the land!
Jeremy D. Krones, Program Manager
Office: 210 Peterson Hall, Northern Arizona University
Contact: (928) 523-0588 or firstname.lastname@example.org