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Southwest Life

Interpretive programs elevate your outdoor experience

After a year of canceled in-person events, social distancing and isolation, San Juan Mountains Association has restarted its free, outdoor interpretive programming. Over the years, SJMA has...

San Juan Mountains Association steps up efforts to protect public lands this summer

San Juan Mountains Association is comprised of an amazing team of people working on issues involving access to our public lands through education and outreach. Over the past year, the SJMA ...

Forest ambassadors to promote responsible visitation in San Juans

From the soaring amphitheater of Ouray, to the turquoise lakes of Silverton, to the red rock canyons of Mesa Verde, it was absolutely unmistakable that last year was unlike any before it. ...

Summer programs will get young, old into the outdoors

Imagine yourself as a kid again. It’s spring and you can hardly sit still in class as you gaze out the window and watch puffy clouds drift by on a warm breeze. The early flowers ...

Programs help children explore outdoors up close

With subzero temperatures and snow one week, then warm sun followed by rain and thunderstorms and T-shirt weather the next, it seems like the weather is confused about what season it is. ...

Time to rethink how we handle challenges to public lands

It needs no saying that 2020 was a radical departure from normal, and it’s becoming quite clear that it left its mark on our nation’s most iconic public lands. Countless trails a...

Standing up for public lands in the face of mounting challenges

This year, getting outside became a lifeline for Americans of all stripes, and our public lands became more popular than ever. For me, a long hike anywhere on our public lands is...

Allison’s Turkey Packers Co-op provided income during hard times

By Ruth E. Lambert During the dark days of the Depression, the residents of La Plata County struggled to survive, and in the rural areas, families helped to sustain themselves as ...

Wilderness crew clears trails, educates public

By David Taft During summer 2019, our community was deeply concerned about the state of the Weminuche Wilderness. Visitation was exploding (as it still is), avalanches...

For young ‘explorers,’ learning comes naturally in the outdoors

By Mike Bienkowski San Juan Mountains Association It is early June, and we are five minutes into our first day of San Juan Mountains Association’s “San Juan Ramblers” n...

Pandemic escape: Sharing public lands during COVID-19

I, like many of you, have been connecting more than ever via social media in order to fill the void left by lack of real interaction. But some of the things I read make me wonder if we have ...

The rugged, rewarding work of wilderness stewards

By Harry Bellow San Juan Mountains Association Traveling through the wilderness of the San Juan Mountains, you might not have seen us. We are an elusive bunch. ...