An Update From Our CEO

A Clear Mandate for Nature

More people voted in this year’s election than the last 100 years. Now is the time to hold elected officials accountable for promises to conserve Nature.

The 2020 U.S. election saw the biggest voter turnout in over a century. Like the record turnout, this year set records for temperatures, fires, and drought. Voters elected officials who promised to care about what happens to Nature, to promote policies that increase resilience, and to allow everyone to live in greater harmony with the environment. The Sonoran Institute will be reaching out to elected municipal, state, and federal officials to discuss opportunities to build nature into plans for the future of the West.

Water will be at the top of the list. With the ink barely dry on the seven-year Drought Contingency Plan, we will engage officials on how to mitigate the 20-year drought. We will highlight our successes with Growing Water Smart workshops, habitat restoration, and connecting the river to the sea in the Colorado River Delta in Mexico. Now is the time for greater collaboration throughout the Colorado River basin—among the seven U.S. states and between Mexico, the indigenous nations, and the United States on water issues.

Tidal Flats and channels rimmed by green salt grass near Montague Island, Colorado River Delta, Baja California, Mexico. July 2015. ©Bill Hatcher/Sonoran Institute, 2020

Across the political spectrum, communities voted to maintain and promote thriving ecosystems. Right alongside water issues will be climate. Given that the future promises to be hotter and drier here where we live and work, we will engage elected officials in the discussion of the framework of the next plan for the Colorado River and its water. Because the interests of municipalities, agriculture, economies and nature seem to compete, we will push for an open and inclusive process to make sure that ALL voices are heard.

Across the political spectrum, communities voted to maintain and promote thriving ecosystems.

As has been our steady approach over 30 years, the Sonoran Institute will convene members of diverse cultures and interests together in collaboration. At a time when the country is split along political party lines, the Sonoran Institute firmly believes that nature will unite us toward connecting people and communities with the natural resources that nourish and sustain them.

We invite you to support us and help shape our mission. Please donate now to the Sonoran Institute so that we can keep the focus on ensuring that our natural resources and future generations may thrive.

Blog post by Mike Zellner, chief executive officer of the Sonoran Institute