2012 Annual Report - Crossroads
Crossroads are an exciting place to be. Not only do they offer the prospect of change, but they also represent the power of choice. Even if difficult, the decision is ours to make, the challenge ours to meet.
Thoughts from Maria Baier - Chief Executive Officer
Crossroads are an exciting place to be.
Not only do they offer the prospect of change, but they also represent the power of choice. Even if difficult, the decision is ours to make, the challenge ours to meet. This is especially energizing when the consequences are momentous, as they are for us today.
The West that we love is at a crossroads, and the choices we make will shape its future—our future—for generations to come. Challenges include:
How communities will grow in the future: The next wave of growth and change is just around the corner. This time, we have the choice to move beyond poorly planned development and to build neighborhoods that have more housing and transportation choices, that are located closer to city and town centers, and that provide greater convenience for residents and financial benefits for communities.
Protecting our natural resources: As our population grows, so does demand for water and other natural resources. Our work in the Colorado River Delta has taught us that enormous water diversions can ruin an entire ecosystem and a way of life. We now have the choice to allocate resources in a way that accommodates growth while preserving our natural environment.
A changing climate: Drought, wildfires, and extreme weather events are now part of everyday life. We can choose to move beyond the polarized debate on this issue and take steps to build community resiliency—helping cities and towns to anticipate and to adapt to disruptive climate events.
The challenges that we face in the West are on a massive scale, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. It is exactly at these critical junctions that you will find the Sonoran Institute.
Our mission is to help communities navigate difficult decision points by providing the experience, skills, and knowledge needed to inspire informed choices. The Sonoran Institute specializes in local engagement—bringing all sides together to agree on a community’s best path forward.
At a time when compromise is increasingly rare, the research-based information and consensus-building skills we bring to the table are more vital than ever. We know from experience that the best results occur when communities value and respect our natural world.
With deep appreciation for the amazing work of Luther Propst, who founded and passionately led the organization for 22 years, the Sonoran Institute has the will, the expertise, and the momentum to help steer the West toward a future that offers the highest possible quality of life for its people and communities.
As always, our ability to succeed hinges on your continued support. Thank you for your contributions. I look forward to continuing to partner with you on this exciting journey.
Inspiring Local Leaders
Fall 2013 WestWord
At the Sonoran Institute, we have always been driven by the conviction that every community is unique. That's why local engagement - customized to each community's culture, heritage, and particular circumstances - is the foundation of our conservation and community development work. When invited, we help each community come together to find its own voice and to achieve its own vision. Maria Baier - CEO
Community Stewardship at its Best
September 2013 Western Dispatch
As we face key challenges in the West, such as protecting our vital natural resources and addressing growth and change, nothing brings greater satisfaction than to see concerned citizens organize and find their own voice.
Voices of the Valley, created by the residents of the Upper North Platte Valley in Carbon County, Wyoming -- with the support of the Sonoran Institute - is the most recent example. -- Maria Baier, CEO.
A BIG Step Forward - Restoring the Delta
August 2013 Western Dispatch
The U.S. and Mexico signed a historic five-year agreement in November that improves management of the Colorado River, providing both countries with greater flexibility in responding to the growing challenges of drought and water scarcity. This agreement is a welcome advance in re-establishing good relations between Arizona and Mexico.
August 2013 -- The U.S. and Mexico signed a historic five-year agreement in November that improves management of the Colorado River, providing both countries with greater flexibility in responding to the growing challenges of drought and water scarcity. Read the full text of Maria's guest editorial which appeared in the August 11, 2013 edition of the Arizona Republic.
This report seeks to identify the steps that must be taken next to achieve the Arizona we want. "Places left in their native state, and familiar to us from our earliest years, form our concepts of beauty and home," says Maria Baier, CEO of the Sonoran Institute and a participant in this project.Read the report.Find out more at www.thearizonawewant.org
AZ Land Chief Takes Over as Sonoran Institute CEO
Nov. 24, 2012 - After running the State Land Department for more than three years, Maria Baier will take over the reins of a Tucson conservation group that has spent most of its 21 years trying to reform the laws governing state land. Read the Arizona Daily Star story by Tony Davis.