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    Vital connections in challenging times

    Strengthening human health and resilience from the ground up.

    The profound challenges we face today underscore that we are all part of a living community. Individual human health is dependent on the health of the world around us, including our ecosystems. Our resilience to disease is directly related to the nutrients in our soils, the quality of our food, air and water, and our ability to be out in nature. Our food, water and economic security depend on the health and productivity of our lands and the wellbeing of those who steward those lands. And, as evidenced everywhere today, our survival and prosperity ultimately will hinge on our ability to cooperate in the care of our living community as a whole. 

    Photo courtesy of Flying Diamond Cattle Ranch, CO.

    As landowners and managers, we founded the Western Landowners Alliance because we understand the vital importance of land stewardship to human health and prosperity.  We also know first hand that sound stewardship requires knowledge, financial resources and supportive public policies. The current crisis inspires in us an even deeper sense of urgency and commitment to our mission of keeping working lands and the ecosystems they support whole and healthy. We also believe the voices of working lands stewards and rural communities are more important than ever right now. 

    Most of our staff already work remotely from ranches, small towns and cities across the West, We are therefore accustomed to operating in a virtual office environment.  There are some new challenges, however, including increased responsibilities for schooling and caring for young children at home during school closures. As these priorities compete, we are encouraging staff to care for themselves and their families first. Please know that we are working closely with all of our partners and community members to be as helpful, consistent, communicative and present as we can be during these uncertain times. Below are several opportunities to connect and engage with us today. 

    Stories from the Land

    As more and more people hunker down in their homes and our social institutions, like schools, churches, restaurants and music halls, close up shop, we will be working to share the experiences of rural westerners who have learned to cope and even thrive, in socially-isolating situations. If you have a story you would like to share or are looking for information that may lie within our network, please do not hesitate to contact any of our staff, including especially communications director Louis Wertz (louis@westernlandowners.org).

    Lesli is a founding member and executive director of the Western Landowners Alliance. She was also a founding member of the Chama Peak Land Alliance. For the past three decades, Lesli has worked extensively with private landowners and multiple stakeholders to advance conservation, sustain working lands and support rural communities.