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In the summer 2017, the Borderlands Restoration Leadership Institute will kick off its 6-week flagship course in the US/Mexico borderlands through a series of integrated lectures, workshops and field trips that address a wide range of socio-ecological issues in our region. Participants will have the opportunity to partake in active restoration projects at varying stages of completion, equipping them with knowledge, techniques and skills in both ecological restoration and the restoration economy.

The course will run between July 3rd and August 11th 2017.

This is the last week to apply. To learn more or apply, visit:

Food chain restoration for pollinators: Regional habitat recovery strategies involving protected areas of the Southwest

A study by Steve Buckley, National Park Service and Gary Nabhan ,University of Arizona Southwest Center

The steep declines over the last quarter century of wild pollinators in the Southwest among native bees, monarch butterflies, hummingbirds, and nectar-feeding bats have come during a time of accelerated climate change, are likely due to a variety of interacting with climatic shifts.

Nevertheless, there is mounting evidence that the declining availability and altered timing of floral resources along “nectar corridors” accessible to pollinators involves climatic shifts as a serious stressor that had been previously underestimated.

Longitudinal studies from both urban heat islands and rural habitats in Southwestern North America suggest that the peak flowering of many wildflowers serving as floral resources for pollinators is occurring 3 to 5 weeks earlier in the spring than a century ago, leaving “phenological gaps” in nectar resource availability for certain pollinators.

To avoid the threat of what Dobson and others have termed “food web collapse”, we have initiated ecological restoration efforts in semi-arid zones that attempt to
a) assemble more resilient plant-pollinator food chains and
b) hydrologically restore watercourses to ensure that water scarcity will be less likely to disrupt re-assembled food chains in the face of droughts, catastrophic floods and other correlates of global climate change.

We recommend “bottom-up food chain restoration” strategies for restoring nectar corridors in protected areas on or near geopolitical and land management boundaries in all regions, but particularly in the “Southwest” or U.S./Mexico desert border states.

We highlight the binational and multi-cultural workshops we have facilitated to communicate about and initiate restoration of mutualistic relationships among plants, pollinators, and people to protected area managers on both sides of the border.

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Authors: Steve Buckley, National Park Service and Gary Paul Nabhan , University of Arizona Southwest Center
8 Reviews
Tell people what you think
Cynthia Carlisi
· February 17, 2017
A wonderful organization of committed, hard working, intelligent & informed people! Thankfully making benefits for the Borderlands.
Debra Paterson
· February 17, 2017
Borderlands Restoration Leadership Institute is helping to prepare the leaders of the future building a restoration economy. Well Done!

Join Us in the Borderlands: Restoration Ecology/ Agro-ecology Field Course, May 20-24, 2017, Rio Sonora watershed, Sonora Mexico

This pilot short course will focus on field methods to survey & document the ecosystem services provided by living fencerows of cottonwoods & willows as well as by hedgerows of multiple species of native shrubs & trees in the traditional farm-ranch-riparian corridor mosaic of the Rio Sonora. Leaving by noon on May 20th & returning by 3 May 24th, th...e group will do early morning surveys of plants, birds & butterflies in these restored agro-riparian landscapes & afternoon field trips to other sites of ecological, ethnobotanical & cultural interest.

Course instructors will include Gary Nabhan, UAZ; Rick & Heather Knight, CSU; Tom Sisk, NAU; Bill Steen, Canelo Project, Laura Monti, Prescott College & others!

Cost per person is $500 including 4 nights lodging in Banamichi, food, van transport, readings & field equipment use. Limited to 16, deadline to apply April 28th. Partial or full scholarships available on basis of need. Bilingual participants preferred.

For more information, contact host Dr. GP Nabhan, or text to 9282250293 with a tag line Rio Sonora.

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May 20 - May 24Rio Sonora watershed, Sonora Mexico
1 person interested

The Borderlands Restoration Horticulture team was invited to lead a workshop in Nogales, Sonora with Watershed Management Group and Imip Nogales Sonora last week. The photos of diligent, focused students and smiling faces speak for themselves! We hope this is the beginning of much great collaboration with these groups!

Borderlands Restoration added 30 new photos.

We had such a good time in Nogales, Sonora last week leading a workshop with Watershed Management Group and IMIP Nogales - Instituto Municipal de Investigación ...y Planeación de Nogales, sharing our love of native plants and seeds with a fantastic group of students! The group learned about the BR approach to growing restoration-quality native plant materials, especially Asclepias angustifolia - Arizona milkweed! We cant wait to work more with these great groups and share nursery knowledge across the border.

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An introduction to the wonderful work of our partner Kate Tirion at Deep Dirt Farm Institute, LLC.

To celebrate their 50th anniversary, the UCSC Farm and Garden and the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, asked their alumni to present their work, what they love about it and how the programs helped them to advance it. Kate was part of the UCSC Farm program and did a magnificent job with what she learned there.


Using many hands and few dollars, Deep Dirt has developed a practical approach to teaching and inspiring people to care for the land through shared work and ...

Listen to The Weekly Green on KXCI Community Radio's and their interview of David Seibert (Borderlands Restoration’s Executive Director) to learn more about the innovative work of Borderlands Restoration and its partnering organizations including the Borderlands Restoration Leadership Institute

Listen to The  Weekly Green 's interview of Borderlands Restorations’ Executive Director, David Seibert to learn more about the innovative work of Borderlands Restoration  and its partnering...

Surprising & Magic Borderlands

The Fariseos of the Pascua Yaqui tribe in Nogales, Sonora. Filmed as part of Suzanna Sedgwick's forthcoming documentary on Ambos Nogales - the sister cities.

By Chloé Fandel

Updates, News, and Resources from BRLI and Our Partners

Reflection Seven by Gary Nabhan : Paul Hawken once reminded us that despite the fact that Americans are consuming more sustainably-produced products than ever before, we are still consuming more products of every kind than any society in human history! We set aside more land as formal protected areas, while still degrading or denuding many times more land and ocean bottom for business as usual. Until our commitment to care for creation spills over from a few sustainable purch...ases and a few locked-up places to more frugally living and more actively restoring the wounded and “unprotected” places, we will still be living in psychic isolation. In fact, we will be hanging on to an island where the rising of the ocean level will be eating at the shores until there is no more to defend or protect. That is why collaborative restoration of the productive, resilient capacity of both “natural” and “cultural” landscapes (from the inner city to the hinterlands” offers me such hope. It is the only way I can envision that will lead us to a more live-able future for all.

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On Jan 5, 2017, the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at Northern Arizona University ( DDCSP@NAU ) visited the Arizona-Mexico border region to learn a... - Discover the work of our partner Cuenca Los Ojos in the Arizona/Sonora Borderlands or how to reconcile ecological restoration and cattle ranching.

The Cuenca Los Ojos Foundation works to preserve and restore the biodiversity of the US/Mexican borderlands through land protection, habitat restoration and wildlife reintroduction.

In an effort to reconcile ecological restoration and cattle ranching, CLO is experimenting holistic grazing in the ranc...h el Valle, in Northern Sonora, MX. In the ranch, land had been resting without grazing for 20 years but clumps of grasses were dying out and the overall grass to bare soil ratio was not improving. CLO is trying a new form of grazing to see if by disturbing and fertilizing the surface of the soil, the situation can be improved.

The cattle are used as a tool: Cattle hoof action breaks the soil’s hydrophobic crust, manure adds nutrients and both stimulate plant growth. To prevent overgrazing, cattle are moved 4 times a day, with each section rested for two rainy seasons to maintain ecosystem health.

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The Cuenca Los Ojos Foundation works to preserve and restore the biodiversity of the US/Mexican borderlands through land protection, habitat restoration and ...

Restoring Our Common Home, By Gary Nabhan

In its book 'Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude', Roos Gay has a poem "C'Mon! "that describes the self-regenerating processes of ecological restoration better than anything else I've read:

...nary a blade of grass. Nary


birdsong. But one day

a small seed took hold. The another.

Soon, beetles ans spiders came back, and then,

and then, the birds were chatting

in the new growth. And right now

a family of elk crosses a stream

and behind them on a hillside

a galaxy of wildflowers

shimmers, Shimmers

and hollers,



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Image may contain: plant, flower, sky, tree, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: plant, flower, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: plant, flower, outdoor and nature

As the old adage goes - ‘the more we know about the past, the better we’ll be prepared for the future’. It was an honor and pleasure to hear a morning of recollections about water history in the Sonoita Creek Watershed with Patagonia's community members. We learned of the lush environment that sustained the Sonorasaurus thompsoni, a 49 ft long and 27 ft tall dinosaur that lived in our neighboring watershed in the middle of the Cretaceous period. We explored living memories attendants who shared stories of bucolic picnics on the banks of the Sonoita Creek and wild west standoffs in the 1930s over blowing up the local bridge to prevent rising waters from flooding the town.

The Borderlands Institute, together with Friends of Sonoita Creek and the Flood and Flow Committee had the opportunity to introduce the science, models and planning processes which are being developed to better inform decision-making in our home watershed. Responses from the audience regarding which topics they view as important will direct future research of the institute, ensuring what we do is useful to the people who work, live and play in our beloved borderlands region.

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Someone able to name this bird ?

Image may contain: bird, sky and outdoor

Borderlands Restoration seeks dynamic leaders to facilitate the training of groups of 10 youth interns age 15-18 as part of the Borderlands Earth Care Youth Institute (BECY) Institute.

Educational Facilitators will work directly with BECY Institute interns four days per week to train the next generation of land stewards, provide marketable job skills on actual restoration
projects, and educate tomorrow’s conservation leaders about the issues that surround complete habitat res...toration. The BECY Institute pays youth interns to learn hands-on job skills in the
following fields from conservation experts: watershed restoration, ecosystem restoration, and food system restoration. Educational Facilitators will work in teams of 2 to ensure the safety of the BECY Institute interns, facilitate an engaging educational experience, and secure a productive work environment.

Find the job description attached. Contact Caleb Weaver for more information !

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"Borderlands are special spaces where cultures meet and mix, where diverse communities blend within the overlapping edges of two worlds. This is especially true in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands because the region lies along a natural boundary as well as a geopolitical border." Discover a beautifully presented story of culture, human habitat and other species written by KRISTA SCHLYA for N-GEN -

A STORY BY KRISTA SCHLYER,  PUBLISHED by  Next Generation of Sonoran Desert Researchers (N-Gen)