About Us


The Coalition’s mission is to protect the biodiversity of the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona through science-based advocacy, education, and collaboration.


We work to create a community where: ecosystem health is protected; nature and healthy wild animal populations are valued; and residents, visitors, and future generations can all drink clean water, breathe clean air, and find wild places to roam.


The Coalition currently has 32 member groups, representing over 30,000 members.  The Coalition has four paid staff and is guided by our Board of Directors and our Member Group Advisory Committee. We work on a grassroots level, leveraging the expertise, experience, and knowledge-base of our member groups and other community partners into long-lasting positive change for Sonoran Desert conservation. 


In 1997, the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl received federal protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. This spurred over 40 conservation and neighborhood groups to come together to form the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection in February 1998. At the start, the Coalition’s main goal was to bring sound science and planning into the equation as Pima County adopted and began its implementation of the ground-breaking Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP). Over the years, the Coalition’s scope and mission has broadened to include involvement in virtually every conservation issue in Pima County. 


The Coalition advocates for the protection of local open spaces; the development of Pima County’s Multi-Species Conservation Plan and other jurisdictional Habitat Conservation Plans; the preservation of Sonoran Desert wildlife linkages, including the construction of wildlife crossings over and under local roadways; water resource planning and policy; riparian habitat protection, restoration, and mitigation; and smart planning in private development.

We design and implement a wide array of outreach, education, advocacy, grassroots activism, and conservation planning activities to achieve our goals.

We also have a passionate and dedicated group of volunteers that contribute their time and expertise to our programs. Our volunteers are the backbone of our Community Science projects. They monitor and maintain wildlife cameras in the field and sort thousands of wildlife camera photos, along with conducting roadkill surveys and removing outdated barbed wire fencing from the landscape. They also support our fundraising campaigns, conduct quarterly highway cleanups on our adopted section of Oracle Road, and help with general office tasks.