TELLURIDE – This weekend, celebrate clean air, clean water and a strong grassroots effort to keep them that way at Sheep Mountain Alliance’s second annual Animal Carnival, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Honga’s Lotus Petal in Telluride.
According to SMA’s Jenny Page, the event is one of the environmental group’s largest fundraisers and membership drives of the year. Along with that, she says, it’s a great event at which to cut loose and have a good time.
The event will feature some “outrageous” live auction items, animal costumes, plenty of Honga’s mojitos and giveaways from outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia. Show up in costume and there’s a chance you could win a prize.
There will also be face painting and a photo booth to enjoy. Auction items include an Opus Hut/dinner by Honga, Wagner custom skis, Playa Grande Surf Camp in Costa Rica, a Hubbard custom bike, an XtraCycle, and more.
While the event is sure to provide a good time for all who attend, the driving force behind it is to raise funds and secure SMA memberships so the nonprofit organization can continue its environmental work in the region.
Citing a host of environmental concerns, SMA has been actively involved in efforts to stop the construction of the proposed Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill in the West End of Montrose County. The organization continues to fight for clean water in the region, and is a major supporter of designating the San Miguel River as Wild and Scenic. Other initiatives SMA is involved in include supporting the San Juan Wilderness Bill, watershed education programs for local students, protecting the Gunnison’s prairie dog and Gunnison sage grouse, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s uranium lease program.
“We have been busy defending the wild lands and fragile ecosystems of Southwest Colorado,” SMA Executive Director Hilary White says. “SMA continues to be a small organization doing the work of giants.”
White says the organization continues to find ways to encourage conservation as a value for local students, beginning with the Dynamic Science program at Telluride Elementary School and bringing citizen science to the Valley Floor Monitoring Program.
“We hope to evolve from our dependence on the justice system to proactive educational efforts,” she says. “We hope you will help us, both by supporting our work and getting involved.”
More information about SMA can be found at sheepmountainalliance.org