The CalWild board and staff are so excited to announce that we have hired our first San Joaquin Valley Organizer, André Sanchez. For quite some time, our work has focused on many of the public lands in the region, but we’ve never had staff to advocate for them quite as locally as Andre will be in the coming years. The San Joaquin Valley has a long history of activism and we’re excited to contribute to that legacy.
Below is a quick background from André:
Growing up in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, I was raised in the agriculturally-fueled community of Madera, a community where working the land was the norm and recreating in nature seemed foreign to most members.
Fortunately for me, one of my uncles discovered the joys of exploring the outdoors and shared his discovery with my family. Ultimately, he instilled in me a passion for conservation and restoration work. After receiving a B.S. in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology from UC Davis in 2014, I went on to work for several state and federal agencies, including conducting aquatic restoration in Yosemite National Park.
Those work experiences inspired me to learn more and return to school at Humboldt State University to pursue a masters of science in Natural Resources with a Watershed Management emphasis.
Both in Humboldt and now back in the Central Valley, I have been involved with Latino Outdoors, a Latinx-led organization that connects and engages leaders & community members in the outdoor, conservation, and nature movement. As CalWild’s first San Joaquin Valley Organizer, I am excited to see public lands advocated for and protected, especially those that inspired me and continue to provide essential environmental services for the community.
I now reside back in the San Joaquin Valley and love to recreate outdoors via backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, or simply observing the raw beauty that nature delivers. I look forward to engaging with many of you in the coming weeks and years to protect California’s public lands.