Save the Gila River meeting held to make plans to save the last free-flowing river in NM

Posted: December 22, 2013 by earthfirstdurango in endangered & threatened species, water
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Organized in 1984 to protect the free flow of the Gila and San Francisco Rivers and the wilderness characteristics of the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness areas, the Gila Conservation Coalition (GCC) is a partnership of local environmental and conservation groups and concerned individuals that promote conservation of the Upper Gila River Basin and surrounding lands. The GCC was instrumental in stopping the Hooker and Conner Dam proposals in the 1980s. The group also achieved protection of the East Fork of the Gila River from road building and partial closure of the wild San Francisco River to ORV use.Gila Conservation Coalition is looking to 2014

By Susan Dunlap, Silver City Sun-News

New Mexico will make decisions that determine the fate of the Gila River and the Gila Conservation Coalition held a meeting Thursday night at the Student Memorial Building at WNMU to begin gearing up to try to save the last free-flowing river in the state.

A group of approximately 30 concerned citizens, ranging from high school students to retirees, gathered in the third floor seminar room on campus to get an idea of what they could do to try to influence the outcome of the Gila River. Led by Gila Conservation Coalition Executive Director Allyson Siwik, the group listened to the options and the upcoming events they can attend to stay informed and make their voices heard.

In 2014 the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) will begin to provide reports giving analyses of the different options on the table and will make their final recommendation to the Bureau of Reclamation whether to use federal funding under the Arizona Water Settlements Act to divert 14,000 acre feet of water from the Gila River or to pursue non-diversion conservation alternatives. The federal government has promised to provide up to $62 million in funding if New Mexico opts to build a diversion project. But the Gila River diversion project is estimated to cost $300 million dollars.

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