Save the Date: 9th Annual Gila River Festival September 19 – 22

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9th Annual Gila River Festival

The Gila River Is In Our Hands!

September 19 – 22, 2013


The 9th Annual Gila River Festival is all about changes, choices, and community empowerment. We’ve all read – or tried to ignore – the alarming predictions about climate change in the Southwest. A healthy response would be to acknowledge that obstacles present us with a chance to break with the past and to steward our environment in smarter and more responsible ways.

“First, do no harm” should be our oath to keep the water in the Gila River and stabilize its health. Second, we have opportunities – should we choose to accept them – to restore degraded systems and to build resiliency into our natural and human communities.

At the Gila River Festival, we’ll talk about the prognosis for future climate change – higher temperatures, lower precipitation – and how we can act as a community to moderate the expected impacts and balance the needs of the environment while also meeting our future water needs. Restoring our streams is a vital way to build resiliency into our wild lands, as well as our urban communities, and will help ensure that aquatic and riparian ecosystems survive climate change with minimal damage.

Gila River Festival keynote speaker, Kenneth Brower, learned about environmental issues – such as misguided dam projects – from his father, the great conservationist David Brower. Together, they worked on many Sierra Club publications, which increased public awareness of the nation’s wild places and the need to protect them.

Kenneth Brower’s most recent book, The Wilderness Within: Remembering David Brower, honors his father on the centennial of his birth. His new book on climate change will be published next year.

At the festival, Kenneth Brower will talk about how building resiliency into our riparian ecosystems is one of the most important actions we can take to prepare for coming changes. Diverting river water is the antithesis of resiliency, and it greatly increases the potential for species extinctions. As Brower well knows, dams and diversions have other unintended consequences as well. And just as Kenneth Brower did, we, too, can learn from his dad’s impressive career as the “godfather of the modern environmental movement.”

We are the ones we have been waiting for. The Gila River Is In Our Hands.