Take Action: Protect the Gila River Forever

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THE TIME IS NOW FOR THE FUTURE OF THE GILA RIVER, the last major undammed river in New Mexico and a crown jewel of the Southwest. From the Hooker Dam in the 1970’s to the current diversion threat under the Arizona Water Settlements Act (AWSA), these repeated attempts to dam and divert the Gila River underscore its chronically threatened status. Even if the current attempt to dam and divert the Gila fail as previous proposals have, it is certain that without permanent protection, defensive actions will continue to be necessary and this scenario will play out again and again in the future.

WRITE TO SENATOR TOM UDALL TODAY!

Please write a handwritten letter to Senator Tom Udall and tell him why you want him to permanently protect the Gila River for future generations. Points you could make include the following (see sample letter below):

The Gila River is an ideal and deserving candidate for Wild and Scenic designation given its free-flowing nature and numerous outstandingly remarkable values.

  • The headwaters of the Gila are in the world’s first Wilderness. The Gila headwaters comprise one of the largest wilderness complexes in the Americas.
  • The Gila is one of the largest undammed headwater watersheds remaining in temperate North America.
  • Sections of the Gila and San Francisco Rivers are included on the Nationwide Rivers Inventory due to their free-flowing nature and their outstandingly remarkable scenic, geological, wildlife, and cultural values.

The Gila River remains unprotected. In fact, only 124.3 miles of New Mexico’s 108,014 total river miles, or 1/10th of 1%, is protected through Wild and Scenic designation.

The need for permanent protection for the Gila River is as urgent as ever. Current diversion project planning under the AWSA could significantly impact the natural flow of the Gila River and consequently the myriad plant and animal species that depend on the river’s free-flowing nature.

HELP PROTECT THE GILA RIVER!

Contact Senator Tom Udall and show your support for permanent protection of the Gila River through the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.

Handwritten letters make the most impact on elected officials. However, if you are pressed for time, please email or call Senator Udall at www.tomudall.senate.gov/?p=contact or (202) 224-6621.

SAMPLE LETTER

Date

Honorable Senator Tom Udall

531 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Udall:

I am writing to you regarding the urgent need to protect the Gila River under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

As the last major undammed river in New Mexico, the Gila River is deserving of Wild and Scenic River designation given its free-flowing nature and numerous outstandingly remarkable values.

However, the Gila River remains unprotected and has been under chronic threat for decades from dam and diversion projects. Current diversion planning under the Arizona Water Settlements Act could significantly impact the natural flow of the Gila River and consequently the myriad plant and animal species that depend on the river’s free-flowing nature.

Why is the Gila River important to you?

I respectfully request your support for Wild and Scenic designation of the Gila River and its tributaries. I believe that it is critical that the Gila River is protected to preserve its outstandingly remarkable values for future generations.

Sincerely,

Name

Address