Conservation warrior, friend and colleague Dutch Salmon, 1945 – 2019

M.H. “Dutch” Salmon

March 30, 1945 – March 10, 2019

The Gila Conservation Coalition is deeply saddened by the passing on Sunday of conservation warrior, friend and colleague M.H.”Dutch” Salmon at 73 after a brief illness.

Dutch’s storied career spanned more than 35 years in the Southwest. His professional and personal pursuits were many: author, publisher, hunter, fisherman, homesteader, conservationist.

Dutch’s name is synonymous with the Gila Conservation Coalition, the organization he co-founded and chaired for more than 35 years to protect the free flow of the Gila and San Francisco Rivers and the wilderness characteristics of the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness areas.

Dutch and his fellow advocates were successful in defeating the Hooker and Conner dams and Mangas diversion in the 1980s and 1990s, closed the San Francisco River to motorized vehicle use, and also kept the East Fork of the Gila River closed to motorized vehicles. Since 2001, he had been a leader in the fight against the current diversion threat under the Arizona Water Settlements Act. 

Dutch’s steadfast commitment to the protection of the Gila River and his unending love for our wild river and wild places have been an inspiration to all of us. He will be remembered always for his tireless work to protect and conserve New Mexico’s wildlife, rivers and lands.

Rest in peace, dear friend.

We send our condolences to Dutch’s wife, Cherie, and son, Bud.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 24 at 1pm at the Murray Hotel Ballroom, 200 West Broadway, Silver City.

Please tune into Earth Matters this week 3/11/19 for an archived interview with Dutch on the 30th anniversary of his trip down the Gila River that he memorialized in his book Gila Descending, first published in 1984. The show airs Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 10 am and Thursday at 8 pm on KURU 89.1 FM and streams live at