AUDIO: Udall, Heinrich, Lt. Governor, County Commissioner, Local Business Owner Discuss Wild & Scenic Bill To Protect the Gila River

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich held a teleconference to announce the M.H. Dutch Salmon Greater Gila Wild and Scenic River Act to designate portions of the Gila River, its watershed and other rivers in the Gila National Forest as Wild and Scenic Rivers. The senators were joined by New Mexico Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales, Grant County Commissioner Chris Ponce, Gila Backcountry Services Co-Owner Jamie Crockett.

AUDIO: Teleconference Announcing M.H. Dutch Salmon Greater Gila Wild and Scenic River Act

“During times like these, the importance of preserving our outdoor treasures–and the joy, peace and beauty they give us—could not be clearer. Like so many New Mexicans, I’ve had the great joy of spending time on the Gila. Camping along the river. Sleeping under the stars. Experiencing the rejuvenation and invigoration that this river has provided to generations of New Mexicans. To ensure our communities and future generations can enjoy and benefit from the Gila like we have – we need to act to protect it,” said Udall.

For Senator Udall’s remarks as prepared for delivery, please click HERE.

“New Mexicans have always understood that water is life. We know how vital managing this precious resource is to preserving our economy, our environment, and our traditions. There are very few places left where you can understand what that truly means. I can think of no greater example than the headwaters of the Gila—a place near and dear to my heart and special to so many New Mexicans,” said Heinrich.

For Senator Heinrich’s remarks as prepared for delivery, please click HERE.

“I applaud Senators Udall and Heinrich for their extraordinary work in Congress today to protect for all time New Mexico’s pristine Gila River by establishing it as a Wild and Scenic River,” said Morales. “This designation at the federal level is so important to all of us. It will benefit the people of the southwest part of our state enormously, and will help boost the outdoor economy in New Mexico statewide – a major initiative of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, too. This is particularly important now as we face tough economic times ahead because of the coronavirus pandemic. Conservation of the Gila and San Francisco rivers is critical. As a life-long resident of Grant County, I grew up on the Gila River, and now my children enjoy it as much as I did."

“Now more than ever, New Mexicans want to ensure that future generations will be able to experience the full glory of a protected wild Gila River: clean drinking water, wildlife habitat, and a huge driver of outdoor recreation. Thank you, Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich for working to preserve these incredible waters,” said Ponce.

“The Wild and Scenic bill to give additional protections to the Gila River watershed will not just add significant protection for the wild life and the river, but will also strengthen our tourism economy,” said Crockett.

For more information on the M.H. Dutch Salmon Greater Gila Wild and Scenic River Act, please click HERE.