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Honoring Advocates of the Gila River

Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) is dedicating our 2020 legislative scorecard to the advocates and community leaders that have fought for decades to halt diversion of New Mexico’s last free-flowing river – the Gila. In June 2020, these advocates successfully defeated the fourth dam/diversion attempt over the past 50 years when the Interstate Stream Commission voted against supplying funding to complete an environmental impact statement on the diversion project.

CVNM is eternally grateful for the tenacity, dedication, and fierce activism of those that lead this work, made this hard-won victory possible, and continue to fight every day to protect the Gila River. In particular, we are dedicating this issue to conservationist M.H. “Dutch” Salmon, who devoted his life’s work to protecting the Gila and rivers of the Southwest. Over the course of his career, Dutch co-founded the Gila Conservation Coalition, and advocated for the successful defeat of multiple projects that would have forever changed the Gila.

We also dedicate this issue to the following individuals and organizations that lead the fight to protect the Gila River:

Allyson Siwik, Gila Resources Information Project

Donna Stevens, Upper Gila Watershed Alliance

Gila Conservation Coalition

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

Lt. Governor Howie Morales

New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

New Mexico Wildlife Federation

Norm Gaume, Former ISC Director

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter

Todd Schulke, Center for Biological Diversity

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich

U.S. Senator Tom Udall

Douglas W. Wolf, Center for Biological Diversity

New Mexico State House Gila Champions: Representative Abbas Akhil, Representative Joanne J. Ferrary, Representative Micaela Lara Cadena, Representative Derrick Lente, Representative Georgene Louis, Representative Rudolpho “Rudy” Martinez, Representative Matthew McQueen, Representative Andrea Romero, Representative Angelica Rubio, Representative Debbie Sariñana, Representative Nathan Small, and Representative Melanie Stansbury.

New Mexico State Senate Gila Champions: Senator Joseph Cervantes, Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino, Senator Sander Rue, Senator Antoinette Cedilla Lopez, Senator Benny Shendo, Senator Bill Soules, Senator Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics, Senator Jeff Steinborn, Senator Mimi Stewart, and Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth.

Conservationist M.H. “Dutch” Salmon

Photo Credit: Gila Conservation Coalition.