Friday, July 1, 2022

Play

The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

Play

SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Heinrich, Lujan Reintroduce NM Gila River Protection Bill

Play

Thursday, November 4, 2021   

SILVER CITY, N.M. -- New Mexico's U.S. senators are making another attempt to protect the last remaining free-flowing rivers and tributary systems to the Colorado River.

Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., reintroduced legislation Tuesday to designate the Gila River as a Wild and Scenic River.

Jon Harned, a wilderness guide and naturalist for 30 years lives near the Gila in Grant County, and has heard many stories from residents who have taken their families to the river for generations to hunt and fish.

"The history of this river is incredibly important, especially with the Gila Wilderness being the headwaters of the San Francisco and the Gila Rivers," Harned explained.

The M.H. 'Dutch' Salmon Greater Gila Wild and Scenic River Act was originally introduced in May 2020. If passed, the legislation would protect the watershed from the region's mining and agricultural interests. The Heritage Waters Coalition opposes the designation, arguing it would hurt the area's industry.

The popularity of the rivers is an important economic driver for communities in southwestern New Mexico.

Joel Davis, tribal attorney for the Fort Sill Apache Tribe, said they are also important to indigenous people and the area's culturally significant sites.

"This bill, not only does it help them protect the homeland, it'll give some ability to help manage and ensure that significant, cultural historical sites are protected," Davis noted.

The push for protection of the Gila River comes as drought lingers in the Southwest and water dwindles in the Southwest.

Heinrich believes protection of the 450 miles of waterways within the Gila River system is long overdue.

"As long as I've lived in New Mexico, I have always been drawn to the Gila," Heinrich remarked. "Trips to the Gila have given me the time to reflect on what is truly important in life."

The Gila was inaugurated as America's first wilderness in 1924, 40 years before the Wilderness Act.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Disclosure: The Pew Charitable Trusts - Environmental Group contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Climate Change/Air Quality, Consumer Issues, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, Health Issues, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Salmon Recovery. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

References:  
Senate Bill 3129 2021

get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…


Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …


The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021