Dear editor, The introduction of federal legislation to protect segments of the Gila and San Francisco rivers under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is great news for hunters, anglers and everyone in New Mexico who enjoys spending time outdoors.
The headwaters of the Gila River support incredible biodiversity, lending to some of the most remarkable opportunities to hunt and fish anywhere in the Southwest.
These activities are time-honored traditions that have been passed down for generations. My family and I are proof of this, as we have been fortunate enough to share our love of hunting and the outdoors with many other families. The Wild and Scenic designation will preserve access to these forms of outdoor recreation, allowing children to keep the tradition alive when they have families of their own.
The Gila and San Francisco rivers are also home to fish species that can be found nowhere else on earth, including the Gila trout. The very first fish that I caught was a Gila trout. I caught that fish off the banks of the lower Mimbres River. Access to these rare fish species attracts anglers from across the country.
I am grateful that Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich recognize the importance of these outdoor traditions in New Mexico, and are willing to use the legislative tools at their disposal to protect the Gila and San Francisco rivers.
(s)Ray Trejo, southern N.M. outreach coordinator, New Mexico Wildlife Federation Deming
This letter to the editor originally appeared in the Silver City Daily Press.