NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 6PM: the GCAS is thrilled to announce this year's first general meeting IN PERSON at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley) near the junction of Highways 152 and 35! Start at 6PM with your own plates/utensils/beverage & a dish for yourself or to share. Brief general meeting at 6:45 PM. Skip social time if you like but our Featured Speaker, the WNMU Museum's new Director and archaeologist, Danielle Romero, makes her presentation on Elk Ridge Ceramics at 7PM sharp. Danielle, a ceramics specialist with years of investigating Mimbres and other sites, will make her topic most engaging. Read more about Danielle here. In order to offer our members a safe and comfortable experience the GCAS follows CDC and New Mexico Department of Health guidelines for indoor gatherings including masking, distancing, and vaccinations. We recommend all attendees follow the same.

NEXT FIELD TRIP: Sunday, June 5, 2022 - Park Service-guided visit to TJ Ruin at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Meet at the Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center parking lot no later than 10:50 am, tour to begin at 11:00 am. Drive north on Highway 15/Pinos Altos Rd for about 45 miles from US 180 in Silver City. Drive can take as much as 2 hours! Site is reached via a short hike to the top of a 100 ft bluff. Site is not shaded! Dogs are not allowed on the site and cannot be left in vehicles or tied up in the parking lot. NOTE: the area is currently experiencing heavy smoke impacts from the Black Fire. Check this website and the Park Service website at (Alerts) the day before/morning of the field trip to see current status of the field trip and area conditions. Remember, to protect vulnerable resources we offer our field trips to members only. Members’ invited guests are welcome, as long as they ride in that member’s vehicle.

A Brief History of Water Rights in Tularosa Canyon
Today's Guest Blogger/Photographer: Kyle Meredith

Breaking: GCAS Submits Comment on the Gila River Diversion Proposal

GCAS_logo convertOn June 3, 2020, the GCAS Board of Trustees submitted a formal comment in opposition to the US Bureau of Reclamation's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which proposes a diversion of the Gila River in the general area of Virden, New Mexico. All of the Bureau of Reclamation's proposed alternatives for river diversion and construction appear certain to damage or destroy a large number of historic and archaeological sites throughout the proposed project area which spans both New Mexico and Arizona.

The GCAS's own Marty Eberhardt had first alerted the GCAS Board to this DEIS, suggesting that the GCAS would want to submit a formal comment. The Hopi Tribe had already submitted their own comment in opposition to the DEIS, recommending to the Bureau of Reclamation that no action whatsoever should be taken to divert the Gila River due to the risk of destruction of numerous areas containing human remains as well as hundreds if not thousands of archaeological sites and features in the project area that are of great cultural significance to the Hopi.

Difficulty: the deadline for comments would expire on June 8, 2020. The GCAS Board had to move fast.

President Kyle Meredith promptly convened the GCAS Board via email. Within 24 hours a majority of the Board had discussed the issues relevant to the GCAS, formulated a response, and wrote and submitted a formal comment to the Bureau of Reclamation's DEIS. The GCAS comment supports the Hopi Tribe's input in its entirety and likewise advocates the No Action option, adding that: (1) the numerous archaeological and historic sites throughout the Gila River diversion project area reflect a number of different precursor cultures that are significant not just to the Hopi Tribe but to many other Native groups; (2) the scientific and cultural information these sites contain would be irretrievably lost if the proposed diversion occurred; (3) thus these sites merit protection and further scientific research before any feasible development decision can be considered; and (4) funds should be made available and prioritized for archaeological surveys and for any excavation or mitigation such surveys deem necessary, before any other decision or action be taken within the proposed Gila River diversion project area.

This is your GCAS Board of Trustees in action, people. Kudos!

Read the entire one-page GCAS comment in Word format: Download comment-DEIS-Gila.doc (104.5K) or in PDF format: Download comment-DEIS-Gila.pdf (122.0K)

For updates on this DEIS follow the Gila Conservation Coalition or join their mailing list.

/s/ webmaster


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)