NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 6:00PM: members and non-members are welcome to the GCAS monthly meeting at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley). We start at 6PM with a potluck - bring your own plates & utensils, and a dish for yourself or to share with the group. At about 6:30PM we will have a brief business meeting followed immediately by our featured speaker, GCAS president Marianne Smith, who will discuss Images in Mimbres Pottery - Plainware to Classic. Consider some of the assumptions people make when trying to interpret Mimbres pottery and explore similarities in modern imagery. In order to offer our members a safe and comfortable experience at our in-person meetings the GCAS follows CDC and New Mexico Department of Health guidelines for indoor gatherings including masking, distancing, and vaccinations. We recommend each attendee take the precautions they feel are appropriate for themselves.

NEXT FIELD TRIP: SATURDAY, June 1, 2024, 12:00PM noon-4:00PM, Gough Park in Silver City: join the fun as the GCAS shifts our usual "first Sunday of the month" field trip one day earlier to the first Saturday of June to celebrate the main event of the 2024 centennial of the Gila Wilderness. The US Forest Service Wilderness Ranger District is hosting this event to commemorate the vital partnerships throughout the community that have contributed to the preservation of the Gila Wilderness over the past century. The GCAS is one among many such community organizations that will have a booth in Gough Park to showcase how people working together have preserved the world's first designated wilderness - a wilderness in our own back yard. Find out about this and more centennial events here.

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

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