The Gila River is in Our Hands
September 19 – 22, 2013
The 9th annual Gila River Festival The Gila River is in Our Hands! –planned in and around Silver City, September 19 – 22, 2013 – will examine the impacts of climate change on the Gila River and the Gila region and how we can meet our future water needs and ensure that a free-flowing Gila River, one of the last in the Southwest, continues to exist for future generations.
One of the Southwest’s premier nature festivals, the Gila River Festival attracts an audience of nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts eager to learn about and experience the Gila’s natural wonders. Festival attendees will enjoy a variety of expert-guided field trips in the Gila National Forest and along the Gila River, a keynote talk by author and environmentalist Kenneth Brower, presentation by Dr. Tom Swetnam of the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research at the University of Arizona, panel discussions, workshops, kayaking, films about New Mexico rivers, Gala for the Gila and Silent Auction with live music by the Roadrunners, a downtown art walk and more.
Gila River Festival keynote speaker, Kenneth Brower, learned about environmental issues – such as misguided dam projects like Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River – from his father, the great conservationist David Brower. Together, they worked on many Sierra Club publications, which increased public awareness of the nation’s wild places and the need to protect them. Kenneth Brower’s most recent book, The Wildness Within: Remembering David Brower,honors his father on the centennial of his birth. Read an Outside Magazine interview with Ken to find out more about his book about his dad and The Atlantic for more of his writings. His new book on climate change will be published next year.
In his keynote presentation “Helping Water Win,” Brower will talk about the challenges that lie ahead for all of us in addressing global climate change. He will describe his childhood recollections of the epochal and successful battles his father fought in the ’50s and ’60s, as the first executive director of the Sierra Club, in killing dam projects proposed for Dinosaur National Monument and Grand Canyon. And just as Kenneth Brower did, we, too, can learn from his dad’s impressive career as the “godfather of the modern environmental movement” in our own efforts to save the Gila River.
Dr. Tom Swetnam from the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research at the University of Arizona will discuss past, present and future wildfire and climate changes in the Southwest through historical documents and tree-ring data from the Southwestern U.S. He will also describe opportunities to learn and apply lessons from both the distant past and from recent outcomes of successful and unsuccessful forest and watershed restoration strategies as we adapt to climate change. Dr. Swetnam’s talk will be augmented by a series of panel discussions with scientists and practitioners on the various tools we have available to us to build resiliency into our natural and human communities.
A new event at this year’s festival is “New Mexico, Ancient Waters,”featuring films about the Gila and Santa Fe Rivers and the Rio Grande. Two new short films about the Gila River will be premiered. In “Free Flow: Saving the Gila River in New Mexico,” Dutch Salmon descends the Gila again to reminisce about earlier journeys and to explore the greater values of a natural stream. “The Gila River is in Our Hands” tells the story of New Mexico’s last free-flowing river and how it’s up to us to us to save it for future generations. Introducing “A River Runs Through Us” is poet and filmmaker Valerie Martinez, Santa Fe’s former poet laureate. In 2012, Martinez walked the Santa Fe River with fellow artists Bobbe Besold and Dominique Mazeaud. Martinez will talk about how this profound experience deepened the artists’ appreciation and understanding of the Santa Fe River and its value to adjacent villages and pueblos.
Festival participants can celebrate New Mexico’s last free-flowing river at the Gala for the Gila fundraiser to benefit the Gila Conservation Coalition’s efforts to protect the Gila River. This special evening will be held at the recently restored Murray Hotel ballroom. Enjoy light hors d’oeuvres, with beer and spirits provided by Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery. Dance the night away to the music of The Roadrunners and bid on items donated by individuals and businesses to the Gala silent auction. Auction winners will be announced at the Gala.Donations of auction items are still being accepted.
Carrying on festival tradition, we will offer guided hikes such as birding, geology, native plants, archaeology, native fish and more. Again this year, we’ll host the ever-popular Gila River kayak trip, and the Gila River bus tour will be back by popular demand. The Monsoon Puppet Theater will lead another colorful Gila River Festival parade through downtown Silver City with handmade puppets and masks that celebrate the Gila’s diversity of wildlife. Author Sharman Apt Russell will be our guest for the closing Gila River Festival brunch.
The full festival schedule and registration will be available soon. For more information, contact the Gila Conservation Coalition at 575.538.8078 or email@example.com.
Thanks to our sponsors for making the 9th Annual Gila River Festival possible:
Anonymous ~ Center for Biological Diversity ~ Dennis Weller Photography ~ EZ Does It Ranch ~ Gila Haven ~ Gila Native Plant Society ~ In Memoriam Gerry Niva & Rinda Metz ~ McCune Charitable Foundation ~ Meyoni Geougé: Onesuch Devoted Horse Guidance~ Murray Hotel ~ New Mexico Humanities Council ~ Pitchfork Ranch ~Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club ~ Seedboat Center for the Arts~ Stream Dynamics
Ann McMahon Photography – www.AnnMcMahon.com ~ Anonymous ~Audubon New Mexico ~ Bob Garrett & Mary Hotvedt ~ Bob Wilson & Lisa Houston ~ Carol Morrison ~ Cissy McAndrew United Country Mimbres Realty, EcoBroker & GREEN Realtor ~ Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund ~ Far Flung Adventures ~ High-Lonesome Books ~ Southern New Mexico Group of the Sierra Club ~Southwestern New Mexico Audubon Society ~ Western Institute for Lifelong Learning
Friends of the Festival
Alotta Gelato ~ Anonymous ~ Bear Mountain Lodge ~ Bill & Dalelyne Siwik ~ Conservation by Design ~ David Rose and Ceil Murray ~Desert Woman Botanicals ~ Faywood Hot Springs Resort ~ First New Mexico Bank ~ Fundamentalist Flowerchild Productions ~ Guadalupe’s~ Helen I Francis ~ Jim & Cheryl Leidich ~ Lone Mountain Native Plant Nursery www.lonemountainnatives.com ~ Morning Star ~ New Mexico Wilderness Alliance ~ O’Keefe’s Bookshop ~ Pauline & Richard Matthews ~ Prudential Silver City Properties ~ Regalos de la Tierra Pottery Co. ~ Richard Mahler- Author, Editor, Publisher –www.richardmahler.com ~ Robert Pittman, Rolfer ~ Ronald Parry ~ Sara E. Boyett ~ Silver Architects ~ Silver City Food Co-op ~ Single Socks – a community thrift store ~ Syzygy Tileworks ~ The Nature Conservancy ~ TheraSpeech ~ Vicki Allen Individual, Couples, and Child Therapist ~ W. Jay Garard DDS ~ Wentz Electic Co., LLC