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 Author: JE1947
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:09 pm 


Sent on Jan 17, 2016, at 12:17 PM, Jerry Eagan <hikinginapacheria@gmail.com> wrote:

"On Friday, January 15, having gone to Lordsburg, I decided to return after many years to the Red Rocks area. The area is fascinating, if for no other reason that there are large tracts of State Game Preserve closed off to the general public (perhaps with special permission and a State Hiking Permit, which can be purchased annually) with eight to ten foot tall fences.

However, one drives along the western side of the Gila, and comes to a gate that has "No Trespassing" and "Private Property" notices. "End of Public Road." The long distance shot of a trailer parked beyond where the "public road ends" is where someone lives. I took the name down. There weren't any hostile warnings like: "Trespass at your own risk;" or "Warning: Land Mines" or "Trespassers will be prosecuted ... shot ... drawn and quartered ..." etc.
That was nice.

That's o.k. It's America. So, a stretch of the Gila, from what I call, the Bird Sanctuary, below Bill Evans Lake, to where the Gila emerges at Red Rocks, is unknowable to me. The hiking/walking/bush whacking along that stretch ... difficult. I once waded that section of river with my wife nearby ... the water was warm, moved at a nice clip ... and I made an "amphibious landing" of sorts on the western bank ... wow! Mountains up beyond I had never hiked. They represented a challenge because they would've been within the boundaries of the Gila Apache Agency, created and surveyed at the request of Dr. Michael Steck, Indian Agent for the Gila & Mimbres Apache then (1860) under Mangas Coloradas.

I wonder, if there are folks with deep pockets who want to see the Gila Diversion thwarted, there might be some benefactors who could purchase this tract of private property so that all of us could drive up to the point where the main Gila emerges from yet another "box" area, and runs beautiful, deep, majestic.

There are a few "boxes" along the Gila.

I personally hiked down to one WEST of the Clinton Overlook, (on NM 180 East, about 10 miles south of the Cliff Dwellings, overlooking what I called, the "main Gila," which meant: after the three separate forks of the Gila had come together already. That was in 2003.

No trails. Bushwhacked the entire way down and back ... fresh bear scat ahead of me ... behind me when I headed back ... a brutal hike for a guy who was then 58. I made it, but just barely. Not for the faint of heart. But, around there, the Gila enters a cañon that kayakers and canoeists or rubber boat people can traverse it and I've heard their stories. I canoed in Ohio, but never could "get" how to right a kayak. Brain doesn't work like that, I guess.

I wonder if people who have floated, afted or kayaked the Gila from the Grapevine, or higher ... who might have photos of that section of the River. If so, can you share them with the rest of us? And that section above where the Gila emerges east of the town of Gila?? And this section I'm speaking of goes dark around the Bird Sanctuary below Bill Evans Lake ... and emerges ... I think ... voila at the Red Rock cañon shown in my photos. And as far down as they've gone. What Arizona does with it's stretches of the Gila, we already know. The Mormons above San Carlos diverted the river and basically did not care about the needs of the Apaches below. That's documented in various places. "Gila: The Life and Death of a River,: certainly notes that.

Efforts by John Clum and other agents at San Carlos to divert Gila River water to help transform the prospects of Apaches settled on San Carlos after 1870, were thwarted by upstream "settlers." From my reading of that book, and others about the Apache, there was certainly NO concern whatsoever about the Apache. None. Zero. Nada.

The Gila was rolling beautiful, cold, fast ... how deep it is there I don't know ... as I understand stream dynamics, the side with the steeper side has a channel running along it that is deeper. Perhaps in summer it can be waded or swam ... too cold for me ... not a wise action ... but the beauty of the river ... again, it's the "last free flowing river in New Mexico." As this cause becomes more nationally known, why shouldn't we ask for wealthy benefactors to help perhaps purchase some of these places that are privately owned? This is sort of like the issue of who owns the seacoast. In Oregon, many years ago, Oregon had taken steps to buy as much seacoast as possible (as opposed to California) and maybe Washington.

It would be wonderful to get a shot at driving up into this Box and hiking the area. So, I'd ask those who've floated the river, to please, share with the rest of us .. any photos you have of that ride. It must be really far out. I tried kayaking many years ago ... there's something wrong with my brain, I think ... I could never figure out how to right the boat ... and a very, very traumatic near drowning incident in Vietnam ... it was in some ways worse than getting shot ... was just too fresh to overcome. Hence, never wanted to float the river. Afraid. Our experiences with the Gila are manifold. Help us out, floaters

These photos represent just a portion of the Gila in Grant and Hidalgo counties NM. Somewhere along that road from the Lordsburg-Virden-Duncan highway ... signs indicate you've crossed into Grant County. Grant County is BIG. Farther west of Red Rocks, it's certainly Hidalgo County. So, Catron, Grant and Hidalgo County all share sections of the Gila. Luna County, I do not get. They do not have any portion of the Gila or San Francisco. Why they are involved in the "diversion" plans is bewildering to me. But many in Luna, where they grow COTTON (as they do in Hidalgo County) want their share of the Gila River "diversion." The more photos we have of the Gila in it's many locations, perhaps the better for publicity's sake. Save this "last free flowing" river in NM. Let it run free. "Not every natural resource needs exploited." To merely have the river flowing is enough. At some point, the national press will become more involved. Allyson Sivik's excellent summary of why the diversion is nonsensical, hopefully, will be picked up and floated nationally, internationally.

Those of us who oppose "diversion" have science (duh) and logic (duh duh) on our side. The scales of logic and science may prevail if a Democrat is elected to the White House. At some point, the "passion" of diversionistas can only carry so far. With the possible site of diversion being near Turkey Creek, near where the Gila empties out near Gila, and Cliff, New Mexico, the construction costs, and environmental degradation associated just with thousands of truck loads of materials, blasting, steel, concrete, noise, dust ...that will alter that side of the Gila River Valley a long time. For what? An occasional diversion Gila River at flood stage?

I'll send more photos of various Gila River shots. Perhaps this could be a regular "box" on GRC News, Calendar, Forum. There are many folks around here who've hardly seen any parts of the Gila. It must roll for 50 miles through Catron, Grant and Hidalgo Counties.

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