Protect the Gila River in New Mexico from a harmful new agricultural diversion
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The Gila River is under threat from a new agricultural diversion project that could cause catastrophic harm to New Mexico's last wild river.
Originating in America's first designated wilderness area, New Mexico's Gila River is a biological gem. Its riparian forests boast one of the highest concentrations of breeding birds in the country -- including rare yellow-billed cuckoos -- and its waters sustain seven threatened and endangered species including the endangered loach minnow, spikedace and Gila trout. The Gila is also a mainstay for the area's recreation and tourism economy.
Gila Basin Irrigation Commission farmers in the Cliff-Gila Valley are proposing to significantly expand their irrigation infrastructure that could critically impact the river's riparian ecosystem. The primary water user in the Valley is international mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Because Freeport owns 70% of the irrigated acreage in the Valley, the company has enough votes to decide on a diversion that could greatly harm the Gila River. Alternatively, Freeport could support an environmentally friendly project that is equally effective for the irrigators, yet won’t damage the river's fragile riparian ecology.
Sign the petition TODAY asking Freeport-McMoRan to support the environmentally friendly diversion improvement for Cliff-Gila Valley irrigators.
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