The following letter will be sent on your behalf to: Adam Mendonca, Gila National Forest Supervisor, by completing the form below.


To: Adam Mendonca, Forest Supervisor, Gila National Forest

Re: Support for the Wilderness Proposal to Protect the Gila National Forest

I am writing to express my support for the proposed conservation areas put forth by the coalition of conservation, recreation, and sportsmen organizations in their Wilderness and Eligible Wild & Scenic Rivers Proposal, submitted March 27, 2018 to the Gila National Forest.

The proposal identifies 15 priority conservation areas that the Forest Service should recommend for wilderness in the Forest Plan and 4 areas that should be designated as special management areas. These lands – such as Frisco Canyons, Gila Middle Box, Lower San Francisco River Canyon, Mogollon Box, McKnight Canyon, and Tadpole Ridge – are among the wildest lands left in New Mexico, and they provide important wildlife habitat, exceptional hunting, fishing, and hiking opportunities, and contain headwater streams that are the lifeblood of the greater Gila region.

I am proud that the Gila National Forest is the birthplace of wilderness and that the Gila Wilderness, created in 1924, is the world’s first designated wilderness. Wilderness is the highest level of protection for our public lands and is designed to preserve lands and wildlife in their natural state. The Gila’s vast undeveloped lands and distinctive wilderness heritage are its greatest asset, drawing visitors from around the nation and the world. While only Congress can designate wilderness, the Forest Service has an immediate opportunity to recommend these areas for wilderness designation and manage them to preserve their vital ecological, geologic, cultural, historic, and recreational values.

In the face of ever-increasing threats like climate change, resource extraction, and development, I urge you to safeguard these high-value conservation lands now to protect our economy, natural and cultural heritage, opportunities for outdoor recreation, and traditional way of life. Please protect these landscapes and rivers for future generations by recommending them for wilderness and identifying these river segments as eligible for Wild & Scenic Rivers.