It is CAVU’s pleasure to share a recent success with you – as of June 21, 2016 the state agency in charge of building the controversial Gila River diversion project has withdrawn the billion-dollar boondoggle from the table! Although the agency is still studying water capture options in the $80 – $100 million range, this is great news for conservationists and fiscal conservatives who were worried that the proposed large-scale diversion would threaten the delicate ecosystem of the Gila while sticking New Mexico taxpayers with hundreds of millions of dollars of debt.
Last year, CAVU brought attention to the threats to wildlife and communities in the Gila River area by producing a short music video highlighting iconic imagery of America’s first wilderness area with the lyrical poetry of Albuquerque’s Inaugural Poet Laureate, Hakim Bellamy. As one admirer tweeted, “I rarely hear environmental campaign inspired songs that are much more than middle of the road sentimental drivel. This song, however, is amazing.” With the help of local partners, the film reached thousands of New Mexico residents in addition to a much larger national/international audience compelling more than 6,000 people to sign a petition demanding accountability from policy makers at both the local and national level.
While questions still remain about whether a scaled down project will eventually be built on the Gila River, it is safe to say that the worst case scenario has been averted. CAVU will continue to monitor Gila River issues and keep you posted on the final outcome, but in the meantime please watch Everywhere is a Gila and help us celebrate this victory!