Alert: Pristine River Habitat in Jeopardy

Audubon logo | ACTION ALERT

Willow Flycatcher | Kelly Colgan Azar / Flickr
The endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher has already lost more than 90 percent of its stream and river habitat. Diverting the Gila River would further imperil this species.
Urge Secretary Jewell to reject the misguided Gila River diversion project.


Originating in America’s first designated Wilderness area, New Mexico’s Gila River is a biological gem that deserves long-term protection. Its riparian forests include three Important Bird Areas and boast one of the highest concentrations of breeding birds in the country, including priority bird species like Bell’s Vireos, Southwestern Willow Flycatchers, and Western Yellow-billed Cuckoos.

Now the bad news—this ecological treasure is being threatened by a questionable large-scale diversion project that would destroy the river as we know it.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell can stop this project. She has until November 23 to decide.

Urge Secretary Jewell to reject the devastating diversion proposal and to save the Gila River once and for all. Watch a short video about protecting the river and send an email directly to the Secretary at our action center.

Here’s what we know:

  • The diversion would cause irreparable ecological damage to a living river system that is home to more than 300 species of birds.
  • The diversion is fiscally irresponsible. The federal subsidy available to New Mexico for the project will pay for only a small fraction of the construction cost, leaving a gap of up to $900+ million for taxpayers and water users to cover.
  • The project is completely unnecessary because the area’s long-term water needs can be met by other proven means—through conservation, groundwater management, water recycling, and watershed restoration.

Add your name to the growing list of people opposed to this environmentally devastating project and tell Secretary Jewell that you want the Gila River protected once and for all!

photo of David Yarnold Sincerely,

David YarnoldDavid Yarnold
President & CEO, National Audubon Society



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