New Mexico county supports protecting portions of Gila River

New Mexico

SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — The Grant County Commission is joining the call to protect portions of the Gila and San Francisco rivers.

Commissioners voted Thursday in favor a resolution supporting a possible legislative effort to designate under federal law hundreds of miles of the rivers and their tributaries as “wild and scenic.”

Supporters contend such a designation would sustain rural economies that depend on the anglers, hunters and other outdoor recreationists who visit southwestern New Mexico.

They say the designation could spur more visits, noting that the outdoor recreation industry generates an estimated $10 billion annually in consumer spending in addition to wages and tax revenues.

Supporters are asking members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation to introduce legislation to designate the rivers under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

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