Originating in America’s first wilderness, the Gila River is rich in biological diversity and cultural history.

Through our partner, Conservation Lands Foundation, we funded $50,000 to build local leadership to protect the Gila River, San Francisco River, and main tributaries of the Gila National Forest, which would provide critical watersheds and rivers with the protection they deserve. The growth of individual leaders is a key means to secure long-term gains in conservation and local communities.

The Gila’s natural flows support outstanding examples of southwest riparian forest, the highest concentrations of breeding birds in America, a nearly intact native fish community that includes the endangered loach minnow and spike dace, and the threatened Gila trout. Furthermore, the Gila provides significant economic value to the region through outdoor recreation and wilderness experiences.