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Last week, on the 90th anniversary of the Gila Wilderness, our Executive Director Mark Allison and Gila Grassroots Organizer Nathan Newcomer emerged after 10 day and 50 miles of trekking across the Gila. As part of their journey, they read aloud the names of loved ones given to us by our members:

“At dusk on the third night of our trek through the Gila Wilderness, on the bank of the babbling Gila River, deep in the heart of the Wilderness, many miles from the nearest pavement and below towering rock spires where Wild Cow and Water Canyons intersect with the fast flowing waters, we read aloud the names of your loved ones you entrusted us to carry. We hope you felt the memories come home as you wrote your beautiful letter or penned each name to give to us in preparation for our 50-mile trek, completed this week.

Please know that the names we spoke aloud punctuated our time in the Wilderness in a way that is not possible to adequately describe. We can only give back our gratitude to you for allowing us to be in your service in this important way.”