Preceptor Tau recently honored Marylee Bell

MaryleeBellMembers of Preceptor Tau recently honored Marylee Bell as their Valentine Sweetheart. Marylee is one of the chapter's newest members and is a great asset to the chapter. She has become involved in all the various activities, including her current duties as treasurer. Members honored her with a lunch, Valentine pin, roses, cake and crown. Even though the chapter calendar was adjusted to reflect a winter break, members continue to join for birthday celebrations and lunch outings.

Restoring the Pitchfork Ranch

Photos and article courtesy of Lucy Whitmarsh

ThomasColeThomas ColeOn Sunday, February 18 Light Art Space gallery owner, Karen Hymer,  hosted the inaugural book launch of “Restoring the Pitchfork Ranch” authored by A.T. Cole, owner of the Pitchfork Ranch along with his wife, Lucinda. The book was published this month by the University of Arizona Press. The event at Light Art Space was the first of many talks and book signings that will be offered in New Mexico and Arizona. A list of the upcoming events can be found on the University of Arizona Website.

The event on Sunday was well attended. Guests enjoyed a talk by the author about the writing of “Restoring the Pitchfork Ranch” and mention of materials covered in the book. After the talk, the author had copies of the book available for sale and signed the books that guests purchased. David Wait, displayed engraved woodcuts that were used to create prints at the beginning of each chapter in the book. Wait also created cards from the woodcuts that he prints on a press that he built.

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Support a Girl Scout, buy cookies

National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend coming up this weekend, Feb 16-18, 2024

Girl Scout Cookie Season kicked off on Sunday, January 14, 2024, for Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest. Councils across the nation look forward to the biggest weekend of the season, National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend, which will be held February 16-18 this year. This celebration marks a time when America's favorite cookies are widely available across the United States with each purchase supporting local Girl Scouts. In addition to cookies being available across the county, National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend provides consumers with the opportunity to witness some of the most dynamic girl entrepreneurs in action.

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Silver City Interagency Dispatch Center – Beating heart of the Gila

The Silver City Interagency Dispatch Center is the beating heart of the Gila National Forest, and as an interagency resource, it is also central to the success of incident response for the Bureau of Land Management Las Cruces District, and lands managed by the State of New Mexico Forestry Division.

“The Silver City Interagency Dispatch Center serves seven counties and 19 million acres of southwestern New Mexico from Las Cruces west to the Arizona State Line and from Quemado south to the U.S./Mexican border,” said Dispatch Center Manager Chris Hedgeman. “It is one of five interagency dispatch centers in New Mexico, and 11 in the Southwestern Region.”

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GRMC to do a community health needs assessment, seeks public input

Gila Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Fred Fox, emphasized at the Jan 24, 2024 board meeting that the hospital in the very near future would do a community health needs assessment. 

"We want input from every member of our community, no matter if they have health insurance or not," Fox said. "The requirements of the survey under the IRS rules require extensive coverage of all sectors of the community. More information will be forthcoming, but the assessment, report and action plan must be completed by the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2024."

For requirements of the assessment, please visit: 

Grant County passes proclamation declaring 2024 "The Year of the Gila Wilderness" with unanimous support

Gila Wilderness turns 100 in June

SILVER CITY, N.M. — Conservation groups, community members, Tribal nations and the U.S. Forest Service gathered today to witness Grant County Commissioners unanimously approve a proclamation declaring 2024 "The Year of the Gila Wilderness." This year marks 100 years since the Gila Wilderness was designated, and events and celebrations are planned throughout the year to honor the Gila Centennial.

"We are deeply inspired to see so many folks speaking out and standing up to ensure this incredible landscape is adequately celebrated and protected for the next 100 years," said WildEarth Guardians Greater Gila Advocate Leia Barnett. "With Alicia Edwards and the Grant County Commission leading the way in those efforts, the Gila Wilderness will get the recognition it deserves."

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Making Art of the Mundane: Sculpture Students Explore Form on a Large Scale

WhearyClassThe students in Assistant Professor Erin Wheary’s Appreciation of Sculpture class could recently be found on a sunny Tuesday morning on the Graham Gym patio, arranging their latest creations for a photography opportunity. “Let’s try the Ball jar toward the center,” called the photographer, Jay Hemphill, as the students moved their sculptures, “The Apple watch can go on the bottom step.”

The students were arranging oversized sculptures of everyday objects, all painted the same purple hue and ranging in size from large to massive. The sculptures, made of chicken wire and cardboard and covered with a skin of papier-mâché, were the result of an assignment given by Wheary early in the semester.

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Gila National Forest facility maintenance crew earns a gold star

LakeRobertsDockImprovements made for health, safety, and accessibility

MIMBRES, NM, February 2, 2024 – The Gila National Forest manages 3.3 million acres of lands and waters, as well as nearly 500 buildings, including offices, housing units, vault toilets, well houses, and other facilities. Until last year, the forest lacked a crew of facility maintenance workers dedicated to the inspection, repair, maintenance, and upgrade of these facilities. Last June, two new Forest Maintenance Workers were hired, and other staff have been identified who can provide additional support.

“Somewhere along the way, someone decided that facility maintenance either wasn’t necessary or could be accomplished by use of contractors,” said Gila National Forest Supervisor Camille Howes. “However, they weren’t accounting for the remote nature of the Gila, or they didn’t foresee the difficulty of obtaining contractors or the high cost of contracting to cover basic repairs.”

The yearslong lack of focus on facility maintenance resulted in dilapidated housing and recreational facilities that could pose health and safety concerns to employees and the public. One of the crew’s more publicly visible accomplishments is the repair of the boat dock at Lake Roberts. The boat dock had been closed several times over the past three years due to dry rotted wooden decking, with individual planks replaced piecemeal. Now the wooden decking has been fully replaced with aluminum planks. The new aluminum decking will allow for safe use, be longer-lasting, and a new entrance ramp will improve access for people with disabilities.

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