Photos by Mary Alice Murphy

Activities were in full swing at Gough Park on a sunny Saturday morning, June 1, 2024, as part of the Gila Wilderness Centennial festivities. Crowds of people went from booth to booth, visited vendors, and listened to speakers at the park.

The highlight of the day was a cross-cut saw competition to see which teams could cut a disk of wood off a long log in the fastest time. The narrator noted that the process is the best option for cleaning trails in the national forests. He said it is a historical process, but continues to be used in the Gila National Forest today. The teams came from Grant County, Catron County and Albuquerque. [Editor's Note: This photographer could not stay for the final competition to see which team would take home the honors, due to a prior commitment. When she left, the Albuquerque team of a man and woman had the lowest time at 21 seconds. Quarter-, semi- and finals chose the winner. ]

As the original inhabitants of the forestlands, several groups of Chiricahua-Warm Spring Apache performers danced and drummed. Several federal agencies representing the protected lands in the area gave out information on their actions. Many nature-oriented non-profits participated, as well as volunteer fire departments, who participate in putting out fires in the region. 

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