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Fundraising event to celebrate the achievements of Gila Conservation Coalition Chairman

Dutch Salmon

As part of the 8th annual Gila River Festival, a local food fundraising brunch in honor of Gila Conservation Coalition chairman Dutch Salmon will be held on Sunday, September 16 10:30 am until noon at the Seedboat Center for the Arts. Registration is required and admission is $50/ person, $75/couple for Gila Conservation Coalition members; $60/person, $85/couple for non-members. You may join GCC for an introductory cost of $10 and receive member prices.

Author, publisher, hunter, fisherman, homesteader and conservationist, Dutch Salmon's storied career spans more than 30 years in the Southwest. A 1967 graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Salmon moved to the Gila in 1980 because the region is “ideal for the pursuit of game and fish.” He has written three novels and six works of non-fiction including Gila Descending and Gila Libre!, establishing him as the foremost authority on the Upper Gila River watershed. His column Country Sports has won the "Best Column" award from the New Mexico Press Association, the New Mexico Press Women's Association, and the New Mexico Associated Press (twice). His company High-Lonesome Books, co-owned with his wife Cherie, publishes books on Western Americana, the Great Outdoors (mostly hunting and fishing), and Natural History and also sells thousands of new and out-of-print titles on the same topics. Dutch spends 100 days a year out in the backcountry of the Gila hiking, fishing, canoeing and hunting jackrabbits with his coursing hounds, oftentimes with his teenaged son, Bud. He served one term on the Interstate Stream Commission appointed by Governor Tony Anaya and two terms on the NM Game Commission appointed by Governor Bill Richardson. He co-founded the Gila Conservation Coalition in 1984 and has been an advocate for protecting the Gila River from the Hooker and Conner dams in the 1980s and the current diversion threat under the Arizona Water Settlements Act. He served on the board of the Quivira Coalition and the NM Wildlife Federation. He is currently a board member of the Gila Resources Information Project and chairman of the Gila Conservation Coalition.

The local food brunch will be prepared by Chef Rob Connoley of Silver City's Curious Kumquat Restaurant and Beer Garden from locally grown and foraged ingredients and including both vegetarian and gluten-free items. The mouth-watering menu includes crawfish etouffe prepared from fresh crawfish from the East Fork of the Gila River, Spanakopita with Greek spinach from Frisco Farms and local mushrooms, gluten-free quiche cups prepared with local goat cheese, foraged greens & wood sorrel in a foraged acorn crust, breakfast burritos with local eggs, house-made 4-H pork sausage, cheese, green chile (vegetarian version also provided) and falafel wraps with local greens and tomatoes. A variety of pastries, fresh fruit and yoghurt, coffee, tea and juices will also be provided.

Speakers from throughout Dutch's career will “roast” Dutch with funny stories, and Dutch has promised to tell a fish tale or two as well.

The 8th annual Gila River Festival - planned in and around Silver City, September 13-16, 2012 - will celebrate through storytelling the natural and cultural heritage of the Gila River, New Mexico's last free-flowing river. One of the Southwest's premier nature festivals, the Gila River Festival attracts an audience of nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts eager to learn about and experience the Gila's natural wonders. Festival attendees will enjoy a variety of expert-guided field trips in the Gila National Forest and along the Gila River, a keynote talk by author Craig Childs, workshops, horseback riding, kayaking, visual and performing art exhibits and performances, a three-minute film fest, a downtown art walk and more.

The Silco Theater will serve as festival headquarters at 311 North Bullard St. You can sign up for field trips and workshops, buy t-shirts and caps, purchase Michael Berman's book Gila: Radical Visions/The Enduring Silence, buy raffle tickets for a chance to win the Gila River quilt, and find out more about the variety of non-profit organizations working to protect the Gila River.

The full festival schedule and registration are available at www.gilaconservation.org.

For more information, contact the Gila Conservation Coalition at 575.538.8078 or info@gilaconservation.org.

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