Here’s a look at some local news:

The National Park Service and the USDA Forest Service – Gila National Forest are hosting a celebration of the life and achievements of Aldo Leopold on the anniversary of his birthday, Saturday, January 11th at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Aldo Leopold was born in 1887 in Burlington, Iowa. After graduating from the Yale Forest School in 1909, he joined the USDA Forest Service serving as a young forester in Arizona and New Mexico. In 1922, he was a key figure in the drafting of a proposal that led to the administrative designation of the Gila Wilderness two years later. The Gila Wilderness is not only the first wilderness area in America but also in the entire world, and this action occurred 40 years before the passing of the Wilderness Act. Leopold died in 1948 while fighting a grass fire on his neighbor’s property and is still held in high esteem as the father of wildlife ecology and the United States’ wilderness system. For information on the Gila National Forest, check out our website at

The Community Health Care Foundation of Deming and Luna County has recently donated funds to local non-profit organizations. Play Sharity Children’s Museum and Interactive Library received $5000, the Deming Rotary Club received $2,500 for The Imagination Library, and the Luna County Coats for Kids Foundation received $2,500. The Deming Luna Health Care Foundation was founded in 1994 and strives to improve the health and well-being of the community of Deming and Luna County.

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument announces that the national monument, including the Gila Visitor Center and the trail to the cliff dwellings, will be closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. These closures will be in effect to allow employees and volunteers to enjoy the holiday with their friends and families. In addition, park offices will be closed on Christmas Eve in compliance with the President’s executive order. The Park bookstore, run by Western National Parks Association, will be open on Christmas Eve for regular hours but will remain closed for Christmas and New Year’s Day. New winter hours will resume and be in effect for all other days. The Gila Visitor Center is open from 9:30 am to 4 pm daily. The trail to the cliff dwellings is open from 10 am to 3 pm daily and visitors must exit the monument by 4:00 P.M. These closures will not affect Gila National Forest or Gila Wilderness trails or corral facilities.