News

Ironwood Tree Experience Visits IFNM

FIF hosted 14 students from the Ironwood Tree Experience on January 19th at the Ironwood Forest National Monument. The students are in the process of learning more about the plants, animals and natural history of the Tucson area. An important part of their program is first hand experience on the land. They were shown the restoration area near Waterman Mountain and were able to photograph and take notes on the plant variety. We also were able to discuss the role of the Friends group in protecting the national monument, our advocacy for its preservation and how we organize volunteers to supplement BLM resources for various on-site projects. The students were very observant and asked many great questions. FIF is looking forward to more educational outings of this type with Tucson area students. 

 

 

Meet the Monument 2019

 

Meet the Monument 2019, Saturday, March 16, 2019

The Friends of Ironwood Forest have set Saturday, March 16th for our annual “Meet the Monument” event. This gathering – free and open to the public – will be held again on the north side of iconic Ragged Top, approximately 20 miles west of Marana. The goal of this event is to be a learning experience – featuring informational presentations on saguaros, Big Horn Sheep, and Mojave Rattlesnakes. Additionally, walkabouts will be hosted by local naturalists specializing in the various facets of the flora and fauna of the monument. (Click here to view the flyer.)

View the speaker bios.

View the map to the event.

Watch a video from last year’s event.

The Friends of Ironwood Forest is a local non-profit organization that works for the permanent protection of the biological, geological, archaeological, and historical resources for which the Ironwood Forest National Monument was established.

We accomplish our mission by providing resources such as volunteers, expertise, public outreach, education, and advocacy on behalf of the Ironwood Forest National Monument.

Want to volunteer? We will need volunteers for set up the morning of MTM, multiple activities during MTM and tear down/clean up at the end of MTM. Interested? Send an email to [email protected]

 

 

Land and Water Conservation Fund

There is another Administration threat to funding for the environment and public parks, the Land and Water Conservation Fund. While this isn’t a direct threat to the Ironwood Forest National Monument, it is more of the continuing attack on DOI funding for the public’s benefit and how their funds are allocated internally away from open spaces. Read the fact sheet provided by The Wilderness Society by clicking here.

Opposition to the Proposed Interstate I-11

The Arizona Department of Transportation is studying alternative routes for a new Interstate 11 highway. Their apparently favored route through Avra Valley would cut between the IFNM and Saguaro NP, Tucson Mountain Park and Tribal Lands. Such a route would seriously interrupt wildlife migration and add several kinds of pollution to these public lands. If the added traffic capacity is indeed warranted, we favor ADOT expanding the exiting I-10 corridor.

Pros and Cons of the Proposed Interstate, September 2018
Press Release Update, August 2018
Friends of the Ironwood Forest Letter of Opposition to I-11
I-11 Public Information Meetings
I-11 Coalition for Sonoran Desert ProtectionLetter to ADOT, June 2017
I-11 Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection Letter to ADOT, July 2016
I-11 Meeting Flyer
A Letter from the Avra Valley Coalition
ADOT Submission Statement on the Proposed I-11 Routes

MEMBER ALERT

Friends,
Yesterday, Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona proposed a last minute amendment, to the Department of Interior appropriations bill, that would cut off funding for the IFNM. His simple-minded amendment can be viewed by clicking here.
 
Last year, as you all know, the DOI “reviewed” 27 national monuments, including the Ironwood Forest. The IFNM, due in no small part to your comments and actions, was left untouched and unchanged. 
 
This last-ditch effort by a congressional representative to assuage a couple of his supporters is inappropriate, damaging and unfounded. 
 
We need you to let your representative in congress know how much you are against this Gosar amendment. It may come up for a vote tomorrow, so time is of the essence.
 
In particular, calls to these two Arizona representatives may be most effective:
Martha McSally at 202-225-2542
Kyrsten Senima at 202-225-9888

Stay Up To Date

Like Friends of Ironwood Forest on Facebook.

 

 

 

Desert Bighorn Sheep Update

Arizona desert bighorn sheep thrive with help of conservationists – and hunters

Gabriel Sandler | Cronkite News
Thursday, March 22, 2018
 
MARANA – After a two-hour hike through rocky, cactus-studded terrain west of Marana – with a left knee that no longer bends – 70-year-old Joe Sheehey arrived at Silverbell Peak and spotted an Arizona desert bighorn sheep.

The ram stood at the edge of the summit, read more …

Harris Hawk Release

A Harris Hawk was released after last week’s press conference which Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) hosted with local environmental advocates highlighting the threat to Ironwood Forest National Monument and other national monuments across the country.

Left to right: Representative from Liberty Wildlife, Maria Klucarova from Supervisor Bronson’s office, Verlon Jose who is the Vice Chair Tohono O’odham Nation.

You can also view a video of the press conference by clicking here.

Fact v. Fiction

Bill Thornton separates fact from fiction in a letter published July 25 in the Arizona Daily Star. Bill addresses statements made by the Congressional Western Caucus, which includes three Arizona Congressman. Read Bill’s article here. Covered in the article are highlights from the letter the Caucus sent to Interior Secretary Zinke. Bill debunks statements such as the false implication that ranchers with grazing leases have concerns over access, that off highway vehicles are prohibited and that the monument has resulted in a loss of revenue for K-12 education.

Arizona Conservationists: Save our National Monuments

The Arizona Daily Star ran an article on Sunday, June 4 called Arizona Conservationists: Save our National Monuments. The article was by William Thornton, the Friends of Ironwood Forest (FIF) Vice President and Tom Hannagan, FIF President.  The article covers the history of how the Ironwood Forest National Monument achieved its designation, how the monument land has benefited from thousands of hours of hands-on work by hundreds of volunteers and information on how to make your voice heard in protest to the threat to our national monuments. Read the article here.