Mission & Advocacy


Friends of Ironwood Forest is a local non-profit organization that works for the permanent protection of the biological, geological, archaeological, and historical resources and values 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.

Pendley Should be Rejected by Senators McSally and Sinema for Leading BLM

On Monday, Friends of Ironwood Forest joined 300 environmental organizations in a letter to members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee opposing the nomination of William Perry Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In the letter, civil rights organizations, Tribes, and environmental groups highlight Pendley’s long history of climate denial, his bigoted and extremist views and actions, and his commitment to selling off America’s public lands to fossil fuel companies.

The signers of the letter – representing millions conservationists across the country – urge members of the Committee to swiftly reject the nomination because “Mr. Pendley’s public record over decades both in and outside of government have made abundantly clear that he is abjectly unfit to lead any government agency and particularly the BLM.”

Dan Hartinger, National Monuments Campaign Director at The Wilderness Society, states that, “William Perry Pendley comes from the ideological fringes of society and is a racist with values that are deeply out of touch with the mainstream, including selling the very lands he’s charged with managing. He’s the worst possible person you could conjure to be a leading steward of our shared public lands, and his appointment betrays this administration’s approach to conservation. It denies science, attacks communities when they are hurting, and acts almost solely to benefit special interests. The Senate should send a clear message that it resoundingly rejects Pendley and the extremist views he espouses.”

The Friends of Ironwood Forest totally agree. It’s once again time for us to act! Please contact Senator McSally (click here) or Senator Kyrsten Sinema (click here) today and let them know where you stand on Pendley’s nomination. 

Thank you for once again acting to protect our public lands.


Maintaining Protection for Existing Public Lands

On Friday, May 5 KVOA interviewed the Friends of Ironwood Forest President, Tom Hannagan, in regard to President Trump’s Executive Order to review as many as 40 national monuments. Ironwood Forest, which was given national monument status in 2000 by President Bill Clinton, is one of the national monuments under review. To see the news story and Tom’s interview click here.

FIF Comments on the Border Wall, May 2019
O’Halleran Calls for Support
McSally Letter to Zinke
Grijalva Calls for Monument Protection
Grijalva Holds Press Conference
Grijalva: Claims Are Disingenous
“Our Public Lands Are There To Be Protected”, by Tom Hannagan
Trump Attacks Teddy Roosevelt’s Grand Legacy
“Why America Needs the Antiquities Act”, by William Thorton
Zinke Proposes Expanding Recreational Shooting Area
Babbitt Blasts Asarco
Theodore Roosevelt IV Comments on Zinke/Trump Review of Public Lands
Tom Hannagan: Our Real National Treasures
William Thornton: Ironwood Forest Worthy of Protection
NPCA Comment on IFNM

Sierra Club – Monument Betrayal
FIF Response to Executive Order for Monument Review

Friends of Arizona’s Monuments Denounce Trump’s Order

Efforts to Repeal Protection for Monuments
Opposition to Undermining the Antiquities Act
Legality of the Executive Order


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.

Arizona Republic Opinion Piece, August 2019
Comments on Environmental Impact Statement, July 2019
Mayor and Council Oppose I-11, June 2019
A Letter from Congressman Grijalva, May 2019
Op ED by Bill Thornton on running I-11 through Avra Valley, April 2019
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

A Conservation Vision of Arizona’s Water Future
… Arizona needs to achieve a sustainable water future…

Efforts to Nullify BLM Planning 2.0 February 10, 2017
… opposition to nullify BLM Planning 2.0…

America’s Voice for Conservation, Recreation and Preservation January 30, 2017
… request strongest possible funding levels… wildlife, water, natural resources…

Efforts to Block New Parks 2017.01.17
… opposition to blocking new parks bills…

Bears Ears and Gold Butte 2017.01
… designating Bears Ears and Gold Butte National Monuments…