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.


Maintaining Protection for Existing National Monuments

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.

Gabriel: Arizona can manage our land better than Washington
Jon Gabriel, a Mesa resident, is editor-in-chief of Ricochet.com and a contributor to The Republic and azcentral.com
John McCain Responds to National Monument Review
Grijalva Joins Environmental Advocates in Calling for National Monument Protection at Ironwood Forest
Grijalva to Hold Press Conference at Ironwood Forest National Monument
William Thornton: Ironwood Forest Worthy of Continued Protection
National Parks Conservation Association Comment Covering the IFNM

Sierra Club – Monument Betrayal
Friends of Ironwood Forest Response to the Executive Order to Review National Monuments

Friends of Four of Arizona’s National Monuments Denounce Trump’s Executive Order

Efforts to Repeal or Undermine Protections for Parks and Monuments
Opposition to Provision Undermining the Antiquities Act
A Comprehensive Article on the Legality of the Executive Order


Opposition to the Proposed Interstate I-11
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.

Accomplishments and Awards

A sea of California poppies blanket the hill side in spring at Ironwood Forest National Monument. Photo BLM.

A sea of California poppies blanket the hill side in spring at Ironwood Forest National Monument. Photo BLM.

  • 2010 Bureau of Land Management Making A Difference National Volunteer Award for our work to eradicate buffelgrass from the Waterman Mountains.
  • 2010 Landscape Stewardship Award from the national Public Lands Foundation’s for our work to eradicate buffelgrass from the Monument.
  • Labor donated by volunteers and organized by the Friends was leveraged for an additional $59,000 in FY2009 through the federal Challenge Cost Share program.
  • Recruited volunteers and organized projects resulting in over 400 volunteer hours in FY2010 and over 700 volunteer hours on the Monument in FY2011.
  • Organized a Monument tour for scientists participating in the Saguaro National Park Bio Blitz.

Our programs focus on accomplishing targeted conservation service projects, educating the public and Monument visitors about the natural and cultural resources, seeking out partnerships with other organizations, and serving as a strong advocate for protecting the Monument.