News

Hike the Monument 2017

Announcing Fall Hikes for the Ironwood Forest National Monument

The Friends of Ironwood Forest invites you to join us for Hike the Monument (HTM) on Saturday, November 4th. Choose from the hikes and activities below to explore and experience the wonders of the Ironwood Forest National Monument.

  1. Cocoraque Butte Archaeological District – moderate terrain but challenging hikes to see most of the petroglyphs up close
  2. Nature hike – easy terrain / family oriented
  3. Waterman Mountain Elephant Trees Botanical Hike – moderate / steep
  4. Ragged Top Peak Adventure Hike – difficult / steep / loose footing / rock scrambling – For Experienced and Capable Hikers

To sign up for a hike email [email protected] or leave a message at 520-628-2092. Hike descriptions, event schedule and additional details are available here. View the map.

This event is conducted in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, Arizona Native Plant Society, University of Arizona faculty and Old Pueblo Archaeology Center.

 

Rally and Fundraiser at Dragoon Brewery

Save the Date! Friends of Ironwood Forest is holding a rally and fundraiser for Ironwood Forest on Saturday, November 18, from 3-7pm at Dragoon Brewing Co., 1859 West Grant Rd., and you’re invited!

Together we’ve accomplished a lot, but still have long way to go. We are cautiously optimistic that Ironwood Forest National Monument will remain intact, but proposed rules changes could undo hard won protections, and a successful assault on any monument puts all at risk.

Please join us at Dragoon Brewery on November 18, have a beer for a bighorn, and get the latest scoop on Ironwood and our ongoing efforts to protect our natural heritage.

Patagonia’s Give A Little, Gift a Lot with Summit Hut

Friends of Ironwood Forest is one of five environment-oriented nonprofit organizations participating in Patagonia’s Give A Little, Gift a Lot with Summit Hut at their 5251 E. Speedway location on Oct. 19th from 6-8pm. Complimentary beer, wine and snacks will be provided to customers as they interact and learn more about each organization. Patagonia is working with each organization to determine a specific environmental project to apply donated funds to. The project will represent Patagonia’s environmental mission and each organization’s individual environmental mission.

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.

Action Items to Protect Our Public Lands

The executive order of April 26, 2017 to review designations under the Antiquities Act is nothing less than a frontal assault on our national parks and monuments. This executive order is a direct threat, if not a promise, to undo over a century of progress in conservation. The Friends of Ironwood Forest will use every resource to 1) educate the public on what is at stake, 2) advocate with lawmakers to stop any attempt to weaken the Antiquities Act, 3) take the position that an attempt to reduce or eliminate any existing park or monument is unacceptable.

Please refer to the documents in the Mission & Advocacy page of our website for actions we’ve already taken. Since April 26, we have been busy developing our position statement on the executive order, working with partners to send a letter opposing the order to the Secretary of the Interior, and combining with three other Friends groups in Arizona to issue a press release on our reaction to the order.

Here are Action Items each of us can take to counter this threat:

1) Continue to check the FIF website. It will have the latest news related to the executive order, what others are doing and where we stand.
 
2) Tell everyone you know that is concerned about the conservation of our natural treasures to bookmark the FIF website and connect with FIF by sharing their email address. Any donation to help is welcome, but not required.
 
3) Contact your elected federal officials by phone or email and let them clearly know where you stand on the executive order and the threat to the Antiquities Act of 1906. The undoing of monuments or changes to the Antiquities Act will likely end up in Congress directly or after going through the court system. 
 
4) Feel free to use our materials and add your own thoughts to comment to media in your area and groups you may belong to, regarding this threat to the direction of conservation. 
 
Thank you for your support, your concern and your outrage at this horrible executive order. We will do all we can to ensure the Ironwood Forest, and all our national treasures, survive this blatant attack. 

KVOA Interviews FIF President, Tom Hannagan

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.

Proposed Interstate Highway 11

The proposed Interstate Highway 11, which would significantly alter the Avra Valley. The interstate would run between Ironwood Forest National Monument and Saguaro National Park (West/Red Hills). View the map here.

More information about the proposed Interstate Highway 11 including a public meeting schedule and letters of advocacy can be found here.

A similar proposal was opposed by the Pima County Board of Supervisors in 2007. The same concerns would be valid – “negatively impacting Tucson Mountain Park, Saguaro National Park, Ironwood Forest National Monument, Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Arizona Project Canal mitigation area, and important elements of the County’s Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan by slicing through sensitive areas, severing linkages between important habitat areas, and disturbing an unknown number of archeological sites”.

In a July 2, 2013 letter to the Pima Association of Governments, County Administrator, Chuck Huckelberry, discusses the impacts of this proposed route. But he only mentions the direct impacts to parcels of land on which the interstate would be built. This letter minimizes the impacts to adjacent properties, including areas conserved for wildlife and cultural and historic interests. It significantly downplays the impacts to the City of Tucson’s proposed Avra Valley Habitat Conservation Plan permit area, which includes 22,000 acres of former agricultural lands in the Avra Valley purchased by the City in the 1970s and 1980s for water rights.

Marana Founder’s Day 2017

Friends of the Ironwood Forest participated in the 2017 Marana Founder’s Day. Board members helped during the day by staffing a booth, answering questions and participating in a raffle. Raffle winners had their choice of a Friends of the Ironwood Forest t-shirt or a book. Note cards and photographs were a big hit as a giveaway too.  

The annual Marana Founder’s Day is a good opportunity to share the Friends mission of protecting the biological, geological, archaeological, and historical resources of the Ironwood Forest National Monument with area residents. People that stopped by the booth requested maps and more information about ironwoods.

Marana Founder’s Day also includes a parade, youth awards, car show and vendors of all types. Watch for 2018 dates, come enjoy and learn more about the Ironwood Forest National Monument.