We need your help in the next few hours. This evening (EDT), July 18, Congress is anticipated to be voting on a measure that would deeply undercut Ironwood Forest National Monument.
Representative Paul Gosar (AZ) filed an amendment to the Department of Interior Appropriations bill. Gosar’s amendment would bar funds to carry out the Ironwood Forest National Monument proclamation. In other words, the amendment would tie the hands of the Bureau of Land Management (which is in the Department of the Interior) and prevent them from managing the lands within Ironwood Forest National Monument so as to protect the objects the monument was designated to protect.
The amendment is as follows:
None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to carry out Proclamation 7320 entitled ‘‘Establishment of the Ironwood Forest National Monument’’ issued by the President of the United States on June 9, 2000.
Proposed amendments to H.R. 6147 (opens as a PDF)
This brazen attempt is not only a grave danger to our monument, but would also set a precedent leaving other monuments open to this kind of fiscal attack.
In addition to natural resources and scenic landscapes, Ironwood Forest National Monument protects Tohono O’odham traditional lands. This cultural landscape includes numerous ancestral places, rock art sites, and trails, including an O’odham pilgrimage route to San Xavier Mission that was in use as recently as the early twentieth century.
“The Tohono O’odham have lived in this region since time immemorial, and Ironwood Forest National Monument has tremendous cultural and historical importance. More than 200 important archeological sites with remains from our ancestors are within the monument, including two areas listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We must oppose misguided efforts to withhold funding from Ironwood, as it would have a devastating effect on efforts to protect this national treasure,” said Verlon M. Jose, Vice Chairman, Tohono O’odham Nation, in an email to Archaeology Southwest.
Individual voices are critical in times like this. Please take two minutes right now to dial your representative and ask them to vote NO on GOSAR Amendment 63 regarding Ironwood Forest National Monument.
Key AZ representatives to contact regarding your opposition to the amendment are Paul Gosar himself (202-225-2315), Martha McSally (202-225-2542), Tom O’Halleran (202-225-3361) and Kyrsten Sinema (202-225-9888).
Ironwood Forest National Monument is in Representative Raul Grijalva’s district, and he opposes the amendment. Show your support for his opposition to Gosar Amendment 63 by calling his D.C. office at 202-225-2435.
Here is a short script you may use to share your opposition with these representatives:
Hello, my name is XXX and I live in [CITY].
I am calling to ask [Representative] to vote NO on Gosar Amendment 63 and its attack on our national monuments. The Ironwood Forest National Monument was designated 20 years ago. It is a significant cultural landscape in Arizona that belongs to all Americans. Amendment 63 constitutes a clear threat to the monument and the resources it protects.
Thank you for your time.
Again, those numbers are
To learn more about the monument:
Ironwood Forest National Monument, www.blm.gov/visit/ironwood
Friends of Ironwood Forest National Monument, ironwoodforest.org
All of us at Archaeology Southwest thank you for standing with us and being part of our coalition to protect our national monuments.