The mission of Friends of Iron Mountain has always been an active engagement for preservation and restoration of this valued natural open space. As we participate in the public process of master planning for these fifty acres, we approach the task primarily as relational. This park is not an “object” but clearly a compilation of ecosystems we hold valuable with its own need for autonomy and integrity. So we face it as another living entity, a subject with rights of its own. Our emphasis on maintaining the natural habitat as much as possible when contemplating how to reasonably integrate human uses stems from our science based study, our hands-on encounter with this landscape, and clearly our dedication and love for this vulnerable forest land that suffered terribly from decades of natural resource extraction and neglect.
We come to the collaborative table of community involvement anxious to address issues like better access, restored wetlands and stream corridor, trail systems, and resource management. Our perspective may differ insofar as we envision positive changes with an ethics of care that does not dominate this “home” for so many native plants and animals. Though users have a sense of belonging on Iron Mountain, we resist self-interests that would wish to exploit the park for merely human consumption leading to potentially damaging fragmentation. This park, due to history, topography and geography, has very constrained and limiting conditions. We acknowledge that any human uses be according to appropriate scale and be integrated in a fashion that addresses the needs of the existing natural community. Whatever concepts are implemented, we hope the end products actually help engender increased care and respect for the beauty and functions this land provides.
Friends of Iron Mountain will then be offering and affirming ideas and concepts that emanate from the site analysis that delineates in part this living system. Our concern for its well-being comes with moral imperatives derived from science-based observations and our own encounter or experiences with this stream and forest sentinel bluff. The most salient beginning point starts with our gratitude for this wonderful natural space. The continuing exploration necessarily must admit the tremendous challenges facing us to bring back a fuller ecological integrity to the Park. We remain committed to helping achieve a lasting legacy for this heritage landscape so rich in biodiversity, history, aesthetics and geology.