U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
More than 400 help dedicate Fort Ord National Monument
More than 400 military families, cyclists, hikers and other community members joined Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and BLM Director Bob Abbey at a dedication event for the nation’s newest National Monument – the 14,560-acre Fort Ord National Monument near Monterey, California. The new monument, created by Presidential Proclamation on April 20, 2012, is managed by the BLM’s Hollister Field Office.
The Secretary and Director Abbey were also joined by Rep. Sam Farr; Garrison Commander Col. Joel J. Clark; Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes and BLM California State Director Jim Kenna at the event on Saturday, May 19, Armed Forces Day. (text continues below)
“Fort Ord exemplifies the type of bottom-up, locally-driven conservation project that President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative is all about, and which we are seeing flourish across the country,” Secretary Salazar told the crowd. “It was the culmination of years of work by you, here, in Monterey to protect one of the last remaining expanses of coastal open space on the Central Coast.”
"At Fort Ord, the BLM will tell the story of the heroes who trained here and the military families who sacrifice so much to serve their country," said BLM Director Bob Abbey. "It will be a place for Americans to explore our past while also taking advantage of the remarkable recreation opportunities this spectacular landscape has to offer."
On April 20, 2012, President Obama signed a Proclamation designating the former Fort Ord a national monument, including 7,200 acres of public lands already managed by the Bureau of Land Management. In his proclamation, the President stated that, "The protection of the Fort Ord area will maintain its historical and cultural significance, attract tourists and recreationalists from near and far, and enhance its unique natural resources, for the enjoyment of all Americans."
The Monument also includes 7,446 acres under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army that will be transferred to the BLM when ongoing cleanup and remediation activities are complete.
The Fort Ord National Monument holds some of the last undeveloped natural areas on the Monterey Peninsula. The BLM protects and manages 35 species of rare plants and animals along with their native coastal habitats. Habitat preservation and conservation are primary missions for the Fort Ord Public Lands. The area is also a recreation destination, with more than 86 miles of trails for the public to explore on foot, bike or horseback and one of the key venues for the annual Sea Otter Classic—one of the largest cycling festivals in the world.
More photos on the BLM California Flickr page!
- Erin Curtis, BLM California Public Affairs (May 21, 2012)