U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
For Release: September 20, 2007
Contact: David Christy, (916) 985-4474
BLM Issues Emergency Closure of Fort Ord Public Lands to New Geocaches
To protect the safety of public land visitors, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued an emergency closure of public lands at Fort Ord to the establishment of new geocaches effective immediately. This closure will remain in place until the BLM has crafted a suitable long-term policy governing the geocaching sport on BLM-administered lands at the former military base.
"The emergency closure is being put in place to protect the public from contact with potential munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) and to deter off route travel which could impact sensitive plant and animal species on the Fort Ord Public Lands," said Eric Morgan, BLM’s Fort Ord Manager.
"I need to stress that visitors to the Fort Ord Public Lands are not in harm’s way from MEC exposure when they are using the 86-mile designated road and trail system within this popular visitor destination." Morgan said, "But there is serious concern that geocachers or other visitors that venture off-trail may enter signed and unsigned areas containing military munitions and put themselves at risk."
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a global positioning system receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and find containers called "geocaches" or "caches." The coordinates of these geocaches are posted on websites for other visitors to find. The BLM is evaluating existing geocaches to determine if there are immediate issues concerning public safety and resource protection.
Maps of the closure area may be obtained from the Hollister Field Office, 20 Hamilton Court, Hollister, Calif., 95023, phone (831) 630–5000. For additional information, contact Rick Cooper, BLM Hollister Field Office Manager at the above address, e-mail: Rick_Cooper@ca.blm.gov or Eric Morgan, Fort Ord Manager, (831) 394–8314, e-mail: Eric_Morgan@ca.blm.gov.