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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus

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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Sierra Club Supports National Monument Status at Fort Ord

January 2012
Humpback whalesPhoto: Steve Zmak

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar paid a visit to Fort Ord on January 13 as part of the America's Great Outdoors Initiative, an ongoing effort by the Obama Administration to support locally-driven efforts to protect special places across the country. A diverse group of speakers including Tom Moore of the Ventana Chapter testified in support of National Monument status for nearly 15,000 acres known as Fort Ord Public Lands under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The U.S. Army post on Monterey Bay was established in 1917 and served as a training and deployment center from World War I to the end of the Cold War. Fort Ord closed in 1994 and parts of the land were set aside for conservation and public recreation.

Fort Ord Public Lands offer 86 miles of trails, free and open daily for many users, including bicyclists, hikers, equestrians, and nature enthusiasts. Fort Ord's open space consisting of grassland hills and oak woodlands are surrounded by development and offer some of the last remaining wild lands accessible to the public in the Monterey Bay area.

In addition, the Fort Ord Public Lands support a beautiful and diverse group of plant and animal communities including 35 species of rare plants and animals along with their native coastal habitats. These lush landscapes are home to a wide range of wildlife and are adjacent to miles of preserves, coastal dunes, the federally protected Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Los Padres National Forest.

The recreation, education, and conservation opportunities offered by Fort Ord are certainly worthy of protection. We hope the Obama Administration will support the calls of the local community and his Secretary of Interior to designate Fort Ord a national monument.

Please support this effort by contacting Hon. Ken Salazar Secretary,
U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240

or Phone: (202) 208-3100 or E-Mail:

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