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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Sierra Club Praises Designation of Fort Ord Soldiers National Monument

April 2012

Washington, DC: President Obama on Friday, April 20 designated the nation’s newest national monument, Fort Ord Soldiers National Monument in California. From 1902 to 1994, Fort Ord served as a unit garrison site and basic training base for Army soldiers who served in America’s conflicts from the Spanish-American War to Operation Desert Storm. The newly named Fort Ord Soldiers National Monument is a reminder of the service of over a million troops who trained on these lands and a recognition of the area’s continuing historical and natural importance.

"Fort Ord's dramatic landscape lives in the memories of thousands of veterans as their first taste of Army life, as a final stop before deploying to war, or as a home base during their military career," Obama said in a statement.

“We applaud President Obama for using his authority to protect this important piece of America. His decision will ensure long term protection of a piece of the past and lasting enjoyment for future equestrians, mountain bikers, hikers and nature lovers,” said Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director.

Fort Ord’s public lands contain 86 miles of trails through some of the last remaining open space in the Monterey Bay Area. Thousands of bicyclists, hikers, trail runners and horseback riders use the trails each year and enjoy sweeping views of Monterey Bay and the Salinas Valley. The grassland hills and the area’s rare plants and wildlife also draw photographers and nature enthusiasts of all kinds.

“In addition to honoring the men and women who served our country at the former Fort Ord, the establishment of the Fort Ord Soldiers National Monument will help preserve 44 rare, threatened or endangered plant and animal species. Among these species are the Monterey spineflower, sand gilia, Smith’s blue butterfly, peregrine falcon and snowy plover,” said Dr. Tom Moore, Fort Ord Committee Chair for Sierra Club’s Ventana Chapter. “The National Monument area is rich in wildlife, magnificent views and military history.”

The establishment of Fort Ord Soldiers National Monument is supported by county supervisors, city council members, recreation and conservation groups, and local communities.

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