Feds Designate Fort Ord National Monument
May 21, 2012
On Saturday, May 19, the sort of clear and sunny May day that inspires backcountry bike rides and family picnics, officials celebrated the designation of 15,000 acres as Fort Ord National Monument.
Among the high-profile attendees: U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes, Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel), Fort Ord Reuse Authority Chair Dave Potter and Sgt. Allan MacDonald, namesake of Fort Ord's Sgt. Allan MacDonald Cavalry Trail.
Some of the community groups that pushed for the designation now turn to the task of keeping Fort Ord access open to recreational users.
Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse is pushing to protect the "beach-to-BLM" recreation corridor connecting Fort Ord Dunes State Beach with the new national monument; develop on the blighted area before paving over native habitats; and modify the Fort Ord Base Reuse Plan to reflect the region's current interests.
To that end, the group is encouraging its members to show up at public meetings regarding a Base Reuse Plan reassessment.
"It takes a large number of people showing up at critical meetings to effect change," FFOW leader Margaret Davis writes in an email to supporters. "Demanding the preservation and enhancement of the recreational uses and natural habitat of former Fort Ord for the benefit of all remains a community focus."
Upcoming meeting dates: Tuesday, May 22: 6:30–9pm, Carpenter’s Hall, 910 2nd Ave., Marina. Wednesday, May 30: 6:30–9pm, Oldemeyer Center, 986 Hilby Ave., Seaside.