April 20th, 2012
04:16 PM ET
California outdoor enthusiasts take heart. On Friday President Barack Obama signed a proclamation designating Fort Ord on California’s Monterey Peninsula as a National Monument under the Antiquities Act.
“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. This national monument will not only protect one of the crown jewels of California’s coast, but will also honor the heroism and dedication of men and women who served our nation and fought in the major conflicts of the 20th century,” Obama said in a statement.
By 2019, the Bureau of Land Management – a division of the Department of the Interior – will more than double the approximately 7,200 acres of land in the Fort Ord area that is already under its management authority. The transfer of additional land from the Army was scheduled under an existing base closure agreement and will come after the completion of an ongoing clean-up operation.
By designating the land as a national monument, it enters the BLM’s National Land Conservation System, which includes 27 million acres of protected federal land.
On a conference call with reporters Friday, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and BLM Director Bob Abbey outlined some of the broader benefits of today’s proclamation. FULL POST