Interior Secretary Wants President to Designate Ft. Ord a National Monument
Following a town hall meeting in Marina, Calif., Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said designating the former Fort Ord as a national monument would be the best way to conserve the site’s coastal lands along Monterey Bay.
Earlier, Salazar toured the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) holdings at Fort Ord accompanied by California Rep. Sam Farr (D), who pointed out the diversity of the area’s natural attractions, reported the Monterey Herald. Salazar concurred, calling the site “a crown jewel that will be around when all of us are gone.”
Given Salazar’s track record with recommending closed military installations for federal protection, a presidential designation may be in the offing. Last year, Salazar recommended President Obama designate much of the former Fort Monroe, located on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Va., a national monument and the president agreed, issuing an executive order in November.
The Army previously transferred about 7,200 acres at Fort Ord to BLM, and after the service finishes clearing ordnance from more lands, it will transfer an additional 7,000 acres to the bureau.