Nice blog post from the Executive Director of the Sierra Club
about our latest national monument; the second designated by Obama.
Quote:President Obama has made it official. Our newest national monument is Fort Ord -- more than 14,000 acres right on Monterey Bay where an estimated 1.5 million Army troops trained before the base shut down for good in 1994. (Fun fact you won't find in the official proclamation: Both Jerry Garcia and Jimi Hendrix completed basic training there.)
Along with three cheers for the announcement, here are three of the many reasons Fort Ord was an excellent choice. First, the public lands that the president has permanently protected represent a diverse range of intact ecosystems in an area that's under increasing pressure from development. As President Obama's proclamation states: "It is one of the few remaining places in the world where large expanses of coastal scrub and live oak woodland and savanna habitat, mixed with rare vernal pools, exist in a contiguous, interconnected landscape." It's also home to 44 rare, threatened, or endangered species.
Second, Fort Ord already gets more than 100,000 annual visitors who come for the 86 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback-riding trails. The national monument designation ensures that these public lands will be available for the enjoyment of generations to come, and it's certain to boost to the region's tourism and recreation economies.