President Obama designates California’s Fort Ord as a National Monument

On Friday, April 20th, President Obama, under the 1906 Antiquities Act, designated Fort Ord as a National Monument.  Located on the central California Coast in Monterey, the Ford Ord National Monument encompasses approximately 14,650 acres and provides recreational opportunities including hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. 

"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," said President Obama. 

While the detailed protections associated with this designation are not yet released, most national monuments are protected from all oil and gas drilling, and mining activities.  This Fort Ord Monument will be managed by the Federal Bureau of Land Management – 7,200 acres are currently open for recreation, while an additional 7,450 acres, once used for artillery practice, will be cleaned up and opened for public use in 2019.

Environmental leaders, politicians and the business community from the Monterey Bay area have worked together in their efforts to have Fort Ord designated as a National Monument.  Such a designation brings tourism and new business to the area, permanently protects open space and provides environmental protections.

President Obama's National Monument designation does not require a vote of Congress; as he used the Antiquities Act, a law signed by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1906, meant to provide special protection to federal lands of national importance.

"This is fantastic," said Henrietta Stern, president of Fort Ord Recreation Trails Friends. "We just wanted to make sure that what we're enjoying today will always be preserved for future generations."

To learn more about Fort Ord, click here.

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