In 2002, Monterey County took ownership of approximately 2,100 acres of land to be maintained as a habitat preserve in perpetuity as mitigation for future development on the former Fort Ord Army Post. Because of the lands’ location, these Habitat Management Areas serve as a critical gateway between future developed areas and the recreational opportunities on BLM Fort Ord National Monument. The master plan formalizes a network of trails that reflect diverse user needs and environmental conditions, and the plan also provides adequate species protection for federal- and state-listed species.
Once the environmental analysis was complete, trail alignments were refined and prioritized based on community input and design criteria, such as preferences for trail width and soil type, connectivity between staging areas and desired destinations, historic landmarks and future management goals. Those trail alignments that best met all of these criteria were incorporated into a final master plan and report. The master plan recommendations were acknowledged by a Habitat Conservation Plan EIR, with no significant impacts.