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Study Sets Fort Ord as new Camping Site

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(EMAILWIRE.COM, May 07, 2013 ) Middlesex, UK -- According to State Park officials, the Parks Department of the state is looking to transform Fort Ord Dunes State Park into an overnight camping spot.

The department outlines a recent study for its project that would hold over 100 sites from tent campers and recreational vehicles in section of coastal land that overloads the old shooting ranges on Fort Ord.

The nearest coastal state parks that currently available for campers is the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The department stated that the camping spots would not be available to the public until 2015 at the earliest.

"We are rocking and rolling right now to get comments" on the draft environmental study, parks engineer Joan Carpenter said. A recent funding request was made for the projects development, and will go to the state Public Works board, noted Carpenter. Money for the construction is estimated at $15.5 million, but is pending approval, according to Carpenter.

The 990-acre Fort Ord park is currently used used for day-use camping. It was opened in 2009, and has nearly four miles of shoreline and natural spectacles of dunes, bluffs, and beach that faces the west of the Seaside, Marina and CSU Monterey Bay.

The new campsite would house 130 acres that was previously used as shooting ranges, ammunition storage bunkers and railroad docks for the Army. Over 80 acres is currently dominated by ice plant, and the campground will call for 45 recreational vehicle spots, 10 hike/bike sites, as well as 43 tent sites, according to the initial study.

The campground would also require 24.8 acre-feet of water per year, that would come from the 40 acre-fee annual allocation, which would be handled with 9,000 of new water lines from the Beach Range Road.

Permits will be required, as per the norm for campgrounds. Such permits will include state Coastal Commission permits. The parks department is working with the Fish and Wildlife department in order to make sure the care of sensitive species will not be harmed in the process.

"We're hoping the public supports the project," she said.

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