California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery

 

On March 13, 2015, ECORP Senior Environmental Planner Chris Stabenfeldt attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery (CCCVC) at the former Fort Ord in Monterey County. The CCCVC represents the culmination of the nimble work of ECORP staff to help gain environmental approval following years of groundwork laid by veteran groups. Chris noted that ECORP was the only private organization to be recognized during the event, attended by more than 1,000 people, including veterans, their families, and various local and national politicians.

ECORPís CEQA, cultural resources, and biological resources staff in Rocklin responded to the California Department of General Services, Real Estate Divisionís request for a fast-track NEPA project that required the preparation of a joint CEQA/NEPA document. The culmination of two decades of planning and advocacy by CalVet, state politicians, and the veteran community, the CCCVC Project mobilized ECORP and RESD to meet a grant-funding deadline. Important CEQA/NEPA topics were examined, including the projectís relationship with related Master Plans and creating an oak woodland mitigation strategy.

The Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration/Environmental Assessment (IS/MND-EA) included responses to 90 comment letters and also required a special-status survey for the Monterey spineflower and a need for Section 7 Consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). A Biological Assessment was completed in two weeks, which enabled the USFWS to quickly issue a Biological Opinion that allowed the project to meet its grant deadline. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awarded the California Department of Veterans Affairs $6.8 million for the projectís construction, which began this month at Fort Ord.

ECORP is proud to have helped the state of California create an important place for generations of veterans and their families.

For more information about this project, please contact Chris Stabenfeldt at (916) 782-9100.