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About Fort Ord Public Lands

Permanently protecting the Fort Ord lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management as a national monument will allow for the protection of a spectacular area that is home to rare plants and a range of wildlife, while connecting our citizens to special landscapes and honor the rich military legacy in California.

Watch the video “Monterey’s Fort Ord Treasures” from with Doug McConnell, featuring BLM’s lands, trails, and volunteer partner BETA.

Two soldiers crouching with riflesMilitary History

With more than 1.5 million solders having served at Fort Ord, protecting this area will honor the distinctive history and cultural heritage that the soldiers, families, and civilians of Fort Ord gave to the region, state and nation.

Fort Ord has a rich and long history as a U.S. Army installation. From World War I to the end of the Cold War, Fort Ord trained soldiers and represents the last stand of U.S. Army war horses. During the Vietnam War, Fort Ord was the leading training center and staging ground for deployment to Southeast Asia. It was not until the end of the Cold War that Fort Ord curtailed training activities, and in 1994 the base officially closed its gates and became part of U.S. military history.

Horseback rider at Fort OrdRecreational

The Fort Ord Public Lands offer 86 miles of trail open for:

  • Cyclists (mountain and road)
  • Hikers
  • Trail runners
  • Horseback riders
  • Wildlife and wildflower photographers
  • Nature enthusiasts
  • Search and rescue training

Fort Ord’s single track trails, grassland hills and oak woodlands are surrounded by development and offer some of the last remaining open space in the Monterey Bay area.

Critical Habitat

The Fort Ord Public Lands support a beautiful and diverse group of plant and animal communities. The rare Central Coast Maritime chaparral ecosystem is home to several plant and wildlife species that depend largely on Fort Ord for their survival.

Photo of the threatened Monterey spine-flowerSome of the plants that thrive at Fort Ord are found almost nowhere else, such as the Toro Manzanita, the state-threatened sand gilia and the federally threatened Monterey spineflower. For many of the rare plants, 50-90% of their worldwide habitat occurs in Fort Ord.

The public lands also support a mixture of other habitats: coast live oak, coastal scrub, mixed annual grassland and native perennial grassland. These lush landscapes are home to a range of wildlife including mountain lions, black-tailed deer, bobcats, coyotes, golden eagles, red tailed hawks, California quail, coast horned lizards and the federally endangered Smith’s blue butterfly.

California Heritage

The Fort Ord Public Lands also include a portion of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail which retraces the route of an overland expedition from Sonora, Mexico to Alta California in 1775. The expedition resulted in the establishment of both a presidio and a mission in San Francisco.