Fort Ord is a former United States Army post on Monterey Bay of the Pacific Ocean coast in California, which closed in 1994. Most of the fort's land now makes up the Fort Ord National Monument, managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Landscape Conservation System. Before construction and official designation as a fort in 1940, the land was used as a maneuver area and field-artillery target range during 1917. Fort Ord was considered one of the most attractive locations of any U.S. Army post, because of its proximity to the beach and California weather. The 7th Infantry Division was its main garrison for many years. When Fort Ord was converted to civilian use, space was set aside for the first nature reserve in the United States created for conservation of an insect, the endangered Smith's blue butterfly. Additional endangered species are found on Fort Ord including; Contra Costa goldfields and the threatened California Tiger Salamander.
While much of the old military buildings and infrastructure remain abandoned, many structures have been torn down for anticipated development. California State University at Monterey Bay and the Fort Ord Dunes State Park, along with some subdivisions, the Veterans Transition Center, a commercial strip mall, military facilities and a nature preserve occupy the area today.
On April 20, 2012, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation designating a 14,651-acre (5,929 ha) portion of the former post as the Fort Ord National Monument. In his proclamation, the President stated that, "The protection of the Fort Ord area will maintain its historical and cultural significance, attract tourists and recreationalists from near and far, and enhance its unique natural resources, for the enjoyment of all Americans."
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