The Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) is responsible for the oversight of Monterey Bay area economic recovery from the closure and reuse planning of the former Fort Ord military base. The former Fort Ord is located on the California coastline near the Monterey Peninsula consisting of 45 square miles/28,000 acres.
FORA implements its’ legislatively mandated mission by overseeing replacement land use; assuring compliance with adopted measures; removing physical barriers; financing and constructing major components of required infrastructure and base-wide demands; and protecting identified environmental reserves. FORA exercises planning, financing, and monitoring responsibilities under state law to meet these objectives in the best interest of the Northern Monterey Bay Community.
The Fort Ord closure announcement occurred in 1991, generating a mixture of disbelief, economic impacts, and excitement about potential reuse. The Army base had been part of the history of Monterey County on the Monterey Peninsula since 1917. Within months, a series of meetings were initiated to discuss recovery from significant closure impacts by creating a “vision” for reuse. The meetings included broad community participation including residents, businesses, government, special districts, and others. From those meetings, it was agreed that reuse should focus on Education, Environment, and Economic Development ("the three E's of Fort Ord Reuse").
Initial efforts to organize governance for reuse faltered. Senator Henry Mello (deceased) sponsored special legislation to establish a local agency charged with the task of planning, financing, and implementing reuse. That agency was entitled the “Fort Ord Reuse Authority” (FORA), formed in 1994. FORA has a governing body of 13 voting members and 12 non-voting members and is comprised of representatives from cities, the county, special districts, public educational institutions, the military, and state and federal legislators.
As defined by the Base Reuse Plan, the plan goals are to establish a unified open space system which preserves and enhances the natural environment while contributing to the revitalization of the former Fort Ord by providing accessible recreational experiences for residents and visitors alike.
To date, 69% of the 27,827 total acreages are dedicated to recreational/open space. 973 acres were used to create the Fort Ord Dunes State Park and 14,658 acres were dedicated by President Obama for the Fort Ord National Monument. In addition, a Regional Trails Blueprint characterizing a cross-jurisdictional trails plan to link the National Marine Sanctuary, the State Park and National Monument through the emerging new housing and CSUMB campus was approved by the FORA Board of Directors.