Camp San Luis Obispo

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A organizational summary by the ENVS 560/L Watershed Systems class at CSUMB.


Camp San Luis Obispo is located in San Luis Obispo, California. It is the original home of the California Army National Guard and covers 15,433 acres of land. Camp San Luis Obispo is currently an operational training and logistic site.

History in the Central Coast of California

  • The California Legislature originally created the California Militia in 1850 which then became the California National Guard in 1928.
  • After World War I, the State created Camp Merriam in San Luis Obispo as a training site.
    • This camp was originally 5,800 acres.
  • In 1940, the U.S. Government leased the camp from the State as an Army base and renamed it Camp San Luis Obispo.
  • In the same year, the Army built a cantonment area and added 4,170 acres at the Salinas River.
  • In 1946, the camp went back to the State even though the cantonment area belonged to the Army.
  • The camp became the headquarters for the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office of California which provided support for the California National Guard.
  • The Army resumed control over the camp after the outbreak of the Korean War.
  • In 1965, the camp again was returned to the State.
  • The California Military Academy was established at the camp in order to improve military training.
  • To this day, Camp San Luis Obispo remains an operational training and logistic site for the California Army and Air National Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, California Specialized Training Institute, the U.S. Army Reserve, the California Conservation Corps, Cuesta Community College, and the California Department of Transportation [1].

Current Land Management


  1. Camp San Luis Obispo Army Base. Military Bases. [Cited March 2021]


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