Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today introduced a House Resolution recognizing the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps on the occasion of its 80th anniversary. Reps. Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Rick Nolan, and Ann McLane Kuster are original cosponsors.
As part of the New Deal, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps to boost civil works projects and provide employment for low-skilled workers during the Great Depression. Participants were paid to do natural resource conservation and infrastructure improvement jobs on public lands across the country.
“We owe a great debt to the Civilian Conservation Corps, and every American should remember how important it’s been to his or her community,” Grijalva said. “The CCC built some of America’s greatest parks, helped clean up our environment, improved public access to the great outdoors on a monumental scale, and engaged millions of youth in conservation, education, and workforce training projects. Americans still benefit each year from the what the Corps did for this country, and today’s Corps Network continues that important legacy.”
“The young people of the CCC preserved and restored habitats around the country and educated local communities about the importance of protecting our environment for future generations,” Rep. Ellison said. “The creation of the CCC at such an important time in our nation’s history is a testament to the value of America’s natural resources to our heritage.”
“America is truly better off today because of the generations who have contributed to the work of the CCC,” Rep. McCollum said.
“My father, Hank Nolan, served in the CCC, and that program helped keep our family and a great many of our neighbors going through some very tough years,” Rep. Nolan said. “So it’s an honor for me to join my colleagues in sponsoring this bill.”
In addition to the Resolution, Rep. Grijalva earlier this year introduced the Public Lands Service Corps Act (H.R. 1351). The bill enhances federal support for the Public Lands Service Corps, a descendant of the CCC that trains youth and young adults to conduct conservation and maintenance work on public lands. The Corps provides youth jobs at many of the country’s most visited landscapes, including trail maintenance, wildlife monitoring, and forest fire mitigation.
Grijalva’s bill updates approved Corps activities to match current needs and land management trends. It also emphasizes outreach to new participants from underrepresented portions of the population, establishes coordinating offices for the program at the Interior Department and U.S. Forest Service, and authorizes National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) participation. NOAA is responsible for the management of the National Marine Sanctuaries System.