Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

Page from Yellowstone scrapbook of officers inspecting the Snake River CCC camp.

While there were many relief programs aimed to put Americans back to work, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) had the unique goal of preserving the country’s natural resources through the establishment of conservation jobs. This meant that more than three million men between 1933 and 1942 went to work in the parks and forests performing tasks such as “planting trees, building flood barriers, fighting fires, and maintaining roads and trails.” One of the legacies of the CCC was that over three billion trees were planted in just nine years.

The CCC not only showed that the federal government valued protecting the environment, but also that many government agencies could join together in the face of national struggle to create a stronger nation. The Department of Labor recruited young men, the War Department trained them, and the Department of Agriculture decided on and managed the specific jobs of the workers. The work of these young men would become the foundations of the National Parks.

“Introduction: The Civilian Conservation Corps,” American Experience. Public Broadcasting System.