Rewind: December 15, 2023
“The Civilian Conservation Corps – The CCC Had an Important Place in Warren County History”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as President during the Great Depression, promoted the Civilian Conservation Corps as part of the Emergency Conservation Work Act. This program started in 1933.
It was considered by many as his most successful program, and it was certainly his most popular. During the Depression, there were nearly two million unemployed men and women in the country.
FDR proposed that the CCC do Emergency Conservation work, not interfering with normal employment, confining it to forestry: preventing soil erosion, flood control and similar projects. Enrollees in the program planted trees, constructed truck trail, and fire lines, made surveys, build fences, hiking trails, and made improvements in wood lots. some camps were responsible for constructing state parks and recreation areas. Another project was the “Blister Rust Campaign” in the white pine forests. Gooseberry and current bushes were pulled up with a hooked stick to keep the pines from being infected. Camps were set up in all 48 states. Locally, Pack Forest in Warrensburg and the Almy Farm and Burgess Far, in Bolton hosted CCC camps.
At the beginning of the program, unemployed and unmarried men, 18-25 years old were sought. Later the age range was changed to 17-28. Participants were given housing, food, clothing, and medical care. Each of the camps were individual communities which offered participants comradeship and recreation.
Men who enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps were paid for their work, $30.00/month. Depending on where you were working and what their jobs entailed, you were given a cash sum of money ($5.00) and the rest of your paycheck was sent home to your family ($30.00).
Over the nine years of operation, over three million young men participated in the program. By the early 1940s, camps were being phased out, and many of the men went into the military. This was one of FDR’s most successful and favorite programs.
Kyle Graves prepared this article for the Warren county Historical Society.
Sources for this information came from Adirondack Civilian Conservation Corps Camps: History, Memories and Legacy of the CCC, by Martin Podskoch; and Wikopedia.