Times were very desperate. Nationally, youth unemployment in 1932 was 25% and another 29% were working only part-time. So the remedies for the hopeless youths had to be bold. A new agency, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), was to be “a catalyst. Through it, a new and vital president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, brought together two wasted resources, the young men and the land, in an attempt to save both” wrote CCC historian John A. Salmond. Nationwide, over a nearly ten year period, over three million young men renewed forests, fought soil erosion and the Dust Bowl as well as built infrastructure in the nation’s state and national parks.
Robert W. “Bob” Audretsch retired as a National Park Service ranger at Grand Canyon in 2009 after nearly 20 years of service. Since then, he has devoted himself full time to research and writing about the Civilian Conservations Corps (CCC). Bob grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and attended Wayne State University where he received a BA in history and a MS in library science.
MAKING AN ACCURATE RECORD of the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) for a whole region or state is indeed daunting. To date, of the fifty-two states and territories with CCC programs, only six have complete books written. I began my research on the CCC for the state of Colorado in earnest in 2013, believing it could be summarized in one book. But by early 2016, it became clear there was too much to fit in one volume. Next came the problem of how to divide the information. I elected to divide the material not by region or time period but by the federal administering agency. Volume 1 covers camps administered by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.