Shenandoah National Park Landscape and the CCC

by Reed Engle, Cultural Resource Specialist
from Resource Management Newsletter, January 1997

Two CCC boys pose next to erosion control on hillside.
Two Civilian Conservation Corp boys stand next to erosion control work on hillside.
The continued review of Civilian Conservation Corps "Job Application and Completion Records" in the archives further reveals the extent of landscape manipulation undertaken during the park's formative years. Below are several typical project reports detailing project work for the previous year:

JOB 9/905: Completed 2/7/1939:
"Stream Development, Big Run, Grottoes":

Over a stretch of six miles, using 900 man-days and $100.00, "Two large pools and four small ones were dammed up with large boulders so that the water would back up and create sizable pools. The work was accomplished in a satisfactory manner and the final result is an appearance of natural rock work." The stated intent of this project was to "provide a series of trout pools along the stream."

JOB 60/603: Completed 6/27/1940:
"Fire Hazard Reduction Trailside":

"The purpose of this job was to secure the proper cleanup and disposal of burnable debris existing naturally or accidental to construction of recreational, bridle & foot trails. This cleanup averaged 40 feet in width both sides of the newly constructed trail." This project cleared 93.8 miles of trails, taking 9,220 man-days, and used $218.58.

JOB 56/603: Completed 6/19/1940:
"Fire Hazard Reduction, Roadside":

"Of the 96.05 miles of Skyline Drive, 21.0 miles running through open or semi-open areas did not require fire hazard reduction-roadside type of treatment. A total of 69.2 miles through sections requiring cleanup measures has been completed to date.... Throughout this job standard woodside treatment was carried out on the Skyline Drive averaging 50 to 250 feet in width depending upon the nature of existing inflammable debris and local topography. The project required 14,911 man-days and cost $1,347.57.

JOB 61/706: Completed 7/17/1941:
"Fine Grading, Road Slopes":


"Although the work contemplated along the Skyline Drive under this project has not been completed this job is being closed because of an over run on the units. A new job, No. 317, has been approved so that the work can be continued....The work accomplished... included lay back the steep cut slopes along the Skyline Drive to flatten the angle so that soil may be stabilized with seeding and planting...Approximately fifteen miles of banks along the ... Drive in the north section, twenty miles in the central section, and about ten miles in the south were flattened and graded....
The project impacted 113.9 acres, cost $1,034.65, and utilized 39,121 man-days.

Shenandoah National Park

Last updated: December 9, 2022