Between 1934 and 1941 the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) operated work camps at Haleakalā. The CCC was a federally funded work relief program designed to generate income for young unemployed men during the Great Depression. The CCC focused on utilizing the young labor force for natural resource conservation and creating and improving public works. Much of their work was carried out in the nations Parks and forests, and it has been estimated that 3 billion trees were planted by CCC enrollees throughout the United States.
Here at Haleakalā National Park the CCC was engaged in a variety of projects. CCC enrollees removed invasive plants and feral animals such as pigs and goats, constructed the Pā Ka‘oao (White Hill), Keoneheʻeheʻe (Sliding Sands), and Halemau'u trails, and built some of the frontcountry structures still used by park employees today.
Mules of Haleakalā National Park, Then and Now
Whatever the CCC did not haul in on their backs was hauled in by mules. The CCC used mules to pack in heavy material and supplies, including lumber and gravel for the crater cabins and trails, and food to feed the CCC boys living in the crater camps at Hōlua, Kapalaoa, and Palikū.
Seabury Hall Middle School produced a short film on the continuing use of pack mules at Haleakalā National Park, which aired on PBS Hawaii's HIKI NŌ television program in April of 2016. Click here to watch the 3 min film.
For more information about the CCC and their work at Haleakalā, please select Civilian Conservation Corps in Hawai'i: Oral Histories of the Haleakalā Camp, Maui
Last updated: July 14, 2021