The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Zion National Park

 

Learn and Explore

"In about anything they needed as extra manpower, they always relied on the CCC…. I mean, you can just see the results. I don’t think they would have a lot of things today if they hadn’t had the CCC working on these, you know a lot of this rock cribbing and river work and the trail work and just things like that. They got a lot done. It makes the park…I’ll say."
 

- Fred Brueck, Zion and Bryce National Park Ranger 1934-1941 and Zion National Park Chief Ranger 1953-1973. Interviewed September 18, 1989.

Introduction

Under the authority of the Emergency Conservation Work Act, Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) on April 5, 1933, just one month into his presidency. The CCC went on to become one of the most prolific and productive of President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

 
This image from the January 1938 Narrative Report details road work leading up to Mt. Carmel Tunnel
ZION 15455: CCC Narrative Reports describe general camp life and often include images of work in progress. This image from the January 1938 Narrative Report details road work leading up to the Mount Carmel Tunnel. Today, millions of visitors travel over this switchback on their journey through Zion National Park.
 
Two images: Left is the cover of a handbook with green writing "Your CCC handbook for enrollees" and the right is a red and green triangle patch that says US CCC with a pine tree.
Left image, ZION 7088: "Your CCC Handbook for Enrollees" was supplied to every enrollee and contained information about the CCC program, expectations, camp life, and other useful topics. Included on the final pages is the CCC Oath of Enrollment.

Right image, ZION 10660: The men of the CCC wore military-like uniforms in either denim or olive green. This shoulder patch insignia belonged to Norman Pierce Crawford, who served in the CCC at Zion.

New Deal programs strove to stimulate the economy during the difficult times of the Great Depression. The purpose of the CCC was to implement new conservation projects and to provide financial relief to unemployed young men and their families. CCC enrollees traveled across federal and state lands to complete a wide range of projects including, but not limited to, road construction, flood and erosion control, firefighting, and planting millions of trees. In addition to monetary compensation, participants received hands-on training and education. This assisted them in finding permanent employment or preparing them to enter the military. Overall, more than 3 million young men participated in the program throughout its nine-year existence.

As for the name, due to the popularity and dominating use of the term CCC by the press and public, the ECW was officially renamed the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937.

 
The Civilian Conservation Corps, Safety Regulations provides "…in one small compact volume, safety instructions and information to cover practically all phases of Civilian Conservation Corps work which can be readily used by all administrative personnel."
ZION 12177: The Civilian Conservation Corps, Safety Regulations is a 177-page book that provides "…in one small compact volume, safety instructions and information to cover practically all phases of Civilian Conservation Corps work which can be readily used by all administrative personnel." This copy was marked as received in October of 1938 by Company 962, which was located in Zion National Park at Camp NP-4, Bridge Mountain.
 

Zion Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Research References

Want to learn more about the CCC? Here are the sources we used to do our research!

Bair, Glen. "Glen Bair, Zion National Park Oral History Project, CCC Reunion." Interviewed by Beth Martin, September 29,1989. Transcribed by Ashleigh Canales, November 9, 2010. Transcript. Zion National Park Oral History Collection. http://archive.li.suu.edu/docs/ms178/OH/bair.pdf


Baldridge, Kenneth W. “The Civilian Conservation Corps.” History To Go. Utah Department of Heritage and Arts, 2018, https://historytogo.at.utah.gov/civilian-conservation-corps/


Baldridge, Ken. “The CCC in Utah’s National Parks.” Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 4, https://wchsutah.org/ccc/ccc-legacy-2.jpg

Brothers, Harrison. "Harrison Brothers, Zion National Park Oral History Project, CCC Reunion." Interviewed by Don Graff, September 29, 1989. Transcribed by Anastacia Harlan, May 10, 2011. Transcript. Zion National Park Oral History Collection. http://archive.li.suu.edu/docs/ms178/OH/brothers.pdf

Brueck, Fred. "Fred Brueck, Zion National Park Oral History Project, CCC Reunion." Interviewed on September 18, 1989. Transcribed by Lynae Lewis, July 29, 2011. Transcript. Zion National Park Oral History Collection. http://archive.li.suu.edu/docs/ms178/OH/brueck.pdf

"Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in Washington County.” Washington County Historical Society, 2011-2020, https://wchsutah.org/ccc/ccc.php

Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy. CCC Legacy, 2018, http://www.ccclegacy.org/home.php

“Civilian Conservation Corps.” Zion National Park. National Park Service, 2020, https://www.nps.gov/zion/learn/historyculture/civilian-conservation-corps.htm

Cole, Olen. “African-American Youth in the Program of the Civilian Conservation Corps in California, 1933-42: An Ambivalent Legacy.” Forest & Conservation History, vol. 35, no. 3, 1991, pp. 121–127, www.jstor.org/stable/3983642

Gower, Calvin W. “The Struggle of Blacks for Leadership Positions in the Civilian Conservation Corps: 1933-1942.” The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 61, No. 2, Apr. 1976, pp. 123- 135. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/2717266

History.com Editors. “Civilian Conservation Corps.” HISTORY. A&E Television Networks, 11 May 2010, updated 17 Oct. 2018, https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/civilian-conservation-corps

Jacobson, Valerie L. “Nature & Nation: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.” All Graduate Plan B and Other Reports, 1038, 2017. Utah State University, Master of Arts thesis. DigitalCommons@USU, https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/gradreports/1038

Maher, Neil M. “A New Deal Body Politic: Landscape, Labor, and the Civilian Conservation Corps.” Environmental History, Vol. 7, No. 3, Jul. 2002, pp. 435-461. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/3985917

Neatrour, Anna. Roosevelt’s Tree Army: Civilian Conservation Corps. Digital Public Library of America, September 2015. https://dp.la/exhibitions/civilian-conservation-corps

Oxley, Howard W. “The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Education of the Negro.” The Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 7, No. 3, Jul. 1938, pp. 375-382. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/2291895

Paige, John C. The Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Park Service, 1933-1942: An Administrative History. E-Book, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1985. https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/ccc/index.htm

Parman, Donald L. “The Indian and the Civilian Conservation Corps.” Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 40, No. 1, Feb. 1971, pp. 39-56. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/3637828

Pinkett, Harold T. “Records in the National Archives Relating to the Social Purposes and Results of the Operation of the Civilian Conservation Corps.” Social Service Review, Vol. 22, No. 1, Mar. 1948, pp. 46-53. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/30019641

Rozelle, Frank. "CCC- Narrative Reports, Ninth Period, FY 1938: General Work Report for Period ending May 31, 1937." Zion National Park Archives, catalog number ZION 15455

Salmond, John A. “The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Negro.” The Journal of American History, Vol. 52, No. 1, Jun. 1965, pp. 75-88. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/1901125
Salmond, John A. The Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942: A New Deal Case Study. E-Book, Duke University Press, 1967. https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/ccc/salmond/index.htm

Smith, Carley B. "Our Past, Their Present: Teaching Utah with Primary Sources, the Civilian Conservation Corps in Utah." Utah Division of State History, January 28, 2021. https://history.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/K12-CCC_Our-Past-Their-Present_Jan-28-2021-comp.pdf

Speakman, Joseph M. “Into the Woods: The First Year of the Civilian Conservation Corps.” Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration, Vol. 38, No. 3, Fall 2006, https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2006/fall/ccc.html

Story, Isabelle F. The National Parks and Emergency Conservation. E-Book, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1933. https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/ecw/ecw.htm

Wadsworth, Reuben. “CCC Day; Leeds, the ‘Taj Mahal’ of Southern Utah’s Civilian Conservation Corps Legacies.” St. George News, 31 Dec. 2017, https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2017/12/31/raw-ccc-day-leeds-the-taj-mahal-of-southern-utahs-civilian-conservation-corps-legacies/#.X-EZVXqSnIW

 

You May Also Like

Loading results...
     
    Handcolored glass slide of bluebells and columbine flowers from Cedar Breaks National Monument

    NPGallery

    Explore the museum collections through these digitized materials.

    A large group of people sits in front of the Zion Nature Center in 1989.

    Oral History

    Lend an ear to the memories of the past through Zion's oral history collection.

    A historic pot filled with corn photographed inside the park museum building.

    Zion Human History Museum

    Discover virtual exhibits and learn more about visiting the Zion Human History Museum.

    Last updated: November 17, 2022

    Park footer

    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    Zion National Park
    1 Zion Park Blvd.

    Springdale , UT 84767

    Phone:

    435-772-3256
    If you have questions, please email zion_park_information@nps.gov. Listen to recorded information by calling anytime 24 hours a day. Rangers answer phone calls from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. MT, but a ranger may not answer if they are already speaking with someone else.

    Contact Us

    Stay Connected