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Biden's Civilian Climate Corps plans could bring hundreds of thousands to work on public lands, PAs

Nearly a century ago, the US faced unemployment at 25% and environmental woes such as flooding along major rivers and extensive deforestation. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt decided to tackle these emergencies simultaneously by creating the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) as part of his New Deal.

Through its nine-year existence, Roosevelt’s “Tree Army” put an impressive 3 million jobless Americans to work. All in all, CCC enrollees planted more than 3bn trees, paved 125,000 miles of roadways, erected 3,000 fire lookouts, and spent 6m workdays fighting forest fires. The artifacts from this ambitious effort – such as trails and structures dotting the Grand Canyon national park or the Pacific Coast Trail – are beloved today.

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