History - The CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps)
President Franklin D. Roosevelt conceived and created what would become the single most productive conservation program in our history – the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC was a conservation program in a double sense for not only did it replant forests and check soil erosion but also it reclaimed the lives of thousands of young men.
The CCC was born on March 31, 1933, when President Roosevelt signed a bill into law establishing the program. The first camp opened just 17 days later.
In 2008, we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the CCC. This was an important anniversary to the Forest Service and many other federal, state and local organizations because CCC projects accomplished much needed natural resource work that otherwise would not have been done.
Many buildings, recreation areas, roads and trails built by the CCC are still being used. Projects such as forest improvement and tree planting are adding benefits to today’s economy.
Montana had 61 camps and there were 2,700 nationally. Over $19 million were spent in Montana and more than 20,000 Montana men served in the CCCs. One of the only two camps remaining in Montana, Birch Creek (Camp F-60) was established in 1935 as a “show camp” in the Fort Missoula CCC District.
Birch Creek officially operated from May 3, 1935 to June 30, 1941. At one time, the camp consisted of 15 permanent buildings and housed 200 men.
The work completed included roads, telephone lines, fences, campgrounds, range fences, road construction, trails, ski runs, administrative buildings, markers, signs, water projects, portals, grazing survey maps and wood detail. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We invite you to explore the history of the CCC and visit Birch Creek CCC Camp.
Visit our exhibits/displays below.
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Early Forest Service
Road and Trail
Pullin' and Packin'