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The Civilian Conservation Corps in Nevada: From Boys to Men (Wilbur S. Shepperson Series in Nevada History)

The Civilian Conservation Corps in Nevada: From Boys to Men (Wilbur S. Shepperson Series in Nevada History)

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The Great Depression of the 1930s had a devastating impact on sparsely populated Nevada and its two major industries, mining and agriculture. Even prior to the national economic collapse, nature and overgrazing had rendered millions of acres in the arid state unusable. However, thanks to Nevada's powerful senate delegation, Roosevelt's New Deal funding flowed abundantly into the state. Among the programs thus supported was the Civilian Conservation Corps, a federal program intended to provide jobs for unemployed young men and a pool of labor for essential public lands rehabilitation projects.

In all, nearly 31,000 young men were employed in fifty-nine CCC camps throughout Nevada, most of them from outside the state. These "boys," as they were called, went to work improving the state's forests, parks, wildlife habitats, roads, fences, irrigation systems, flood-control systems, and rangelands, while learning valuable skills on the job, through vocational courses, and in a formal education program intended to help them find employment when the economy improved. Rural communities near CCC camps reaped additional benefits when local men were hired as foremen and when the camps purchased supplies from local merchants.

The Civilian Conservation Corps in Nevada is based on extensive research in private manuscript collections, unpublished memoirs, CCC inspectors' reports and other records, government documents, newspapers, and other sources, as well as on interviews with CCC veterans and personnel. The book also includes period photographs depicting the Nevada CCC and its activities.

This is the first comprehensive history of the Nevada CCC, a program designed to help the nation get back on its feet, and of the "boys" who did so much to restore Nevada's lands and resources—and who in the process became men.