A highlight from Biden's Civilian Climate Corps Would Tackle Climate Change, Care For Public Lands
In the aftermath of the great depression with millions of americans out of work then president franklin delano roosevelt created one of the most celebrated public plans in. Us history magnificent. Natural beauty of the american national parks have gone many companies of the civilian conservation corps to further projects which will guard this wealth of beauty against destruction by men and nature. The biden administration is trying to bring back the civilian conservation corps to help fight climate change. Npr's scott detro- in washington and nathan rowe in montana. Explain how that might work. Nearly a hundred years since the creation of the civilian conservation corps much of its legacy is still being put to use of made. Here this tunnels. The most impressive visa were tom. For would is the assistant manager of lewis and clark tavern state park in west central montana. Eight feet long blasted from the outside in. The tunnel is big. You could walk down at comfortably until the passage opens into a massive dark cave where the air is heavy with a chilly humidity. This cave for would says was discovered by a member of the conservation corps who decided to do a little non-sanctioned exploring like i said through all that came out into just this. He hits the lights So it's by far the largest room we know of. In the cave system it has the biggest formations the whole cave that we know of as well ribbed columns of rock stretch from ceiling to floor looking like glistening coral reefs. Somebody's formations are still in. Every year. seventy to eighty thousand people get to enjoy not to mention the millions more who used trails the campgrounds that bridges the dams in other work that was done by the civilian conservation corps. That's one of the things. I hear the most from visitors when they talk about the history of all day lament the loss of that type of an organization the see here in washington it makes sense. President biden is so drawn to the idea of rebooting. One of the most popular enduring programs from the new deal biden has draped himself in fdr symbolism and like roosevelt. He's made big government spending and programs a key part of his agenda a once in a generation investment in america. This is the largest jobs plan since war. To in fact biden has positioned himself as the first president in generations to like fdr unapologetically pitched the federal government and government spending as the solution to big problems in last week's joint address to congress biden tick through major government projects over the years everything from the transcontinental railroad to mars rovers. These are investments. We made together as one country and investments that only the government was in a position to make time and again they propel us into the future. Jonathan alter wrote a book about roosevelt's first hundred days. Well we've been living in a shadow of reagan's america now back to the future. We're going to start to live in the shadow of sdr alter says it fits that as biden tries to connect government to people's lives again he'd want to signal to a project as broad and lasting as the ccc c they planted three billion trees this save the topsoil of the united states created all kinds of state parks. But how would this actually work to begin with. There would be a couple major differences from the original. Ccc the first scope. I didn't want to spend ten billion dollars on his new c. C. a sliver of the infrastructure plan not to mention the original program adjusted for inflation. Means far fewer jobs would be created. But they'd be offered to a broader group of people for all the nostalgia the brings up among progressives. there's the reality it was racially. Segregated closed off to women and paid almost nothing colin o'meara the head of national wildlife. Federation has been pushing for a reboot for a long time but says there's no question that dynamic would need to be different if this is simply a gap beer for for college kids from the suburbs like we will have absolutely failed on every level and so that means more inclusive hiring means doing work in both urban and rural environments. I mean specifically doing outreach. To black latino latina Indigenous american organizations to help build strong partnerships to do work on the ground biden. Wants to focus this on climate change. It would be the climate core not the conservation corps. It's not necessarily about the programs. Cutting carbon emissions says these eighty one of biden's top climate advisors instead eighty says. The project would be much more about mitigation. Better preparing the extreme weather already here. We need to recognize that. One of the risks that are infrastructure faces today comes from the unleashed impacts of a changing climate whether it's wildfire flood for heat wave. There are several versions of the plan in congress right now plus an executive order colorado congressman jones goose. A democrat is playing a key role in shaping the bills. He sees the program as similar to americorps or peace corps chill construction and maintenance fence construction and removal fire fuels mitigation in our forests and wildland fire suppression invasive species treatment any radicalization to get into what that would look like spend a day with the montana conservation corps one of more than hundred smaller cores modeled after the original crew of mostly early twenty. Somethings are rehabbing. A popular hiking and biking trail here in north west montana removing downed trees and encroaching plants. Jeez louise twenty two year old. Emily brown is from north carolina. Like this do work. Throughout montana and other states every year helping improve trails fixing aging infrastructure clearing vegetation to slow fires and it is hard hard work. The crew comes from all over the country. I'm from maine dayton. Ohio new york chicago pennsylvania. Do you have friends back home. That are like what are you doing. What do you tell having more fun than you. Most joined the montana conservation corps because they have an interest in the outdoors or in dealing with climate change. That includes twenty-three-year-old jack. O'hanlon from new york. You want a future right. You know like going to have kids wanna them to like enjoy outside. No nature for keighley kimball from maine. The inspiration came from her own past joined the ccc when everyone lost their jobs actually to provide for his family. He helped construct the appalachian trail. So it's a cool feeling to be doing the same type of work part of the goal of this core and the original. Ccc was not just to provide jobs but create a place for young people to develop joe spot. fourth is twenty one and from columbus ohio. There's big pushes in education. These days to go right from high school to college and then graduate and exactly four years and and that was my plan until Covert and i decided to come out here And i sort of realized after taking a step back. I had no idea what i was doing. So coming out here and working as giving me a great opportunity to find out more about myself and my interests and what i wanna do. Andy says he hopes more people will soon have a similar opportunity. I'm nathan rowe. Npr news in montana. And i'm scott detro- in washington. This message comes from npr sponsor ford the all electric mustang mach and a stock car race around a track. The stock car veers off toward a mobile pit crew harnessed to a moving flatbed truck. Visit ford dot com to see a heart racing. Mustang mach e receive an over the air update.