NARROWSBURG, NY — Once upon a time, the U.S. government paid young men and WWI veterans to plant trees.

It paid them to build firebreaks, fire towers and access roads. They built national parks. They worked on flood control. They repaired the soil stripped away by the hot winds of the Dust Bowl.

This was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), created in 1933, and it rescued families throughout the country from financial devastation, said Diane Galusha, author of “Another Day, Another Dollar,” which is about the CCC in the Catskills.

The program created camps, filled them with unemployed young men aged 18 to 25 to start with, then it was expanded up to age 28.

Then it put them to work.


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