Congressman Neguse’s Climate Conservation Corps Proposal Gets a Hearing in the House
Washington D.C.— This week, Congressman Joe Neguse, Chairman of the U.S. Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands held a hearing to discuss his proposal to enact a 21st Century Climate Conservation Corps.
View Congressman Neguse discussing the Climate Conservation Corps here. Scott Segerstrom, Executive Director of the Colorado Youth Corps Association testified at the hearing to share Colorado’s perspective on the issue. View his testimony here.
“In the face of multiple challenges that our communities in Colorado are facing: unemployment, catastrophic wildfires and climate change, our 21st Century Climate Conservation Corps proposal will bring in essential resources to put Coloradans back to work, restore our lands and our communities,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “As Chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, I’m excited to bring this innovative proposal before my Subcommittee. We have a historic opportunity to make bold investments in our public lands, clean energy and climate resiliency, all while creating good-paying jobs, building a diverse workforce and strengthening career pathways. The urgency of this moment recalls past chapters of national mobilization, and in standing up the Climate Conservation Corps, we will build on that legacy and existing infrastructure to meet the challenges of today.”
“A Civilian Climate Corps program, built on the shoulders of the conservation service corps network, has the potential to employ thousands and protect millions,” said Scott Segerstrom, Executive Director of the Colorado Youth Corps Association. “Public-private partnerships with corps represent the best of government: channeling resources into an efficient, proven solution that will be of service to all Americans. Dedicated funding through the CCC will mobilize corps around the country to graduate thousands of firefighters to grow our nation’s capacity. With CCC investments in corps, we CAN do this.”
Congressman Joe Neguse's 21st Century Conservation Corps Act would tackle multiple challenges simultaneously, addressing unemployment rates caused by COVID-19, tackling western wildfires, restoring our lands and communities and addressing climate change.
The plan would take a page out of FDR’s New Deal program to recreate the corps of the 1930s, which built Red Rocks, roads, trails and campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park and supported other projects throughout Colorado. Neguse’s proposed 21st Century Civilian Climate Corps would reimagine this program, put hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work in the wake of the COVID-19 economic crisis, and make major investments in wildfire resiliency, mitigation and adaptation. The plan additionally would support Colorado’s outdoor recreation industry and address outdoor access by investing in the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Program and Every Kid Outdoors Program.
Given record-breaking wildfires across Colorado in 2020, including the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome Fires, two of the largest in state history, historic investments to address future wildfires are crucial. The proposal from Congressman Neguse would invest in programs that have previously benefited Colorado’s wildfire suppression efforts, such as the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program, and Firewise and would hire and train a new generation of workers to support forest management, wildland fire suppression and wildfire recovery.
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