October 28, 2021

Neguse Delivers on Climate Conservation Corps and Historic Forest Funding in Build Back Better Plan

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, announced that he has secured robust funding to establish a 21st Century Climate Conservation Corps and make major investments in America’s forests in the updated Build Back Better Plan. The funding included in today’s updated text meets his vision for the program he’s been pushing for over a year to launch the 21st Century Climate Conservation Corps and to fund community resilience and wildfire preparedness projects through the Department of Interior and the U.S. Forest Service.

“I’m pleased to announce that the Build Back Better Plan will deliver on our vision to make historic investments in our forests and watersheds and launch a reimagined 21st Century Conservation Corps,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “In Colorado, the health of our public lands and our forests are inextricably linked to the health of our communities and the health of our economy. For more than a year, as our communities have experienced record-setting wildfires and devastating flash flooding, we have been advocating for historic investments in wildfire prevention, forest restoration and watershed mitigation. We’re thrilled to say that today we are delivering on this vision. The updated text for the Build Back Better Plan released today includes robust funding for wildfire prevention and support for wildland firefighters who are putting their lives on the line every day; includes funding for watershed protection and mitigation to protect local water supplies; and funding to launch a new Climate Conservation Corps to put a diverse, new generation to work in our public lands.”

In September, Congressman Neguse spoke with President Biden, alongside other members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and advocated for the Civilian Climate Corps to remain in the final reconciliation package. In July, Congressman Neguse led a group of over 80 bicameral House and Senate members in calling for their joint vision for a CCC. Today’s outlined plan incorporates the standards laid out in this letter to ensure strong labor standards, workforce development and diverse recruitment. 

Over 30 Colorado mayors and county commissioners expressed support for Congressman Neguse’s plan earlier this year, and over 45 local, state and national have endorsed the Neguse vision for a CCC. Several forestry organizations in California recently sent a letter to the California delegation in support of Neguse’s plan. 

Funding for Neguse’s Plan for A Climate Conservation Corps and Investments in America’s Forests in the Build Back Better Act include: 

  • $12 billion to launch the Climate Conservation Corps, supporting new jobs to put people to work in our public lands; and 
  • Over $30 billion for America’s forests; including over $20 billion specifically for wildfire resiliency and restoration. These funds would support watershed protection and vegetation management, wildfire prevention and burn area restoration, among other activities. This includes:
    • Over $4 billion for the Department of Interior for wildfire management, ecosystem resiliency and restoration; and 
    • Over $27 billion for the Department of Agriculture for wildfire prevention, watershed protection and community resiliency.