August 09, 2021

Neguse’s Climate Conservation Corps Proposal Included in $3.5 Trillion Budget Resolution Unveiled Today

Neguse: “It’s Time to Make This Vision a Reality”

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, Chair of the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, announced that his proposal to establish a reimagined 21st Century Climate Conservation Corps and make historic investments in wildfire resiliency has been included in the $3.5 trillion budget resolution, unveiled this morning by Senate Democrats. 

“A year ago we proposed an innovative solution to put Americans back to work, tackle the climate crisis and address catastrophic wildfires in Colorado and across the West by establishing a reimagined 21st Century Climate Conservations Corps. I am thrilled to see funding and authorization for the Climate Conservation Corps along with historic investments in wildfire suppression and resiliency included in the budget resolution as outlined today. It’s time to make this vision a reality,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “As Chair of the U.S. Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, I look forward to taking up this proposal in our Subcommittee and working to invest in programs that will restore our lands and communities and meet the moment for Colorado and for our future.” 

The budget resolution includes $25.6 billion for community resilience projects, along with $89.1 billion in Department of Agriculture funding, which includes the U.S. Forest Service and project funding for wildfire risk mitigation. The Senate budget reconciliation request sets topline funding numbers for departments and agencies, with instructions for Committees in the House, including the House Natural Resources Committee to lay out the specific programs and projects to be funded.  


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.