New Conservation Corps Bill Would Provide Jobs, Reclaim Degraded Lands

WASHINGTON, D.C. — New legislation from U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Penn.) would create a 21st-century Civilian Conservation Corps to address the environmental and economic crises facing American communities. The bill establishes a Civilian Conservation Corps that partners with state and federal agencies, NGOs, and local partners to create on-the-ground conservation projects that conserve and restore public lands as well as private working lands, including conservation projects on farms as well as restoration of abandoned mines and contaminated lands. The bill would also ensure that the programs create good paying jobs and job training for future employment, particularly in frontline communities.  

“As local communities work to recover from the pandemic, Senator Casey’s proposed Civilian Conservation Corps will jumpstart desperately needed job creation by restoring and reclaiming degraded natural resources on both public and private lands,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, who has been a leading voice for renewal of a conservation corps. “We applaud Senator Casey’s leadership in calling for a locally-led approach and focusing on environmental justice to ensure that jobs and resources are centered where they’re most needed. We look forward to working together to make the vision of a 21st-century Civilian Conservation Corps a reality.”

“Pennsylvania is uniquely positioned to take advantage of a program like the Civilian Climate Corps," said PennFuture President and CEO Jacquelyn Bonomo. "In its comprehensiveness, the program will rightly bring resources to rural and urban Pennsylvania. Our natural infrastructure can be protected and improved by putting people back to work through a CCC. So will the program build capacity in communities that have been subject to historic pollution and debilitating heat island effects. PennFuture’s “A Green Stimulus and Recovery Platform for Pennsylvania” report identifies tens of thousands of jobs that could be created to maintain our state forests and parks, address legacy pollution—including more than 100,000 abandoned oil and gas wells—and to improve water quality and climate resilience through stream buffers. We eagerly anticipate a new generation of Americans working to conserve, preserve and restore our public lands and waters, all while addressing the climate crisis at our doorstep. PennFuture welcomes the chance to engage with Sen. Casey on this bill, and as this program gets up and running in Pennsylvania.”

A 21st-century Civilian Conservation Corps is part of the National Wildlife Federation’s proposal to put 3.5 million Americans to work restoring our country’s lands and waters and the ReImagine Appalachia platform

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