Bipartisan Civilian Conservation Corps bills signed into law

LANSING, Mich.—Lt. Gov. Brian Calley yesterday signed into law bipartisan legislation to revive and modernize the Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps (MCCC).

The bills, spearheaded by Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, place new emphasis on public-private partnerships and the involvement of young people in the historic national program. They were passed overwhelmingly in both chambers, by a vote of 109-0 in the House and 36-1 in the Senate.

“This is an exciting venture and new opportunity for the young people of our state,” said Pavlov. “The jobs and education component of the Civilian Conservation Corps is what Michigan’s reinvention is all about. We are giving the next generation a chance to learn in Michigan woods, work on Michigan trails and build a better Michigan for all of us.”

The new laws reshape the MCCC to be operated in partnership by universities, private companies, and nonprofit organizations while maintaining its traditional roots of field-based training, conservation and restoration work. It expands the scope of participants to Michigan youth aged 17-27 and broadens the span of work training programs available to participants.

The goals of the new MCCC are population retention, stewardship of the state’s natural resources, enhanced education and employment opportunities and improved labor resources for state agencies and other conservation organizations.

The new program will also promote projects that increase public access to land and lead to economic development.

The reinvented MCCC is supported by the Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Recreation and Park Association, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, and others, including a number of the state’s public universities and community colleges.

Other bill sponsors are Sens. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba; Mike Green, R-Mayville; Goeff Hansen, R-Hart; and Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor.