California Conservation Corps Escapes Budget Axe

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, February 23, 2009

The California Conservation Corps has dodged a potential death blow in the new state budget.   Governor Schwarzenegger wanted to take away 17-million dollars—roughly half of the state’s contribution to the corps. 
But, the plan was dropped last week when lawmakers found other areas to cut and raised taxes by billions to wipe out the state’s massive deficit. 
Conservation Corps spokesman Jimmy Camp says last summer’s severe wildfires kept the agency alive… 
“We keep about 13-hundred corps members and of those almost every single one of them was out working in the fire camps…working the supply tents…we also had a fire crew that helped with actual fire fighting.  So, yes unfortunately that did help us being that there were so many fires last year.”
Camp says the Corps has employed thousands of young people since it started in 1976. 
Besides wildfires, the department is called out during mud slides, maintains hiking trails and works on the state’s flood prevention efforts.