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The South’s Amazing Forests

Texas Forestry Museum

Sound | 1970s

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  •  An older man recalls “the old times” 
  •  Clear cutting controversy in the 1930s 
  •  Big mills arrived in the southern woods and cleared the forests 
  •  The “good ol’ days” saw mass unemployment and empty land 
  •  Civilian Conservation Corps members fought fires and planted trees 
  •  Many people enjoy the outdoor recreational activities offered by healthy woods 
  •  Some foresters work primarily in labs, rather than in forests 
  •  Machines now do all the work 
  •  “The South leads the whole country in producing poles of pinewood.” 
  •  The narrator speaks about controlled fires 
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Produced by the US Forest Service and Society of American Foresters, this 1970s educational film recounts the history of the South's forests as told from the perspective of an older Southern man. Included is historic footage of loggers and Civilian Conservation Corps firefighters.

The Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, was a national public work relief program established in 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of the New Deal. The CCC hired unmarried men between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five from families on relief to complete various public works projects for the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior. Enrollees were organized into local camps overseen by the U.S. Army, with some camps in Texas comprised of as many as 19,200 men during their peak. Young men from across the nation worked in the Texas camps and contributed to the state's projects, as assignment to CCC camps was random.

In Texas, the majority of the projects completed by the CCC were soil conservation and erosion control operations. Activities including distributing soil conservation information to farmers and making improvements to farmlands and forests. The CCC also contributed to the development of the Texas state park system; they established 56 parks, 31 of which remain operational today. Between 1933 and 1942 (when CCC operations ceased), approximately 50,000 Texans participated in the program.