May 22, 2010

What's happening in SW Colorado

Civilian Conservation Corps constructing road....

Image via Wikipedia


Brown Bag Power Point Presentation - Noon, Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dolores Public Lands Office, Dolores


In the midst of the 1930s Great Depression, President Roosevelt developed the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to put young men back to work and to help conserve public lands that were being eroded.  Roosevelt's plan created a young labor force that lived in camps and worked in forests, parks and range lands to restore the land.

Across the country, young men enrolled and were paid $30 a month; $25 was sent home to their families and the enrollee kept $5.  The program became very popular and over 3 million young men participated between 1933 and 1942. In Colorado, there were over 40 camps and about 57,000 men worked in these camps. Much of the infrastructure at Mesa Verde was reated by the CCC boys. In 2008, the CCC celebrated its 75th anniversary.


One of these camps was located in Dry Creek Basin in Southwest Colorado and known as the Redvale Camp. It was established to provide range improvements such as truck trails for livestock movement, improve springs, and construct erosion control structures.  The Redvale camp operated under the Division of Grazing from 1935 to 1941 when the enrollees were transferred to the Paradox camp and Redvale was closed. 


In May 2008, SJMA site stewards and volunteers, and professional archaeologists helped to document the historic Redvale CCC camp. The field team worked to record the camp over a (very cold) three-day weekend. Using historical information and archaeological remains, forty camp features were identified.  These include structure foundations, rock-lined pathways and flower beds, camp roads, and two unique Navy anchors that were constructed to honor the Navy camp commander.  The project was funded in partnership by the State Historical Fund, the San Juan Mountains Association and the San Juan Public Lands.


Please come for a brown bag power point presentation at the Dolores Public Lands Office on Thursday, May 27th to celebrate Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month and to learn about the Redvale Camp. Please contact Ruth at 970-385-1267 for additional information.


It feels like spring has arrived.  Not only are the temps better, but the activities are underway throughout the 4 Corners. Memorial Day week/weekend is full of Native American events, centered on Mesa Verde but extending into Mancos and Cortez. Juried art show, rug auction, music and more! Drop in and have fun! Get the full schedule at and look at the Festivals page.

Sundance Bear Lodge is a great base camp for enjoying SW Colorado.

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