“Almost immediately upon the initiation of CCC-ID work on the Klamath Reservation, several projects were outlined. Authority was granted to spend $25,000 to conduct CCC-ID conservation work. The first project, implemented on December 9, 1933, was coyote eradication. The second project, started on January 5, 1934, was the Agency-Lone Pine telephone line. The third was to construct the Sycan Bridge, which was started in January.
Although the initial projects were not forestry related, most of the CCC-ID work on the Klamath Reservation concerned forestry activities such as fire hazard reduction, tree planting, mistletoe control and especially, pine bark beetle (Dendroctonus brevicomis) control. It was required that the CCC-ID be integrated into existing programs such as pine bark beetle control. At the time, pine beetles threatened to destroy extensive ponderosa pine strands on the reservation and elsewhere in Klamath County. Pine bark beetle control work started on the Klamath Reservation in 1922, several years after drainage was first noted on the southern slopes of the Black Hills and Calimus Butte in 1918. ‘During the eleven-year period, from 1922 to and including 1932, a total of 42,062 beetle-infested pines were treated on 329,729 acres at a cost of $161,487.80.’
Superintendent Courtright noted that: ‘Pine Beetle Control work has always been and will remain, one of the most important projects on this reservation, not only from the standpoint of conservation but also from that of employment. Our control work is conducted during those periods when mills and other woods activities have ceased and need for employment is most acute. Our control work is entirely hand labor and due to its low cost we can use practically all the unemployed Indians who apply for work.’
When not engaged in pine bark beetle control work, the CCC-ID enrollees worked on a variety of fire hazard reduction projects. Enrollees served as fire guards/crews through the summer. …They constructed and maintained several guard stations and fire lookout towers and cabins, such as Applegate Butte lookout and cabin. Construction of the Applegate Butte lookout tower and cabin was completed May 31, 1935. The lookout towers were unusual because they were constructed of steel and rivets as opposed to the conventional method of constructing towers out of wood. In addition, the crews built fire lines and fire proofed roadsides such as Dalles-California Highway (Highway 97) which ran north-south through the reservation. Fireproofing roadsides consisted of spraying a 15 to 20 yard strip of fuel oil adjacent to and paralleling a road. The oil was then set on fire. The corps hoped this practice would reduce the threat of a fire started by a tourist throwing a cigarette or match.
By June 30, 1940, the enrollees had completed at least 1,026 projects. In addition to pine bark beetle control and fire hazard reduction, the projects covered a wide range of conservation activities from construction and maintenance of telephone lines, campgrounds, roads and bridges to range improvements.”
–“The CCC on the Klamath Reservation: An Introduction”
Michelle Durant, “The CCC on the Klamath Reservation: An Introduction” in We Can Take It: The Civilian Conservation Corps in the Land of the Lakes, The Shaw Historical Library, Oregon Institute of Technology, 2006. Pg. 131-133.
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