Combatting the Erosion Menace: The Enduring Legacy of the CCC Within the Silver City Watershed

Author(s): Elizabeth Toney

Year: 2015


By the summer of 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) had constructed over 3000 checkdams within the Silver City Watershed. Men working in Little Walnut CCC Camp located a few miles outside of Silver City, New Mexico were focused on rehabilitating the Silver City Watershed from 1933-1940. Many of these features are still visible and functioning on the lands administered by Gila National Forest, Silver City Ranger District. These water and erosion control features are not only a testament to the craftsmanship of the CCC men who constructed them, but also a testament to conservation ethic that in large part began with Aldo Leopold’s assertion that soil erosion was a "menace" to the social and economic future of the Southwest. The CCC built upon this ethic and rapidly acquired the techniques in building checkdams throughout the Silver City Watershed so that by the end 1934 over 15,000 erosion control features had been constructed within the watershed. This paper explores the enduring legacy of these features within the Silver City Watershed and explores how to manage these CCC landscapes.

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Cite this Record

Combatting the Erosion Menace: The Enduring Legacy of the CCC Within the Silver City Watershed. Elizabeth Toney. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395060)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Southwest

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;