U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said he applauds an announcement by the U.S. Forest Service and its partners that they will invest more than $11 million to support work and training opportunities for more than 1,500 youth and veterans in national forests and public lands through the 21st Century Conservation Corps (21CSC).
“I applaud today’s announcement that the U.S. Forest Service and its partners will invest over $11 million to support important projects on public lands in Arizona and across the country through 21CSC," McCain said in a statement. "The 21CSC is an important public-private partnership that has put returning veterans and young people to work on public lands, expanding national service opportunities and completing priority projects in our national parks, forests and tribal lands. Today’s announcement follows the $3.16 million commitment that the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture made last month with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for similar projects."
“With today's announcement, these conservation corps will partner with federal land management agencies to complete projects critical to our state, including trail construction and maintenance, fire mitigation, mining reclamation, invasive species management and water conservation. These projects stretch from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to the Coconino, Tonto, and Coronado National Forests. Native American conservation corps participants will also conduct desert restoration and trail improvement projects on tribal lands, in Tonto National Forest and across Maricopa County."
McCain's statement added, “I recently introduced the 21CSC Act to build on this work in Arizona and across the country by providing the legislative authority necessary to ensure its continued success. The legislation would increase national service opportunities for young people and veterans working to protect, restore, and enhance the outdoors by leveraging existing resources and private funding. In addition to providing valuable service opportunities, these efforts would address the National Park Service’s deferred maintenance backlog totaling over $11.9 billion nationwide in a cost-effective way. The commitment announced today is not only critical for enhancing service opportunities for our young people, but also revitalizing and preserving our great outdoors for the next generation.”
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