July 2011    


The CCC was created in 1976 and we're now celebrating our 35th year.  That means a lot of memories, from great times to miserable conditions, over more than three decades. 
We hope to create a "real-time" event this fall to showcase what we do best, what we do every single day.  With the help of staff and corpsmembers throughout the state, we plan to focus on one particular day and post photos to social media sites from dawn to dusk.  We hope to give the public a good sense of all the great work we do.
We also want to get the word out to the media about the CCC's value and many achievements.  This is where you and other alumni come in.  We envision at least two ways you could participate.
1)  You could send us a few sentences reflecting on your time in the CCC, something you're willing to let us quote in our anniversary material. Just a few lines would be great.
2)  We'd like to offer California media the chance to talk with CCC alumni as well as current corpsmembers.  This could be because of where you live (for media in your geographic area) or because you served in a particular decade, or maybe have an interesting or environmentally related occupation.
If either or both of these options are of interest, e-mail the CCC Public Information Office at  Include a daytime phone where we might best reach you.
Feel free to pass this on to other former corpsmembers who might not yet be on our mailing list.  




Natural Resources Secretary John Laird and California State Parks Director Ruth Coleman pose with the Backcountry Veterans Crew working in Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz County.  Photo by David Muraki.


This year's Backcountry Trails crews include something new -- one crew with nine veterans who have all done military tours of duty overseas, including Iraq and Afghanistan.  The recently returned veterans are joined by additional corpsmembers, working with them for the season.


CCC Director David Muraki was pleased that Natural Resources Secretary John Laird and State Parks Director Ruth Coleman had a chance to see the crew at work while they were at Wilder Ranch State Park in Santa Cruz County.


From Santa Cruz County, the crew has moved on to work in the Shasta-Trinity and Inyo national forests and Sequoia National Park.  Supervisor for the crew is Paul Hancock.


And more veterans crews:

This month, the CCC will add three additional veterans crews.  Two of the crews are sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, a third by Assembly Speaker John Perez with legislative funding. 

USFS logoHired for these crews are veterans who have recently returned from Iraq or Afghanistan, all between the ages of 18 and 25. "The response has been very good," says Emergency Manager John Martinez, who's overseeing the crews.
One of the crews will be residential, working for the USFS's Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and based at the Tahoe Center.  The corpsmembers will work in this location until the first snows come, and then are expected to move to the Sierra National Forest.  Another crew will be nonresidential, commuting to Vista in San Diego County and transported from there to work daily for the USFS in the Cleveland National Forest. 
The Assembly-sponsored crew will be a residential crew and be based at a site near the Cleveland National Forest.
The focus of the crews will be fuel management -- they'll do tree thinning and brush clearance in both rural and urban areas.
John Martinez says a major goal is post-military employment of the young men and women.  
"The emphasis is to get them re-acclimated to civilian life and picked up by the Forest Service after their time on these crews," he says.  "We're not only helping returning vets but boosting their employability and linking them to future job opportunities." 
All the crews will receive Forest Service training at McClellan Park north of Sacramento at the end of July, including chain saw training and fire training, leading to certification.  The corpsmembers will also participate in COMET, a basic introduction to the CCC.


If you know of a veteran returning from Iraq or Afghanistan who might be interested in joining a veterans crew, contact John Martinez at  



To assist corpsmembers  -- and alumni -- in finding jobs after the CCC, there's a new feature on the CCC website: a Job Board.  The board can be accessed through the alumni tab on the right-hand side of the CCC home page:


These are primarily entry-level positions but we would welcome other listings that might be appropriate for those with additional experience.  If you know of jobs that might be a good fit for CCC alumni, there's a link at the bottom where job listings can be submitted.  



For ten years, corpsmembers on Redding's Shasta 21 fire crew have worked with the U.S. Forest Service as a Type II initial attack crew.  Maybe you were one of those who gained firefighting skills on this crew.  C I  Shawn Fry, a certified Fire Crew Boss/Instructor, has led the crew for many years.



Fire crew corpsmembers Charles Kane, left, and Jason More on a controlled-burn exercise for the U.S. Forest Service in Red Bluff last month.  Photos by Matt Ala.


Fifteen corpsmembers recently completed their fire training and are ready for dispatch this season.  Since 2001, more than 180 corpsmembers/firefighters have been trained.


Over the years, more than 50 corpsmembers have gone on to jobs in fire service for the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and Cal Fire. 


The 2010 Redding crew boasts at least four success stories to date: Benito Brooks and Charles Kane are working for BLM; Richard Giffords for the USFS; and Tanner Sisneros for the NPS in Whiskeytown.


Corpsmembers on the crew receive extensive certification.  The CCC's training partners include the USFS in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, the National Park Service in Whiskeytown and Shasta College's Career Technical Education (ROP) Program.


Shawn Fry is a former corpsmember who joined the CCC in 1980 and was based at the Owens Valley Fire Center. He later


Redding C I Patrick Soriano, left, and C I/Crew Boss Shawn Fry, right, on a recent Cal Fire training exercise. 

worked for Cal Fire as a firefighter and began supervising the CCC crew in 2001.  He has subsequently mentored two other CCC supervisors.


Shawn is certified as a Shasta College instructor and also calls upon fire personnel from throughout Shasta County to assist him with the courses given to corpsmembers.


Current crew supervisor Nick Johnson of the CCC's Weavervillle crew was a corpsmember/firefighter on the 2003 crew and is now a certified USFS Crew Boss; crew supervisor Patrick Soriano is expected to earn his Crew Boss rank this year. 



Crew Boss Shawn Fry, in red hat at left, with a 2007 Shasta 21 crew.






It's been 20 years since the members of Diane Brown's 1991 Stanislaus National Forest Backcountry crew were all together.  Several of the members have organized a Labor Day weekend  (September 3-5) reunion at Pinecrest Lake in Sonora.

Jian (Jimmy) Huang says they're still looking for a few crew members.  If you have information as to the whereabouts of any of these people, please e-mail Jimmy at Adrian Vazquez  (Mendocino Center); David Waier (Santa Clara); Jimmie Jo Whitman (Leggett), John Sleeper (Leggett) and Robert Rowland (Camarillo).

Suggestions are available for accommodations, camping and other activities for the Labor Day weekend reunion.

Jimmy says most of the crew haven't seen or contacted each other for 20 years, but there are many success stories -- an electrician, business owner, pastor, social worker, nurse, carpenter, forest service person, and more.

Diane recalls: "Whatever stardust was mixed in with the dust during backcountry crew selection in 1991 resulted in a truly memorable and quite remarkable crew."

That's Diane in the lower right-hand corner, in the black hat.





Supervisor Oz Jardine, left, and members of the Mt. San Jacinto crew, transport a rock for their trail work.  Photo by Scot Schmier.


It's a five-month-long backcountry-style experience for corpsmembers working in Mt. San Jacinto State Park in Riverside County. 

Fourteen corpsmembers representing centers throughout the state are involved in this unique effort for California State Parks.  They began work May 23 and will work until October 30. 


After starting out in Round Valley, the crew recently moved more than six miles to Fuller Ridge where they'll work on the Pacific Crest Trail.  The new camp is located at an elevation of more than 9,000 feet.


Supervising the crew is Backcountry Trails Camp Supervisor Oz Jardine.  He formerly was with the U.S. Forest Service in the Stanislaus National Forest, working alongside CCC Backcountry crews for several years.


Inland Center Director Scot Schmier had a chance to visit the crew recently.



"For the short time they've been together as a crew, the amount of finished trail they've done is impressive," Scot says.  





Providing supervision for the project is Inland's Conservation Supervisor Rhody Soria and C II Jim Teegardin.  Two special corpsmembers, Ben Brown and Omar Samano are also assisting. Ben helps with logistical support and Omar with camp cuisine.  



Inland Empire Center Director Scot Schmier talks to Mt. San Jacinto corpsmembers at a community meeting.  Photo by Jim Teegardin.



Scot says he asked the corpsmembers about the best meal they'd had to date, and everybody had difficulty narrowing it down to just one.   



Mule teams come in every two weeks with food and other supplies.


Karl Knapp, Road and Trails manager for State Parks, says the crew will work on reconstructing portions of the Pacific Crest Trail to make it usable for those on horseback.



"It hasn't been accessible for equestrians in about 20 years," he says.  He notes that the workmanship on the rock work so far is very good.      





Karl predicts that by the end of the season, "they'll be excellent trail workers, all proficient at horse-packing and remote camping."      



Chris Shaw joined the CCC in 1995 and became a Del Norte corpsmember.  He stayed in the Corps until 1998, and had the opportunity to participate on the Stanislaus Backcountry crew in 1997.  "It was one of the best periods of my life and helped me become who I am today," he says.

Today he's a teacher with the John Muir Charter School at the CCC's Los Padres Center in San Luis Obispo.  The school recently held a graduation ceremony --"they always stand out," Chris says.


Former Del Norte corpsmember Chris Shaw, left, is now a teacher with the John Muir Charter School at the Los Padres Center in San Luis Obispo.

After his corpsmember days, Chris attended the College of the Redwoods and then went on to Humboldt State where he earned a degree in history as well as a teaching credential.

"While in school, I began working at the Fortuna Center as an aide to the John Muir Charter School, and then became a special corpsmember," Chris says. "Once I earned my teaching credential, Tom Hunnicutt, the Muir teacher in Fortuna, recommended me for a vacant position with Muir [in San Luis Obispo]."

That was in 2004, and Chris has been working with Los Padres corpsmembers ever since.

"The best thing about my job is the students," he says.  "They're all great, but many have struggled in school before coming to us.  As a result, many don't see themselves as successful learners, and in many cases, they're pretty jaded about school and teachers."

"The best thing about Muir is that we provide an atmosphere where students can reinvent themselves as learners," Chris says. "This then allows them to go on to other academic, career and life pursuits with confidence."

Reflecting back, if he could return as a corpsmember for just one day?

"I'd want to go back to the Backcountry for one day of trail work with my crew.  I'd like to come back to camp at the end of a hard day of rock-work, swim in a creek, eat an awesome meal, drink some coffee while play cards with my crew mates, then go to sleep under the stars."     

Chris and his wife, Janna, live on the Central Coast and have two daughters: Ines, 3, and Rosalina, 1.



Culinary Specialists: Former CCC cook Randy Case, who worked at Greenwood, Placer and Oat Mountain, brought in a scrapbook of showing special banquets and other events.  Randy donned a Santa suit to play a CCC Santa Claus, and recalls taking the Canadian Katimavik exchange crew to Yosemite. 


Here are a few photos from his album. Randy can be reached at



Placer Cooks -- Date Unknown.



Oat Mountain Cooks -- Date Unknown.

Tahoe Conservancy Crew: Terri Lindsey forwards a photo of her Tahoe crew doing work for the Conservancy  in 1992.  At left and right are Karen and Shawn of the Conservancy, with corpsmembers, as Terri recalls them: "Joseph Vassel, Terri, Robert Foy, Jason ?, Marci ? and Vince Vicente.
  Terri can be reached at  



Those of you who were at the Calaveras Fire Center may be able to help with this.  Franklin Corbin is writing a book on his experience in the CCC and the Ecology Corps around 1976.  He believes his supervisor was Pat Pattison of the Department of Forestry.


Franklin is looking for photos of the center and activities -- give him a  call at (541) 899-7274 or e-mail him at 




Jose "Joe" Robledo

We've learned of the recent deaths of two former corpsmembers, Jose "Joe" Robledo and John "Tennessee" Mei

Joe Robledo joined the CCC in 1994 and worked at both the San Bernardino and the Tahoe centers.  After leaving the Corps, he developed muscular dystrophy. He became a recognized member of the Mouth and Foot Painter's Association.


John Mei was a Chico corpsmember, who joined the CCC in 2005.



Because of state privacy laws, the CCC's alumni registry/database, hosted by the State of California, does not have a searchable feature.


However, we can help link you up with other former corpsmembers through this newsletter, posting inquiries that include e-mail addresses.  Send your inquiries to with your message and contact e-mail.  By voluntarily e-mailing us, you are authorizing us to include your contact information in an upcoming newsletter.


Chuck Dudley is looking for any Session 82 Fricot Academy members or the very first CCC Tahoe crew to be at North Shore Tahoe Rideout Community Center.  "You would remember because we had to camp out before we could get into the new center."  Contact Chuck at


Mark A. Maldonado is looking for people who were in Los Angeles in 1989 and San Diego in 2004 (emergency grant).  E-mail him at


Gene Bertsche is looking for Ron Randrup and others from Placer, 1985-1990.  Gene can be reached at


John Konczyk is looking for Monicka Fosskit from the Sequoia Center, 1989.  Also, David Jacen from the Bay Area Center in 1988.  Contact John at


Thomas Paulson is giving a shout out to those who were at the Pomona Center in 1989.  You can contact him at


Crystal Parsley-Burlington is looking for crew members from Mt. San Jacinto, 1982-84 -- Shelley Anderson, Mike the cook, Diane, Deedee and anyone else there during those years.  Crystal recalls spikes at Joshua Tree and Yosemite.  She can be reached at


Marilou Young would love to reconnect with Regina Rainey from the Placer Fire Center, 1984.  You can reach her at


Jeff Lawrence is looking for John Weise or anyone from Deer Park, 1976-77.  He can be contacted at


Philip Lembke started as a corpsmember in November 1990 at the San Luis Obispo Academy, then went to Escondido, Camarillo, then back to the Academy as a crewleader, then to Placer.  He is now a C II at the San Diego Center and can be reached at or


John Moffett would like to reach Joe Flores from Crew 2, the 1980 Placer Fire Center. John would like to hear from him or anyone else from this time period.  E-mail John at


Connie "Sunny" deCastro is looking for co-workers who were at Yountville, Yosemite (Jack Main Canyon crew) and Mt. San Jacinto (auto specialist), 1980-82.  You can reach Connie at


Phil Casillas was at the Del Norte Center from 1984-86 and on the Kings Canyon Backcountry crew with Jerry Torres and Roxanne Strangfeld. "Wondering if our handprints are still in the concrete we poured in Crystal Cave." Contact Phil at


Rick Hernandez would like to get in touch with anyone from the Fresno Center from 2005, Justin LaMarsh's Crew 21.  Rick can be reached at


Terri Bumgartner is looking for fellow corpsmembers and staff from Siskiyou, 1979-81. E-mail her at


Daren Tarlen Cahn was at Oat Mountain from 1985-86 then went to Camarillo from 1986-87 and worked as a Special Corpsmember.  Contact Daren at


Sherry King was in the CCC from 1979-81 at La Honda.  She's looking for David Kennedy or Anthony David Kennedy who grew up in Gilroy and went to the San Luis Obispo Center. Sherry can be reached at


Theresa Trusty/Pentecost graduated from Session 93/4 in 1987-88, Fricot City, working in the Administration Building, and would like to find anyone who was there, or who was at the Greenwood Center from 1987-88, or anybody who worked in the floods of 1986. She recalls Chuck Thomas, Analisa Simmons, Nancy Gonzalez and others.  E-mail Theresa at


Michael W. Kelley, aka "Animal." is looking to contact people from Calaveras, 1980-82.  He can be reached at


Edwin Hamilton (aka Agnews) would like to reconnect with his buddies from Santa Clara/Agnews from 1981-82.  He can be reached at


Allan Crose is looking for Robert Stankoff, Tonya Holbron or anyone from Bollinger Canyon Fire Center or Leggett Project 201 from 1981-82.  E-mail Allan at


Charles West would like to contact people from Session 9, 1977-79.  He was one of the first Staff Trainees.  He worked at Murphys, Yountville, San Luis Obispo and Escondido.  You can reach him at, 510-843-5937.


Parke (Lynda Parks) is looking for people from San Luis Obispo, 1982-83.  You can reach her at


Patti Lynch is seeking Tim Brown from San Luis Obispo, 1978-79.  She can be reached at


Thomas Nanninga was at the Tahoe Center from 1988-90 and would like to find Chris Cartright, Perry Cromwell, Rick Burnett, Alicia Acosta or others.   "Let's talk about the good old days in Meyers." Call him at 760-594-3598 or e-mail him at


Chris Bandley, aka "Torch," is looking for anyone who was at the Placer Center from mid-2002 to November 2005.  He can be reached at


Chris Raring is looking for friends from La Honda (1981), San Francisco (1982), CL Training Academy (about 1982) and Camarillo (1983).  He'd also like to hear from former supervisors Gary Van Dorst and Bill Gorgas.  Contact Chris at



If you might make a good alumni profile, or you have a suggestion (and contact information) for someone who might, let us know.  We're also looking for good photos from your CCC days that might be of general interest to others.  E-mail CCC Public Information Officer Susanne Levitsky at or call her at (916) 341-3145.


Don't forget to keep your e-mail address and other information up-to-date in our  CCC Alumni Registry.  This is the basis for our newsletter list and also allows us to learn more about the wide variety of occupations and experiences of our alumni.  We'll also be able to let you know if there are special events in your area.



 Thanks very much!


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