Monthly Archives: March 2017

Project Report: Lassen Park Campground

Project reports are another way that CCC alumni can contribute to the story of the CCC blog. These are not quite the same thing as an official CCC media announcement. These will be actual former Corpsmembers going out to see what CCC crews are doing today. Project reports are a little more involved than a Corpsmember profile. Project reports are a blast for old Corpsmembers to write! If you would like to take a shot at writing a project report, contact me and we will develop a plan. I have a protocol for making contact with the appropriate center and making arrangements to visit the crew. This will help to make sure we maintain a good working relationship with the CCC.

Here is a project report on a multi-crew project that happened in 2016 at Lassen Volcanic National Park. The Lassen Park Foundation provided funds for the construction of an Americans with Disabilities Act compliant campground to be built inside the park. The NPS provided the technical knowledge and Redding Center provided a lot of the labor.

Lassen Volcanic National Park will soon have a new camping attraction, and the Redding CCC has gone a long way towards helping to make it happen.

Tomorrow, August 6,  will be the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Volcano Adventure Camp at the old Crags Campground. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is part of Lassen Park’s Centennial Celebration, commemorating 100 years of the National Park Service. The revamped Crags Campground will feature tent cabins, picnic pavilions, and shower facilities, all connected by Adults with Disabilities Act quality trails. Redding CCC crews have been spiking continuously at the campground for several weeks to build these trails, and to help finish the buildings at the facility. A crew would camp out here are the work site from Wednesday of one week until Wednesday of the following week, and then be replaced by another crew. Construction has been able to continue seven days a week for the last month.

Tent Cabin Sites and Trails
Tent Cabin Sites and Trails

To the right, you can see the tent cabin decks, and trails under construction. The tent cabin deck here is almost complete and only needs painting before it is ready for the tent canvas. The trails are marked out by locally obtained logs. The trails will be built up between these logs.



TeachingHere, NPS worker Mike Buck discusses with members of Terrance Johnson’s Crew 25 how to best lay out, square off, and secure the logs for the trail edge. Two years ago, Mike was a Corpsmember on this very CCC crew. This is Mike’s second season with NPS.






Custom FitTo ensure a perfect, custom fit, the logs are butted up against each other and then both logs are trimmed with one cut with a chain saw.




FittingThe logs can then be snugged up against each other and pinned to the ground, to make sure they stay in place.





Trail Fill 5To make the trails ADA compliant, several layers are needed. First, a layer of gravel is laid down in the trail path. Then the gravel is covered with a layer of dirt, which is tamped down with shovels as compact as possible.



Trail Fill 4






Trail Fill 3






Trail Fill 2








Tamping PrepAric Anderson’s Crew 20 alternated weeks with Crew 25 to finish the project. Here, Corpsmembers prep a section of trail for final tamping.




Tamping 3A machine is used in the final stage for compacting the trail tread. This leaves a surface solid enough and smooth enough for anybody to use.




Finished Cabin Trail



This is a finished trail leading to a tent cabin.








Trail Bed 1To ensure a gentle grade, even up to the tent cabin entrances, sometimes the trails need to be built up. A trail can consist of a couple of layers of logs, with rock fill to raise the tread level.



Trail Bed 2






The tent cabin framing needed to be painted. The tent cabin foundations and flooring were built by Don Ajamian Construction. Keith, who works for Don Ajamian, loves working with Corpsmembers Keith says they are highly motivated and love to learn.


Painted Cabin DeckHere is a tent cabin floor, painted and ready for canvas.





LevelNPS worker Gary Mott with Corpsmembers ensuring that the logs have been placed level before pinning into place.



















Ian Dalziel
Ian Dalziel

This is a very special project for one Corpsmember in particular, Ian Dalziel. This will be Ian’s last spike as a Corpsmember from Redding. Next week Ian leaves for Australia as part of an exchange program with their version of the CCC, the Conservation Volunteers Australia.

When Ian finishes the exchange program in October, his time with the CCC will be completed. We’ll hear more from Ian next week.




The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Volcano Adventure Camp will be Saturday, August 6, at 10:00 AM at the old Crags Campground facility. Come on out and see what your Redding Corpsmembers have built!

Categories: CCC, Lassen Volcanic National Park | Leave a comment

Corpsmember Profile: Ian Dalziel

Howdy. I’m using Three Years With the C’s today as a launching post for a new blog, CCC: Hard Corps. This week, I will post examples of the types of stories you will be seeing in CCC: Hard Corps.If you were in the CCC and would be interested in telling your CCC story to the world, there are several ways you could contribute.
The first is a basic Corpsmember profile. Simply answer the questions:
  • What did you do before the C’s?
  • How did you find out about the C’s, and how did you join?
  • What did you do in the C’s? What centers were you at? Was it a residential center or non-res? What kind of projects did you do?
  • What have you been doing since you left the C’s?
  • How did being in the C’s help you after you left?

This is the most basic type of story to write, and one of the most popular that people like to read. It shouldn’t be long, only about 500-1000 words. Include a photo or three. You can write about yourself, or you can interview other people you knew in the C’s and write profiles about each other. The more the better! The guiding philosophy for this blog project is that every Corpsmember  has a story worth telling. And I do mean every Corpsmember!

Ian’s was the first CM profile submitted to the blog. It did need a revision, so don’t feel that you need to write it perfectly before you send it. Getting it down on page in the first place is the hard part. I will help you edit your piece to make sure you tell your story in the best way possible. Ian’s story hits all of the major parts for the profile: what he did before the C’s, what he did in the C’s, and what he did after the C’s.

Here’s Ian:

My name is Ian Dalziel. I joined the California Conservation Corps in Redding, during September, 2013. Before this, I spent the majority of my time getting as much experience as possible in the field of acting, both for in front of the camera, or on the stage. But a fun hobby that you dream of making into a career can only take you so far in the short term, so, it was off to the job fair with me.

The last booth I found belonged to something that said “CCC – Hard Work, Low Pay, Miserable Conditions, and more!” along with some pictures showing the sort of work and wilderness living conditions experienced by the Corps, past and present. The chance to have a full work week, get paid to camp, get in shape, and explore the great outdoors of this great state? Irresistible.

So I joined up, with my love of the Rams football team leading to me being placed on then Crew 29 under C1 Aaron Dunson, another Rams man, and last I checked, the Statewide Trail Coordinator for the Corps. My first foray into the program was a spike at Mt. Tamalpais overlooking the Bay Area, with an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant dry stone masonry rock wall project near the peak parking lot. Before my COMET (Corpsmember Orientation, Motivation, Education, and Training) group had arrived, the crew had already partook in six spikes on this project already, with another five after we joined.

Not too long after the spikes at Mt. Tam ended, Aaron Dunson got his marching orders, and Crew 29 would be getting a new C1. Being new and getting used to the crew dynamic, and Aaron as a supervisor, I was hesitant at first, because the gentleman being assigned as C1 was not known to me. I hadn’t yet met him around the Center. His name is Terrance Johnson, the trail building, spam loving, Bronco footballing legend.

During one of our first encounters as Supervisor to Crewmember, he said I would be his red-hat, if I wanted to take on the challenge. Having been impressed by “T”, and wanting to learn more from this font of life experience and trail knowledge, I decided I would go all the way. Three months after T took over and rechristened us as Crew 25, I earned the official position of Crewleader I on the day we left for my longest project with the CCC, the Lassen Peak Trail Restoration.

ian dalziel

I experienced twenty-three spikes, four fire camps for five fires, no floods, no stint in Backcountry, and a career-topping experience as part of the most recent Australian Exchange, thus ending my 37 months in the Corps, in October of 2016. Of that time, I was a boy in the blue hat for 8 months, rocked the red hat for 16 months, and finished out as an orange overseer for 13 months. Along the way I made some invaluable friends, while constantly gaining new experience with hand and power tools, trail building, brush cutting, roadside maintenance, tree planting, invasive species removal, safety practices, and so much more as anyone who experiences the CCC can relate to.

These days I look for my next job experience to enjoy, while being signed on as a volunteer for the CCC in Redding so I can still come in and bug the staff and possibly help out on a project or two with my old, now almost entirely different crew. I’m also sure to honk at Terrance Johnson’s house since we live in the same small town about twenty-miles out of Redding. Old habits, and worth it just to see that big grin of his. I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take on the Corps, to do so in earnest.

So now you see what a basic Corpsmember profile looks like. Write your own! We would love to hear it! You can submit it to me at .
Stay tuned for other ways that you could contribute to the CCC story.
Categories: CCC | 1 Comment

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