The 21st Century Conservation Corps (21CSC) is a national initiative to grow the Corps movement by expanding and leveraging private-public partnerships. By giving more young adults and returning veterans the opportunity to work and serve on America’s public lands and waters, the 21CSC seeks to improve our infrastructure, boost local economies, and train a new generation of American workers.

The 21CSC is a bipartisan idea supported by the past five Secretaries of Interior, as well as private businesses and nonprofits. The backbone of the 21CSC is a collective of more than 220 Corps and other organizations across the country that annually engage tens of thousands of young people and veterans in quality, cost-effective maintenance and improvement projects on public and tribal lands and waters across the country. The programs of the 21CSC help address the backlogged maintenance needs of land and water management agencies; enhance outdoor recreation opportunities; improve the accessibility of public lands; and respond to wildfires and other natural disasters.

The Corps Network is a co-chair of the Partnership for the 21CSC: a body of key federal, state, local and non-profit leaders tasked with supporting the development and implementation of the 21CSC. Learn more at

The 21CSC…

  • Builds rural and urban economies
    By 1) Engaging Corpsmembers in projects that support the outdoor recreation and restoration economies; and, 2) Helping young adults and post-9/11 veterans develop in-demand job skills.
  • Provides opportunities for all Americans to serve their country
    Corps leverage the hard work of patriotic Americans for the purpose of strengthening the most beautiful country in the world.
  • Strengthens America’s infrastructure
    By completing projects that maintain and improve unique natural and cultural assets that are critically important to hunters, anglers, outdoor enthusiasts, and rural economies.
  • Modernizes the way government works
    Corps get things done through cost effective and innovative private-public partnerships.


The 21CSC Act

The bipartisan 21CSC Act was introduced in the United States Senate (S.1403) and House of Representatives (H.R.2987) in June 2017. This bill is a merger of previously introduced versions of the 21CSC Act (S.1993 – introduced August 2015, and H.R.5114 – introduced April 2016) and the Public Lands Service Corps Act (S.1160 and H.R.2167 – both introduced in April 2015). This new 21CSC Act represents a bipartisan effort among sponsors and cosponsors of both the 21CSC and Public Lands Service Corps bills to work together for the advancement of Corps as a public-private strategy to meet the needs of America’s resource management agencies and provide work opportunities for young adults and veterans.

The 21CSC Act would allow federal land and water management agencies – like the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service –  to create formal, more flexible partnerships with 21CSC member organizations. It would also enable additional federal agencies to more easily partner with 21CSC organizations to accomplish their goals. Specifically, the 21CSC Act would:

  • Expand the number of federal agencies that can work with 21CSC programs. Enlisting Conservation Corps to do priority work has often proven to be more cost-effective for federal agencies.
  • Encourage federal agencies to collaborate, and require that they use only existing resources to work with 21CSC programs, meaning there would be no additional cost to tax-payers.
  • Establishes new coordinators at participating agencies to ensure the efficient functioning of the 21CSC.
  • Prioritize the engagement of recent veterans, native, and disadvantaged youth in 21CSC programs, and establishes a new Indian Youth Corps program.
  • Establish standards for data collection and measuring the effectiveness of 21CSC programs.
  • Provide two years of non-competitive hiring eligibility with federal agencies for young people and veterans who gain valuable skills through service in 21CSC programs.
  • Provide new Internship and Resource Assistant opportunities for Corpsmembers, along with direct hiring authority.



Danielle Owen
Director of Government Relations
[email protected] 

(Photo – American Conservation Experience)