When Franklin D. Roosevelt took over as president in March 1933 the country was in the midst of the worst depression ever experienced in the United States. Among the organizations established to help relieve the situation was the Civilian Conservation Corps, not only one of the first to begin operations across the country but also one of the most successful of the various "alphabetical agencies" of the New Deal period. Originally referred to only as Emergency Conservation Work (ECW), Roosevelt's CCC designation had been in popular use from the beginning, and its nicknames "Three C's," "Triple C's," or simply "The C's" were widely used. The CCC was designed to simultaneously solve two of the major problems facing the country: provide financial relief and help implement conservation projects.
Several government departments were included among the "technical agencies" which supervised the work of the 116 camps that existed at one time or another in twenty-seven of Utah's twenty-nine counties over the nine-year life of the CCC. The United States Forest Service supervised forty-seven camps; the Division of Grazing--now Bureau of Land Management--had twenty-four camps working on erosion control projects and building reservoirs. The six Bureau of Reclamation camps worked primarily on irrigation schemes, especially the construction of the Midview Dam and lateral canals on the Moon River Project in the Uinta Basin, one of the biggest projects in the state. Range reseeding was one of the main activities of the eight camps of the Soil Conservation Service. The National Park Service had seven camps, primarily in Zion and Bryce National Parks, and it also, along with the city of Provo, jointly supervised the only "Metropolitan Area" camp in Utah. In addition to these, there were also camps assigned to the state of Utah for erosion control and work on state parks, as well as for the U.S. Biological Survey, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the U.S. Army. Work assignments for the camps were laid out and supervised by the technical agency in charge, although each camp was under the command of a regular or reserve office of the U.S. Army, which handled the logistics of supply and administration for the program.