The future of seven seven cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps at Backbone State Park in northeast Iowa is in the hands of a special task force.

The CCC was the original government jobs program in the 1930s, putting people to work building parks and national infrastructure (and in Backbone’s case, cabins, dams, shelters and bridges) as part of a plan to lift the country out of the Great Depression.

After hosting park visitors for seven decades, the Backbone cabins are at a crossroads.

“We are going to have to spend some money on these cabins whether it is restoring or replacing them,” Kevin Szcodronski, chief of the State Parks Bureau for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said in a DNR press release on the matter.

“These cabins have historic value and have been a destination for generations of Iowans. It is important for us to determine whether the structures can be feasibly renovated or whether the condition has deteriorated to the point where they should be replaced,” Szcodronski said.

In addition to the DNR’s Engineering Services Bureau evaluating the cabins’ structure, Szcodronski said visitors of the cabins during the past season will also be surveyed for their input.

The task force will be meeting at the end of November and will be making a final recommendation by the end of the year.

Located just south of Strawberry Point , Backbone State Park is 2,000 acres and is Iowa’s oldest state park.