Land Conservation Agreement Preserves 3,201-Acre Ben Delatour Scout Ranch In Northern Colorado
November 22, 2011
Photo by Dr. Terry Quinn
Larimer County, Colo. — The Longs Peak Council of the Boy Scouts of America (LPC) and The Conservation Fund announced today the permanent protection of the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch, a 3,201-acre property located 40 miles northwest of Fort Collins. A conservation easement on the Ranch secures one of the last, large forested properties in the Cache la Poudre watershed and enables the property to continue to serve as an outdoor classroom for children and future forestry leaders.
Thanks to the dedicated support of past and current members of Congress, including Senator Mark Udall, Senator Michael Bennet and former Congresswoman Betsy Markey, $4 million was provided for the purchase of the easement by the federal government through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Legacy Program. In Colorado, the Forest Legacy Grant Program is administered cooperatively by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) to support efforts to protect environmentally sensitive forest lands in the state. Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) provided an additional $1.5 million in Lottery proceeds to complete the purchase.
“I’m proud to see the Forest Legacy Program put into practice for a worthy cause right here in Colorado,” Sen. Udall said. “By permanently protecting an important tract of forest habitat, we can also preserve the multiple uses the community derives from it and foster the next generation of stewards for our natural resources.”
“The Ben Delatour Scout Ranch is a great example of how local communities and economies can benefit from open space and the protection of the ranch is a credit to the Forest Legacy Program,” said Sen. Bennet. “I applaud the dedication of the Boy Scouts, and I am glad we were successful in working together to make this happen.”
The land preservation agreement between LPC and CSFS forever protects the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch from the threat of development. Negotiated by The Conservation Fund in Boulder, the sale of the conservation easement allows the LPC to continue its valuable programs for youth and forestry professionals and maintain its proactive forestry management practices.
“The conservation easement secures into perpetuity the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch as a fun and challenging outdoor platform for character development and values-based leadership training and protects the Ranch from future commercial development,” stated Frank R. Ramirez, Council President. “The proceeds from the easement will be placed in the Council’s endowment fund as a long-term investment, ensuring that Scouting programs at the Ranch will be available for future generations.”
“The Colorado State Forest Service is extremely pleased to work with the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch to conserve this important property,” said Jeff Jahnke, state forester and director of the Colorado State Forest Service. “The CSFS and the Ranch have had a long-standing working relationship that provides opportunities for students to conduct forestry work and for scouts from all over the world to see the benefits of that work firsthand.”
Established in 1958, the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch is used by boys and girls organizations for a wide variety of programs designed to develop respect for the natural environment and leadership and survival skills that children will carry with them into adulthood. The Ranch serves as a training site for fire fighters and emergency responders from across the state as well as an outdoor classroom for forestry students at Colorado universities.
“At a time when youth camps across the country are being sold, Ben Delatour Scout Ranch will remain available for kids and their families, continuing to fuel the local economy and provide 150 jobs each season,” said Christine Quinlan of The Conservation Fund’s Colorado Office.
The Forest Legacy Program has protected more than 12,000 acres in Colorado since 2000, utilizing $10,546,000 in Forest Legacy funds matched by $9,320,000, primarily from GOCO and landowner donations. Since 1992, the Forest Legacy Program has invested more than $540 million in federal funds across the country to protect 2.2 million acres valued at more than $1 billion.
“Conserving open space, encouraging forest stewardship, training future natural conservation managers, and protecting critical wildlife habitat are just a few of the benefits the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch will continue to provide,” said Glenn Casamassa, Forest Supervisor at Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest and Pawnee National Grassland. “The U.S. Forest Service is proud to help secure this land and play a role in managing the cross-boundary landscape for generations to come.”
About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America.
About the Longs Peak Council, Boys Scouts of America
The Longs Peak Council is one of the leading youth serving organizations in the area, and the Boy Scouts of America continues to be the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training program, serving 3 million youth. Scouting's programs and outdoor adventures prepare young people for a lifetime of character and leadership. The Longs Peak Council, Boy Scouts of America currently serves approximately 11,000 young men and women in northern Colorado, southeast Wyoming and southwest Nebraska. To learn more about the Longs Peak Council, Boy Scouts of America: www.longspeakbsa.org.
About the Forest Legacy Program
Funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the USDA Forest Service's Forest Legacy Program supports voluntary partnerships between states, forest landowners, conservation organizations and others to help conserve environmentally important forests from conversion to nonforest uses. The main tool used for protecting these important forests is conservation easements to provide for jobs, water quality, wildlife, recreation and a host of other public benefits.
About Great Outdoors Colorado
Great Outdoors Colorado was created in 1992 thanks to the passage of a citizen initiative aimed to help preserve, protect, enhance and manage the state's wildlife, park, river, trail and open space heritage. GOCO receives up to one-half of Colorado Lottery proceeds to award grants to local governments and land trusts and make investments through Colorado Parks & Wildlife. www.goco.org.
Ann Simonelli | The Conservation Fund | 703-908-5809 | firstname.lastname@example.org
John L. Coleman, Jr., Longs Peak Council, Boy Scouts of America (970) 584-2222,email@example.com