May 16, 2022

Effort Launched To Conserve Ten Mile River Scout Reservation In New York State

SULLIVAN COUNTY, N.Y.  — The Conservation Fund and the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced today the launch of a multi-year effort to permanently protect most of the historic Ten Mile River Scout Reservation in New York’s southern Catskill Mountains. The Conservation Fund’s purchase of nearly 6,100 acres provides time for the development and implementation of permanent conservation strategies on the forestland to support water quality and wildlife habitat protection, help combat climate change, and explore future recreational access for hiking, camping and fishing.

This transaction is the first of a two-phase sale that will secure approximately 9,400 acres of the Ten Mile River Scout Reservation, which is one of the largest privately-owned and unprotected properties within the Delaware River watershed. The intended outcome will allow the Scouts to maintain ownership of their four camp facilities while preventing the larger landscape from being fragmented or developed. The Scouts will continue to use the property acquired by The Conservation Fund for their charitable purposes under an agreement.

“Ten Mile River Scout Reservation is an unparalleled natural asset and an iconic property in the history of Scouting that has been enjoyed by tens of thousands of youth during the past 100 years,” said Richard A. Davies, Scout Executive & CEO of the Greater New York Councils-BSA. “The rich legacy of this land will continue as it remains a destination for Scouts, families and those seeking outdoor recreation.”

Located 75 miles from New York City along the New York and Pennsylvania border, the Ten Mile River Scout Reservation was first assembled in 1927 by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who served as the chairman of the Councils’ board. The site along the Delaware River was also used in 1933 to host a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. Since then, it has been used annually for summer, weekend and family camps by scout programs for upwards of 5,000 boys and girls of diverse backgrounds from the greater New York City area. As part of this project, Greater New York Councils-BSA will maintain ownership of the active summer camp facilities encompassing 2,100 acres so that the Reservation can continue to support youth leadership programming as well as outdoor and camping opportunities.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only permanently conserve one of the largest private tracts in the Delaware River watershed but to also honor the Greater New York Councils’ legacy of land stewardship since 1927,” said Tom Duffus, vice president and northeast representative for The Conservation Fund. “Ultimately, we’re working to ensure this forested landscape is protected for people, wildlife, water, and climate resilience. As an Eagle Scout, I am heartened that the Ten Mile River Camp areas being retained will continue to serve youth leadership training into the future.”

This unique and important area features over 18 miles of streams, three miles of river frontage on the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River, 60 miles of hiking trails, and it stores over 2.1 million tons of CO2 equivalent — comparable to the emissions from over 472,000 passenger vehicles over the course of a year.

The Conservation Fund’s acquisition was made possible through its Working Forest Fund®, which is dedicated to mitigating climate change, strengthening rural economies and protecting natural ecosystems through the permanent conservation of at-risk working forests. Capital from the organization’s green bonds — the first of its kind dedicated to conservation in the U.S. — and a private partnership with the nonprofit Malone Family Land Preservation Foundation was instrumental in the purchase.

The national nonprofit will continue sustainable forest management of the property to enhance carbon storage, recreational access, climate and fire resilience, and water and wildlife resources. The Conservation Fund plans to work with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation on the permanent protection of this land. The National Park Service will continue to manage the Delaware River access site and Tusten Mountain Trail for the public.

“DEC is pleased the unique Ten Mile River Scout Reservation property will be protected and preserved for generations to come, enhancing recreational opportunities for the public,” said Kelly Turturro, DEC regional director.

The property is home to an array of both aquatic and terrestrial species. Because the Delaware River has remained undammed throughout the length of its mainstem, it remains a natural connection to the Atlantic Ocean, allowing migratory fish to reach the Upper Delaware River for spawning. In addition, the dense forest cover of the Ten Mile River Scout Reservation provides ideal habitat for black bear, bobcat, coyote, wild turkey, muskrat, mink, raccoon and white-tailed deer. The highest concentration of bald eagle wintering areas in New York is also found in this watershed.

“The Delaware Highlands Conservancy and its partners in the watershed are delighted by this initiative to permanently protect the Ten Mile River Scout Reservation,” stated Conservancy Executive Director Diane Rosencrance. “The conservation of large tracts of forestland bordering the Delaware River is integral to protecting water quality and the health of the people and wildlife that rely on it. Ten Mile River is an important component of the landscape and our shared local history in the Upper Delaware River region, and its protection will allow the public to continue to enjoy and benefit from this beautiful property, now and for generations to come.”

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than 8.5 million acres of land across the U.S., including nearly 500,000 acres in New York.

About the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America
The Greater New York Councils (GNYC) is a local council of the Boy Scouts of America that serves the New York City area. GNYC has helped over five million young people become “Prepared for Life” since its inception in the 1920s. The GNYC office is located at 475 Riverside Drive in Manhattan. The programs of the Boy Scouts of America serve young people by fostering healthy habits and personal fitness, including the prevention of bullying; encouraging environmental stewardship; and providing leadership development and STEM Education. For more information on the Greater New York Councils and the Boy Scouts, please visit

Ann Simonelli | The Conservation Fund | 703-908-5809 |
George Shea | BSA GNYC | 917-584-0988 |