According to The Outdoor Foundation’s 2012 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report, the majority of adults who enjoy outdoor activities learned them as children: exposure to outdoor recreation and physical activities early in life has a lasting effect.

In 2011, we worked with the Longs Peak Council of the Boy Scouts of America to permanently protect the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch, a 3,200-acre property located 40 miles northwest of Fort Collins in Colorado. 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.

Christine Quinlan of the Fund’s Colorado office is proud of the conservation of the Ranch: “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.”

One year later, the destructive High Park Fire burned more than 87,000 acres in northern Colorado, putting an exclamation point on the importance of conserving Ben Delatour.  The Scout Ranch gave crews a strategic staging area from which to fight the blaze, while the property’s beetle-free forest created a protective buffer between the Roosevelt National Forest on the west and the 3,000-acre Glacier View Subdivision to the east.

The land preservation agreement between the Longs Peak Council and the Colorado State Forest Service forever protects the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch from the threat of development.  Made possible with assistance from the federal Forest Legacy Program and from Great Outdoors Colorado, the land agreement secures one of the last, large forested properties in the Cache la Poudre watershed and enables the Scout Ranch to continue to serve as an outdoor classroom for youth and future forestry leaders.  

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