One of The Conservation Fund’s top priorities is ensuring large, forested landscapes that support wildlife, water quality and local economies are not subdivided and converted to non-forest uses. When the Greater New York Councils of the Boy Scouts of America, one of the largest Scout operations in the U.S., reached out to us in 2021 to discuss the opportunity to acquire most of the 95-year-old Scout reservation for conservation, we recognized the importance of securing this serene forestland in the southern Catskill Mountains, four miles from the Woodstock Festival site.

By leveraging proceeds from our pioneering green bonds and a private partnership with the nonprofit Malone Family Land Preservation Foundation, we launched an initiative to protect 9,400 acres of the historic Ten Mile River Scout Reservation. This will allow the Scouts to continue using the land for scouting activities and its charitable mission — all while ensuring the land is forever protected and made available for public recreation.


In May 2022, The Conservation Fund and the Greater New York Councils embarked on a multi-year effort to permanently protect most of the historic Ten Mile River Scout Reservation. The Fund’s acquisition of nearly 6,100 acres through our Working Forest Fund provides time for the development and implementation of permanent conservation strategies on the forest to support water quality and wildlife habitat protection, help combat climate change, and explore opportunities for future public recreational access for hiking, camping and fishing. We are currently fundraising to purchase an additional 3,300 acres from the Greater New York Councils within the next year.

The Scouts will maintain ownership of the four 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.

During its temporary ownership of the Ten Mile River Forest, the Fund will continue sustainable forest management to enhance carbon storage, recreational access, climate and fire resilience, and water and wildlife resources. We plan to work with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation on the permanent protection of this land.


Through this project, the Fund is again facilitating conservation at a landscape scale, securing forestland with extraordinary habitats and resources for the public. This project will forever secure over 18 miles of streams and three miles of river frontage on the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River along with 60 miles of hiking trails. Additionally, it will store 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 National Park Service will continue to manage the Delaware River access site and Tusten Mountain Trail for the public.

Ten Mile River. Photo: Michael Lennon

Aquatic and terrestrial species will benefit through this project as well. 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. Moreover, 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.

Permanent conservation of the Ten Mile River Forest also places safeguards on the numerous sites documented on the property as once used by the indigenous Lenape people.