Ten Mile River conservation announced

By LIAM MAYO
Posted 5/25/22

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Reports have swirled for months about the planned sale of land from the Ten Mile River Boy Scout Camp (TMR).

An announcement on May 16 fleshed out those reports, as The …

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Ten Mile River conservation announced

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Reports have swirled for months about the planned sale of land from the Ten Mile River Boy Scout Camp (TMR).

An announcement on May 16 fleshed out those reports, as The Conservation Fund (TCF) proclaimed its partnership with the Greater New York Councils of Boy Scouts of America (GNYC) to preserve the majority of the land at TMR.

TMR is a 12,000-acre reservation first assembled for the Boy Scouts in 1927. Since its foundation, the camp has been used for scouting programs, drawing upwards of 5,000 scouts a year from the greater New York City area. TCF has a similar (if less extensive) pedigree as a national conservation society that has protected over 8.5 million acres of land across the United States since 1985.

The multi-year conservation effort announced by TCF and GNYC will kick off with TCF’s purchase of nearly 6,100 acres of TMR land. A second phase will follow, bringing the total land sold to around 9,400 acres.

GNYC will keep its active summer camp facilities, an area encompassing 2,100 acres. It will also continue to use the conserved area for charitable purposes under an unspecified 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. The rich legacy of this land will continue as it remains a destination for scouts, families and those seeking outdoor recreation,” said Richard A. Davies, scout executive and CEO of GNYC.

“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. Ultimately, we’re working to ensure this forested landscape is protected for people, wildlife, water and climate resilience,” said Tom Duffu, TCF vice president and northeast representative.

TCF will work in the future with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for the permanent protection of the land, according to the release.

That work may include the DEC coming into ownership of the sold property; according to discussions with DEC representatives at past meetings of the Upper Delaware Council, the DEC has been an active member of discussions concerning TMR and a possible outcome of the exchange involves TCF selling the land to the DEC for management as a state forest.

In the meantime, TCF plans to explore the possibility of recreational access on the property, with considerations to include hiking, camping and fishing.

The National Park Service (NPS) will continue to manage the areas of the site it currently oversees, preserving public access for the Delaware River access at the confluence of the Ten Mile River and the Delaware and to the Tusten Mountain trail, a three-mile trail leading away from the river access point.

“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 DEC regional director Kelly Turturro.

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