Nature Conservancy to the rescue

former Girl Scout Camp Belmont

A large tract of Brown County woods will be saved from development, and likely turned into a state recreation area or nature preserve, thanks to The Nature Conservancy (TNC).  It was announced on Thursday that TNC has purchased the 282-acre Camp Belmont, a former Girl Scout camp that had been declared surplus property by the scouts.

The camp is near Yellowwood State Forest and Brown County State Park in a ecological region known as the “Brown County Hills.”  This 300,000 acre tracts is the largest continuous block of forest within the state

TNC stepped in after scout officials were forced to sell in order to cover a $1-million dollar debt.  While it is unfortunate that outdoor recreational opportunities for Girl Scouts are being reduced, state residents are winning as the property will likely be opened for visitation.   In most cases, TNC properties are either opened as a nature preserve or sold/leased to the State of Indiana for public use.  In this case the press release from TNC states, “The Nature Conservancy will now protect the property until it can be transferred into public ownership by the Indiana Division of Forestry.”

View the press release here

photo: The Nature Conservancy website

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