The Boy Scouts of America has made tens of millions of dollars over the past two decades by selling campgrounds and valuable wildlands across the country to developers, a Seattle Post-Intelligencer investigation reports. The organization—which boasts a "conservation-minded" Outdoor Code—has often exclusively sought deals with developers, sometimes even when the land was bequeathed to them with the intention that it be used for outdoor recreation.
Conservation groups charge that Scout councils ignore their concerns—as well as their land bids—and seem interested only in making money fast. Public outrage has killed some development deals but plenty more are in the works. Scout officials argue that the sales are necessary because of high maintenance costs and the decline in membership and funding that followed the organization's ban on gays and atheists.