What’s at Stake


the very essence of what makes us special

Imagine a Tug Hill without it’s rolling fields and farms, those deep woodlands, or the rivers and streams that define so many of our communities.

Imagine, if Tug Hill lost the very essence of what makes it special; our relationship to the land, each other, and our history.

That's what's at stake.

Located between the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Ontario in upstate New York, the Tug Hill region is one of the most rural and remote areas of the state. Approximately 2,100 square miles, it consists of 41 towns in portions of Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego and Oneida counties.

While you may not see massive residential and commercial developments, like you might see in other parts of New York State or the country, development is chopping up lands every year. This steady, “death by a thousand cuts”, could destroy the farms, wildlife habitat, and recreational lands of Tug Hill if we don’t balance development with land and water conservation.

And that’s what we are doing, in partnership with local towns, organizations, community groups and individuals like you.

We are here to support families and communities alike to conserve the special places of Tug Hill; the very places that are the heart and soul of our region.

Conservation for the long-haul

You would think that balancing development and the conservation of farms and natural areas would be enough to do. But it’s not.

Research from Yale has documented that increasing numbers of children and adults, even in rural areas like Tug Hill, are increasingly disconnected to farms and nature. And that spells trouble for long-term conservation.


Because, to quote Steven Jay Gould, a renowned scientist and writer, “We will not fight to save what we do not love.” In other words, we need future generations to care about conservation just like you do so that they will support these efforts for years to come.

Whether hunting, fishing, walking, hiking, skilling or snowmobiling; kayaking, canoeing, tubing or swimming, the recreational experiences of Tug Hill are unparalleled.


By conserving these lands we are conserving a way of life as well as a central part of the local economy.

By offering free programs, conserving lands for the public to enjoy, or protecting the region’s working farms and forestlands, together we are creating a future for Tug Hill that will ensure clean water, jobs, great places to experience the out-of-doors and a sense of place for generations.