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Boy Scouts mortgage vast New Mexico ranch as collateral

One of the most spectacular properties owned by the Boy Scouts of America is being been mortgaged to help secure the youth organization’s line of credit.

The Boy Scouts say there is no plan to sell the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. It is being used as collateral to help meet financial needs that include rising insurance costs related to sex-abuse litigation.

The move dismayed a member of Philmont’s oversight committee, who says it violates agreements made when the land was donated in 1938. The BSA disputed his assertion.

FILE - In this July 2001 file photo, a campsite setup off the trail to the summit of the second highest peak in Philmont Scout Ranch, N.M., is shown. The vast Philmont Scout Ranch, one of the most spectacular properties owned by the financially struggling Boy Scouts of America, has been mortgaged by the BSA, according to member of Philmont’s oversight committee. (AP PhotoIra Dreyfuss, File )

The mortgage document was signed by top Boy Scout officials in March. But members of the Philmont Ranch Committee only recently learned of the development.

The ranch is a popular destination for hiking and camping trips.