James Sullivan: People for Trails

March 12, 2018
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


James Sullivan: People for Trails
James Sullivan from the Morgan Duke Conservation Society. Photo by Kace Quackenbush.


As founder, president, and chief executive officer of the Morgan Duke Conservation Society, James Sullivan is passionate about protecting the Catskills.

The Morgan Duke Conservation Society is a volunteer organization and Trail Conference partner that works to protect natural resources and wildlife habitat throughout the Catskill and Adirondack Forest Preserve lands. Walden, N.Y., resident James Sullivan is the founder, president, and chief executive officer. James was first inspired to take action after a camping experience in the Adirondacks: “I noticed a blue heron stepping in litter in what should have been pristine wilderness,” he says. “I decided I needed to do something about this.”

For the last year, James and his team of Morgan Duke volunteers have been working to protect Vernooy Kill State Forest and Peekamoose Blue Hole. Due to overuse and misuse, the Blue Hole was identified as a 2017 Leave No Trace Hot Spot. In August, Morgan Duke volunteers were a part of this litter clean-up effort along with the Catskill Conservation Corps, Leave No Trace, Adirondack Mountain Club, and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Through organizing litter pickups, various recycling drives, and much more, James and his organization seek to minimize human impact on the natural environment in efforts to protect and restore wildlife habitat and preserve nature for the enjoyment of future generations. They also work to educate people on the consequences of littering by means of outreach and fundraising.

Environmental conservation is a shared duty, and partnerships like this one are essential to preserving the integrity of our natural world. To learn more about the good work of the Morgan Duke Conservation Society, please visit morganduke.org