Nate Simms


Stronger Communities Through Conservation

Forests Forever Campaign Film goes here


In 2006, a small group of neighbors banded together to conserve the Rensselaer Plateau, a 118,000-acre forested region in Eastern New York. By 2020, they conserved more than 12,000 acres on the Rensselaer Plateau. 


But the challenge is far from over.


With development pressure rising in Rensselaer County...

 climate change impacting our towns and cities...

 an increased need for access to nature...


 the next decade will be critical. 

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Nate Simms

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For the Human Spirit

Just a short drive from Albany and Troy, NY and Bennington, VT, you can find miles of trails, community forests, accessible trails, and places to play, learn, and unwind.  

“The beautiful community forests so accessible to the entire Capital District really make one feel like they are miles from civilization.”  


 - Susan Poisson-Dollar and Jerry Dollar

 For Climate Resilience

Large, connected forests and wetlands sequester carbon and will allow wildlife to move as the climate warms. The Plateau’s 3,000 + acres of wetlands absorb flood waters like a sponge. 

“One of the most direct ways for individuals to make a positive impact on climate change is to help preserve open spaces, forests and water.”

 - Kevin & Mary Albert

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Nate Simms

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Jim de Waal Malefyt

 For Clean Air & Water, and Healthy Wildlife

The Rensselaer Plateau’s forests and wetlands protect our drinking water and keep our air clean and support the many birds, plants, and animals that call this beautiful region home. Sensitive and rare species rely on the diverse habitats on the plateau. 

“I believe that the Capital Region is rising to the next level of cultural and economic success. That is why I support conservation on the Rensselaer Plateau — our natural areas are essential to healthy and successful communities.”


- Chet Opalka

Our Vision

Connecting the forest pieces

for a healthy landscape

The Forests Forever Campaign seeks to conserve adjacent lands to create a large, intact forestland across the  Rensselaer Plateau.

This is a representation of the possible ways to 

create a 

a corridor of conservation. 

​Properties in dark green are lands conserved by the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance.

Properties in light green are lands conserved by other organizations.

Properties in orange are a few of the lands we are currently conserving through this campaign.

*This map is a concept and not a literal representation*

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Jessica Barthel

Share our Vision

Imagine that you could plan a Rensselaer Plateau thru-hike - walking from East Nassau to Pittstown without leaving conserved land...

For Conservation

What if wildlife like moose and bobcat had a corridor of uninterrupted forest to safely move through - from one side of the Rensselaer Plateau to the other - without having to cross human developments?

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Nate Simms

On the Rensselaer Plateau

“Forests Forever is truly a legacy project. It’s something we can leave to our community, to our children... We as a community have the opportunity to create this kind of legacy in our own backyards.”

- Jim Slavin,

Forests Forever Campaign Chair


The Forest Forever Campaign will raise 2 million dollars in a three-year active campaign.


The campaign will support the acquisition of important forestland on the Rensselaer Plateau and establish an endowment for long-term land management and stewardship.


Campaign Leadership

Campaign Chair            James Slavin


Honorary Co-Chair        Chet Opalka

Honorary Co-Chair        Kathy Jimino 

Campaign Manager      Bay Habshey


To learn more, reach out to 

Jim Bonesteel at 


Bay Habshey at

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