UDC & NPS Host Workshop On River Management Plan
“When we speak of the Upper Delaware Council, we speak almost unbelievably of an organization composed of representatives of 13 towns and townships with 39,000 people in them, two states with their agencies, the five-member Delaware River Basin Commission, and the federal Department of Interior including the National Park Service. And as you know, there is a very large and vocal constituency in not only the 39,000 local residents but also over a quarter million annual visitors,” Fluhr said.
Since the UDC began its operations in 1988, Fluhr said that the non-profit organization’s achievements in dealing with river valley issues of concern are too numerous to count.
“Today, the Council continues to face challenges in its two primary goals: 1. the protection of the river; and 2. the protection of private property rights,” he said.
Fluhr concluded, “Today, as technical knowledge and business opportunities expand activities within the river corridor, the need for listening and compromising to protect the rights of both sides becomes more urgent. But based on the history of the Council, we know that compromise may be difficult but it has never been impossible.”
A complete account of Fluhr’s “Historical Perspective” is posted in the news releases section of the UDC’s website at www.upperdelawarecouncil.org.
The RMP workshop continued with an overview of relevant federal legislation presented by Paul Kenney, Partnership Rivers Manager for the National Park Service’s National Wild & Scenic Rivers Program based in Philadelphia, PA.
Kenney discussed the “outstandingly remarkable values” that qualified the Upper Delaware River for Congressional designation as a Wild and Scenic River under Public Law 90-542 and how the legislation continues to protect those values.
He pointed out that the Upper Delaware’s unique approach provided a model that other rivers in the country used when establishing their management structures.
“It’s the best River Management Plan I have ever seen. What happened here with local powers and zoning has been repeated throughout the [National] Park system,” he said.