UDC & NPS Host Workshop On River Management Plan
“We don’t have any enforcement powers,” Soete said of the UDC. “The goal is that local zoning should cover it.”
UDC Project Review Committee Chairperson and Town of Cochecton Representative Larry H. Richardson added that local, state, and federal entities “should recognize that the UDC can help them by providing advice to make a project better.”
Since the UDC acts simultaneously with established review deadlines, no additional burdens or time requirements are placed on the applicant.
Helfrich spoke to the topic of how the New York towns and Pennsylvania townships can incorporate the Land and Water Use Guidelines into their zoning codes, and reminded local governments that they must be vigilant in regularly updating their ordinances to address new land uses.
River Management Plan
Retired NPS Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River Assistant Superintendent Sandra S. Schultz traveled from her Virginia home to participate in the workshop as a River Management Plan Overview presenter.
Having been responsible as a federal employee for preparing the Legislative Support Data package that led to the Upper Delaware’s 1978 designation and gaining perspective from working with this park unit for 27 years, Schultz said that she still marvels over those early years.
“It’s indisputable that the Delaware River is a national treasure. There was never any doubt that it would qualify as a Wild & Scenic River,” she said.
But Schultz added that it became clear that it wouldn’t happen in the traditional way here.
“The people from the bureaucracy failed to appreciate the value that home rule played in these communities. The local people stepped up. They said: we will take care of this place. We want to do things our way. Some risked elections and friendships to participate in the planning process,” she said.
Twenty-six years after the River Management Plan was adopted, Schultz said it has succeeded in its overall mission.
“The Plan has preserved the character of the river valley. It was all because people have stepped up and continue to care about the resource,” she said.
Carla Hahn, management assistant at NPS Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, provided handy booklets outlining the roles and responsibilities of all the partners in the Upper Delaware’s management, as excerpted from the River Management Plan.