UDC not a joiner—for now
Town of Hancock, NY representative Fred Peckham expressed concerns over some of the coalition’s members. “The UDC represents municipalities along the river, and you’re getting into environmental groups and you’re getting into agendas, and we have our agenda—the river, the corridor—and that’s what we should stick with,” he said. “We’re not here for the basin; we’re not here for what happens 200 miles away. We’re concerned with the river corridor.”
“What’s the downside of being a member?” asked Town of Highland, NY representative Debra Conway. “From what I understand, the coalition will support us in some of our issues that concern the river.”
“All we need is the River Management Plan,” responded Peckham. “Some of these other groups are environmental groups. We’re unique and we should stay that way.”
“What’s the downside of an environmental group?” asked Conway.
Damascus Township, PA representative Jeff Dexter responded, “There’s one group that’s making a claim that the greatest threat to the Upper Delaware is the increased wood cutting in the upper region. The forest cover in Wayne County is increasing and it’s increasing by a lot. I have a fear we’re signing up for something that is going to put increased pressure on us to do things that we’re already doing.”
“What would be the problem of us telling Laurie [Ramie] to represent that concern in these kinds of conversations?” asked Conway.
“Because they’re already pushing for legislation that has this grave concern,” said Dexter.
“So then, Laurie would push back and say that the UDC doesn’t want it,” said Conway. “How better can you fight a stance like that than by being part of the group?”
“The Riverkeeper’s trying to get super special protection in PA. We don’t need more rules,” said Dexter.
“I could go for a non-participatory situation, just sit in and listen, no input, no vote. Bring it back to the council, and we can decide if it’s worth doing something,” said Peckham.
“I can understand your caution. We are also monitoring it,” said NPS superintendent Sean McGuiness. “I would be in because of the advantage to protect the river, but we’re not eligible for membership as a governmental organization.”
“I’ve always felt it’s better to be on the inside, and be part of the decision-making, than be standing outside, waving your hands and saying you can’t do this,” said Town of Cochecton, NY representative Larry Richardson. “When you have organizations looking at our area, you want to know what’s going on.”