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December 04, 2016
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Building fences

There is a new policy at Skinners Falls, a popular river spot in Cochecton, NY, and visitors must now pay a fee to enter the field that leads to the rocks down by the falls.
TRR photo by Isabel Braverman

McGuinness said that the NPS has received complaints and said, “All we’re doing right now is monitoring and seeing what we can do.” He added that he has brought it up to the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) and the Cochecton town board.

Some people are also saying that there’s more to the story. The Landers own a river trip business that rents boats and tubes all along the Delaware River, including at Skinners Falls. Across the road from their campground and rental office is another business, Lou’s Tubes. This naturally puts Landers River Trips and Lou’s Tubes in competition, and some people say that the $1 fee the Landers are charging is to hurt Lou’s Tubes business.

Lothian, the owner of Lou’s Tubes, declined to comment. Another source who wishes to be unnamed commented, “To come after Lou, who was there selling tubes first, and shut her down like that, and then charge a dollar apiece for people to pass through when they’ve been doing that for 20 years, there’s just so much there.” Lisa said that is not the reason for the fee, and that they are doing it to cover the cost of garbage.

Lisa said, “I spend a ton of time down there [at the falls] sitting and talking to people, and people understand. Most people really understand. There are a few that are very upset.” She added that many people who at first were upset, came back and commented on the noticeable absence of garbage.

Lisa ended on the note about how the conflict that this fee is stirring up needs to end. “I’m not here to make their Skinners Falls experience unhappy,” she said. “I want it to be a pleasant experience. In order to ensure that, I need to make sure the field stays open and I can afford to keep it open.”