NARROWSBURG, NY — The National Park Service (NPS) has restricted boat launch capacity at the Delaware River’s Ten Mile River (TMR) Access Site to carry-in, hand launch of canoes, kayaks, …
NARROWSBURG, NY — The National Park Service (NPS) has restricted boat launch capacity at the Delaware River’s Ten Mile River (TMR) Access Site to carry-in, hand launch of canoes, kayaks, rafts and other watercrafts. Trailer launches will not be permitted until further notice.
At the May 7 monthly meeting of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC), conducted via teleconference, Acting Upper Delaware NPS Superintendent Jessica Weinman said high levels of sediment accumulation at the site make it unsafe for trailer launches. She emphasized that the access site remains open and can still be used for launching watercrafts light enough to be carried in.
Weinman came under fire at the meeting for both the suddenness of the restriction and the manner in which it was announced: a notice in local newspapers. “The NPS plan to restrict the TMR site should have been brought before the UDC prior to publication,” said Berlin Township UDC Representative Al Henry.
Conditions at the site have been deteriorating for years and had not gone unnoticed by either the NPS or the UDC. At a UDC meeting two years ago, NPS ranger Don Hamilton remarked on the sedimentation buildup, explaining that a river is a living entity constantly in flux. He said then that the buildup was due to a combination of weather and other conditions and, in time, would likely correct by itself.
Fishing guide Evan Padua, who has a long familiarity with the site, maintains that it has been in essentially the same condition for his 28-year lifespan.
Tusten UDC representative Susan Sullivan asked by what authority the NPS was restricting an access site owned by the Boy Scouts of America. Weinman replied that NPS has a five-year lease agreement with the scouts for management of the site.
Despite the restriction, Henry thinks the public is likely to continue using the site for trailer launches. “Will a citation be issued to anyone caught doing so?” asked Henry.
“The restriction is designed to make the public aware of a safety hazard,” said Weinman. “We are not trying to capitalize on an unfortunate situation.”
Later in the meeting, Weinman announced that NPS Superintendent Kris Heister, currently on detail to Gettysburg National Military Park, has received notice of permanent appointment to that site. Weinman said Heister will be returning to the Upper Delaware for a two-week stint designed to close out her term here. Indicating that a candidate has already been found to replace her as Acting Upper Delaware Superintendent, Weinman said she is not yet free to reveal the name of that person.
The council took two last actions at the meeting. It voted unanimously, with abstention by Hancock representative Fred Peckham, to pass a resolution commending Heister “for her capable oversight of Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River’s operations, protection of its outstanding remarkable values, and dedicated stewardship of the Upper Delaware River Valley resources during her six-year tenure.” Then it voted unanimously to send a letter to NPS Regional Director Gay Vietzke requesting that Weinman be permitted to continue in her acting superintendent role until a permanent successor to Heister is named.
Before the last vote was taken, chair Larry Richardson noted that, if Weinman’s statement about an acting superintendent candidate selection is correct, the council’s action would be futile.