The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as the State of New York, separately, owe $2,900,000 to the group responsible for watching out for the rights of Upper Delaware River landowners and the precious resources the corridor provides.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as the State of New York, separately, owe $2,900,000 to the group responsible for watching out for the rights of Upper Delaware River landowners and the precious resources the corridor provides. That is the Upper Delaware Council (UDC), a nonprofit organization formed in 1988.

The UDC includes at its table delegates of the five townships in Pennsylvania and eight towns in New York State, appointed by their town boards to represent them, and by extension, every resident of those municipalities that front the wonderful Upper Delaware. Since its inception it has been an important balance to the arrival of the National Park Service. In the late 1970’s there were fears of a federal takeover to create a traditional park, 73.4 miles long.

The Park Service has instead limited jurisdiction to the recreational and safety interests on the river itself, and the small amount of acreage where they have facilities. They have been a good neighbor all these years and the Upper Delaware has blossomed as an essential part of the area economy and reason why this is a great place to live as well as visit- again and again. We should thank the Park Service for the role they have played.

To fund the UDC, the River Management Plan provides for a federal allocation of $300,000 every year. The amount has never gone up in 29 years, and this year the UDC is anxiously awaiting release of over $127,000 of FY2017’s allotment. If the Cooperative Agreement isn’t signed off by the Department of the Interior by September 30, the UDC would have to close shop till the issue was resolved.

Meanwhile, the two states have failed to meet their part of the Congressionally approved River Management Plan. Both Pennsylvania and New York are supposed to allocate $100,000 a year for the UDC to function.

That should embarrass residents on both sides of the river who care about protecting and enhancing the river’s resources and ensuring landowner rights. This didn’t start with them, but Governor Tom Wolf of PA and Governor Andrew Cuomo of NY need to take notice and not forget us.