350 Acres Added to Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area

Published Dec 18, 2014

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

According to the vast amount of legal wisdom, ken, knowledge, understanding and case law I gleaned while watching the movie Absent Malice with Paul Newman several times, I believe that I have the right (yes, right!) to share other writers' work with you because you have the RIGHT to Know! And because I could not find the source of Kurt Repanshek's material. Ergo ipso facto, I bring you word of the Delaware Water Gap ... from Kurt ... absent malice and/or quid pro quo.

This story was previously posted at National Parks Traveler and is worthy of reposting as a news item.

According to Kurt and the National Park Traveler (and their team of delightfully pleasant lawyers):

"More than 350 acres have been added to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as partial mitigation for expansion of a transmission corridor across the NRA, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River.

The 354 acres, in four parcels, were private lands located within the park's existing boundaries, according to a release from the park.

The properties include:

* 33 acres directly across from Hidden Lake, a popular recreation area near Bushkill, Pennsylvania. The property was at high risk of development prior to acquisition. NPS ownership will permanently preserve views of and from Hidden Lake and protect the stream that flows out of the lake. The purchase price was $189,000.

* 145 acres adjacent to the property on Hidden Lake Drive near Bushkill, Pennsylvania. The property had been subdivided and development was just beginning when the acquisition process began. NPS ownership of the property will permanently protect it from residential development, thereby reducing pressure from congestion and traffic near a popular entrance to the Park. The purchase price was $370,000.

* 68 acres adjacent to the northeastern park boundary in New Jersey. NPS ownership of the parcel will permanently protect a designated Class 1 Trout Production Stream and several wetlands. The purchase price was $434,000.

* 108 acres in Sussex County, New Jersey, directly across the river from Bushkill Access. The parcel was desirable for private development of homes or a resort. NPS ownership will protect it from that type of development, as well as protecting wetlands, the Delaware Wild and Scenic River Corridor, and important migratory bird habitat. The purchase price was $905,000. The Open Space Institute contributed $150,000 in watershed protection grants toward the purchase."

Furthermore: "The purchase of these lands by The Conservation Fund from willing and interested sellers without the use of any taxpayer dollars, and their subsequent transfer to the NPS, ensures that they remain in the public trust for future generations to learn from and enjoy and that they will continue to provide both ecological and economic benefits to the region."

They close by saying,

The addition of these properties is intended to help mitigate the effects of the Susquehanna-Roseland electric transmission line upgrade and expansion which crosses approximately 4.3 miles of the park, the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

As compensation for unavoidable impacts to park resources and visitors, the Park Service received a $66 million mitigation package from PPL and PSE&G. The fund includes $10 million for impacts to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and trail users. It also includes $20.5 million for land acquisition and stewardship projects for Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area; $12 million for wetland restoration and mitigation projects; $13 million for cultural resource and historic preservation projects; and $7 million for administrative costs and post-construction monitoring over the next several years.

Again, my thanks to Kurt Repanshek for his excellent reporting, originally posted at the link below.

Kurt, I owe you a Diet Dr. Pepper and some Cheetos. Unless you send me to jail for promoting your outstanding work.

Click Here for Kurt's Original Delaware Water Gap Story at NationalParkTraveler.com

Tags: Appalachian Trail, News, and Conservation

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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