NJ State Senator Douglas J. Steinhardt's letter of opposition
We recently received this letter of support from NJ State Senator Douglas J. Steinhardt. A .pdf of this letter is available for download below. Thank you, Senator Steinhardt, for your support. For a complete list of those currently opposing the redesignation of DEWA to a National Park and Preserve, click HERE.
DOUGLAS J. STEINHARDT
SENATOR, 23RD LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT
127 BELVIDERE ÅVENUE
WASHINGTON. NJ 07882
NEW JERSEY SENATE
Delaware Water Gap Defense Fund
3 Maple Lane
Layton, NJ 07851
February 23, 2023
Dear Ms. Hull,
I am writing this letter in opposition to the Sierra Club's proposal to change the designation of the Delaware Water Gap from a National Recreation Area to a National Park and Preserve.
A similar plan to change the designation of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area to a National Park and Preserve was proposed by the National Park Service in 2016, entitled Vision 2030: A Vision for a Sustainable Future. As a result of serious concern for its potential environmental, economic, and agricultural impact in the region the project was abandoned.
A change in designation is likely to result in significant impacts on numerous municipalities and their residents and businesses both within and surrounding the current National Recreational Area. There is concern that the new designation is likely to disregard the rights of local property owners and eminent domain will be used by the federal government to acquire private and State property adjacent to the Delaware Water Gap. Presently land along the Delaware is leased to farmers for growing corn, soy and other grains for livestock. There is potential that the leases for this farmland will be terminated.
If enacted the National Park Service can restrict or prohibit allowable recreational activities, such as hunting and fishing which are enjoyed by both local residents and visitors alike. Horseback riding, mountain biking, and motor-boating will be significantly reduced or eliminated. Such changes will affect the economic prosperity of businesses in Sussex and Warren counties that benefit substantially from tourism to the Delaware Water Gap. In addition, local residents will no longer have the opportunity to enjoy these activities close to home.
The Delaware Water Gap Recreational Area is crucial to our region's economy and should remain accessible to all current activities. In light of these concerns, I oppose changing the designation of the Delaware Water Gap from a National Recreation Area to a National Park and Preserve.
Member of the Senate
cc: U. S. Senator Robert Menendez
U. S. Senator Cory Booker
U. S. Representative Josh Gottheimer
U. S. Representative Tom Kean
U. S. Representative Mikie Sherrill
.pdf for download: