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Oroho, Space & Wirths Introduce Resolutions Opposing the Redesignation of the DEWA

July 14, 2022

24th District Home | Facebook | Twitter Contact: Robbie Kenney / (609) 847-3600 Senator Steve Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths (all R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) announced today that they have introduced resolutions in their respective houses to oppose changing the designation of the Delaware Water Gap from a National Recreation Area to a National Park and Preserve and oppose certain parts of National Park Service’s “Vision 2030” for Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Senator Steve Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths announced they have introduced resolutions to oppose changing the designation of the Delaware Water Gap from a National Recreation Area to a National Park and Preserve. (Pixabay)

“We have heard from many area residents and local officials opposing this change in designation and we support them,” said Oroho, who serves as the Senate Republican Leader. “This idea surfaced roughly seven years ago, and we opposed it then; now it is back, and we will continue to fight it.”

In 2016, the National Park Service proposed a plan titled “Vision 2030: A Vision for a Sustainable Future” (“Vision 2030”), which proposed to change the designation of the Delaware Water Gap from a National Recreation Area to a National Park and Preserve, and to expand the area of the present Delaware Water Gap. This plan was appropriately shelved.



This year, a similar project titled “Delaware Water Gap: Redesignation Project” (“Redesignation Project”), proposes to change the designation of the Delaware Water Gap from a National Recreation Area to a National Park and Preserve, and to expand the area of the present Delaware Water Gap.

“This designation change to a National Park and Preserve is not necessary and would upset the recreation area’s original mission and put uses such as hunting and farming at risk,” said Space. “A new designation that translates into prohibitions and restrictions on currently allowable activities in the recreation area would have a negative impact on our region.”

Space noted that area farmers lease land along the Delaware River to produce crops such as corn and soybeans, which mainly go to feeding livestock.

The resolutions, numbered SR-98 and AR-157, are similar to resolutions opposing the designation introduced by Senator Oroho and Assemblyman Space several sessions ago as well as resolutions passed this year by local and county governments in the vicinity.

“There are fears this Redesignation Project would 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, including nearby High Point State Park, Stokes State Forest, and Worthington State Forest,” said Wirths. “This new plan is bad for our area, bad for our residents and should go away.”

Oroho, Space, and Wirths also wrote to New Jersey’s federal representatives asking them to oppose the designation.


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