& supportive documents
On this page you will find sample letters, as well as supporting documents you can print out to hand out in your community.
It is important that we all voice our concerns to our legislators, locally and in DC. It is their job to represent the will of the People, and our voices need to be heard. Please don’t be cautious about using your own words.
Every one of us has a question or concern - let your legislators hear you.
Documents to Download & Print
Delaware Water Gap Defense Fund Brochure
Delaware Water Gap Defense Fund - Who We Are
Map of Oppossed Counties and Townships
John Donahue & The Sierra Club's Proposal to Re-designate the DWGNRA to a National Park & Preserve
You can use this letter verbatim, use it for ideas, or extract some sections and add your own thoughts. You can copy and paste directly into your word processing document, google docs, or your email.
Your Street Address
Your City /Town, State, ZIP
Recipient Name ( e.g. The Honorable Josh Gottheimer)
Office (e.g. U.S. House of Representatives)
I write to you as a member of your constituency and a concerned citizen in opposition of the proposed change of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DEWA) into the Delaware River National Park and Lenape Preserve. I respectfully ask for your support in opposing the re-designation of DEWA as a National Park.
Local residents and distant visitors alike rely on the many free recreational opportunities offered by DEWA, such as hiking, walking, bicycling, fishing, hunting, swimming, camping, canoeing, boating, rafting, cross-country skiing, bird watching, horseback riding, trail running, forest bathing, nature healing, sightseeing, and special events. The DEWA currently offers significant cultural and historical resources, infrastructure facilities; and, is home to several rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants, fish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Many of us rely on the area for subsistence hunting and fishing, feeding our families throughout the year with the fish and game we are lucky enough to harvest. Crops grown on DEWA lands leased to local farmers include corn, soy, and alfalfa—much of which in turn feeds local livestock. In short, DEWA is an integral part of life for the residents and users of this area.
Presently, Mr. John Donahue, former superintendent of the Recreation Area, and a local Pennsylvania chapter of the Sierra Club are lobbying for a proposal to change the designation of the DEWA from a National Recreation Area to a National Park, which would drastically alter our ability to utilize this area and drastically change the way and pace of life here in the region. The proposal unfortunately attempts to use savvy language, vagaries, and platitudes to misdirect us from the ultimate truth that the public will only lose recreational opportunities, money, space, and resources, while gaining only increased traffic, increased development, and increased water and air-pollution.
Hunting and fishing within the current boundaries of the DEWA will be significantly reduced if not entirely eliminated. Horseback riding, mountain biking, and motor-boating will be significantly reduced or eliminated. Entrance fees, camping fees, fees for river permits for canoeing and rafting, etc. will now prohibit current low-income visitors from their traditional enjoyment of these activities. Visitation will ultimately decrease for local residents and drastically increase for non-local visitors. This only means increased traffic on local roads in our tiny residential towns like Sandyston, Stillwater, Blairstown, and Branchville, and increased traffic on already congested approaches like State Routes 15, 23, 46, 94, and 206 in New Jersey, and PA SR739, SR2001 from Milford to Bushkill (currently being widened to accommodate truck traffic) and US 209 Milford to route 80.
There is overwhelming local opposition to this proposal. The following counties and municipalities have passed resolutions to oppose the re-designation of the DWGNRA to a National Park until more information is provided to the public for review and comment:
The following members of Congress are opposed:
Josh Gottheimer, member of the US House of Representatives serving New Jersey's 5th District
Matt Cartwright, member of the US House of Representatives serving Pennsylvania’s 8th District
NJ Senator Steve Oroho
NJ Assemblymen Parker Space
NJ Assemblymen Hal Wirths
PA State Representative Joe Adams
PA State Senator Lisa Baker
The following Educational bodies have also passed resolutions to oppose the current plan to re-designate the DWGNRA to a National Park:
Kittatinny Regional High School (NJ)
The Hampton Board of Education (NJ)
Montague Township Board of Education (NJ)
The following Community Associations have passed a resolution to oppose:
Conashaugh Lakes Community Association (PA)
Pocono Mountain Lake Estates (PA)
Both Milford Township and Milford Borough voted unanimously to send letters to our two state representatives and three federal representatives asking that they not vote on any bill that could or would redesignate the DWGNRA until more information was available.
The Pike County Commissioners have stated their opposition to the re-designation on the record. They have written letters to our congressional representative asking they not vote on the re-designation until more information is available.
The Monroe County Commissioners have stated their opposition and have sent letters to our congressional representatives making it clear that more information is needed and questions need to be answered before this can be voted on.
I respectfully ask for your support in opposing the re-designation of DEWA as a National Park.
YOUR NAME HERE
More Sample Letter Ideas
INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS IN A HEADER ON YOUR LETTER
IDEAS FOR OPENING SENTENCES
I am a ___year resident of ____ County, and during that time have lived in ______Township, a beautiful area that boarders the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA).
I am writing to you to share my point of view on action is underway to change the designation of the National Recreation Area to a National Park. This action is currently being pushed by the Sierra Club and a former DWGNRA employee.
I am writing to you to state that I am strongly against this potential change in designation to a National Park. I ask you to please consider the negative impact to the Delaware River basin, including the flora, fauna and people that currently reside within, or in close proximity to the DWGNRA.
OTHER POINTS YOU CAN INCLUDE
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is one of the most popular outdoor destinations for sportsmen on the East Coast. Hunting and fishing is a part of the cultural history of residents in and around the DWGNRA as well as the visitors. While hunting may be permitted in a portion of the area if it were to be redesignated as a National Park, there would be a loss of huntable acres. A decrease in the hunting will negatively impact the balance of the wildlife both in the DWGNRA and in neighboring communities as the populations of deer and bear widen their habitat out of the boundaries of the park area. The lack of hunting and increase in animal (primarily deer) population will ultimately impact native vegetation and allow for more invasive species to move into the area
Creating a National Park will increase the number of visitors which will bring in new issues of overcrowding, littering, and habitat degradation. Additionally, more visitors will increase traffic on the roads that are currently municipal and county roads.
With National Park status there would be increased development of parking areas for the increasing number of visitors – this only results in more pollutants being contributed to the already protected DWGNRA.
If the area were to become a National Park and additional land is purchased – especially the homes and hamlets that are adjacent to DWGNRA there will be a decline in rateables for the small towns.
Another major concern is related to entrances to the area if this were to be a National Park. National Parks generally have two or three entrances. For the DWGNRA there are many roads that lead into the DWGNRA. How will the visitors access the National Park?
Thank you. Our efforts are making a big difference!