Warren County reverses course, opposes Delaware Water Hole nationwide park designation

BELVIDERE, N.J. – By unanimous vote, the Warren County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday evening handed a decision that reversed its earlier help of efforts to make the Delaware Water Hole Nationwide Recreation Space a nationwide park.

Commissioner Jason Sarnoski launched the decision, which was not on the formal agenda, opposing altering the already common nationwide recreation space to a nationwide park.

Whereas acknowledging the board’s passage of a decision in February in help of the nationwide park designation, he famous that since that point, the New Jersey and Pennsylvania chapters of the Sierra Membership, different nationwide organizations and congressional leaders have expressed objectives that aren’t aligned with these of the Warren County Board of Commissioners.

Particularly, the decision, which was learn by Sarnoski, says organizations advocating for a nationwide park have failed “to supply full info or promote transparency on points associated to looking, fishing, wildlife administration, outside recreation, eminent area and different issues of significance to our county residents.”

Additional, the decision asks for a proper plan to reply questions concerning agriculture, financial and environmental impacts of a nationwide park designation, sources of funding, any proposed charges and plans for acquisition of private and non-private lands by eminent area or different means.

“I feel it is essential that we take a cautious method to transferring ahead,” Sarnoski stated.

Commissioner James Kern III stated conversations have to happen on the native stage the place organizations can specific their feedback earlier than a choice is made.

Passive and lively recreation is essential in Warren County, significantly looking and fishing, stated Commissioner Lori Ciesla, including that any modifications that will have an effect on the flexibility to hunt and fish have to be addressed earlier than making strikes towards a nationwide park.

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Many information are nonetheless unknown, and till every thing is known and clarified, Sarnoski suggested that it is best to take “a wait and see method.”

The Delaware Water Hole Nationwide Recreation Space encompasses 70,000 acres of mountains and forests on each side of the Delaware River’s mid-section in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The board’s first decision acknowledged {that a} nationwide park designation would profit the realm by offering further title recognition and status and extra funding to make wanted repairs and enhancements on infrastructure to assist native economies.

Supported by the Sierra Membership chapters in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, a motion started final 12 months to alter the designation of the recreation space, which encompasses components of Warren and Sussex counties in New Jersey, Pike and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and Orange and Sullivan counties in New York.

There are 64 nationwide parks, solely 9 of them east of the Mississippi River. If it is modified to a nationwide park, the Delaware Water Hole Nationwide Recreation Space could be the primary nationwide park in New, Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.

Oxford Mountain Pure Useful resource Space

In different enterprise, the board unanimously handed a decision to buy 9.45 acres of forested property in Washington Township as open area to develop the Oxford Mountain Pure Useful resource Space and supply further entry and path connectivity. The land is at present owned by the Balzek household; the acquisition worth is $84,000.

The 349-acre Oxford Mountain Pure Useful resource Space is owned by Warren County and managed in partnership with the Highlands Neighborhood Service Mission, the New Jersey Youth Corps, the Warren County Parks Basis, and the Metro Trails mountaineering group.

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Final 12 months, the county preserved 4 properties comprising 49 acres. Since 2011, it has preserved 27 properties comprising 642 acres of county parkland, Kern stated.