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December 05, 2016
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The miracle of the Upper Delaware

In recent years there’s been a lot of emphasis on natural gas drilling, but that will scarcely be the last challenge we face, even apart from the tussle that has already been going on for years over our water. This area stands between the vast natural resources to the north, especially in Canada, and resource-hungry metropolitan areas to the south. As the appetites of the urban areas grows, one purveyor after another—like NYRI and its power line —are likely to see this area as the shortest route, literally and metaphorically, to profit, and only by vigilance and community involvement will we be able to preserve not only the natural resources but the human way of life that we value.

Although the river corridor is narrow, and the actual area covered by the RMP correspondingly small, it is in a way the heart and soul of the entire area. It anchors its character, making it a unique tourist, outdoor recreational and second-home destination—not to mention the health and wellbeing of its human and non-human denizens—and preserving this anchor is key to sustaining this area economically as well as ecologically. In the face of exploitive outside interests for whom the wellbeing of this area is purely incidental, the Scenic and Recreational River designation is perhaps the most powerful tool we have to protect ourselves, and this council is the hand that wields it.

I am honored and grateful that the UDC has chosen to give me a special recognition award, and I would like to take the opportunity to return the favor and to recognize, and thank, the UDC. Thank you, all of you, for what you have done to preserve the miracle of the Upper Delaware. May you long continue to do so.