Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Visitor Use Management Plan

Bleeder

JORBA:President
We need your input;

From: Anthony Duncan <anthony.duncan@imba.com>
Date: Fri, Oct 11, 2019 at 8:57 AM
Subject: Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Visitor Use Management Plan
To: Lorne Possinger <lpossinger@gmail.com>, Louis Mazzante <louismazzante@gmail.com>, Tom Hennigan <tommy.hennigan@gmail.com>

All,
I hope you all are well and that you're getting plenty of fall riding in! I wanted to pass this along to each of you as the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is central to each of your organizations and this may be a great opportunity to work together on something special. We were contacted by Brittany Salapek of the park service to connect this planning process to local mountain bikers in an effort to get mtb trails into their master plan. There are currently no trails there, as Brittany put it, "Currently the only trail open to bicycles is the McDade Trail. If there is an interest from the MTB community for some purpose built single track in the future (similar to Cuyahoga NP) this is a really good time for the park to hear that so it can be considered in the planning process. The more specific and number of comments the better. As you know there are still lots of steps from funding to compliance but currently it is not really something on the radar here because of lack of comments in the past." There hasn't been much mtb participation in the process for the park in the past and they're specifically looking for feedback from mtb'ers. See below for the press release. The comment period ends on 12/06/19, so there is a little bit of time to examine some maps and to gather some info on what you would like to see there. Let me know if we can be of any assistance in crafting some comments or anything else you may need. Consider attending at least one of the two scheduled meetings later this month to get in front of the park service to discuss as well.

I'm happy to jump on a call to help coordinate if needed. Thanks!

Release Date: October 7, 2019

Contact: Kathleen Sandt, Public Affairs Specialist

Kathleen_Sandt@nps.gov; (570) 234-9144



National Park Service Releases Draft Visitor Use Management Plan for Public Review and Comment



BUSHKILL, PA- The National Park Service announced today that the draft Visitor Use Management Plan (VUM Plan) for Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River is now available for public review and comment until December 6, 2019. The VUM Plan was developed with input from the public and park stakeholders and is designed to maximize the park’s ability to provide recreational access and improve visitor experiences while protecting the parks’ natural and cultural resources.

During the development of the draft plan, the NPS sought public feedback and input during two rounds of public meetings and public comment periods. “We are now asking our visitors, local residents, stakeholders, elected officials, and other interested parties to take one more look at the draft VUM Plan and the informational materials that we have provided and tell us what you think,” said Superintendent Sula Jacobs. “Public involvement is essential to a successful planning effort. Our team really wants and needs to hear your thoughts and ideas in order to make this a useful plan. Your input helps ensure the park provides enhanced recreational access and improved experiences for our visitors, while also protecting the special places our visitors enjoy.”

How to Participate

The draft VUM Plan is available for a 60-day public review and comment period that closes on December 6, 2019. All comments must be received by this date.



Come to a meeting. The NPS will host 2 public open house meetings to share information about the draft VUM Plan and seek public input. Comments can be submitted orally or in writing at the open house meetings.

  • Thursday, October 24, 6 - 8 pm
Bushkill Volunteer Fire Company Hall, 124 Evergreen Drive, Bushkill, PA 18324

  • Saturday, October 26, 1-3 pm
Sussex County Technical School Auditorium, 105 North Church Road, Sparta, NJ 07871

Review documents and comment online. The draft VUM Plan, a project newsletter, and all materials from the open house meetings will be available for review and written comments may be submitted at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=220&projectID=55912&documentID=99017.

Send us a letter. Comments may be submitted by mail to Superintendent Sula Jacobs, ATTN: VUM Planning Team, 1978 River Road, Bushkill, PA, 18324.

Look for us at a Pop-up Meeting. A series of pop-up meetings will be held at various sites around the park and in local communities on weekends in October. Staff will be stationed at special events and at busy areas in the park to share information and answer questions about the draft VUM Plan and how to comment. Pop-up meetings will be announced on the park’s Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/DelWaterGapNPS.

For those without internet access, hard copies of the draft VUM Plan may be obtained by calling (570) 426-2418. Emailed comments or comments made on social media will not be accepted.

Goals of the draft VUM Plan

The National Park Service seeks to identify ways to achieve the following goals and objectives through the development and implementation of the draft VUM Plan:



  • Minimize impacts to the park’s natural and cultural resources and visitor experiences caused by visitor use;
  • Enhance opportunities for the park’s key visitor experiences;
  • Assess the appropriateness of current and new/evolving visitor opportunities while considering visitor safety and resource protection;
  • Align public expectations for use with availability of resources or infrastructure;
  • Increase understanding of existing and emerging visitor interests, use characteristics, patterns, and trends;
  • Manage visitor demand and expectations throughout the park;
  • Identify and evaluate and various visitor use management strategies; and
  • Project financial requirements and economic strategies to pay for each proposed action.


Proposed Actions

The draft VUM Plan details numerous proposed actions that the park would take as funds are available or to generate additional revenue. These proposed actions include but are not limited to the following:



  • Transition from the current practice of charging an amenity fee at 6 discrete areas to charging an entrance fee for all park users; the majority of the funds collected would remain in the park for use on deferred maintenance projects and to pay for the implementation of the strategies identified in the VUM Plan. Entrance passes would cost $25/car, $20/motorcycle, and $15/person for a 7-day pass; annual passes would be available for $45.
  • Add up to 20 new river campsites, improve facilities at existing campsites, and implement a reservation and fee system for river campsite use; campsites would cost $16 per night;
  • Explore the possibility of developing a new river access on the New Jersey side of the park;
  • Develop picnic sites that can accommodate large groups; implement a permit/reservation system to regulate use levels; and enhance and improve current picnic facilities;
  • Improve the trail system by linking trail networks, enhancing accessibility, and diversifying experiences;
  • Provide or improve universal access at key locations throughout the park to offer a range of recreational opportunities for a variety of users;
  • Modernize delivery and strategically locate education and interpretation services including a mobile visitor center and increased partnerships.
 

mattybfat

The Opinion Police
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I am gonna throw my hat in here and highly recommend that everyone else here does also. We are talking close to 80k acres of federal land possibly being available. Let me put this into perspective for you. Kingdom Trails sits on 1,500 acres. Sure would be nice to have 40 kingdom trails less then hour away. I am extremely familiar with all of the land growing up on its border and tell you from my moto poaching youth that it is endless and has a ton of mixed terrain.
 

Mildly Wild

Active Member
Done.
I know this park well, and adding mtb use would be great.

More people join in and help make this happen please.
 

MuniMan

Well-Known Member
Take note that the Delaware Water Gap Recreation area is adjacent to Stokes State Forest, which is adjacent to High Point State Park, which is pretty close to Port Jervis. Biking is already legit in High Point and Stokes and Port Jervis is now becoming a MTB destination.

With that in mind, if you have any desire to see a long distance regional trail network, now is the time to speak up and say that the Water Gap plan should include that in its vision. Think Bike Packing, think Inn to Inn travels by mountain bike.

My reply stated that the plan needs to be part of a long distance trail network beyond the park and should set the foundation for just that. And not be just an isolated area of stacked loops.

Even if Stokes State Forest and beyond is not ready to be part of a regional trail it should be on the Water Gap plan now.
 

Bleeder

JORBA:President
Hey guys, this is the last day to comment, and FYI,

Thank you so much for reaching out regarding our draft Visitor Use Management plan and mountain biking in the park. At this stage they best way to provide any input is to do so on PEPC website by midnight on December 6th. The more specific the comment the better it will help us build the plan. If you have any existing (or new) park trails in mind that you think would be appropriate to convert to mountain biking trails we'd be interested in hearing about them. The park has identified two trail systems to be evaluated for mountain biking in the draft plan - Cliff Park Trail System (page 70) in PA and the Blue Mountain Lakes Trails (page 77) in NJ.
In 2011 JORBA provided feedback regarding the Blue Mountain Trails. basically, on their own Jeep trails aren't worth riding, but if there were connections as per the above comments it would be worthwhile.

Also, with mountain bike networks like Cuyahoga National Park, we can do better in Delaware Water Gap with something similar.
 

mattybfat

The Opinion Police
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Hey guys, this is the last day to comment, and FYI,



In 2011 JORBA provided feedback regarding the Blue Mountain Trails. basically, on their own Jeep trails aren't worth riding, but if there were connections as per the above comments it would be worthwhile.

Also, with mountain bike networks like Cuyahoga National Park, we can do better in Delaware Water Gap with something similar.
Actually it was IMBAs national program and park system that marked the 5 mile loop at blue mountain lakes in 1997 along with Sarha Frost and company. I was there when this went down. That was as far as it got and complaints came in from the because a portion came too close to the AT so a part of the loop fell apart. We used to ride it often and of course many off bounds areas just because we and the sport were still young.
So much potential its mind boggling.
 

Bleeder

JORBA:President
Actually it was IMBAs national program and park system that marked the 5 mile loop at blue mountain lakes in 1997 along with Sarha Frost and company. I was there when this went down. That was as far as it got and complaints came in from the because a portion came too close to the AT so a part of the loop fell apart. We used to ride it often and of course many off bounds areas just because we and the sport were still young.
So much potential its mind boggling.
Thanks for the correction Matty.
 
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