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Digital Boundary Supports 21st Century Planning

BEACH LAKE, PA – The National Park Service recently released a digital version of the official boundary for Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River for use by local municipalities, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State of New York, Delaware River Basin Commission and other partners. Instead of getting out a hard copy map of the river corridor spread across eight pages of the Upper Delaware River Management Plan, local planning boards will now be able to display the boundary in a Geographic Information System (GIS) program to quickly and easily evaluate the general location of a project in the corridor.

Although the digital boundary is not survey quality or intended to be used for survey purposes it is an exciting advancement for the purposes of planning, display, general analysis, and reference. “We hope that through the use of modern tools for planning that we will all be better able to fulfill our joint mission to protect the river and manage it for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations,” said Superintendent Kristina Heister.

The official acreage of the park remains 55,574.5 acres as reported in the Upper Delaware River Management Plan. Although described in the Plan as “approximate” and calculated using 1980s technology, it is the official figure reported to Congress. It is both expected and common that acreage calculated with newer technology may differ from calculations done using older methods as well as those that may be used in the future as technology advances.

In no circumstance does the digital boundary extend beyond the boundary line depicted in the 1986 River Management Plan. Should a dispute arise regarding the boundary location, the process described in the River Management Plan for more precisely identifying the exact location of the boundary line will be followed.

This project was completed in response to a request from the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) to create a modern boundary using GIS software to promote planning and project review within the corridor. It represents the first step in a larger project, being conducted in partnership with Shippensburg University, to bring GIS technology for the purposes of planning to all towns and townships in the river corridor. A demonstration on the use of this GIS tool will be provided at a future UDC meeting and once completed the NPS will provide any necessary training to all towns and townships within the river corridor.

For additional information please contact Carla Hahn, Management Assistant, at or via phone at 570-729-8251 ext 2226.

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 408 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Release date: November 29, 2016
Contact(s): Carla Hahn, Management Assistant; (570) 729-8251 ext 2226


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