NARROWSBURG –The Upper Delaware Council, Inc. (UDC) expressed appreciation to outgoing National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River Superintendent Sean McGuinness at his final UDC monthly meeting on Jan. 9.
McGuinness will retire on Jan. 24, 2014 after a 37-year career with the National Park Service (NPS) culminating with his final assignment at the Upper Delaware unit of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System that began Feb. 4, 2010.
The UDC board unanimously approved a resolution offering respect and thanks to McGuinness for his dedicated service to NPS and valuable contributions to the river valley, wishing “many healthy, happy adventures ahead in his retirement.”
While reviewing the trajectory of his Park Service tenure, the resolution stated that the Council “benefited from Sean’s embracing of the Upper Delaware River corridor’s collaborative management model; his engaging community-based leadership style; and his advocacy for the UDC as a Cooperative Agreement partner.”
No timetable has been announced for NPS to name a successor to McGuinness. Since the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River’s designation in 1978, there have been only five superintendents at the helm of the park unit.
The UDC recently sent a letter to the NPS Northeast Region in Philadelphia noting that the superintendent “sets the tone for the relationship that the community has with the National Park Service” which makes this decision of paramount importance locally.
“The fact that over 90% of the 55,575.5 acres within the bi-state, five-county Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River designated boundary remains privately owned requires sensitivity by the superintendent to accept that land use stewardship is based at the grassroots level and NPS jurisdiction is limited. Collaboration is therefore an absolute necessity,” the letter continued.
“The National Park Service has recognized and respected that the Upper Delaware has its own particular character, needs, and interests that justify administration as an autonomous entity reportable to the Regional Director. As the river corridor faces ongoing development pressures, resource threats, opportunities to brand itself with a regional identity, increase public safety, and provide enjoyable experience for visitors, these critical issues all require strong, focused engagement from its federal partner,” wrote the UDC.
The Upper Delaware Council is a non-profit organization established in 1988 to coordinate implementation of the River Management Plan for the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. Its voting members are 13 local governments that border along the river, the State of New York, and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Delaware River Basin Commission is a non-voting member.