Photo: UDC 2023 Officers, pictured from the left: Secretary-Treasurer Al Henry; Vice-Chair Ginny Dudko; and Chairperson Aaron Robinson
NARROWSBURG – The Upper Delaware Council, Inc. (UDC) board elected Shohola Township Representative Aaron I. Robinson to serve as its 2023 chairperson at the non-profit organization’s annual meeting held Jan. 5th.
UDC Representatives Virginia Dudko, Town of Deerpark, NY, and Alan F. Henry, Berlin Township, PA, were elected vice-chairperson and secretary-treasurer, respectively.
While the election results were immediately binding, the officers will be ceremonially sworn in at the UDC’s next monthly meeting on Feb. 2.
This marks Aaron Robinson’s second tenure as chairperson, having previously served that role in 2018 and as vice-chair last year during Andy Boyar’s (Town of Highland) administration.
Robinson was appointed on Jan. 3, 2012 as Shohola Township’s 2nd alternate to the UDC board, became the 1st alternate in 2015, and took over as representative in 2016.
In addition to the full Council, he serves on the Project Review and Operations Committees, the Personnel and Government Officials Liaison Subcommittees, and currently leads the UDC-NPS Telecommunications Subcommittee which was established in July of 2022.
Robinson graduated from Eldred High School in 1973 after his family made the permanent move from New York City to river-side property in Barryville, NY in 1969.
He earned an accelerated 1976 degree in Agricultural and Life Sciences from Cornell University in Ithaca.
Robinson has long been active in river issues, starting as the 18-year-old secretary-treasurer of Catskill Waters whose work prompted New York City to settle a lawsuit out-of-court to compel more balanced reservoir releases in support of the Delaware River fishery.
In 1975, he researched and composed a 34-page booklet titled, “White Water Boating on the Upper Delaware River: A Guide to Canoeing, Kayaking and Camping”, and then produced a two-section set of “Recreation Maps of the Upper Delaware River” over the next year which he also self-published and sold.
After working for Jerry’s Three River Canoes, Robinson at the age of 21 bought a business in Barryville that became Robinson’s Sawmill which he successfully operated for 24 years and has two international patents for wood-related equipment to his credit.
For the past 25 years, Aaron and his wife Randy have lived along the Shohola Creek in Shohola Township, PA, where he manages an 800-acre timber stand and Firewood-on-Time, a business for which he cuts, splits, and delivers firewood. The couple are the parents of a son and a daughter.
Robinson has served on the Shohola Township Planning Commission since 2009, is a trustee and cemetery manager for Temple Beth-El Synagogue in Port Jervis, and is a retired trustee of the New York Lumberman’s Insurance Trust Fund. He is a former member of the Highland Zoning Board of Appeals and the Eldred Central School Board of Education.
“Ginny” Dudko is serving her first term as a UDC officer after being appointed on October 17, 2011 as an alternate representative for the Town of Deerpark, then becoming its voting delegate in January 2022.
She carries on a family legacy of UDC service, given that her father Lew Schmalzle was the Town of Highland Representative for 12 years during which Dudko often accompanied him to meetings.
The Minisink Ford, NY native is a 1968 graduate of Eldred Central School who earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from SUNY Oneonta in 1972 and Master’s degree in the same field from SUNY Cortland three years later.
She taught Kindergarten in her home school district from 1972-2002 before retiring, then resumed her time in pre-K through 6th grade classrooms as a volunteer and substitute teacher in 2004.
Her UDC roles include having seats on all three committees and chairing the Water Use/Resource Management Committee for the past two years.
She also began representing the Town of Deerpark on the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway (UDSB) Committee in 2011, filling the vice-chair office in 2021 and switching to the alternate position on that non-profit organization’s board last year.
Dudko serves on the Town of Deerpark Board of Assessment Review, the Bon Secours Hospital Ethics Board, is active with the Pond Eddy United Methodist Church, and belongs to the women’s educational society, Delta Kapp Gamma.
Ginny and her husband since 1972, Bill, live on a 30-acre property behind the NYS Route 97 Hawk’s Nest in Sparrowbush. Operating as a team, Bill Dudko is the Town of Deerpark’s UDC alternate and UDSB representative.
“Al” Henry was appointed by the Berlin Township Board of Supervisors as its UDC delegate on Jan. 3, 2012.
He chaired the Council in 2015 after having served as its secretary-treasurer from Aug. 1-Dec. 31, 2013, 2014, and consecutively for the past eight years from 2016-2023. He sits on all three UDC standing committees, chairs its Personnel Subcommittee, and is a member of the Telecommunications and Government Officials Liaison Subcommittees.
A native of Beach Lake, PA, Henry was employed by the National Park Service (NPS) for 32 years, all but three years of that tenure with the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, before retiring on June 1, 2009 as Chief Ranger.
The Honesdale High School graduate earned a 1976 Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Parks from Penn State University and studied Outdoor Education at the University of Northern Colorado before joining the NPS ranks in 1977.
In addition to extensive law enforcement credentials, Henry earned certification as an NAUI Divemaster, served as a volunteer firefighter, and coached baseball and soccer locally.
Henry helps maintain his family’s 300-acre Village View Farm property in Beach Lake and is a member of the Beach Lake Hunting and Fishing Club.
Al and his wife, Karen Carlson, are the parents of Dr. Alana Rickard and Dylan Henry, Esq., and they have four grandchildren.
About the UDC
Established in 1988, the Upper Delaware Council works in partnership with the National Park Service to oversee implementation of the River Management Plan for the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.
The U.S. Congress designated the 73.4-mile-long, 55,574.5-acre corridor which starts below the confluence of the East and West Branches of the Delaware in Hancock, NY and extends to Railroad Bridge No. 2 in Mill Rift, PA, to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in 1978.
The UDC’s members are 13 local governments (eight NY towns and five PA townships) that have property along the river, as well as the State of New York, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Delaware River Basin Commission.
For more information, please contact the Narrowsburg business office at 211 Bridge St., (845) 252-3022, or visit the website at www.upperdelawarecouncil.org.