|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||October 2, 2012|
|Contact:||Cinda Waldbuesser, Pennsylvania Senior Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, P: 215.327.2529
Alison Zemanski Heis, Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, P: 202.384.8762
National Parks Group Opposes Today’s Decision to Construct Power Lines Through Three National Parks
Statement by NPCA Pennsylvania Senior Program Manager Cinda Waldbuesser
“Today’s announcement by the National Park Service, that the agency will allow massive 200-foot towers and power lines across the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Middle Delaware National Scenic River, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in New Jersey and Pennsylvania is extraordinarily disappointing.
“We believe that this decision clearly violates the founding law of national parks which mandates the agency to “conserve the scenery” and protect park resources from impairment. The expansion would include clearing trees and other vegetation from an area up to three times as wide as the area currently cleared under the existing power lines, widening the existing right-of-way, building new access roads, and constructing 200-foot towers—more than twice the height of existing towers. This expanded line would dramatically impact the landscape of all three parks and the experience of park visitors, further fragment forested habitats, and change the character of one of the most heavily visited national parks.
“The current powerline was already built when the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area was established and the exiting towers are not highly visible.
“America’s national parks are not blank spots on the map conveniently set aside for future development projects like super-sized transmission lines. We can meet America’s energy needs without sacrificing our national parks. We must ensure these national treasures are protected for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”