Home > Uncategorized > DEP Gets Approval To Demolish Bulls Island Campgrounds & Buildings

DEP Gets Approval To Demolish Bulls Island Campgrounds & Buildings

DEP Claims Buildings are an “Attractive Nuisance” – Claims No Trees To Be Cut

D&R Canal Commission Approves After Visual & Stormwater Review

restroom crumbles at Bulls Island (November 8, 2014)

restroom crumbles at Bulls Island (November 8, 2014)

The DEP’s proposal to demolish the rest rooms and other campground infrastructure at Bulls Island was approved by the D&R Canal Commission at the regular November monthly meeting.

According to D&R Canal Commission Director Marlen Dooley, the DEP plan:

includes removal of the campground buildings, and will not affect existing trees or roads within Bulls Island 

Curiously, the DEP demolition and the permanent camping elimination plan is NOT included on DEP’s Bulls Island website and I could find no press release announcing that major decision. DEP issues almost a daily press release, so why would they want to keep this story quiet?

It is either an amazing coincidence, or my radar must have been working pretty good (again). Either that, or else DEP is monitoring me!

Just 11 days prior to this November 19, 2104 Canal Commission meeting, in a post about the hypocrisy of seeking new “stewardship” funding for private lands while supporting deep cuts to the State Parks capital budget, I posted a series of photos of decrepit State parks infrastructure, including Bulls Island, see:

At least the debate about camping at Bulls Island is over.

So, let’s hope this is the first step towards officially designating the Island a Natural Area and that the next step is removal of the road pavement.

Let’s assume it includes removal of the playground and all other infrastructure, and that it really will be done without cutting any trees, despite the fact that my most recent visit on Nov. 8, 2014 found that many massive sycamore’s are still tagged, in some cases with what appears to be entirely new trees ID’d or others with more recent tape, like this one:

Sycamore appears to be ID'd with new tape (11/8/14)

Sycamore appears to be ID’d with new tape (11/8/14)

And let’s hope this is not DEP’s nose under the camel’s tent strategy, or Phase I operation of dredging up the discredited Zombie “dangerous tree” removal plan the D&R Canal Commission rejected almost exactly a year ago, back on December 18, 2013, see:

The D&R Canal Commission next meets on Wednesday December 17, 2014 at 10 am at their Prallsville Mills office in Stockton, NJ.

For those interested in the details of the demolition project, see the November 19, 2014 meeting minutes:

14-3262C Bulls Island Camping Infrastructure Removal (Kingwood/Delaware)

Director Dooley noted that Parks has determined to discontinue camping at Bulls Island. She then described the project, which includes removal of the campground buildings, and will not affect existing trees or roads within Bulls Island. The project was reviewed for visual and stormwater impact. Commissioner Trzaska asked for comment from the commission and the public.

Mr. Barth asked about spending financial resources on the demolition project when the area is not open to the public and Parks resources are so limited. [My Note: a BIG THANKS to the Keep It Green Coalition for that!] Superintendent Kallesser noted that the buildings had become an attractive nuisance {My note: yes I am a nuisance!], there is hope that the area will be open to the public in the future, public restrooms are available at the park office, and, with upcoming limits on a funding source, it is an appropriate time to do the demolition. Mr. von Zumbusch noted that he had been involved with the D&R Canal State Park historic and recreation development plan, and at that time, it was found that Bulls Island was not suitable for a campground; however, the Parks at that time insisted on the camping area. Commissioner Texel noted the funding for this project had been encumbered two budget cycles ago. He noted that Parks was exploring potential campground sites along Route 29 in the area. Commissioner Trzaska noted his hope that the park would be open in the future and that through his experience he could confirm the difficulties of security breaches with abandoned buildings. Commissioner Stout asked about the removal of the restroom facility and the restroom availability for the public. Commissioner Texel and Superintendent Kallesser confirmed that the restrooms at the park office are adequate. Commissioner Lubitz noted that he trusts that Parks will bring a plan forward to open Bulls Island to public use again. Commissioner Trzaska asked for further comment. Hearing none, he asked for a motion on the project. Commissioner Lubitz moved to approve the project and Commissioner Stout seconded the motion. The project was approved unanimously.

campsite where camper was killed, overgrown. Let's hope DEP removes this too.

campsite where camper was killed, overgrown. Let’s hope DEP removes this too.


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