WAYNE COUNTY —A new landowner coalition made its debut at the Wayne County Fair.

The Upper Delaware River Basin Citizens is a grassroots coalition consisting of landowners who are concerned about property rights and what they perceive as violations of those rights.

While recognizing that tourism and recreation are important sources of revenue in this area, the coalition wants to bring awareness to the fact that the river, with its emphasis on recreation, is just one of many resources in Wayne County.

Thus, their motto is “MORE THAN A RIVER.”

Promoting all resources and all sources of energy, including natural gas, solar, and wind, the coalition developed the following mission statement: Revering our heritage, we, the Upper Delaware River Basin Citizens, in an effort to provide current and future generations the ability to live and work in this region, are focused on maintaining individual property rights while promoting responsible stewardship and economic development of all resources in the Upper Delaware Basin.

Ned Lang, a lifelong resident and president of the UDRBC, is passionate about the area and the wise use of its resources.

“It has been a long time coming since the landowners in the Upper Delaware River Basin have had an association that truly represents their rights and best interests.

“The UDRBC will work to promote and protect landowners’ rights from so many who are dedicated to forwarding their own interests.

“Those interests, in many cases, are contrary to the culture of the region and the sustainability of businesses and the stewardship of these lands.

“As an association we will strive to be the voice and force that will allow future generations of landowners and families in this region the ability to enjoy the lifestyle and culture we have enjoyed, while ensuring the sustainability and quality of all the resources we cherish and respect!”

Representative Jon Fritz was a guest at the booth on Wednesday and gave his support to the coalition and its mission.

"I was enthused to meet with the Upper Delaware River Basin Citizens at the Wayne County Fair.

“Landowners in our region, for much too long, have been forced to take the back seat to a small group of ill-intentioned outsiders that want to control land use in the basin.

“As a result, many of our landowners have been robbed of their property rights and economic opportunity. I appreciate and support when people organize and work to take their power back. That's what this country was built upon."

The coalition crosses not only county lines but also state lines and welcomes participation from likeminded landowner groups from all fifty states.

You can visit their website at udrbc.org.