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February 20, 2013

Maryland Names Wildlands area in Honor of Eugene Piotrowski

by Martha
Gene Piotrowski (1953-2012)

Gene Piotrowski (1953-2012)

Piotrowski was dedicated employee of DNR

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Maryland Board of Public Works today officially renamed St. Mary’s River State Park Wildlands in honor of Eugene “Gene” Piotrowski, a dedicated employee of DNR and natural resource advocate.

“The Eugene Piotrowski Wildlands Area pays homage to a great man who dedicated his life to serving and protecting Maryland’s natural resources,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Gene’s legacy lives on in each of us committed to creating a smarter, greener and more sustainable future for generations to come.”

At the time of his passing on November 21, 2012, Piotrowski served as Director of Public Lands Policy for DNR’s Office for a Sustainable Future. Gene devoted more than 32 years of service to DNR, wearing many hats and serving in various positions, including State Urban Forester and Director of Resource Planning.

Among his many accomplishments, Piotrowski was instrumental in the passage of the wildlands bill, which has protected thousands of public acres in Maryland. He also helped draft the Forest Conservation Act, create the PLANT program and launch TREE-MENDOUS Maryland. He worked tirelessly to help create and promote initiatives to foster a stewardship ethic among Marylanders.

Piotrowski graduated from SUNY College of Environmental Science and forestry in Syracuse with a B.S. in Resource Management. There, he was an avid member of the Woodsmen’s Team, excelling at crosscut, bow saw and speed chopping.

“From wildlands designation to regional teams, from forestry to sustainability, from land planning to tours of DNR sites, Gene happily stepped up to the plate to manage any job presented him,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “Whether in the role of manager, mentor or co-worker, Gene never shirked his responsibility. And while he was always the consummate team player, he never hesitated to stand up when necessary to safeguard DNR’s higher mission – to make sure the rest of us didn’t lose sight of the big picture.”

The Eugene Piotrowski Wildlands Area ─ a region of public property that has retained its wilderness character ─ protects threatened and endangered species, safeguards watersheds and water quality, promotes opportunities for researching and learning about the wilderness, and preserves unique ecological communities.

Piotrowski’s work as a natural resources advocate is a lasting legacy ─ one of which his wife, Mary, his children, Ginny and Nick, and his entire family can be proud.

Click here to read Celebrating Gene Piotrowski by Secretary Griffin.

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