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Natural Resources News

Programs and Funding Bolster Maryland Forest Products Sector

State, Partners Working on New Market Strategies

Photo of sawmill in operationThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Department of Commerce, and other state agencies are working with partners across the state to direct grants, programs, and strategies for building new markets for Maryland’s forest products industry.  

Overall market decline and sudden losses such as the closure of the Verso paper mill in Luke have prompted action by the state to bolster markets for this important sector of Maryland’s natural resource economy.  Read more…


Maryland Climate Leadership Academy Offered in Annapolis

Anne Arundel County Classes Start in February

Satellite photo of part of Maryland shorelineThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces open enrollment for Maryland Climate Leadership Academy courses in Annapolis, which will be starting in February. Registration is open until Jan. 31, but classes are capped at 75 participants. 

The free class will be taught in three segments: Feb. 20-21; March 23-24; and May 14-15. This series is designed to prepare anyone interested in seeking Certified Climate Change Professional credentials. The specific location of the class will be announced after registration is complete. Read more…


Firewood Permits for Sale at Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks

Gathering Low-Cost Wood Helps Remove Hazards from Public Lands

Photo of fallen trees at state park in winterThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering firewood cutting permits at Cunningham Falls and Gambrill state parks in Frederick County, providing a great opportunity for the public to pick up some easily accessible firewood. The $20 permit allows citizens to remove downed trees from the park in designated wood-cutting areas.

In addition to getting an economical source of winter heat for their homes, firewood cutters are also helping our state parks remove the hazard of downed trees. Read more…


Secretary’s Message: January 2020

2020 is the Year of the Woman

Photo of secretary at Chestertown MarinaAs we begin a New Year, it is a good time to sit back and reflect on the successes we had in 2019. While there are too many to name in one article, a few rise to the top, including the designation of Mallows Bay as a National Marine Sanctuary (the first one in nearly a decade), the opening of Wolf Den Run (our newest state park), celebrating 20 years of the Rural Legacy program with more than 100,000 acres protected, and celebrating our 50th anniversary as a department.

We also honored the 90 veterans employed at DNR in keeping with Governor Hogan’s proclamation that 2019 was the Year of the Veteran. For 2020, with the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment approaching, Governor Hogan has proclaimed 2020 the Year of the Woman in Maryland. I was honored to join the governor, my fellow female cabinet members, and other prominent women leaders to kick off this initiative in December. Read more…


Winter Turkey Season Opens Jan. 23

Another Chance to Bag a Hen or Gobbler

Photo of two wild turkeysThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the opening of the winter turkey season, which runs statewide from January 23-25 for hunters who did not harvest a turkey during the 2019 fall season.

Hunting hours are from one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. The bag limit is one turkey of either sex.  Read more…


Board of Public Works Approves $18.8 Million in Rural Legacy Program Grants

Funding Will Protect 4,500 Acres Statewide

Aeriel photo of Piney Run Rural Legacy Area in Baltimore County

Piney Run Rural Legacy Area in Baltimore County

The Board of Public Works today unanimously approved recommendations of more than $18.8 million in Rural Legacy Program grants for conservation easements in 18 counties. Funding from these grants will permanently protect more than 4,500 acres of working farms, forests, open space, shorelines, and wetlands — plus cultural and historical resources — throughout the state. The recommendations also include six Rural Legacy Area expansions, which provide the opportunity to protect more than 172,039 expansion acres.

The projects were recommended by the Rural Legacy Board, which consists of the Secretaries of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Department of Agriculture, and the Maryland Department of Planning. The Board of Public Works includes Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Treasurer Nancy Kopp. Read more…


Department Offers Free Environmental Seminars for Marinas

Clean Marina Program Explained in February Meetings

Photo of marinaOwners and managers of marinas, boatyards, and yacht clubs are invited to attend a free seminar to learn about becoming certified Maryland Clean Marinas. The program will provide details on commonly needed permits and plans, and an informative session on the impacts of plastic marine debris on Maryland’s waterways. Read more…


Monkton Angler Sets Record with Big-scale Pomfret

First-time Entry for Species in Maryland’s Atlantic Division

Photo of man holding state record big-scale pomfretThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources has officially recognized Jeff Rosenkilde of Monkton as holding the first official state fishing record for big-scale pomfret. Rosenkilde caught the 22.1-pound fish Dec. 28 in the Atlantic Ocean canyons off the coast of the Delmarva peninsula.

Rosenkilde and four friends were deep-drop fishing for swordfish and tuna out of Ocean City, about 75 miles offshore, when he knew something took his whole squid bait nearly 1,000 feet below the surface. 
Read more…


Record Participants Hike in New Year Across Maryland

First Day Hikes Kick Off 2020

Photo of hikers led by Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford

Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford joins a First Day Hike at Patuxent River State Park, Jan. 1, 2020. Photo by Joe Andrucyk

About 5,000 hikers took advantage of sunny and mild weather New Year’s Day, joining the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in the state’s annual First Day Hikes initiative. Hikers logged more than 10,000 miles on trails in parks and public lands all across Maryland.

Park rangers, staff, and volunteers guided hikers of all experience levels ringing in the new year on the trail. With 43 hikes at more than 30 locations, the Maryland Park Service registered 3,834 hikers participating in guided hikes, while 1,152 people hiked 1,516 miles on their own — a grand total of 4,986 hikers, not counting many who didn’t check in with a ranger. Even more people hiked in Maryland’s state forests, wildlife management areas, and other public lands.  Read more…


Firearms Hunting for Deer Reopens Jan. 10

Hunters in Most Counties Have Another Opportunity

Photo of deer in Dorchester County woods during winter

Photo by Lori Bramble

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced the winter portion of the firearm deer hunting season opens Jan. 10, 2020, in Deer Management Region B, which includes all of the state except the westernmost counties. Hunters with a valid hunting license may use firearms to harvest sika and white-tailed deer during this season.

The season is open Jan. 10-11 in all Region B counties. The season is open Sunday, Jan. 12, as follows:

On private and designated public lands – Cecil and St. Mary’s counties.

On private lands only – Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Washington (Zone 1), and Worcester counties. Shooting hours end at 10:30 a.m. in Kent and Montgomery counties. Read more…


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AccessDNR January 2020

The January 2020 edition of a monthly video newsletter hosted by Gregg Bortz.

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