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Maryland Wildland Firefighters Honored for Exemplary Efforts in 2020

Governor Hogan Addresses DNR Crews That Battled Fires in 11 States

Photo of two firefighters against backdrop of a forest fire

Maryland’s wildland firefighter crews were deployed to Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California in October 2020. Maryland DNR photo.

Maryland’s wildland firefighters who served on interagency crews nationwide through the busy and challenging 2020 wildfire season were honored recently in a virtual recognition event. Governor Larry Hogan addressed the firefighters with a recorded greeting and Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio presented the firefighters with a departmental citation.

Last year, 65 Maryland fire crew members participated in 103 assignments, working on 28 different incidents in 11 states. The 2020 Interagency Wildfire Season began early in the year, with new protocols developed to  mobilize firefighters in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Crews also served an exceptionally long season, serving in deployments as late as November. 

“You worked long hours, spent weeks away from your loved ones, braved extremely dangerous conditions, and truly risked life and limb to save lives, homes, and precious natural resources,” Governor Hogan said. “When our fellow Americans face unthinkable natural disasters, Maryland stands ready to come to their aid … thanks to your bravery and dedication.” Read more…

Manokin River Oyster Restoration Public Comment Accepted

Input on Potential Sites Taken Through March 9

Photo of oyster shells prepared for seeding restoration areaThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is soliciting feedback on potential sites to receive substrate and seed restoration of oyster habitat in the Manokin River Sanctuary in Somerset County. Information about the sites proposed, including a video presentation, is available now on the department’s website.  Public comment will be taken through March 9. 

A virtual public meeting is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 23; access information is available on the department’s website Read more…

2021 Maryland Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners Announced

Carroll County Youth Awarded Grand Prize

Image of painting

Illustration by Luke Etter, winner of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources 2021 Arbor Day Poster Contest

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced winners of the annual fifth-grade Arbor Day poster contest. Three schools in Maryland that are home to the top winners will benefit with tree plantings this spring. The poster contest is judged annually by a panel of forestry experts and special guest judge, Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan.

Luke Etter of Hampstead, Carroll County was awarded First Place, and his school will receive 15 trees for planting. Read more…

Maryland Hunters Harvest 81,000 Deer during 2020-2021 Season

Frederick County Leads State in Harvest Totals

Photo of buck near the woods on a fall day

Photo by Matthew Doged

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported that deer hunters harvested 81,729 deer during the combined archery, firearms, and muzzleloader seasons, from Sept. 11, 2020 through Feb. 3, 2021.

The statewide harvest included 29,242 antlered and 49,033 antlerless white-tailed deer, plus 1,500 antlered and 1,954 antlerless sika deer. The harvest was 3% higher than the 2019-2020 total of 79,457 deer. Read more…

Free Trees Available for Maryland’s ‘Backyard Buffers’

Waterfront and Streamside Landowners can Reserve Seedlings

Photo of trees planted along a streamside in a residential neighborhoodThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering free tree seedlings to landowners in several counties who have a creek, drainage ditch, stream, or other waterway on or near their property through the Backyard Buffers program. Read more…

Public Input Sought on Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons

DNR Soliciting Comment Now through Feb. 26

Photo of Canada geese in flight

Photo by Larry Hindman/Maryland DNR

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has posted the proposed 2021-2022 Migratory Game Bird Seasons for public review and comment through Feb. 26.  Read more…

State Forest Work Plans Available for Public Comment

Maryland Forest Service Seeks Input on 2022 Proposals

Photo of mountain vista in state forest

Photo by Melissa Nash/Maryland DNR

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comment on the proposed fiscal year 2022 annual work plans for the following state forests: Chesapeake/Pocomoke, Green Ridge, Potomac-Garrett, and Savage River. The comment period concludes March 5.  Read more…

Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Announce 45 Percent Increase in Maryland State Parks Attendance in 2020

Record Visitation Reflects Growing Interest in Outdoor Recreation Amid Pandemic

Photo of hikers on a trail

Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford joined a hike at Patuxent River State Park on Jan. 1, 2020, kicking off a record year for state park attendance. Photo by Joe Andrucyk

Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced a 45 percent increase in final attendance for Maryland State Parks in 2020 compared to the previous record-setting visitation attendance in 2019. In 2020, Maryland State Parks welcomed 21.5 million visitors, compared to 14.9 million in 2019.  In addition, State Parks reported a record 292 capacity closures across 11 parks statewide last year. Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report – Feb. 3, 2021

Photo of woman holding a perch she caught.

Photo by Monty Hawkins

Despite cold mid-winter weather, anglers across Maryland are enjoying fun fishing experiences ranging from the preseason stockings of trout, to chain pickerel and blue catfish, to tautog in the offshore waters off our coast.

Read more…

Youth, Veteran, and Military Waterfowl Hunting Day Feb. 6

Special Day to Share Maryland’s Time-Honored Traditions

Photo of geese in water and hunters with a dog hidden in a blind

Photo by Larry Hindman/Maryland DNR

Maryland’s youth hunters, veterans, and military personnel can experience the thrills of hunting fields and wetlands on a special waterfowl hunting day Feb. 6. Read more…

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