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Secretary’s Message – February 2022

Public Input Essential to Our Mission

Photo of two people fishing in a creek

Fly fishing at Morgan Run Natural Environment Area. Photo by Patrick Siebert, Maryland State House

Our department recognizes and values the contributions of both anglers and hunters – especially when it comes to responsibly managing our natural resources. We also recognize the value in ensuring that these and other important outdoor recreation traditions continue long into Maryland’s future. 

With support from the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF), we have been in extensive conversations with stakeholders on this topic. Our ultimate goal is development of a recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) plan for Maryland which will guide our efforts to recruit, retain, and reactivate anglers and hunters and diversify participation over the next three years. 

At the same time, we continue to promote opportunities for Marylanders to get outside and experience our natural resources for themselves. Our 2022-23 Maryland Guide to Fishing and Crabbing which details how to engage in our state’s unparalleled fishing opportunities, is a great example of that. 

We also welcome your input on these matters in the following ways:

The department reviews its hunting regulations every two years, and 2022 is a review year.  Soliciting input from the general public, which will begin mid-February, is an important part of that review. We encourage hunters and others to provide feedback during that process. Please look for further information to be posted on our website.

Photo of Secretary RiccioMaryland’s forests also provide great recreational and ecological benefits to Marylanders. The Maryland Forest Service is seeking public comment on our proposed fiscal year 2023 annual work plans for state forests in Western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore. We are dependent on your input to help us develop the most comprehensive and effective management practices for these forested lands and tracts so we encourage you to weigh in.

Last but not least, if you receive a survey asking about your outdoor recreation activities, preferences, and views, or have the opportunity to give input for any of our conservation programs, please take some time to provide your honest feedback to help us in these efforts – we truly value your opinion.

Thank you for your strong support of DNR’s mission, as we work together to enhance, preserve, and protect our natural resources. 

Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio is Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.