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Secretary’s Message – September 2022

Step Up to Serve, Engage in Maryland Traditions

Photo of secretary standing at a podium in front of Maryland and U.S. flags

Maryland Department of Natural Resources photo

Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed Sept. 11 a day of service and remembrance across the state of Maryland in memory of those lost in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The proclamation is part of an initiative that Governor Hogan, the Governor’s Office of Service and Volunteerism, and the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives observe to mark the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. The announcement also launches the “Just Serve” initiative, an annual monthlong initiative to promote service and volunteerism statewide through October 10.  

The web site and the Governor’s Office of Community Initiative’s website provide additional information on opportunities to support this initiative including charitable work that benefits our state’s natural resources.

September is also a great time to highlight Maryland’s rich hunting and trapping traditions. Many of our most popular seasons begin in earnest this month, including migratory bird hunts and bowhunting for deer. Our department is actively working to expand hunting and trapping opportunities and to encourage new hunters and younger generations to continue these conservation traditions. Our programs include mentored hunts, apprenticeship hunting, wounded warrior and veteran outreach, and Becoming an Outdoors Woman. If you are a hunter or trapper, we invite you to join us in our efforts by recruiting more participants or mentoring new hunters this season!

The importance of hunting and trapping to wildlife management was underscored this month by the eradication of a destructive invasive species that was threatening our lands. After years of hard work and partnership, I was very pleased to join our Wildlife and Heritage Service staff, federal partners, and local landowners at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge to announce that the invasive rodent nutria are officially eradicated from the Delmarva Peninsula.

This success story is truly inspirational as we work to address other invasive species that threaten our natural environment.

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