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Natural Resources News

Public Input Sought for State Lake Funding

Maryland Approved $3 Million for Protection and Restoration

Photo of Greenbrier LakeThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources will host five open house events to solicit public input to help develop a work plan for the new State Lakes Protection and Restoration Fund, which will provide $1 million for each of the next three years to improve state-owned lakes.

The department will develop a budget for best use of these funds in coordination with local governments, organizations and citizens. 

The funds can be used for removing sediment, treating contaminated sediment, preventing the spread of invasive species, improving ecological and recreational value and any other action the department deems necessary at any or all of 16 lakes throughout Maryland. Read more…

Fall Foliage and Festival Report: Nov 3-4, 2018

Map of fall foliage and festivals

Welcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for the weekend of Nov. 3 and 4, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

There is hope for Maryland leaf peepers after all. This is the weekend to take in some brilliant autumnal colors. 

Read more…

Secretary’s Message: November 2018

New Conservation Officers Step Up to the Challenge

Photo of Secretary Mark Belton onboard Natural 1It has been an exciting year for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police, as it celebrates its 150th anniversary and looks to the future with enhanced equipment, manpower and technology.

I’ve had the opportunity meet many brave, dedicated professionals through the years, but there is something special to me about a Natural Resources Police officer. To many it’s a dream job, getting to work outside and serve a vital conservation law enforcement mission: to protect the state’s precious natural resources and the citizens and visitors who enjoy them.

This month we are welcoming another 44 officers to our ranks, including 12 lateral officers who received a six weeks of environmental and natural resources training and 32 graduates of our own seven-month academy program. Everyone one of these officers will be out there, protecting our natural resources, serving our citizens and visitors, and upholding the agency’s core values: integrity, courtesy, dedication and professionalism. Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report: Oct. 31

Photo of man holding striped bass

Shane Cole caught a nice striped bass near Chesapeake Beach on a jig with pink plastic trailer. Photo courtesy of Travis Long

Happy Halloween! A Nor’easter last Saturday kept many anglers off the bay. However, some boaters were able to find a lee area on the Eastern Shore, or they fished Friday or Sunday. These die-hard anglers were rewarded with good striped bass fishing, with most folks now jigging or trolling with artificial lures.

On the freshwater scene, many anglers are finding good trout fishing and more activity from coldwater species such as yellow perch, pike, walleye and pickerel in Western Maryland.

Read more…

Board Approves $6 Million for Fort Washington Ice Center

Program Open Space Funding Used to Rebuild Facility

Photo of Tucker Road Ice Skating Center

Former Tucker Road Ice Skating Center

The Board of Public Works unanimously approved a Maryland Department of Natural Resources item that provides $6 million to Prince George’s County for the development of the Tucker Road Ice Skating Center in Fort Washington. The board is comprised of Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp.

The county plans to use Program Open Space Local funds to rebuild the center that was damaged in a January 2017 fire. Program Open Space Local provides financial and technical assistance to communities and municipalities for the acquisition, development and planning of recreation facilities, and open space areas. The program has been managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources since 1969. Read more…

Maryland State Park Passes for 2019 Now Available

Provides Full Year Access to 75 State Parks

Photo of park passportThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now offering its 2019-2020 Annual State Park and Trail Passport for purchase. 

The park passport is available to residents for $75 and nonresidents for $100. The pass provides unlimited day-use admission and boat launching at state parks, and a 10 percent discount on state-operated concessions and boat rentals.

To enhance the pass’ convenience and value, the annual passport will now be valid for a full year from the month of purchase, instead of by calendar year making it a great deal for every outdoor enthusiast. For example, a passport purchased in April 2019 will expire in April 2020. And as an additional bonus for early-adopters and purchasers, any passport bought before Dec. 31, 2018, will be valid through December 2019, meaning two extra months at no additional cost!

Read more…

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days Scheduled

Upcoming Days for Mentoring Nov. 3 and Feb. 9

Photo f youth hunting waterfowlYoung Marylanders can hone their hunting skills with the help of an experienced adult during two Youth Waterfowl Hunt Days set for Nov. 3, 2018, and Feb. 9, 2019. 

On those days, anyone 16 years of age or younger may hunt coots, ducks and geese on private and public land when aided by an unarmed adult at least 21 years old.  All junior hunters and their adult mentors must possess Maryland hunting licenses. Youth hunters, including those possessing an apprentice license, must purchase a Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp, but do not need to purchase a federal duck stamp if under 16 years of age.

The Nov. 3 event comes just as the season’s first strong cold front pushes through Maryland, and seasoned waterfowlers are scanning the sky to catch any sign of migrating birds riding the winds south.  Read more…

Junior Deer Hunting Days Set for November

Young Hunters Can Learn Sporting Skills and Traditions

Photo of children with a deerThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources encourages experienced deer hunters to introduce youth to the time-honored cultural and sporting tradition this month during two Junior Deer Hunting Days.

The hunt will be held Nov. 10 on private and designated public land in all counties, and Nov. 11 on private land in all counties except Baltimore, Howard and Prince George’s. In Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties, the hunt is also open on designated public lands Nov. 11. Read more…

Black Bear Hunt Concludes in Western Maryland

135 Bears Harvested in Four Counties

Illustration of Black Bear from Conservation Stamp

“Autumn Morning” by Steve Oliver

Favorable weather conditions helped bear hunters enjoy success during Maryland’s 15th annual black bear hunt.

Official results reported by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources show that 135 hunters harvested a bear during the five-day hunt held in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties. Several large bears were taken throughout the hunt; bears weighing more than 400 pounds were taken in each county.

The largest bear taken weighed 575 pounds, and was harvested in Washington County by Robert Marks of Clear Spring. Read more…

Maryland Environmental Trust Offers Volunteer Training in November

Opportunity to Help Statewide Conservation Efforts

Photo of conservation volunteer training with Maryland Environmental TrustThe Maryland Environmental Trust is offering one-day volunteer training sessions for individuals interested in helping to monitor state conservation easements.

The sessions will be held 6 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 8, and 9:30 a.m. to noon Nov. 17 at the Howard County Conservancy (10520 Old Frederick Road, Woodstock, Maryland).

Read more…

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Featured Video

AccessDNR November 2018

The November 2018 edition of a monthly video newsletter hosted by Gregg Bortz.