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Way Cool: Cranesville Swamp Offers a Glimpse into a Different Time and Climate

Photo of boardwalk through forested swamp

Photo by Ashley Stimpson

Most people come to western Maryland for the mountains — but Garrett County visitors who venture off the beaten path will find a remarkable and rare treasure tucked between the hills.

Cranesville Swamp Preserve is one of the last boreal bogs in the southeastern United States. In this small, bowlshaped bog, a phenomenon known as a “frost pocket” creates a habitat more reminiscent of Alaska than Maryland. As weather patterns move east across the region, the hills surrounding Cranesville Swamp channel precipitation and chilled air into the valley, making the preserve one of the coolest locations in our state. Thanks to this unique climate, visitors can find lots of unusual plant and animal species in this out-of-place ecosystem and see what the landscape looked like 15,000 years ago as the last ice age receded. Read more…


From the Field: Natural Resources Police Captain Tracy Campbell

Photo of Tracy Campbell standing near boatsWhen Captain Tracy Campbell first joined the Maryland Natural Resources Police in 1995, newly minted officers were assigned to a boat, to which they reported for patrol or response duties.With her assignment in St. Michaels, the Baltimore native quickly felt at home on the Eastern Shore.

Those days, officers didn’t have their own state vehicles—or cell phones. “You would get a call on your home phone in the middle of the night, get in your personal car, drive down the road to the boat and then turn the boat radio on to find out the status of the call,” Campbell remembers. Read more…


A Voice in the Wilderness: After 75 Years, Smokey’s Message Still Looms Large

Image of Smokey Bear "Only You" poster

Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service Smokey Bear collection, U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Library

One presence has stood tall spreading the word to prevent human-caused wildfires throughout the nation — Smokey Bear. For generations of Americans Smokey Bear and his message of “only you can prevent wildfires” has reminded us of the consequences of being careless with fire outdoors.  Read more…


A Hunter’s Story: Maryland’s Mentored Hunt Rejuvenates Childhood Dream

Photo of woman wearing camouflage carrying hunting rifle

Hunting turkey. Photo by Maribeth Kulynycz.

My passion for hunting began when I was a young girl, listening raptly to my dad’s bedtime stories about his childhood spent stalking birds with only a slingshot and a pouch of pebbles on his family’s farm. Read more…


Maryland Deer Firearms Opening Day Harvest Up 29%

Wind, Rain Hamper Overall Weekend

Photo of doe in the woodsThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that hunters reported 8,061 deer taken on opening day of the 2019 Maryland firearm season, Nov. 30. This represents a 29% increase over last year’s Saturday opener. The overall weekend harvest of 9,201 was down 9% from 2018 due to nearly non-stop rain and wind across the state on Sunday.

The harvest total includes 4,248 antlered and 4,953 antlerless deer, including 147 antlered and 126 antlerless sika deer. The two-week deer firearm season runs through Dec. 14. Read more…


Secretary’s Message: December 2019

Winter is Coming – Perfect for Maryland Outdoors Fun!

Secretary Riccio at Chestertown Marina

Celebrating Downrigging Weekend at the Port of Chestertown Marina

As we rake up the last of the fall leaves and the weather turns colder, some may think that winter’s arrival means less time spent outside, but Maryland has many cold-weather outdoor recreation opportunities.

Western Maryland – or Mountain Maryland as some call it – is a true winter wonderland. We have 23 state parks and three state forests in the westernmost counties, plus access to the national Appalachian Trail, all of which provide wonderful wintry vistas. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Dec. 4

Photo of man holding a chain pickerel

Mike Crocetti made the trip to Tuckahoe Lake to enjoy a beautiful day and a chance to catch and release a nice chain pickerel. Photo courtesy of Mike Crocetti

There is no doubt the hand of winter is passing over Maryland. Despite colder weather, there is plenty of fun fishing to be had from the sheltered shores of the many ponds, lakes, reservoirs, creeks, and rivers throughout Maryland. The preseason stocking of trout has begun, and other fish such as chain pickerel are active and waiting for you.

The Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission recently created an annual recreational fisheries achievement award, to be given once a year. This is a great opportunity to recognize someone you know who goes that extra distance to volunteer their services to help with the promotion and conservation of our recreational fisheries resources in Maryland. For more information and to nominate someone, find everything you need on the Department of Natural Resources website.

Read more…


Department Launches New Maryland Sport Fisheries Achievement Award

 Nominations Accepted Through Jan. 31, 2020

Photo of Native Brook Trout being caught by fisherman

Photo: “Native Brook Trout” by Michael Eversmier

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission announce the creation of the Maryland Sport Fisheries Achievement Award, a celebration of conservation, education, and sportsmanship. This prestigious honor will recognize an individual who has provided sustained efforts in habitat management, conservation, education, research, or other meaningful contributions that benefit fish and recreational fishing in Maryland.  Read more…


‘Gift of Trees’ Can Last for Generations

Orders Taken Now for the Holidays

Photo of White oak seedlings at John S. Ayton State Tree Nursery

White oak seedlings at John S. Ayton State Tree Nursery

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers holiday shoppers the opportunity to give a lasting legacy. The Gift of Trees is a program where Marylanders purchase native trees — either a single tree or a grove of 10 trees — for planting in honor of a celebration, commemoration, or observation.

A Gift of Trees certificate suitable for framing will be issued and mailed out within a week or two of an order. All trees will be planted in the next growing season – either spring or fall – to promote optimal growth and survival. Orders must be placed by Dec. 17 to ensure certificate delivery in time for the holidays.

For orders received through Dec. 6, additional savings apply. Read more…


Forever Maryland Foundation Launched

New Nonprofit Created to Advance Land Conservation 

Logo of Forever Maryland Foundation

Forever Maryland Foundation and Maryland Environmental Trust, a unit of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, jointly announce the launch of a new statewide venture in land conservation. Forever Maryland has been created to undertake a bold agenda to meet the need for a nongovernmental organization with a Maryland-specific focus on land conservation.

Forever Maryland will work closely with the 40 local land trusts in Maryland and state and federal government agencies to find new ways for people to better connect with Maryland’s beautiful landscapes, scenic vistas, farmlands, and natural resources. 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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