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Governor Hogan Announces Office of Outdoor Recreation

September 25th, 2021 by WCBC Radio

Governor Larry Hogan Friday announced the creation of the Office of Outdoor Recreation within the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the hiring of J. Daryl Anthony to serve as its first executive director. 

“One of our state’s hallmarks is the stewardship of our lands and waters by the Marylanders who love them,” said Governor Hogan. “Our sportsmen and women were among the first conservationists to support efforts to protect fish, wildlife, and their habitat. Today we are honoring this partnership for the outdoors while assuring that it continues to grow with the establishment of Maryland’s first Office of Outdoor Recreation.”

Anthony will work with DNR, the Maryland Department of Commerce, and other agencies and stakeholders to support and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities and the economic benefits they produce. This includes implementation of the recommendations of the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic Commission (MOREC), which the governor established by executive order in 2017. 

Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio of DNR and Secretary Kelly M. Schulz of the Maryland Department of Commerce co-chaired the commission and continue working to enact its recommendations, including naming dozens of businesses and organizations as Maryland Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors. The outdoor recreation industry is of growing economic importance in both urban and rural areas. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis recently reported that outdoor recreation makes up 2.2% of U.S. GDP, generating $778 billion in gross output and supporting 5.2 million jobs.

The announcement comes in advance of National Public Lands Day and National Hunting and Fishing Day, both observed Sept. 25. The governor issued proclamations declaring both commemorative days in Maryland.

National Public Lands Day is an annual volunteer event for public lands, in which many parks and state-owned lands host public cleanups and volunteer activities to help steward Maryland’s natural resources. National Hunting and Fishing Day recognizes the importance of these traditional outdoor activities as a vital element in conservation efforts.

“I am honored and pleased to help lead the effort to enhance outdoor recreation in Maryland,” said Anthony. “With the leadership of Governor Hogan, Lt. Governor Rutherford, Secretary Riccio, and Secretary Schulz, I believe this is an exciting time to build and grow upon Maryland’s world class outdoor recreation capabilities.”