Governor Parris N. Glendening

The need to balance communities with natural systems is
complicated and often controversial. Protecting outlying areas
against sprawl development and providing for nature based
recreation close to home are just the beginning. In a world where
there is no longer a tangible demarcation between neighborhoods
and open space, where people and nature live as one, challenges
run the gamut.

1 > 2 > 3 > Goal 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8
SMART GROWTH: Directing Resources To Revitalize Communities
  • A fundamental goal of Governor Glendening's Smart Growth Initiative is to direct new growth to areas that already have the infrastructure and services to support it. Yet, to be truly attractive places for Marylanders to live and work, older, more populated areas need more than good schools, safe neighborhoods, a mix of housing and vibrant Main Streets. They need easy access to our natural world.

    In recognition of this need, the Governor's new Community Parks and Playground Initiative, will this year provide dedicated funding to restore and create new park and green space in Maryland cities and towns. Through flexible, competitive grants to local governments, DNR will now be able to assist communities in rehabilitating, expanding or improving existing parks, or purchasing or installing new playground equipment in older neighborhoods. The program's authorized investment for FY '02: $11 million. The return on that investment, measured in better, safer, cleaner, greener places to live work and play? Priceless.

"We must remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent unchecked development and the further degradation of our natural resources while still providing much neededspace for recreational activities for communities across the State."
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend Lt Governor of Maryland November 2000

Connecting With Communities
  • Since 1969, DNR's Program Open Space (POS) has enhanced the quality of communities, providing state and local parks or public open space within 15 minutes of most residents. In FY '01, Maryland's county and municipal governments won Board of Public Works approval for nearly $20 million in POS funding, and POS dedicated $10 million more to protect priority conservation acreage. This program has helped the state protect more open space than was lost for seven of the last ten years.
  • This year, 39 Maryland communities participated in the Tree City USA program. These jurisdictions spent an average of $4.19 per capita, for a total of nearly $12 million, to support urban forestry programs for more than 2,855,240 citizens, or 55 percent of the state's population. Minority citizens make up approximately 45 percent of the population in these communities.
  • The Maryland Community Forest Council and DNR continued their successful PLANT -- People Loving And Nurturing Trees -- Community awards program. In 2001, there were 161 PLANT Communities, a 12 percent increase over the previous year.
  • Continued, responsible long-term growth requires adequate electric power for Maryland residents and businesses. DNR continued to lead the work of seven state agencies, in concert with electricity generators, local governments and citizens groups, to assess the proposed construction of new power plants in Maryland -- more than a dozen have been proposed since the deregulation of electricity generation -- and protect Maryland's natural resources from adverse impacts.
  • During FY '00 and '01, 154 abandoned or derelict boats were removed from Maryland waters as part of the Abandoned Boat Removal Program. Funding for this program, which is a cooperative effort between DNR and local jurisdictions, comes from the Waterway Improvement Fund.

Wild Things
    From endangered wildlife and plant species that are negatively impacted by growth, to areas where wildlife populations have outgrown existing habitat, to invasive species that are destroying fragile ecosystems, DNR's wildlife and heritage managers rely on science, experience, public opinion and common sense to manage Maryland's diverse wildlife populations. Sustaining ecosystem biodiversity, controlling overpopulation, restoring dwindling populations, protecting public health, and supporting consumptive and non-consumptive recreational activities are the sometimes conflicting objectives that direct their efforts...

  • In FY '01, reviews of 2,500 proposed projects were conducted to assess possible impacts on threatened and endangered species, waterfowl concentration areas, colonial waterbird breeding sites and forest-interior dwelling birds. Project sponsors received review analysis information and technical assistance.
  • After a multi-year closure, during which DNR staff conducted population monitoring activities both in Maryland and on Arctic breeding grounds, we were able to reopen the hunting season for Atlantic Population Canada geese. The culmination of the population's improved survival and reproduction rates, the season will provide recreational opportunities and enhance local economies.
  • To calculate a reliable black bear population estimate, DNR biologists systematically collected black bear hair samples, which then underwent DNA testing to identify individual animals. Analysis of the data revealed that between 166 and 337 bears reside west of Cumberland, and biologists believe an additional 100 bears are located east of Cumberland. Meanwhile, in collaboration with the Natural Resources Police and State Forest and Park Service, DNR Wildlife managers completed a new Bear Response Plan for managing human/bear conflicts in a safe and effective manner.
  • In partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, DNR staff provided technical assistance in approximately 9,000 instances of Maryland residents experiencing some form of human-wildlife problem.
  • A pilot project to monitor deer populations in metropolitan counties -- using aerial infrared imaging to detect differences in heat emanating from the environment -- was completed in FY '01. Results indicate this method will provide a viable means to monitor deer population levels in Maryland's most populous region.
  • New whitetail bag limits, implemented in 2000 to encourage the taking of more antlerless deer to stabilize local deer populations, have begun to show significant effects. The statewide increase in the number of antlerless deer taken in FY '01 was about 25 percent; however, in some urban and suburban counties, where elevated populations create the greatest concerns for citizens, removal increased by more than 50 percent.
  • The deer-vehicle strike study, a DNR joint effort with state and county highway agencies and animal control officials to better quantify and locate deer-vehicle collisions, continued. This will provide important information for future deer management and highway safety.
  • Deer Management Permitting procedures were streamlined to provide for improved management in agricultural areas and reduction of crop damage. Community-based deer management assistance offered by DNR continues to gain in popularity, as exemplified by a successful managed deer hunt conducted by the Sherwood Forest Community Association.

Taking Care of Business
  • A new Commercial and Recreational Services program was created to streamline management of limited entry, quota-based fisheries, and the apprenticeship program and seminars. Allocations and permits are issued and administered for striped bass, flounder, horseshoe crabs and oysters taken by power dredging. The Apprenticeship Program monitors license statistics and issues permits annually.
  • Under a multi-agency partnership among Maryland Department of Agriculture, the USDA Forest Service, West Virginia University and DNR, additional data collection was completed on Maryland's second Roadside Tree Forest Health Assessment. Data on the quantity and quality of Maryland's roadside tree resources in the Baltimore-Washington corridor is currently being analyzed.
  • In FY '01, the Maryland Licensed Tree Expert exam was administered to 121 individuals from commercial tree care firms; 19 new licenses were issued.
  • Forest Stewardship plans were prepared on 385 tracts of land covering 23,964 acres, offering guidance to forest landowners to help them meet land management objectives. These could include wildlife and fishery habitat improvement, timber production, recreation enhancement, and soil and water protection.

Assessment for Action
  • In partnership with five counties and local public and private entities, DNR began developing local Watershed Restoration Action Strategies for priority watersheds as part of the Maryland Clean Water Action Plan. Strategies to establish a blueprint for action to implement water quality improvement, aquatic and terrestrial habitat conservation, and restoration activities, are now being developed for: Georges Creek, Allegany County; Little Patuxent River, Howard County; Middle Chester River, Kent County; Manokin River, Somerset County; and Isle of Wight, Worcester County. Action Strategies for Maryland's remaining 54 priority watersheds will be developed in the future.
  • During the past year, approximately 800 miles of streams were surveyed in Allegany, Garrett, Somerset, Worcester, Caroline and Howard Counties and more than 200 environmental problems were identified as part of DNR's Stream Corridor Assessment Survey. Seven additional surveys planned under this new watershed management tool will assess an additional 600 miles of streams in nine counties.
  • The Strategic Forest Lands Assessment -- begun in FY '00 -- is using computer geographic information systems technology to identify the state's most ecologically and economically important forest lands. The results will support a number of ongoing forest conservation programs and complement DNR's Green Infrastructure Assessment and Greenway planning initiatives.
  • The future of long-term major growth areas like Southern Maryland depends upon adequate water supplies from groundwater. In a cooperative regional study that involves drilling deep test wells and developing a computerized groundwater flow model, DNR is assessing and identifying aquifers that could serve as potential new sources of groundwater without adversely affecting existing groundwater users.

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."
John Muir American Naturalist Conservationist, Author


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