Our Message Maryland's state government agencies employ some of the most talented, experienced, committed professionals anywhere, public or private sector. That dedication and expertise are clearly evident among the employees of the Department of Natural Resources.

These accomplished professionals are responsible for helping us maintain a critical balance between human activity and the health of our natural world, and much more. Through the use of the best science, the newest technologies and the most creative thinking, they have conceived and implemented some of the most innovative environmental programs in the country, including several of our nationally recognized Smart Growth initiatives.

Their undertaking is considerable. From neighborhood streams to the magnificent Chesapeake, from community open space to Maryland's Rural Legacy, from invasive species to those threatened and endangered, they are helping determine the future of our resources, with work that impacts the life of every single Marylander. As you will see within these pages, our lives and our resources are in good hands.

The programs, activities and services of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources are as varied as our state's landscapes and waterways, and as diverse as the more than 5.2 million people who call Maryland home. As disparate as our endeavors sometimes seem, they are all connected by the big picture - the overall mission that embodies our commitment to the people and the resources we serve.

The efforts of every individual at DNR are tied to our mission by the eight department-wide goals referenced herein, and subsequently, by a series of unit and program objectives that support them. In addition to helping us envision the end result of our work, they allow us to link our everyday activities to our mission, much as individual plants, animals, lands and waterways are linked to our ecosystem.

Yet, because we are also caretakers of the public trust, we must be able to measure our successes beyond acres and water quality - in dollars and cents. As part of a statewide strategic planning tool, Managing Maryland for Results (MFR), these goals help us plan, measure, track and evaluate our budget, employee performance and program achievements.

We love what we do. And we are honored to have the opportunity to do it for Maryland's citizens.