News from the DNR Office of Communications

Annual Forest Service Awards Announced

Governor congratulates Forester, Ranger and Employee of the Year

Annapolis, MD - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forestry Service today announced the 2008 Maryland Forest Service Annual Awards. Forest Service employees submitted nominations, which were reviewed by members of the Forest Service Leadership Team.

“I want to congratulate all of this year’s award recipients,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Each one has shown an incredible dedication to the Forestry Service, to the Department of Natural Resources and to our state, to help work towards a smarter, more sustainable future.”

This year’s recipients are:

2008 Forester of the Year – Robert S. Prenger, Jr.

During 2008, Prenger coordinated the development and preparation of 25 Forest Stewardship Plans, the establishment of 2.7 miles of riparian forest buffers, and the inspection of 62 FCMA /Tree Farm/WAP properties. He also worked with Greening Committees from 7 communities and planted 125 street trees in the fall of 2008. Additionally, he worked with the Baltimore County Forestry Board to plan and implement 43 separate tree planting projects at local school campuses and County Parks involving over 1,670 school students in planting 1,225 trees and shrubs in stream buffer areas.

Prenger was also highly involved in the development and implementation of the Baltimore County’s new Forest Sustainability Initiative. Baltimore County was selected as one of only three Counties in the nation to participate in a new progressive, comprehensive Forest Sustainability strategy for evaluating and promoting sustainable forests from an environmental and economic perspective. The goal is the protection of critical forest ecosystem functions for maintaining biodiversity, water quality and carbon management, while meeting the socio-economic needs of the citizens today and in the future. Prenger serves on the Steering Committee, attends quarterly meetings to provide technical support and serves on both the Forest Economics and Forest Education Sub-Committees. Prenger also worked with the Forestry Board to develop the Baltimore County “Forest Resource Network”, a woodland owners association who promote forest sustainability and forest conservation throughout Baltimore County.

2008 Ranger of the Year – Kevin Moore

Moore performs the majority of the technical field activities in Frederick and Washington Counties, which in 2008 included completion of data collection on 3,600 acres at the Stronghold Inc property, implementation of 9 controlled burns on state and federal property (Antietam National Battlefield), provision of training workshops to over 150 individuals from various government agencies and local fire companies, and maintenance of a 10-acre field trial researching growth success under different planting regimes and deer fence enclosures.

In addition, Moore was involved in numerous forest management activities at Monocacy NRMA. He put a new Gator and slip on unit into service, rebuilt an ATV trailer, secured an FEPP brush truck for Clear Spring VFC, assisted in the reconnaissance of approximately 20,000 acres of Gypsy Moth threatened forest and the mapping of the final Gypsy Moth spray blocks and no-fly zones, coordinated the project’s walnut seed collection and delivery to the Nursery, and worked as a single resource specialist on a forest fires in VA and CA on two interagency fire assignments.

2008 Employee of the Year – Stephen “Bo” Sliger

As Maintenance Chief at Potomac-Garrett State Forest, Sliger strives to serve the public by keeping State Forest facilities, roads and infrastructure in the best condition possible. Sliger’s responsibilities include oversight and meeting match requirements for grant-funded trail maintenance projects, operating and transporting heavy equipment to implement maintenance projects, building and recruiting an effective team of short-term contractual maintenance staff, assigning the daily work scheduling and supervision of the contractual maintenance staff, and directing the “summer youth work program” which encompasses the direct supervision of 4-6 young people ages 14-21 for the summer months. As testament to Sliger’s ability to get these young folks to work with him, Potomac-Garrett State Forest was recognized by the county program administrator as consistently providing the most successful ‘job site’ in the county for youth placement. Under his direction, these youth obtain valuable work experience while accomplishing a considerable amount of maintenance on the State Forest. This can be credited solely to Mr. Sliger’s leadership and his ability to get the most out of these young people. In addition, Sliger provides extended customer service to Forest visitors 24/7 during “off hours” through his residence at an operational house at the Forest headquarters location.

“Robert, Kevin and Bo truly deserve the recognition as employees of the year,” said Forestry Service Director Steve Koehn. “We believe that our peer-nomination and peer-review selection process ensures that these Awards are truly an endorsement of the outstanding contributions of these individuals to advancing the mission of the Forest Service.”

A formal recognition ceremony announcement is forthcoming.


   August 24, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov