News from the DNR Office of Communications

State Parks, Public Lands To Remain Open This Friday

Suspended government service will not impact park visitors September 4

Annapolis, Md. (September 3, 2009) – Maryland State Parks and other public lands managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will remain staffed and open to the public on Friday, September 4, the first scheduled service reduction day for State employees. To compensate, all non-essential employees working to serve Maryland park-goers will take an alternate day of leave during the current pay period.

“Maryland’s State Parks and other public lands are an invaluable resource for Maryland’s working families,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “We remain committed to keeping these amenities open and operating for citizens and visitors as we approach the holiday weekend, despite the suspended service day.”

On Wednesday August 26, the Board of Public Works approved more than $450 million dollars in budget reductions, the second step in addressing a projected budget shortfall of more than $700 million for the current fiscal year. The reductions included a sliding scale of furlough and fixed service reduction days for State employees. It is estimated the furlough and salary reduction plan will save the State approximately $75 million and prevent the elimination of about 1,500 additional State jobs.

“With beautiful weather anticipated for the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend, our dedicated Maryland Park Service employees will be on duty and ready to honor the nearly 2,000 advance reservations for park shelters and campsites, and to welcome an expected quarter million visitors to our public lands,” said DNR Secretary Griffin.

All Maryland State Parks and Public Lands will be operating at full capacity, with full staffing and offering all standard conveniences to the public. All reservations at parks will be honored. For more information on State Parks visit to http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/

For more information on the recent Budget Reductions visit http://www.governor.maryland.gov/pressreleases/090825.asp.


   September 3, 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