News from the DNR Office of Communications

National Shooting Sports Foundation Named Maryland Conservationist Of The Year

Annapolis, Md. (October 25, 2010) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Advisory Commission recently named the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) the Conservationist of the Year for 2009. The NSSF was recognized for its extraordinary support of programs for young people to enjoy hunting and target shooting opportunities in Maryland. NSSF has provided funding for five mentored youth hunts hosted by DNR that had more than 150 junior hunter participants.

“It has been a truly wonderful experience to work with the National Shooting Sports Foundation,” said Patricia Allen, DNR’s Wildlife and Heritage Service project leader for the mentored hunt program. “One of the highlights of our partnership is the NSSF-funded mentored youth hunting program. Mentored youth hunts offer young people a positive, hands-on field experience where they are exposed to the rich tradition of hunting while embracing an outdoor conservation ethic. We are looking forward to future collaboration and expanding the ranks of Maryland’s next generation of outdoor enthusiasts and conservation stewards.”

Melissa Schilling, Manager of Recruitment & Retention for NSSF, joined the Wildlife Advisory Commission and DNR staff at the award ceremony last week, traveling from NSSF headquarters in Connecticut to accept the prestigious award.

"NSSF is honored to have received this award,” Schilling said. “Maryland DNR has been a great partner in our efforts to recruit and retain hunters and target shooters. We look forward to continuing our partnership toward our common goal of increasing hunter and target shooter participation."

   October 25, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

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