Message from C. Ronald Franks - Secretary of DNR

Annapolis October 2003
Photo of C. Ronald Franks, Secretary of the Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
As you may note from the photo on our cover, we at DNR have a somewhat liberal definition of what it means to protect, enhance and restore Maryland's natural resources.

It's true, the vast majority of our time is spent doing more traditional work
 - assessing the health of our land, water and living resources, exploring the science that will help us preserve and restore those resources, and implementing the best, most innovative practices available to us.

When our natural world threatens lives and property, however, DNR staffers often provide the first line of defense. One prime example of their efforts is wildfire assistance. When (and wherever) fire season heats up, DNR foresters, rangers and others heed the call, sometimes traveling thousands of miles and putting themselves in harms way to lend their expertise to our sister states in need.

Secretary Franks, Rick Sheckells of the Department of Transportation and Comptroller William Donald Schaefer visit Hart-Miller Island.Most recently, our critical response activities kept us closer to home in preparation for, during, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel. The work of the men and women of this agency in the face of one of the worst storms to hit Maryland this century has been nothing short of phenomenal.

From "battening down the hatches" in our parks, marinas and other facilities, to citizen evacuation and rescue assistance, to clean up and damage assessment, DNR personnel worked around the clock to ensure public safety and to reopen our facilities as soon as possible. For those facilities we couldn't immediately reopen, our staff are working hard to identify funding and plan for their reconstruction.

Frankly, I've never witnessed a more admirable display of dedication among a group of employees - state government or otherwise. I may be shamelessly biased, but with good reason.

When Mother Nature gets her back up, I want my DNR colleagues watching mine.

C. Ronald Franks' signature

C. Ronald Franks

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