Annapolis October 2003|
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
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
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
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