Maryland's Conservation History

Historic Oyster Wars Cannon in House Office Building 

Oyster Wars Cannon Exhibit in Annapolis Kicks off 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Natural Resources Police

An Evolving Force: Natural Resources Police Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Meshach Browning: Maryland’s most celebrated hunter

Ladies of Light: Chesapeake lighthouses and the women who kept them

Theodore Roosevelt in Maryland

In Memory of Kirk P. Rodgers

Kirk Rodgers.jpg The Committee for Conservation History mourns the loss of our esteemed member, Kirk P. Rodgers, who passed away on Oct. 13, 2016 at the age of 83. The grandson of Maryland's first State Forester, Fred W. Besley, Kirk was the lynchpin of the 2006 Maryland State Forests and Parks Centennial Celebration. A champion of the forest and the environment on a local, regional, national and international stage, Kirk advocated for sustainable forestry for most of his adult life. Kirk lived his life to the fullest and we are all the poorer for his passing.

Civilian Conservation Corps Ax shaving demonstration - circa 1933

The staff at Green Ridge State Forest recently found this photograph in their files. The axe has the name "Kelly Ayers" written on it. Note the cross-cut saws in the background. Department staff believe this picture was taken in 1933 at the Civilian Conservation Corps camp at Green Ridge State Forest when they were still building the bunk houses and buildings.


The Committee for Maryland Conservation History was originally formed in 2004 to prepare for the Maryland Forestry & Parks Centennial. Following the success of the Centennial activities, the Committee was expanded to include additional department units in its membership.


To preserve, promote and interpret the legacy of natural resource conservation in Maryland for the public’s benefit.

Strategies for achieving the mission include the following:

  • The Project identifies, collects and conserves artifacts, documents, photographs and other forms of historical information.
  • It plans and produces informative media in the forms of displays, literature, and activities that illuminate the subject.
  • It builds corporate identity within the Department of Natural Resources by promoting agency heritage within the Department.
  • It seeks particularly to reconnect the public, especially children, to the outdoors through educational and recreational activities that inspire a sense of place within a natural resources framework.
  • It accomplishes these last two strategies by demonstrating the goals and achievements of Maryland’s conservation agencies dating back at least to the mid-19th century, and shows the relevance of past efforts to the present-day need for natural resource conservation.

The foundation that supports the Maryland Conservation History Committee, made up of volunteers and DNR employees, was recently designated as a 501 3c non-profit. The foundation will fund projects that preserve and promote DNR’s history and heritage.