ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Governor Larry Hogan announced the creation of the Office of Outdoor Recreation within the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Newly hired J. Daryl Anthony will serve as its first executive director.

“One of our state’s hallmarks is the stewardship of our lands and waters by the Marylanders who love them,” said Governor Hogan. “Our sportsmen and women were among the first conservationists to support efforts to protect fish, wildlife, and their habitat. Today we are honoring this partnership for the outdoors while assuring that it continues to grow with the establishment of Maryland’s first Office of Outdoor Recreation.”

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Anthony will work with DNR, the Maryland Department of Commerce, and other agencies and stakeholders to support and improve outdoor recreation opportunities.

Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio of DNR and Secretary Kelly M. Schulz of the Maryland Department of Commerce co-chaired the commission and continue working to enact its recommendations. This includes naming dozens of businesses and organizations as Maryland Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors.

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Governor Hogan also recognizes  National Public Lands Day and National Hunting and Fishing Day, both observed Sept. 25, as commemorative days in Maryland.

The outdoor recreation industry is of growing economic importance in both urban and rural areas.

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“I am honored and pleased to help lead the effort to enhance outdoor recreation in Maryland,” said Anthony. “With the leadership of Governor Hogan, Lt. Governor Rutherford, Secretary Riccio, and Secretary Schulz, I believe this is an exciting time to build and grow upon Maryland’s world-class outdoor recreation capabilities.”

CBS Baltimore Staff