Governor Larry Hogan today announced the creation of the Office of Outdoor Recreation within the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the hiring of J. Daryl Anthony as first executive director.
“One of the hallmarks of our state is the administration of our land and our waters by the Marylanders who love them,” said Governor Hogan. “Our athletes were among the first conservationists who campaigned for the protection of fish, wild animals and their habitat. Today we honor this partnership for nature and assure you that it will continue to grow with the establishment of Maryland’s first Office of Outdoor Recreation. “
Anthony will work with DNR, the Maryland Department of Commerce, and other government agencies and stakeholders to support and enhance outdoor recreational opportunities and the economic benefits they generate. This includes implementing the recommendations of the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic Commission (MOREC), which the governor established by executive order in 2017.
DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio and Secretary Kelly M. Schulz, Maryland Department of Commerce co-chaired the commission and continue to work to implement its recommendations, including designating dozen of companies and organizations as Maryland Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors. The outdoor leisure industry is gaining increasing economic importance in both urban and rural areas. The US Bureau of Economic Analysis recently reported that outdoor recreational activities account for 2.2% of US GDP, generate $ 778 billion in gross production, and secure 5.2 million jobs.
The announcement occurs National Public Land Day and National hunting and fishing day, both observed September 25th. The governor issued proclamations declaring both memorial days in Maryland.
National Public Lands Day is an annual public land volunteer event where many parks and state-owned lands conduct public cleanups and volunteer activities to protect Maryland’s natural resources. National Hunting and Fishing Day recognizes the importance of these traditional outdoor activities as an essential element of conservation efforts.
“I am honored and excited to lead efforts to improve outdoor recreation in Maryland,” said Anthony. “Under the leadership of Governor Hogan, Lt. Rutherford, Secretary Riccio, and Secretary Schulz, I believe this is an exciting time to build and grow on Maryland’s world-class outdoor recreational opportunities.”
Daryl Anthony, then DNR Assistant Secretary, and Forest Service staff at the opening of the 2017 4×4 Trail in St. John’s Rock, Garrett County. Photo by Stephen Badger, Maryland DNR.
Anthony was with DNR for 35 years, most recently as Assistant Secretary for Land Resources. He joined DNR in 1983 as a park ranger in Patapsco Valley State Park, Howard County, and served as the regional manager for the southern, central, and western regions of the Maryland Park Service until Governor Hogan named him assistant secretary in 2015.
Anthony’s many accomplishments include leading efforts to create innovative recreational opportunities such as the creation of two new off-road vehicle parks. Anthony has been with the Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance since retiring in 2018 and has served on several honorary boards including Friends of Carrie Murray Nature Center, NorthBay Adventures, Howard County Parks and Recreation, Garrett Trails, and the Recreational Trails Program Advisory Committee .