Add Maryland to the growing list of states with an office of outdoor recreation.
Last Friday, the state’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, announced the creation of the office within the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). He also announced that J. Daryl Anthony will serve as its first executive director.
That makes 18 states with an office of outdoor recreation (OREC) following such recent additions as Nevada, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Michigan, Virginia, and New Hampshire—all of which launched in 2019. Maryland did have an outdoor recreation task force before establishing an OREC office.
“One of our state’s hallmarks is the stewardship of our lands and waters by the Marylanders who love them,” Hogan said. “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.”
Read more: The rise of state outdoor recreation offices
The state said Anthony will work with DNR, the Maryland Department of Commerce, and other agencies and stakeholders to “support and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities and the economic benefits they produce.” This includes implementation of the recommendations of the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic Commission (MOREC), which Hogan established by executive order in 2017.
Anthony has 35 years’ experience with DNR, most recently as assistant secretary for land resources. He joined DNR in 1983 as a park ranger at Patapsco Valley State Park in Howard County. Anthony also served as regional manager for the Maryland Park Service’s southern, central, and western regions until his assistant secretary appointment in 2015.
“I am honored and pleased to help lead the effort to enhance outdoor recreation in Maryland,” said Anthony. “With the leadership of Gov. Hogan, Lt. Gov. 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.”