The Maryland Rangers Association applauds the introduction of the Great Maryland Outdoors Act, landmark legislation that provides a historic investment in Maryland’s State Park system. The Act creates new State Parks and expands recreational opportunities in Maryland, addresses overcrowding and the extensive backlog of aging critical State Park infrastructure, improves Marylanders’ ability to access State Parks, and affirms Maryland’s commitment to mitigating climate change.
“Maryland’s State Park Rangers extend their gratitude to the presiding officers and leaders in the Maryland General Assembly for building on the legacy of Maryland’s early park planners, whose forward-thinking actions preserved the irreplaceable natural, historical, and cultural sites that millions of people now treasure as State Parks,” said Ranger Dean Hughes, President of the Maryland Rangers Association. “The Great Maryland Outdoors Act delivers once-in-a-generation action and ushers in the next great phase of conservation and State Park building in Maryland, ensuring that all Marylanders are able to enjoy the unique physical, mental, and emotional benefits derived from spending time in nature and the outdoors.”
Recognizing the iconic and vital role of the people who commit their lives to the protection and preservation of these natural treasures, the Great Maryland Outdoors Act will also increase the number of Park Rangers and other essential personnel in State Parks, allowing those dedicated public servants to better serve park visitors and manage the irreplaceable public resources with which they are entrusted. Rangers are on the front lines every day in our State Parks, responsible for patrolling picnic areas, trails, beaches, and campgrounds, responding to public safety and natural emergencies, providing interpretive programs, managing invasive species, and preserving historical and cultural resources.
Maryland’s State Park Rangers are gratified by the recognition of their work, as represented in this watershed legislation, and are particularly grateful to those who have provided the visionary leadership for the State Park Investment Commission, especially the Commission’s Co-Chairs, former Governor Parris Glendening, Delegate Eric Luedtke, and Senator Sarah Elfreth. “The Great Maryland Outdoors Act is the culmination of a comprehensive, months-long assessment of our State Park System, one which future generations are certain to look back on with admiration and gratitude for visionary leadership and bold action,” said Hughes.