DNR 2014 Legislative Priorities
Preserving and Protecting Maryland’s Land and Trees:
- SB 336 / HB 296 Natural Resources – Wildlands – Designation of New Wildlands – Expands 14 of the State’s 29 existing Wildlands, and creates 9 additional Wildlands for a total of 21,890 additional acres of State-owned lands as Wildlands, an increase of approximately 50 percent. The bill would mean that about 1 percent of Maryland’s total land area would forever retain its wild character for future generations. A public review/comment process was conducted during fall 2013. Wildlands FAQ, descriptions and maps are located online at http://dnr.maryland.gov/land/stewardship/wildland.asp.
- HB 511 State Board of Foresters – Keeps the Board in existence. Under existing provisions of law, the board is scheduled to go out of existence in July 2015. The State Board of Foresters licenses and regulates individuals who practice forestry in the State of Maryland. Licensed foresters apply, for compensation, scientific techniques to the protection, management, and use of trees.
Managing Maryland’s Wildlife and Fisheries:
- SB 93 Natural Resources – Recreational Incentives Pilot Program – Establishes a three-year pilot program to determine whether offering discounted fishing and hunting licenses to individuals who have not held a recreational fishing or hunting license for at least three years, will increase license sales. The bill requires DNR to develop a plan (including marketing strategy) to implement the program, and limits the incentive discounts to no more than 50 percent of the underlying license fee.
Protecting Maryland Citizens in our Waterways:
SB 94 Vessels – Operating While Under the Influence of or Impaired
by Alcohol or Drugs – Closes a loophole exempting non-motorized
vessels from state OUI
boating laws. The U.S. Coast Guard recently notified the Department that
current Maryland law does not comply with federal regulations that
require OUI laws to apply to all vessels.
Protecting Maryland’s Vulnerable Coastal Areas:
HB 615 Climate Risk Reduction Act – Requires the State to consider the risk of coastal flooding and sea level rise in funding decisions for new capital projects. This builds on Governor O’Malley’s Climate Change and “Coast Smart” Construction Executive Order 01.01.2012.29 by codifying in law its requirements on State agency construction projects and creating a Coast Smart Council to establish specific criteria for the siting
and design of new, reconstructed or rehabilitated State structures.
Maryland has approximately 1000 existing state-owned facilities within
the mapped 100-year flood zone and over 450 existing facilities within
areas likely to be impacted by sea level rise over the next 100 years.
Protecting Personal Identity Information:
- HB 1174 Recreational Hunting or Fishing License Applications – Disclosure of Information – Amends recreational hunting and fishing license statutes to require collection of only the last 4 digits of applicants’ Social Security numbers instead of the entire number. Brings the State in line with federal law regarding enforcement of child support, which will allow the State to receive a waiver from the federal law that requires collection of the entire Social Security number.