Reorganization Of The Maryland Department Of Natural Resources Enforcement Division And Limiting Its Responsibility To Protection Only

Webster defines "reorganization" as: 1. an act of reorganizing or state of being reorganized. 2. the reconstruction of a business firm. The definition of the word barely takes up three lines of space in the half column of a dictionary page. but there is one helluva lot of difference between definition and deed. It had been almost thirty years since the last reorganization of the natural resources agencies in Maryland. At that time there was one agency, the Maryland Conservation Department. In 1939, the reorganization divided the conservation department into five separate departments, and formed a Board of Natual Resources with each new department being a member of the board. Each of the departments was responsible for assigned segments of natural resources management. The five departments were: Forests and Parks; Tidewater Fisheries; the Game and Inland Fish Commission; Geology and Mines. and Research and Education. Each department had a separate director and the organizational structure usually was the choice of the director. The Board of Natural Resources had little or nothing to do with the actual administration of the five member departments. The Board acted more as an advisory hody than a governing hody. over the next few years the departments concentrated heavily on their own '!rea of responsibility. The department with which we are concerned, however, is the Department of Game and Inland Fish. Originally, this agency was referred to as The Game and Inland Fish Commission, a commission appointed by the Governor. There were five members of the commission. Four were appointed from specific geographical locations of the state and the fifth was named at large. These commissioners did have a certain amount of authority with respect to the selection of hunting and fishing seasons, creel and bag limits, formulation and adoption of regulations affecting wildlife, and land acquisition. Administration of the department, however, was the responsibility of the director. By most standards, the departments could have been considered small in comparison with organizations of similar responsibility in private industry. In 1940, the first year after reorganization, the Game and Inland Fish Commission had twenty-six salaried law enforcement officers. At the end of twenty-eight years, in 1968, when reorganization again comhined the five smaller departments and created one dept. of natural resources, the Department of Game and Inland Fish had a total of fifty law enforcement officers. It is evident that over the years we had not expanded much in size in comparison with the continually expanding responsibilities assigned to the law enforcement division.

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