Southern Maryland Ranger Named Forester of the Year

ANNAPOLIS (May 30, 2008) – The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently honored four Maryland Forest Service employees for their leadership and outstanding contributions to protecting and enhancing Maryland’s forests and green-spaces.

Forester Brian Stupak of Lusby, Md. was named Maryland Forester of the Year for his leadership of invasive emerald ash borer eradication efforts in southern Prince George’s County. Stupak organized and supervised management and invasive species mitigation efforts of a 7,120-acre area and developed 29 forest stewardship plans for 700 acres of woodlands. He also trained and supervised staff on two interagency fire assignments.

“From protecting water quality to mitigating the impacts of climate change, our forests are one of Maryland’s most valuable natural resources,” Governor Martin O’Malley said. “I congratulate Brian and his colleagues and thank them for their hard work and dedication in managing these vital resources for our sustainable future.”

Ranger Chris Smith, of East New Market, Md. was named Ranger of the Year for his long-standing efforts to garner cooperation with landowners in conducting prescribed marsh burning in accordance with proper fire safety standards. He has also built an outstanding cooperative partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Blackwater Wildlife Refuge fire personnel to work as a team to fight and prevent wildfires in southern Dorchester County.

Pat Luchansky of Annapolis was honored as Maryland Forest Service Employee of the Year. David Gailey of Mechanicsville received the Service’s Exemplary Service Award.

“These honorees were nominated by their peers and selected by the Forest Service Leadership Team.

“Being recognized professionally be one’s peers is a high honor and truly an endorsement of the outstanding contributions of these individuals to protecting forest and natural habitats,“ said Steven W. Koehn, State Forester and Director of the Maryland Forest Service.

Source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

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