Deep Creek Lake Residents Opposing New Public Access Plan

SWANTON, Md. (AP) — A homeowners group is asking the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to suspend a pending land purchase that would create more public access to the state’s largest lake.

The Cumberland Times-News reports that the Property Owner’s Association of Deep Creek Lake has asked the department hold off on the $1 million purchase until it addresses concerns about whether the site is appropriate for public access


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Restrictions placed on use of jetpacks at Deep Creek Lake

MCHENRY, Md. (AP) – Officials say the use of jetpacks has been restricted at Deep Creek Lake.

The Cumberland Times-News ( reports that Deep Creek Lake Policy and Review Board spokesman Bob Hoffmann says the devices can be used, but not on weekends or holidays during the summer season.

Jetpacks are backpacks that use water to thrust a wearer into the air.

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NRP Urges Safe Boating During Busy July 4th Holiday

NRP on patrol on the Magothy River

After a weekend in which three people died on Maryland waterways, the mission for the Maryland Natural Resources Police this July 4th holiday is simple: fewer boating accidents.

The game plan is direct: officers will be going all-out on the state’s waterways, from the Atlantic Ocean to Deep Creek Lake.

“Maryland has seen eight boating fatalities so far this season and that’s eight too many,” said Col. George F. Johnson IV, NRP superintendent. “Our officers will be aggressively targeting reckless and negligent boaters, and those whose judgment is impaired by alcohol or drugs.”

Historically, more than half of Maryland’s annual total of boating accidents occur in July and August. Last year, Maryland recorded 130 boating accidents that killed 12 and injured 96.

As a dress rehearsal for July 4, NRP took part last weekend in Operation Dry Water, a nationwide campaign to curb alcohol- and drug-impaired boating.

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Celebrate Great Outdoors Month with DNR!

Fun kicks off with National Trails Day June 6DNR Outdoors

June marks the last few weeks of school, the beginning of summer and the perfect time to get outside! The Department of Natural Resources makes celebrating Great Outdoors Month fun and easy with its network of beautiful state parks, a variety of educational programs and the AccessDNR mobile app.

From trekking the mountains of western Maryland, to swimming in Deep Creek Lake, to camping at Assateague Island, Maryland’s 66 State Parks offer recreation to satisfy all types of interests. And with the location-based AccessDNR app, users can easily discover and locate state parks, trails, boat launches and hunting lands, in relation to where they are.

For those in search of guided activities, DNR’s Calendar of Events lists a variety of scheduled opportunities including nature crafts, animal encounters, pontoon tours, educational hikes, stargazing, fishing trips and much more. Available throughout June, and all year long, most of these DNR-sponsored activities are extremely affordable, if not free. And don’t forget, June 6 and 13 (and July 4) are free fishing days in Maryland!

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Md. Dept. of Natural Resources tags black bears

SWANTON, Md. (WJLA) – The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wants to keep tabs on the state’s black bear population.

Each spring, agents fan out to find bear cubs and their mothers to tag them for future monitoring. On Wednesday, they were out near Deep Creek Lake.

Deep in a hole in a hillside along a cold mountain stream, a black bear gave birth. State biologists have been tracking the 12-year-old bear with a radio collar for years. On Wednesday, it was time to change her collar and check her cubs. Biologists say their greatest concern is keeping the cubs warm.

It took two to pull the 230-pound adult bear from her den, before a veterinarian checked her.
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DNR Welcomes Public Input on State Forest Annual Work Plans

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comment on the proposed 2016 fiscal year work plan for Potomac Garrett, Green Ridge, Savage River, Chesapeake and Pocomoke State Forests.

State forest annual work plans identify the work that is to be accomplished for the fiscal year within the scope of the forest’s long-range management plan. The plans address establishment, growth, composition, health, quality forest management operations, as well as maintenance and construction projects, and other required work.

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Deep Creek Lake Watershed Management Plan

Tuesday, August 26th

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Garrett County have partnered to develop a comprehensive watershed management plan for Deep Creek Lake. The Deep Creek Watershed Management Plan will serve as a comprehensive, best practices guide to ensure that one of Maryland’s most visited, revenue-generating sites is protected far into the future. In addition to protecting the lake’s sensitive natural resources, the plan will address water quality and recreational activities like swimming, fishing, boating and scenic viewing.  For more information please visit the DNR Lake Management Plan website.

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More Active Oversight Planned For Deep Creek Lake

July 28, 2014 6:49 AM

MCHENRY, Md. (AP) — A draft management plan for the Deep Creek Lake watershed seeks better coordination among government agencies and private parties whose interests converge at the western Maryland vacation destination.

The Department of Natural Resources and the Garrett County Commissioners released the plan Friday for public comment through Aug. 9.

It was developed by a local steering committee amid concerns that factors including residential development, natural-gas exploration, agricultural runoff and failing septic systems threaten the lake’s quality and recreational value.

The plan calls for the state and county to jointly develop an agency to coordinate activities within the watershed.

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Hydrilla Treatment Set for Deep Creek Lake

In 2013, DNR biologists discovered hydrilla – an invasive weed known to impede recreational uses of waterways – in the southern portion of Deep Creek Lake. Hydrilla has not been found in the majority of the lake at this time. In response, DNR convened a nationwide expert panel to evaluate all potential Hydrilla control strategies, and found that the best, most effective action would be to treat the lake-bottom where Hydrilla has been found with small amounts of herbicide starting in late May and continuing through the summer. Exact dates will be posted prior to application. The amounts to be used have been proven harmless to humans, waterfowl and wildlife, and will have no restrictions for drinking, swimming and or eating fish post treatment at label application rates.

.pdf map of where hydrilla has been found at DCL.

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DNR wildlands proposal gets mixed reactions

Elaine Blaisdell

Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — Garrett County Planning Commission members have mixed emotions about the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlands Proposal that is up for review, according to county commission chairman Robert Gatto, who is a non-voting member of the planning commission.

Wildlands are state-owned natural areas preserved for their wilderness character or sensitive natural resources. The nine areas proposed in the county, both new and expanded wildlands, total 9,000 acres. The largest wildlands proposed is 3,993 acres of the Youghiogheny Corridor, Maryland’s only “wild” river.

“People definitely like to see the land preserved and protected for future generations, but at the same time there is the concern of are we protecting it too much and we aren’t able to do the things we want to do on that property,” said Gatto during the commissioners’ public meeting. “Some on the commission felt that it’s already protected because it has endangered species and so why protect it even more and limit potential down the road.”

Hunting and fishing are permitted on state wildlands, subject to existing laws, regulations and administrative policies.

“At any time, those designations could be changed where you wouldn’t be able to (do those things) depending on who is in office and what their intent is,” said Gatto.

Commissioner Jim Raley said that when the DNR purchases the properties, everyone becomes a landowner.

“Because each of us who pay taxes have put a little bit of money towards that purchase and it does concern me that sometimes in designations there are certain things they don’t want done,” said Raley. “My concern is that the state is going to continue purchasing land with our monies in our county. Then the citizens should be able to enjoy some economic benefit from that such as usage of those trails. Yes, there are limitations.”

For example, some off-road vehicle trails have been closed and restrictions have been placed on being able to consume alcoholic beverages in parks.

“The rules can change and that becomes my point of contention,” said Raley. “I think the folks in Garrett County need to make sure our state officials and DNR know those concerns. I want the lands protected but I want the citizens protected, too.”

Gypsy moth suppression can’t occur on wildlands, according to Commissioner Gregan Crawford. Swanton resident Marshall Stacy, whose land is surrounded by wildlands, stated, “My little patch is beautiful and green and everything around me is dead.”

“We invite people to see just how horrible the state has been as a steward of forest land by this gypsy moth mess,” said Marshall’s wife, Cindy Stacy.

The state owns $165 million worth of assessed value property in the county, which includes critical infrastructure, according to Raley.  The state owns close to 80,000 acres in the county.

Local meetings regarding the wildlands proposal are scheduled Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. at Deep Creek Lake State Park’s Discovery Center and Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. at Allegany College of Maryland Continuing Education Room CE8.

More information on the wildlands can be found on the county’s website at

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at

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