This edition of the Guide to Hunting and Trapping coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Maryland Natural Resources Police (MNRP). It is my pleasure to use this space to celebrate this milestone for our peers in law enforcement and recognize several units of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources who contribute to the wildlife conservation mission of the department.
In recent years we have been fortunate to watch the NRP team develop a finer focus on wildlife violators and poaching enforcement. To that end, we saw the first Poaching Restitution Act sentences and license suspension penalties handed down by Maryland courts this year. The successful adjudication of these cases is also a tribute to our partners in the legislature and the Maryland Hunting Coalition.
We also saw the ranks of our NRP grow despite a number of critical vacancies borne of personnel retirements. Recruiting new staff is one of the more under-valued elements of any agency operation. We are fortunate to have a committed and dedicated team at our Human Resources Service and their efforts contribute immensely toward maintaining a skilled workforce for our law enforcement and other wildlife conservation operations.