Paul Peditto and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources were presented with Delta Waterfowl’s 2023 Partners in Conservation Award on July 29 during the Champions of Delta Luncheon at The Duck Hunters Expo in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The award recognizes Director Peditto and the Maryland DNR’s work in collaboration with Delta Waterfowl to benefit waterfowl, waterfowl habitat and waterfowl hunters.
Peditto and the DNR advocated for the passage of landmark legislation authorizing the increase of license fees for resident and non-resident hunters, as well as to increase the price of the state migratory bird stamp.
The state’s first waterfowl license fee increases since 1989 will fund conservation enhancements for waterfowl habitat and improve infrastructure that provides access to quality waterfowl hunting.
The law also includes several enhancements to the state’s ability to recruit, retain, and reactivate hunters. Notably, the legislation establishes the Wildlife Conservation, Education, and Outreach Program, which will provide hunting and conservation education to elementary and middle school students in underserved communities. Another provision of the law allows non-resident hunters attending a Maryland college or university to pay resident license rates.
“By working with Delta Waterfowl, other partners, and the sponsors of the legislation, Director Peditto and the DNR showed a clear commitment to the future of waterfowl conservation and waterfowl hunters in Maryland,” said Cyrus Baird, Delta Waterfowl’s senior director of government affairs. “The director’s leadership helped send this transformative bill all the way to Gov. Wes Moore’s desk to be signed into law.”