With deer hunting season and oyster harvesting reaching their peaks, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has added a new conservation enforcement tool to its fleet: its own helicopter.
The black-and-gold aircraft, Natural 1, has resumed its place after a seven-year absence on the department’s roster.
The helicopter will be used as a surveillance platform to assist Natural Resources Police officers as they patrol 17,000 miles of waterways and nearly a half-million acres of public lands.
The police aviation unit, founded nearly 70 years ago, was eliminated by the previous administration in 2009. The helicopter was then transferred to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and painted deep blue.
About a year ago, the 1972 Bell Jet Ranger became available and Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton became determined to bring it back home. His effort to restore the department’s aviation capability received the strong support of Governor Larry Hogan.
“Once we heard that the helicopter was available, we jumped at the opportunity to bring it back to the department to aid our conservation and enforcement activities,” said Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton. “Natural 1 will assist our officers patrolling our public lands and waters ensuring the safety of our guests and visitors as well as the protection of our most precious natural resources.”
After a year of refurbishing, the helicopter returned to service last week with one of its original pilots at the controls to carry out oyster enforcement patrols as well as aid in the search for two missing people.
“I think it goes without saying we are all elated to have this valuable asset available to us again,” said Natural Resources Police Colonel Robert “Ken” Ziegler Jr. “This is one more major step forward for our department and its conservation mission.”
The helicopter will be used during the hunting season to enforce conservation and management laws, serve as backup to officers on patrol, and help speed rescuers to emergency accidents and incidents.
- Emergency Services affected by Facebook Australia news ban
- Second group of Botswana police pilots training on Enstrom 480B
- Mauritius signs helicopter lease with India
- London’s Air Ambulance extends maintenance contract with SAS
- Bell Delivers Three Huey IIs to the Lebanese Air Force
- HAL Hands Over ALHs to the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard
- HAL’s LUH Receives IOC
- Student pilot disputes NTSB report
- New rules for helicopter flights in the Everest region
- EHang Further Rebuts Short-Seller’s Allegations Concerning its Relationship with Kunxiang
- Minot AFB already preparing for MH-139A Grey Wolf
- Indonesian Army receive second Bell 412EPI
- Irish Community Rapid Response Air Ambulance reports 2020 stats
- EHang Wins Urban Air Mobility Call from Paris
- Gulf Med Aviation Services to invest in MRO training
- WAI receives $250,000 grant to fund additional scholarships
- Sloane Helicopters ranked in top 40 UK private companies for international sales growth
- Strategic New Appointments At Midlands Air Ambulance Charity
- Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Kuwait of AH-64E Apache
- EHang Joins EU GOF 2.0 Research Project