DENVER, Colo. — Governor Jared Polis announced today the hiring of Dan Prenzlow as the new Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). Dan is a Colorado native and brings over 33 years of experience with the agency to his new role. He currently serves as the Southeast Regional Manager for CPW and has a lifelong dedication and passion for Colorado’s natural resources and recreation opportunities.
“I am extremely pleased that Dan Prenzlow has agreed to lead Colorado Parks and Wildlife,” said Governor Polis, “Dan’s extensive experience and his knowledge of the challenges and opportunities for Colorado Parks and Wildlife is a tremendous asset for our state. Our wildlife, state parks, hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation is what makes Colorado, Colorado. Dan is the right individual to build on the sustainable hunting, fishing and wildlife protection legacy of Parks and Wildlife while enhancing our awe-inspiring outdoor recreation opportunities for Coloradans and visitors from across the world.”
As the Southeast Regional Manager for CPW, Prenzlow leads a diverse region based in Colorado Springs that extends from the heights of the Arkansas Headwaters near Leadville to the eastern plains and grasslands of the Arkansas River Valley. As one of four regional managers, Prenzlow served on the CPW leadership team during a time of great change that saw the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation merged into Colorado Parks and Wildlife in 2011. The combined agency has about 900 employees and an incredible mission balancing conservation of wildlife and habitat with recreational needs, both synonymous with Colorado.
His work with local and federal land management agencies, and a variety of stakeholder groups, underscores his experience in cross-collaboration to enhance Colorado’s natural assets and recreation opportunities. He has worked with many non-profit organizations and local governments to secure landscape-scale conservation, coordinate habitat enhancements, increase outdoor recreation opportunities for all user groups, increase hunter and angler access and the creation of a state of the art sportsman’s shooting range located on Fort Carson in Colorado Springs.
Prenzlow has worked hard to develop relationships with a broad spectrum of Coloradans such as outdoor recreationists, sportsmen’s groups, legislators, local and state elected officials, conservation organizations and many other agencies. He is the staff liaison for the Habitat Stamp Committee which generates revenue from hunting and fishing licenses to protect and enhance critical wildlife habitat. This program is designed to invest millions of dollars every year to protecting Colorado lands, waters and wildlife.
“Dan brings tremendous passion and energy to his leadership for Colorado’s outdoors,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “We look forward to working with Dan to connect Coloradans to the outdoors, provide world-class outdoor amenities, and be stewards of our wildlife resources throughout our State.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s mission is to “perpetuate the wildlife resources of the state, to provide a quality state parks system, and to provide enjoyable and sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities that educate and inspire current and future generations to serve as active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources.” CPW fulfills its mission and provides the public with outdoor recreation opportunities as one of the largest recreation and conservation grant funders, through 41 State Parks and more than 300 State Wildlife Areas.
“It is an honor to be trusted to lead this organization that I have dedicated my professional life to serving,” Prenzlow said. “I am grateful to Governor Jared Polis and Executive Director Dan Gibbs of the Department of Natural Resources, as well as the Parks and Wildlife Commission, who are giving me this opportunity.”
“I embrace the challenge of leading what I believe is best parks and wildlife organization in the country, with the most dedicated and professional staff. I look forward to serving the people of Colorado in protecting Colorado’s wildlife and natural resources and expanding our state parks system. This is an incredible opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream.”
Parks and Wildlife is overseen by an 11 member Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, a citizen board appointed by the Governor, which sets regulations and policies for Colorado’s state parks and wildlife programs.
“Dan has been an asset and strong steward of Colorado’s park and wildlife resources, ” said John Howard, Chairman, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, “we look forward to his leadership and fresh ideas that he will bring to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.”
Dan Prenzlow received his BS in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University in 1985. Following in the footsteps of his father, Prenzlow joined the Division of Wildlife in 1986 as a District Wildlife Manager patrolling the Castle Rock area. He was then promoted to Area Wildlife Manager in 1992 based in Meeker, where he served until 2005 when he became Southeast Regional Manager based in Colorado Springs. He is married to Brenda Prenzlow and has two daughters, Danika and Alaura.