Former Northwest Colorado wildlife manager named new director of CPW
DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis announced Thursday the hiring of Dan Prenzlow as the new director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, according to a news release from CPW and Colorado Department of Natural Resources.
Prenzlow is a Colorado native with more than 33 years of experience with CPW, currently serving as the southeast regional manager for CPW.
“I am extremely pleased that Dan Prenzlow has agreed to lead Colorado Parks and Wildlife,” Polis said. “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, according to the release. 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.
“Dan brings tremendous passion and energy to his leadership for Colorado’s outdoors,” said Dan Gibbs, executive director for 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.”
According to the release, Prenzlow received a bachelor’s degree 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.
“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.”
With an above-average snowpack following a snowy winter, local firefighters and wildlife experts are expecting a mild fire season this year, especially at higher elevations.