The advisory council provides advice on program direction and recommends the designation of natural areas to the Parks and Wildlife Commission.
Tom Nesler (Chair) – Governor Appointee
Tom Nesler is a 33+ year veteran of the Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Parks and Wildlife). He retired in October 2010 but continues working part-time for the Division on native fish conservation planning. Tom received a BS in Fisheries from CSU and an MS from Iowa State in Limnology/Fisheries. He worked as an aquatic wildlife researcher, aquatic conservation program specialist, and statewide manager for wildlife conservation. He represented Colorado in, and chaired eight multi-state, multi-agency regional recovery/conservation committees from 1991-2010. Tom lives with his wife Karen in Fort Collins and looks after three grown daughters, one grand-daughter, and one springer spaniel when not fishing or hunting or otherwise goofing off.
Ken Strom (Vice-chair) – Governor Appointee
Appointed 2014Ken Strom is a wildlife ecologist who retired from the National Audubon Society in 2013 after a 33-year career in wildlands management, conservation policy and environmental education. Most recently, Ken directed Audubon's Colorado state program and had previously directed the Colorado Important Bird Areas program. A graduate of Cornell University, Ken has specialized in the management and restoration of prairies and wetland habitats of waterbirds. From 1983 to 1994 he managed the Rowe Sanctuary for Sandhill Cranes, Whooping Cranes and other migratory birds on the Platte River in Nebraska. Ken now serves on the steering committee for the new Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas.
Julia Kintsch – Governor Appointee
Julia is an applied ecologist and the founder of ECO-resolutions, ecological resources consulting. She specializes in connectivity conservation and developing collaborative strategies for resource management and infrastructure development, and is a recognized expert in designing wildlife crossing structures. Previously, Julia worked as a conservation scientist and planner for Freedom to Roam, the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project, and The Nature Conservancy, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, West Africa. She graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder has a master's degree from Duke University in landscape ecology.
Denise Culver – Governor Appointee
Culver has been an ecologist/botanist with the Colorado Natural Heritage
Program since 1995. She has been working
in the ecology/botany field since 1987.
Prior to working for CNHP she worked for the Wyoming Natural Diversity
Database and the Montana Natural Heritage Program. Additionally, she worked for the National
Park Service in several parks and monuments as a resource management ranger for
five years. She has a B.S. degree in Botany from University of Wyoming and a
M.S. degree in Biological Sciences from Montana State University. She has been
the project leader for over 20 Colorado county surveys for critical biological
resources and is lead author for the Field Guide to Colorado’s Wetland Plants:
Identification, Ecology and Conservation. She is active in a variety of
activities including Colorado Native Plant Society and Colorado State University
Extension Master Gardener and Native Plant Master Programs.
Vacant - Governor Appointee
Gary Butterworth - Representative of the Board of Land Commissioners
Appointed 2015Bio coming soon
Michelle Zimmerman – Representative of the Parks and Wildlife Commission
Michelle Zimmerman is a Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commissioner, an associate with Clean Energy Collective, and works in land and wildlife conservation as well as renewable energy development. She resides in Breckenridge, CO and is a former ski instructor and wildland firefighter. Zimmerman is a graduate of the University of Denver and is currently pursuing an Executive MBA through Daniels College of Business. She works in land management and structured finance and was previously the executive director of both the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project in Denver and the Rincon Institute in Tucson.
Zimmerman is a member of numerous renewable energy and conservation groups and is currently a mountain bike racer with the Yeti Beti team.