Colorado Parks and Wildlife Director
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.
Reid DeWalt, Assistant Director for Wildlife and Natural Resources
Reid DeWalt is the Assistant Director for the Wildlife and Natural Resources branch. Reid oversees the Terrestrial, Aquatic, Water, and Real Estate sections. He is a graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in Fish Biology. Reid was first employed in 1997 as a temporary creel clerk at Turquoise Lake near Leadville. He began his permanent career as a District Wildlife Manager in 1998 and served in the Colorado Springs NE district for 8 years. He was promoted to Area Wildlife Manager in 2006 and oversaw area field operations in Park, Clear Creek, Gilpin, and Jefferson Counties. Reid also served as Acting Chief of Hatcheries for a six month period in 2012. Reid is a Colorado native having been born and raised in the Buena Vista area. He is married with three wonderful children. In his spare time, Reid enjoys hunting, fishing, woodworking, studying western history, as well as being a dad to three very active children. Reid was honored in 2013 with the Jim Jones Outstanding Employee of the Year award.
Heather Dugan, Assistant Director for Law Enforcement and Public Safety
Heather Dugan is the Assistant Director for Law Enforcement and Public Safety for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Heather oversees the boating registration program and law enforcement-related operations including training and investigations associated with protecting Colorado's wildlife and providing a safe and enjoyable recreational experience for visitors at Colorado's state parks. Heather worked for six seasons in state parks while working to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology. After graduating from Colorado State University in 1992, Heather was hired as a full-time ranger and has since worked in several parks, as a training coordinator and instructor, and most recently as a region manager.
Justin Rutter, Assistant Director for Financial Services
Justin Rutter is the assistant director for Financial Services and oversees the accounting, budgeting, procurement, and grant processes for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. He joined the agency as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer in January 2016. He was selected to lead the financial services group as Chief Financial Officer in June 2016. Justin loves the outdoors and is, more often than not, likely to be found outdoors with his wife Cassie. They enjoy camping, fishing, boating, hiking, gardening, and otherwise enjoying the outdoors. Justin moved to Colorado at the age of eight and considers himself a native, even if he isn't allowed to buy the bumper sticker. Prior to joining Colorado Parks and Wildlife he graduated with a bachelors of finance degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver and served as a budget and policy analyst in the Executive Director's Office of the Department of Natural Resources for 10 years. In his role in the Executive Director's Office he had a broad portfolio of responsibilities that spanned across many natural resource issues.
Margaret Taylor, Assistant Director for Capital, Parks, and Trails
Margaret Taylor is the Assistant Director for Capital, Parks, and Trails for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. She has worked for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (and the former Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation) since 1995, starting as a seasonal employee to her current position. She began her permanent career as a Park Ranger at Cherry Creek and Castlewood Canyon State Parks, was the Senior Ranger at St. Vrain State Park and the Park Manager of Roxborough State Park. From there she served as a Deputy Regional Manager in the Northeast Region. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biological Science from Colorado State University. Margaret is a fourth generation Colorado native. In her spare time she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband Ryan and two daughters, Madeline and Avery.
Gary Thorson, Assistant Director for Information and Education
As Assistant Director of Information and Education, Gary is responsible for management and oversight of creative services, licensing, education, marketing, outreach, partnerships, public information, publications, reservations program, retail sales program, video productions, volunteers and website management for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Prior to joining Colorado Parks and Wildlife in 2003, Gary served as the Development Director for Utah State Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Prior to Utah, Gary spent 19 years working for Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites and served as Director from 1990 - 1999. Gary has lectured on park, outdoor recreation and natural resource issues at conferences, symposia and at the National State Park Leadership School in Wheeling, West Virginia. Gary holds a Bachelors degree in Parks and Recreation Administration from the University of Nebraska and completed graduate work at the University of Wyoming. Gary lives in the Denver Metro area with his wife Lisa, their four daughters and one granddaughter.
Jeff Ver Steeg, Assistant Director for Research, Policy & Planning
Jeff Ver Steeg is the Assistant Director for Research, Policy and Planning. He was the Assistant Director for Wildlife Programs for the Colorado Division of Wildlife (and subsequently Colorado Parks and Wildlife) from 2003-2012. He joined the agency as the Terrestrial Section Manager in 2001. Prior to that he served 12 years as the Chief of the Division of Wildlife Resources for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. He began his career in 1979 as a District Wildlife Manager for what was then known as the Illinois Department of Conservation. He has a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Zoology (wildlife emphasis) from Southern Illinois University and a Master's Degree in Environmental Biology from Eastern Illinois University.
Cory Chick, Southwest Region Manager
Brett Ackerman, Southeast Region Manager
Ackerman joined the former Colorado Division of Wildlife in 2000 as a District Wildlife Manager patrolling the Rifle area after working for a private environmental engineering firm and for the National Park Service following his graduation from Brigham Young University in Utah. In 2005, he became CPW’s Regulations Manager based in Denver and spent a decade directing the state’s parks and wildlife regulations program, serving as the primary author of parks and wildlife law. He also attended the University of Colorado, earning a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in environmental policy, management and law. In 2014, he became Deputy Southeast Region Manager where he managed the regional land use, energy, water, education, volunteer, and engineering programs and a multimillion-dollar annual budget.Ackerman lives in Monument with his wife, Tara, and their five children.
JT Romatzke, Northwest Region Manager
JT Romatzke graduated from Northern Arizona University before beginning his career in 1998 with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, where he worked in fisheries. In 2002, he entered into the District Wildlife Manager ranks and spent two years in Eagle. He then transferred to the Parachute district and worked closely with the oil and gas industry and ensured wildlife management was a high priority. In 2008, Mr. Romatzke promoted to Area Wildlife Manager in Grand Junction. Romatzke was awarded the Public Service Award in 2015 by the Colorado Cattlemans Association. He was also awarded the Association of Midwest Fish and Wildlife Officers law enforcement officer of the year. In 2017, Mr. Romatzke joined the Leadership Team as the Northwest Regional Manager.
Mark Leslie, Northeast Region Manager
Mark is a Colorado native, born in Boulder and raised in Fruita. Mark holds degrees in Geology and Wildlife Biology and was hired by the Division of Wildlife in 1986 as a District Wildlife Manager. His first assignment was the La Junta District, followed by Fort Collins. In 1998, Mark promoted to the Statewide Game Damage/Commercial Park Coordinator position. In 2002, he promoted to the Area Wildlife Manager position in the Loveland/Boulder area, followed again by Fort Collins in 2008. In 2015, Mark promoted to the Deputy Regional Manager for the Northeast Region managing the capital and trails program. In May of 2016, he promoted to the Northeast Regional Manager position in Denver. When he is not working, Mark enjoys hiking, hunting, fishing, camping and playing music.