Colorado Parks and Wildlife Acting Director
Heather Disney Dugan
Heather Disney Dugan is Acting Director for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. During her 30-year career, she has had the good fortune to serve in several roles, including as a ranger, training officer, park manager, assistant region manager, region manager, and most recently as the Assistant Region Manager for Field Services and Chief of Law Enforcement. Born in Colorado, she grew up as a free-range outdoor kid. Heather earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology in 1992. She has served as a member of the National Association of Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs Executive Board since 2017 and is currently its president. Heather and her husband have three active children. Heather and her family enjoy the diverse outdoor experiences Colorado has to offer, including hunting, fishing, hiking, paddleboarding, camping, mountain biking and skiing.
Reid DeWalt, Assistant Director for Aquatic, Terrestrial and Natural Resources
Reid DeWalt is the Assistant Director for Wildlife and Natural Resources for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 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.
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. 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.
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
After working for nearly 20 years at a variety of positions for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Cory Chick was named Southwest Region Manager in February 2019. A native of Texas, Cory served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps before joining CPW in the late 1990s. He started his career working as a technician in the aquatics section in the San Luis Valley. While working for CPW he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology with an emphasis on wildlife from Adams State University in Alamosa. Following college graduation in 2004, he was selected for CPW’s wildlife officer academy. In 2005, he started working in Kit Carson on the eastern plains as a district wildlife officer. After six years he was promoted to Area Wildlife Manager in Colorado Springs where he served for more than three years. He was then promoted and served as Manager for the Licenses, Passes and Reservations section for three years. “I’ve been fortunate to work at a range of positions for CPW to learn all aspects of the agency. I’m happy to be working again with field staff in the beautiful Southwest Region.”
Mitchell Martin, Southeast Deputy Regional Manager
Mitchell Martin received an Administration of Justice degree from Butler County Community College and a BS in Park Resource Management from Kansas State University. After completing an internship with Eleven Mile State Park and obtaining his degree from KSU, he moved to Colorado permanently and was hired on full time with CPW in 2001. Mitch spent 5 years working in the NE Region at Cherry Creek and Castlewood Canyon State Parks. He then transferred to the SE Region as the Senior Ranger at Lake Pueblo and later the Park Manager at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Most recently in 2021, Mitch was promoted to SE Deputy Regional Manager. He is married and has three sons.
Travis Black, Northwest Region Manager
Travis went into the US Army right out of high school and served four years of active duty. He then returned home to Texas where he worked on a farm and ranch for six years. He moved to Colorado in 1994 to attend college. Travis started work for the agency part-time while attending college at Gunnison, Colorado in various positions (Pitkin Hatchery, Snowshoe hare surveys for lynx reintroduction, etc.). He graduated with a degree in biology in December 1998. He was hired full-time as a District Wildlife Manager in 1999 in the Kit Carson district. Travis was promoted to Area Wildlife Manager in 2004 in Area 12/Lamar where he served for 15 years. In 2019, Travis was promoted to the Deputy Regional Manager position in the Southeast Region.
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.
Kristin Cannon, Northeast Deputy Regional Manager
Kristin Cannon grew up in the Evergreen/Conifer area and received her Biology and Environmental Studies degree from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. After serving in the Peace Corps in Morocco and working in Utah and Alaska she returned to Colorado and began working for the Division of Wildlife in 2007 as a Chronic Wasting Disease Technician. In 2008 Kristin was hired full-time as a District Wildlife Manager and was assigned to the Boulder North District. From there she worked as the Area Wildlife Manager and Deputy Regional Manager for the Northeast Region.
Rebecca Ferrell, Branding and Communications Section Manager
Rebecca Ferrell is the Branding and Communications Section Manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, currently serving as an Acting Assistant Director for Information and Education. In this role, Rebecca oversees statewide marketing and communications programs for CPW, as well as providing guidance for the Outdoor Equity Grant Program, the Regional Partnerships Initiative, and the Philanthropy program. Rebecca joined CPW in 2017, bringing her years of experience in public relations, retail marketing, email marketing and website development to the agency. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science in Management from Walsh College. Away from the office, you may find Rebecca on the trails of Colorado, at a long-reserved campsite, seeing a show at Red Rocks, or being walked through Lakewood by her dog, Mitch.
Ty Petersburg, Assistant Chief of Law Enforcement
After receiving a bachelor's degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University, Ty joined the Colorado Division of Wildlife in 2002 as a Wildlife Officer and District Wildlife Manager. While in the field, he held districts in Conifer and later, Clear Creek County, until late in 2015. In 2016, he began serving as the Area Wildlife Manager in Area 4, supervising CPW's Northern Colorado office in Fort Collins, covering most of Larimer and Weld counties along the Wyoming border. In 2020, he moved into the Assistant Chief of Law Enforcement role based out of Denver, where he has been managing CPW's Investigations Unit, Operation Game Thief and other Law Enforcement Programs in the Field Services Branch. Since May 2022, Ty has served as the Acting Assistant Director of Field Services and Chief of Law Enforcement, covering training, investigations, registrations, records and trails. A native of Rio Blanco County, Ty is a lifelong Colorado resident and sneaks into the backcountry with his family to hunt, fish and camp at every opportunity- rain or shine.