Colorado Parks and Wildlife announces Washington conservation head as next director

Hart Van Denberg/CPR News
Visitors to Estes Park on Saturday, October 23, 2021, were able to see a herd of elk at very close quarters.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s new director will be making a move from the Puget Sound to the Rocky Mountains. 

Jeff Davis, who most recently worked as the Director of Conservation for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, was named as CPW’s new director Thursday by Governor Jared Polis. He’ll be leaving Washington after a 20-year career. 

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

“Washington State faces similar issues as Colorado of balancing outdoor recreation and wildlife management, species introduction and other wildlife management and habitat issues,” Davis said in a statement. “But I look forward to engaging with all of the key stakeholders in Colorado and I’m excited to lead a new team and learn more of CPW’s challenges while building on their extensive successes.”

The agency Davis will oversee is responsible for Colorado’s 42 state parks and over 300 state wildlife areas. It issues hunting and fishing licenses, manages the wildlife, and conducts research to study and protect local ecosystems

Davis' first day in charge will be May 1, according to CPW.

CPW has been searching for a new director since November, when Dan Prenzlow, its former leader, retired after a three-year stint as the agency’s head.

Prenzlow’s retirement came while he was on administrative leave, stemming from an investigation into comments a Black employee considered racist. A third-party investigation into his tenure found he created an unhealthy workplace.