Gun owners, hunters, fishers, wildlife enthusiasts and all who otherwise enjoy the great outdoors should applaud the recent appointment Dan Prenzlow as new Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
“I am extremely pleased that Dan Prenzlow has agreed to lead Colorado Parks and Wildlife,” said Governor Jared Polis. “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.”
The governor's statement cannot be taken as a ceremonial platitude. Prenzlow, a Colorado native who grew up in Colorado Springs, has served as the agency’s southeast region manager since 2005. His accomplishments speak for themselves.
Having celebrated Father’s Day Sunday, it is worth noting who inspired Prenzlow. His father, Ed Prenzlow, was a research biologist who went to work for the old Division of Wildlife. He rose through the ranks to become deputy director and acting director of the agency before retiring in the early '90s.
The Gazette’s editorial board has watched Dan Prenzlow work on multiple initiatives of substance, including improvements to the Manitou Incline. Prenzlow helped secure grants to build 30 safe shooting ranges since 2010. He successfully advocated for Fishing is Fun grants and helped the area land money for 23 projects — including the opening of the South Slope reservoirs.
Prenzlow has helped everyone who plays outdoors, along with the handful who do not. In addition to building and improving recreation amenities, Prenzlow advocates for life-saving wildlife fencing and corridors that nearly eliminate highway collisions that kill wildlife and humans. He helped advocate for fencing and corridors as part of the widening of I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock. As a result, big game will migrate through underpasses instead of trying to cross busy traffic lanes.
Prenzlow has improved the health of deer and bear populations working with local governments to reduce car conflicts and illnesses caused by poorly managed trash.
Most notably, Prenzlow played a major role in saving our community’s forested mountain backdrop from an invasion of Tussock moths. When neighborhood and business leaders in the mountain forests found no assistance from the U.S. Forest Service, Dan Prenzlow rose to the occasion. He coordinated a tree-saving attack on the moths that pooled resources of the Broadmoor, City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and El Pomar. He even helped convince the Forest Service to assist in the effort.
Prenzlow will lead Parks and Wildlife with vision, passion, and knowledge. His appointment is a win for all of Colorado.