Colorado DNR Announces New Staff: Tribal Liaison and Assistant Director for Parks, Wildlife and Lands and Assistant Director for Energy Innovation

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DENVER -- The Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the addition of new staff members joining its Department to assist with its mission to manage and conserve Colorado’s natural resources.

New staff members include Tim Brass, Assistant Director for Parks, Wildlife and Lands, Stacy Coleman, Tribal Liaison and Aaron Ray, Assistant Director for Energy Innovation. While the Assistant Director for Assistant Director for Parks, Wildlife and Lands is an established position in DNR’s Executive Director's Office, the Tribal Liaison and the Assistant Director for Energy Innovation are new positions at the Department. 

“I am proud to welcome Tim, Stacy and Aaron to my team at the Department of Natural Resources,’ said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “Each fills key roles at the Department enabling us to meet new challenges and charges and forge deeper relationships with key stakeholders and our Tribal Nation partners in Colorado.”

“Tim Brass fills an important role in our Department as our primary liaison with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, federal land management and other recreation and wildlife related issues.  Tim comes with a fantastic background with built upon relationships in the conservation and hunting and fishing community and has hit the ground running at our Department. 

“I am particularly excited to also bring Stacy Coleman on board as our Tribal Liaison. It has been a priority of mine and the Governor to strengthen our relationships with Tribal Nations in Colorado. While DNR has always maintained closed Tribal relationships there are many areas we can more closely collaborate on, including wildlife management, oil and gas development, and water issues among many more. Stacy will also play a key role in staffing and supporting our Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board.  Stacy comes with extensive experience as a Tribal Liaison at the U.S. Department of Justice and we are so pleased to have her at DNR.”

“Aaron Ray as our Assistant Director for Energy Innovation builds out our Department's increased role in energy development for the State of Colorado.  Aaron will be our primary liaison with the newly renamed Energy and Carbon Management Commission (formerly Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission) which in addition to its traditional role managing oil and gas development has added important new oversight to managing the geothermal energy development in Colorado and investigating the potential for underground carbon storage. We are lucky to have Aaron who has extensive state experience as Deputy Director for Policy in the Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting, and was a Program Examiner in the White House Office of Management and Budget with responsibility for Department of the Interior science, natural resources, and tribal programs.”

More background on each of DNR’s new employees: 

Photo of Tim Brass with shirt, blue blazer with a biege walls in background and a office plant

Tim Brass, Assistant Director for Parks, Wildlife and Lands.  For the past 15 years, Tim Brass has been working in the natural resource management and land use planning field including most recently as the State Policy & Field Operations Director for Backcountry Hunters and Anglers where he managed a team of 18 field staff members and supported volunteer chapter leaders from across North America in advancing the organization's conservation and policy work. Tim also spent time doing forestry, climate change and wildlife  field research work with the U.S. Forest Service, the National Ecological Observatory and the North American Shotgunning Education Program.       

The Assistant Director for Parks, Wildlife and Lands acts as a policy advisor to the Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife director regarding issues, legislation, and state and national policy developments in natural resources, parks, wildlife, trails, and outdoor recreation that impact Colorado.

Tim has a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point and an M.A. in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon.


Picture of Stacy Coleman, Tribal Liasion, with gray sweater/blouse with trees in the background

Stacy Coleman, Tribal Liaison, prior to her current role with DNR, for the past 15 years Stacy worked for the United States Department of Justice concurrently serving as Senior Counsel, Tribal Issues Coordinator, and the Law Clerk Program Coordinator (Denver Office) for the Environmental Enforcement Section (EES). Stacy has significant experience as a civil litigator specializing in complex environmental matters and working with federal and state agencies and tribal nations on a variety of enforcement matters arising from violations of federal environmental statutes. 

As a Colorado state agency, DNR interacts with Tribes on a government-to-government basis, coordinates with the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, and works to engage the American Indian/Alaska Native population throughout the state on issues related to natural resources. 

As DNR’s tribal liaison, and in collaboration with the Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs, Stacy will work across all DNR Divisions to support and build partnerships with Tribes and Native communities that are respectful and consistent with government-to-government relationships. This includes the facilitation of meaningful engagement and collaborative problem-solving with the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and Southern Ute Indian Tribe, as well as other Historic Tribes of Colorado, in a manner that respects tribal sovereignty, recognizes the importance of co-stewardship and cultural resources management.

Stacy holds a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies with Colorado State University and completed a joint J.D./Environmental Law & Policy Program with Northeastern University School of Law and Vermont Law School.


Picture of Aaron Ray with white shirt, beige jacket and forests in background

Aaron Ray, Assistant Director for Energy Innovation, prior to joining DNR, Aaron led the Energy Program at the National Conference of State Legislatures, served as Deputy Director for Policy in the Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting, and was a Program Examiner in the White House Office of Management and Budget with responsibility for Department of the Interior science, natural resources, and tribal programs. He teaches graduate environmental policy and management courses at the University of Denver and has served as a researcher at the Georgetown Climate Center and the Pew Research Center. 

As DNR’s new Assistant Director for Energy Innovation, is our primary staff liaison with the Energy and Carbon Management Commission, on energy issues with the State Land Board and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and leads the transition from traditional to renewable energy sources across the Department. 

Aaron holds a PhD in Political Science from American University, an MPP in Environmental and Regulatory Policy from Georgetown University, and an MA in Education from the University of New Mexico. He also worked as a high school history, government, and economics teacher on the Navajo Nation and in Washington, DC.


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