Governor Polis Announces Jeff Davis as New Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

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April 6, 2023

DENVER -- Governor Jared Polis announced today the hiring of Jeff Davis as the new Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). Jeff Davis comes with 25 years of experience in wildlife management, conservation and habitat protection, most recently as Director of Conservation for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife where he has served the program in multiple capacities for the past 22 years.  

“Jeff Davis brings the values and skills we need to lead Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Our state parks and healthy wild ecosystems are a key part of what makes Colorado special. I’ve been thrilled to add two additional state parks since I became governor, reduce the cost of an annual state park pass from $80 to $29, and look forward to redoubling our work to expand outdoor recreation opportunities and support healthy ecosystems and Jeff Davis is the right person to move Colorado forward,” said Governor Jared Polis. 

Jeff has been with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife since 2000. He has served as an Area Habitat Biologist, a Forest and Fish Section Manager,

Photo of Jeff Davis Colorado Parks and Wildlife Director

the Deputy Assistant Director and the Assistant Director of WDFW’s Habitat Program.  As the Director of Conservation Policy since 2020 Jeff has led salmon recovery, served on the Forest Practices Board, and coordinates interdisciplinary internal teams on a variety of conservation initiatives.  Jeff has extensive experience working with leadership, legislators, Tribal Nations, the hunting and fishing community, conservation groups, and Washington’s Fish and Wildlife Commission. 

In his previous role as Habitat Program Director, he crafted legislation and regulatory approaches to habitat and biodiversity conservation, engaged in climate

resiliency, sustainability and land use/management issues.  Jeff led efforts to reform and improve agency engagement with a diverse public, championed internal diversity and equity priorities and successfully navigated complex budget and personnel issues. 

“I am extremely excited that Jeff has agreed to lead Colorado Parks and Wildlife.  We were fortunate to have many qualified candidates but Jeff’s extensive experience helping to manage a large organization, his knowledge of wildlife and recreation issues, his commitment to diversity and inclusivity within and outside his organization and passion for hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation made Jeff an ideal fit,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “Jeff’s unique and complementary skill-set will help him hit the job running starting in May. He will be joining one of the nation’s premier wildlife agencies with a world-class park and state wildlife area system and highly dedicated and committed employees.”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s mission is to “perpetuate the wildlife resources of the state, to provide a quality state parks system, and to provide enjoyable and sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities that educate and inspire current and future generations to serve as active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources.” CPW fulfills its mission and provides the public with outdoor recreation opportunities as one of the largest recreation and conservation grant funders, including the new Outdoor Equity and Outdoor Regional Partnership Grants, through 42 State Parks and more than 300 State Wildlife Areas.

 “It has been such an honor to work with the professionals at Washington Division of Fish and Wildlife and conserving fish and wildlife in my home state,” Jeff Davis said.  “Washington State faces similar issues as Colorado of balancing outdoor recreation and wildlife management, species introduction and other wildlife management and habitat issues.  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.  Also, as a lifelong hunter, angler, and outdoor enthusiast, I am also excited to explore a new corner of the West and enjoy Colorado’s unparalleled outdoor recreation and hunting and fishing opportunities.”

“Jeff Davis broadly and consistently impressed the various stakeholder groups and members of the Commission as he made his way through the search process. He recognizes the multi-faceted nature of the CPW Director role and the inclusive culture-building leadership needed at the helm of CPW," said Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, Chair, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission. “The Commission looks forward to welcoming him and his family to Colorado and committing our attention and support to his success at a very critical time for the agency.” 

Jeff Davis received his BS in Biology, Wildlife Management from Central Washington University.  Jeff also attended University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, where he studied Wildlife Management. Jeff has a deep passion for the outdoors. He is an avid outdoor recreationist and strongly believes in conserving nature for future generations to enjoy. 

Jeff Davis' start date is May 1, 2023. 




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