Rick Cables, Regional Forester for the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Region, has been named the director of the newly created Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife.
Cables will oversee the new division and its 880 employees beginning in July. The new division unites the existing Colorado Division of Wildlife and Colorado State Parks, a merger approved by state lawmakers and signed into law June 6 by Governor John Hickenlooper.
“Rick Cables brings an accomplished career of conservation success, much of it in the West, to this critical role leading our new Parks and Wildlife division,” said Mike King, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “We are fortunate to have a person with his conservation values, management talent and wealth of experience with western landscapes taking the helm of this new agency.”
“I feel privileged to be joining the remarkable professionals of the newly created Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife,” Cables said. “Their passion, professionalism and dedication to Colorado’s wildlife and state parks make our wonderful state even more special. I’m very excited to pursue this new challenge. To my friends in the U.S. Forest Service, an agency that I love, I thank you for the experience and look forward to advancing Colorado’s conservation heritage.”
Cables has been the Regional Forester of the Rocky Mountain Region since 2001. As Regional Forester he has been responsible for the administration of over 22 million acres in 17 national forests and 7 national grasslands, and cooperative efforts with state and private landowners in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and eastern Wyoming.
A Pueblo native, Cables graduated from Northern Arizona University Forestry School in 1976. After serving on several National Forests in New Mexico and Arizona, he served two years in the Washington Office before he was selected to attend the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1989-1990.
In 1990 Cables was promoted to Forest Supervisor of the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire and Maine. In 1995 he became the Forest Supervisor of the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Comanche and Cimarron National Grasslands in Colorado and Kansas.
Before becoming Regional Forester of the Rocky Mountain Region, Cables was Regional Forester of the Alaska Region, covering the Tongass and Chugach National Forests.
Rick and wife, Cindy, have three children; Stewart, Wesley and Natalie.