Parks and Wildlife Director
Rick Cables, Director
Rick Cables is the first director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the agency created by the merger of Colorado State Parks and the Colorado Division of Wildlife in July, 2011. For the past year, he has overseen the formation of the new agency, whose nearly 900 employees manage resources that generate nearly $4 billion in economic activity each year.
Prior to joining the state, Rick enjoyed a distinguished career in the U.S. Forest Service including two assignments in Colorado. As the Regional Forester for the Rocky Mountain Region from 2001 to 2010, he managed more than 22 million acres in 17 national forests and seven national grasslands in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and eastern Wyoming. Cables promoted awareness that national forests provide economically significant water and recreation values in Colorado and nationally. His work led to groundbreaking forest management partnerships with Denver Water and Vail Resorts.
Earlier in his career, Rick served as Forest Supervisor of the Pike San-Isabel National Forest and Comanche and Cimarron National Grasslands in Colorado and Kansas. He has also served as Regional Forester in Alaska and Forest Supervisor of the White Mountain National Forest in northern New England.
A Pueblo native, Rick graduated from Northern Arizona University Forestry School in 1976. After several assignments with national forests in New Mexico and Arizona, he served two years in the Forest Service's Washington Office before being selected to attend the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Penn. in 1989-1990.
Rick and wife, Cindy, have three children, including two sons who share his love of elk hunting.
Visit our "Key Players" page for bios on other members of State Parks' leadership.