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Colorado Parks and Wildlife names new Southwest Regional Manager

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

You’ll have to pardon Colorado Parks and Wildlife employee Patt Dorsey if she seems a bit frazzled these days.

“It has definitely been a whirlwind for the past month,” Dorsey said.

On Friday, Feb. 1, Dorsey was officially selected as the new Southwest Regional Manager by Colorado Parks and Wildlife Director Rick Cables. Dorsey replaces Tom Spezze who retired last year. The announcement comes less than a month after Dorsey was named the 2012 Wildlife Officer of the Year in Colorado by Shikar-Safari Club International.

“We are thrilled to have Patt step up to this position,” said Cables. “She is well respected and has an impeccable reputation in the agency as well as in the Durango area.”

Dorsey’s new duties as regional manager begin almost immediately with her taking the reins of the region effective Monday, Feb. 4. As regional manager she will oversee state park and wildlife operations in the Durango, Montrose and Gunnison areas as well as the San Luis Valley. The Southwest Region is home to eight state parks — Crawford State Park, Lone Mesa State Park, Mancos State Park, Navajo State Park, Paonia State Park, Ridgway State Park, San Luis State Park and Sweitzer Lake State Park — as well as dozens of wildlife areas and some of the best big game hunting and fishing in the state.

“I’ve loved this part of the state for its rugged mountains and rich heritage for my entire life,” Dorsey said. “I’m honored that the next step in my career allows me to stay right where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to be doing.”

Dorsey has served as the area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the Durango area since 2003. As area wildlife manager, she supervised the local group of District Wildlife Managers and property technicians. Prior to coming to Durango, Dorsey coordinated the agency’s hunter education program. She began her work with Colorado Parks and Wildlife as a district wildlife manager in the Boulder area in 1991. Dorsey is a native of Loveland, Colo., and she graduated from Colorado State University in 1985 with a degree in wildlife biology.

Dorsey said she is looking forward to the job, especially because a highly qualified staff is already in place. “If I think about the job too much, the amazing responsibility of it can be a bit overwhelming, but I know that the Southwest Region is already staffed by an amazing group of people who are immensely passionate about protecting and preserving the amazing places and managing the plentiful wildlife in this part of the state. My job will be to make sure those people have the tools to keep doing the job they’re already doing and to have the sense to get out of the way.”

This story was posted on February 7, 2013.