Longtime CPW Wildlife Official Frank McGee Chosen to Lead Southeast Region

Description: Frank McGee / Courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Published: 05/24/2023
Byline: SECO News

Longtime CPW wildlife official Frank McGee chosen to lead Southeast Region

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Frank McGee, whose nearly 20-year career with Colorado Parks and Wildlife has included leading the agency’s busy Pikes Peak area team of wildlife officers and then overseeing law enforcement training for all new wildlife officers and park rangers, has been appointed CPW’s new Southeast Region Manager.

McGee begins his new role on June 1. The appointment was announced Monday by new CPW Director Jeff Davis who lauded McGee’s depth of experience and his history of reaching out to people of diverse backgrounds to bring them into CPW to enjoy its recreation opportunities.

“Frank has shown a history of continually challenging himself and seeking ways to improve our service to our customers,” Davis said. “I also value the willingness Frank has shown to challenge the status quo and to demonstrate a vision for what might be. He has shown the courage to take CPW out of its comfort zone. That’s the kind of leadership I value.”

McGee has led CPW to reach out to non-traditional outdoor recreation customers. He launched an “Outdoors Wilderness Lab” for 6th grade students in Grand Junction that grew into an independent school.

In Colorado Springs, he founded Get Outdoors Day, an annual festival attracting 5,000 or so each year to learn about outdoor activities. McGee also created the Rookie Sportspersons Program in which his team mentored newcomers to the outdoors.

He has immersed himself in international conservation organizations, even hosting a Namibian wildlife officer and then visiting Africa as part of an exchange program focused on combating poaching worldwide.

McGee also led an overhaul of some internal CPW operations such as developing computer apps to digitize and streamline CPW’s collection of wildlife data including bear and mountain lion conflicts. His goal was to make CPW more transparent to the public by providing real-time statistics and outcomes of conflicts. He also implemented a new field training program for new officers and updated CPW hiring processes, which reduced barriers for potential new hires, broadened the candidate pool significantly, and helped the agency hire the largest class of new officers ever. 

“As we continue to navigate this transitional time as a CPW community, I will be relying heavily on the members of our executive team to exercise the courage to hold steady in the face of discomfort, and to always move with purpose,” Davis said.

The promotion is a homecoming for McGee, 41, who was Area Wildlife Manager based in Colorado Springs from 2014-21 before spending the past two years as CPW’s Statewide Manager of Law Enforcement Training based in Denver. McGee started his CPW career in 2004 as a wildlife officer based in Grand Junction.

As one of four CPW regional managers, McGee will oversee wildlife officers from Leadville to Trinidad to Burlington including Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Salida, Canon City and Lamar. In addition, he will direct management on eight state parks and serve on the CPW statewide leadership team.

“I look forward to helping CPW’s staff, customers and constituents navigate the challenging issues facing Colorado in recreation and natural resource management,” McGee said. “I’m honored to be selected to work with a team of dedicated and talented staff in the Southeast Region. We will work hard to serve the citizens of this state and conserve its natural resources so that Coloradans can always continue to live life outside.”

McGee lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Christy, and their two children.

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