Colorado Parks and Wildlife names regional manager

J.T. Romatzke
J.T. Romatzke

J.T. Romatzke has taken over as northwest regional manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Romatzke succeeds Ron Velarde, who retired in June after 47 years with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the last 17 leading the northwest region headquartered in Grand Junction.

“This is one of the biggest honors a staff member can be given,” Romatzke said. “Colorado Parks and Wildlife is one of the most respected natural resource management agencies in the nation, and being offered a leadership role of this capacity is truly humbling. I look forward to the challenge.”

Prior to his promotion, Romatzke worked as an area wildlife manager for Mesa and Garfield counties, a role he’d held since 2008. He’s has also been involved in developing the shooting range and education complex at  Cameo.

Romatzke joined what was at that time the Colorado Division of Wildlife in 1998 as a part of the Colorado State University Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, earning his commission as a district wildlife manager in 2002.

In 2015, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association named Romatzke its public servant of the year. The same year, the Association of Midwest Fish and Game Law Enforcement Officers selected him as officer of the year.

“Throughout his career, J.T. has shown strong leadership skills and dedication to this agency and its mission,” said Bob Broscheid, director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Broscheid  also thanked Velarde for 47 years of service to the agency. “I can’t overstate the huge impact Ron made on this agency. His wisdom and experience will be missed. Fortunately, we have great people like J.T. to step into these leadership roles as we continue to meet the challenges of managing our wildlife and our state parks for future generations.”