The Colorado Natural Areas Council was created by the Natural Areas Act of 1977, and renewed in 2004. The advisory council provides advice on program administration and approves the designation of natural areas. For more information, check out the Council News link.
CNAP Council Members
Jill Ozarski (Chair) – Governor Appointee
Jill Ozarski is the Natural Resources Policy Advisor for U.S. Senator Mark Udall. Jill serves as the Senator’s primary policy advisor for public lands and natural resource conservation issues, including wilderness and forest health. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts, the umbrella organization uniting 60 not-for-profit land trusts and local government open space programs, and was a leader is reforming the state’s cutting-edge conservation easement tax credit program. She has also worked for The Wilderness Society and The Nature Conservancy. For fun, she enjoys exploring public lands across the country, travel, and volunteering as a mentor for Team In Training triathletes. She received her Masters of Public Policy and Masters of Environmental Management degrees from Duke University in 2001. Appointed 2010
Bruce A. Schumacher (Vice-chair) – Governor Appointee
Bruce is a regional paleontologist with the USDA Forest Service. Bruce serves as an adjunct curator with the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Kansas, and a research associate with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Although devoted to resource planning and management of paleontological resources, Bruce continues to undertake geological research of Cretaceous age marine rocks and fossils. He earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in geology from Fort Hays State University (Hays, KS) and the South Dakota School of Mines, respectively.
Renée Rondeau – Governor Appointee
Renée leads the newly formed Conservation Planning team at the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, housed within Colorado State University. Renée recently completed a 5-year appointment as the Director of the Colorado Natural Heritage Program and prior to that, she was a field ecologist for the program. Renée completed her B.S. and M.S. in Botany from University of Florida and Arizona, respectively. Renée has been involved on conservation planning projects with non-profit groups, e.g., The Nature Conservancy, State Agencies, and federal and local government over the last 5 years. She has seen these efforts result in on-the-ground conservation that resulted in protecting over 1 million acres of priority conservation areas. Renée is also the lead on Colorado's Biodiversity Scorecard, a project designed to measure Colorado's conservation status in partnership with The Nature Conservancy's measures program. This project recently won NatureServe's Conservation Achievement Award.
Michele ("Mike") Bloom - Representative of the Board of Land Commissioners
Dean Emeritus of The Women's College of the University of Denver, Mike is an educator with over 40 years of experience in higher education and K-12 public education. Mike has served on a number of Advisory Committees and Boards of Directors including the Mental Health Association of Colorado, Girls Count, Colorado Springs Public Schools, the Denver Foundation, and the Rose Foundation. Mike and her husband Steve have lived in Colorado for almost 40 years. She is an avid birder and has traveled extensively throughout Colorado, the US and 22 foreign countries to watch and study birds and their natural habitats. They share their love of the natural world and a commitment to conservation with their three sons and three grandsons.
Tom Nesler– Governor Appointee
Tom Nesler is a 33+ year veteran of the Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Parks and Wildlife). He retired in October 2010 but continues working part-time for the Division on native fish conservation planning. Tom received a BS in Fisheries from CSU and an MS from Iowa State in Limnology/Fisheries. He worked as an aquatic wildlife researcher, aquatic conservation program specialist, and statewide manager for wildlife conservation. He represented Colorado in, and chaired eight multi-state, multi-agency regional recovery/conservation committees from 1991-2010. Tom lives with his wife Karen in Fort Collins and looks after three grown daughters, one grand-daughter, and one springer spaniel when not fishing or hunting or otherwise goofing off.
Dorothea Farris - Governor Appointee
Dorothea is a Consultant and Community Liaison for Heartland Environmental Services in Carbondale, having previously worked as the Pitkin County Commissioner for 12 years. She serves on numerous nonprofit Boards and Committees including the Roaring Fork Valley Sierra Club, Thompson Divide Coalition, and West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway Committee. Dorothea earned a B.A. at the University of Colorado, Boulder and has completed graduate level coursework at a number of colleges and universities. She has written numerous professional and historical articles as well as some fiction. Dorothea is grateful and honored for her numerous recognitions for public service following her work with the Aspen School Discrict, the Colorado Association of School Boards, Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners, and many more.
Michelle Zimmerman – Representative of the Parks and Wildlife Commission
Michelle Zimmerman is the vice president of operations for Innovative Energy in Breckenridge. A former ski instructor and wildland firefighter, Zimmerman is a graduate of the University of Denver. She spent eight years in land conservation and was previously the executive director of both the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project in Denver and the Rincon Institute in Tucson.
Zimmerman is a member of numerous renewable energy and conservation groups and currently serves on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Habitat Stamp Committee.