City of Fort Collins Announces New Natural Areas Department Director

Katie Donahue

The City of Fort Collins is excited to announce the hiring of its new Natural Areas Department Director, Katie Donahue. The Natural Areas Director serves a vital leadership role, guiding a department that provides immense value to the community. With strategic and forward-thinking leadership that is centered on equity, Donahue will oversee the City’s network of 52 natural area sites encompassing 37,607 acres and a staff of over 50 responsible for stewarding these treasured conserved lands.

Since 2016, Katie Donahue has served as the District Ranger for the Canyon Lakes Ranger District on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland.  She started her career as an Economist for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, measuring inflation rates for nearly a decade before she followed the call of the outdoors and natural resources.  Her previous roles at the U.S. Forest Service include Program Manager for Recreation Fees and Business Planning and a District Ranger role on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Virginia.  Donahue has a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Economics from American University and a Masters of Public Management from the University of Maryland.  She spends her free time gardening and exploring Colorado with her husband and two kiddos on foot, bikes, and skis.

The Natural Areas Director reports to the Community Services Director. Community Services includes the Parks, Recreation, Natural Areas, Cultural Services, and Park Planning & Development departments.

Donahue will assume her new role this month. She replaces Zoe Shark who served as Interim Natural Areas Department Director since January of 2020. Shark will return to her former role as Public Engagement Manager.

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