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DLNR NEWS RELEASE: Long-time DLNR manager picked to lead Division of State Parks

Posted on Oct 8, 2015 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

(HONOLULU) – Curt Cottrell, a 25-year-long employee of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, has been chosen as the next Administrator for the DLNR Division of State Parks.  He replaces Dan Quinn, another veteran manager, who recently retired.

Curt Cottrell Photo 1DLNR Chairperson Suzanne Case said, “Curt’s selection to lead State Parks capitalizes on a long list of accomplishments and experience, as he has worked in a variety of capacities since joining DLNR in 1991.  He has developed a deep understanding of policy, regulation, and  community engagement through the years. I’m delighted Curt will build on the leadership   created by his mentor, former State Parks Administrator Dan Quinn.”

Cottrell started as the Oʻahu trails and access specialist in the Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s (DOFAW) Nā Ala Hele Trails and Access Program.  In 1995, Cottrell was promoted to become the Statewide Nā Ala Hele trails and access program manager in DOFAW’s Outdoor Recreation Section.  Then in 2009 he took on the job of Assistant Administrator for the Division of State Parks.  In that role he launched a series of initiatives to increase Division of State Parks revenue from a variety of new and existing sources, such as the new interpretive and merchandising kiosk at Diamond Head State Monument. Cottrell was involved in numerous and often complex policy and legal matters aimed at protecting and preserving park resources around Hawaiʻi.  In 2010 Cottrell was recognized as the DLNR Departmental Manager of the Year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACottrell’s work mirrors his personal avocations.  Cottrell said, “My leisure activities keep me  centered and connected to Hawaii’s unique and diverse outdoor environment, and include   cycling, kayaking, trail running and outrigger canoe paddling.   I am passionate about fostering in my kids (two daughters) and future generations, a sense of appreciation for Hawaii’s natural and cultural resources that are really exemplified in Hawaii’s state trails and parks.   It is a rare  privilege to now be in a leading stewardship position to care for parklands that encompass Hawaii’s most unique and precious natural and cultural resources.”

Cottrell first came to Hawaiʻi in 1983 immediately after college, to backpack in Hawaii’s national and state parks.  He then settled in Hāna, Maui, where he worked as a private estate caretaker, export nursery foreman, construction worker and cross country coach for Hāna High School.  Before joining DLNR he worked at the Hawaiʻi State Legislature as the clerk for the Committee on Planning, Energy and Environmental Protection.


Cottrell has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography with a minor in Planning from California State   University at Chico.


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Two Photographs Attached

(Curt Cottrell hiking)

(Curt Cottrell Google Earth mapping the Kaiwi coast)