East Hawaii News

Cottrell Named to DLNR State Parks Post

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The Department of Land and Natural Resources has chosen Curt Cottrell, a 25-year veteran of the department, as the next Administrator for the DLNR Division of State Parks.

Cottrell will replace former manager of the division, Dan Quinn, who recently retired.

“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,” said DLNR Chairperson Suzanne Case. “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.”

Cotrell began with DLNR as the O’ahu trails and access specialist in the Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s Nā Ala Hele Trails and Access Program. In 1995, he was promoted to become the Statewide Nā Ala Hele Trails and Access Program manager in DOFAW’s Outdoor Recreation Section.

Curt Cottrell hiking. DLNR photo.

Curt Cottrell. DLNR photo.


Later, Cottrell took the job of Assistant Administrator for the Division of State Parks, where 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.

In 2010, Cottrell was recognized as the DLNR Departmental Manager of the Year.

“My leisure activities keep me centered and connected to Hawai’i’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 Hawai’i’s natural and cultural resources that are really exemplified in Hawai’i’s state trails and parks.   It is a rare privilege to now be in a leading stewardship position to care for parklands that encompass Hawai’i’s most unique and precious natural and cultural resources.”


Before his work with DLNR, Cottrell worked at the Hawai’i State Legislature as the clerk for the Committee on Planning, Energy, and Environmental Protection.

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