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Montana Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Applicants

Know a Montana rancher, farmer or forester who goes above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2020 Montana Leopold Conservation Award®.

Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 20 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Montana, the $10,000 award is presented with the Office of Governor Steve Bullock, Montana Department of Agriculture, and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s Rangeland Resources Committee.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes landowners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private, working land. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.

Nominations may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. The application is found at:

Applications must be postmarked by March 15, 2020 and mailed to:

Leopold Conservation Award


1539 11th Ave. P.O. Box 201601

Helena, MT 59620

Applications are reviewed by an independent panel of agricultural and conservation leaders.

“Too often we take for granted the remarkable contributions our state’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners make to help sustain the landscapes and values we care deeply about as Montanans,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “I am delighted to partner with the Sand County Foundation to again bring the Leopold Conservation Award to Montana to recognize a few of our exceptional working lands leaders and I look forward to their stories inspiring neighbors and generations to come with an ethic of thoughtful management and environmental stewardship.”

“Leopold Conservation Award recipients are at the forefront of a movement by America’s farmers and ranchers to simultaneously achieve economic and environmental success,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer. “The award inspires other landowners by example and provides a platform for agricultural leaders to be recognized as conservation ambassadors by the general public.”

The first Montana Leopold Conservation Award was presented earlier this year to Bill and Dana Milton of Roundup.

The 2019 Montana Leopold Conservation Award was made possible through the generous support of the Office of Governor Steve Bullock, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s Rangeland Resources Committee, Montana Department of Agriculture, Sand County Foundation, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Sibanye-Stillwater, World Wildlife Fund, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bayer Crop Science, Montana Farm Bureau Federation, Montana Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, Montana Weed Control Association, Ranchers Stewardship Alliance, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Society for Range Management – Northern Great Plains Section, Western Landowners Alliance, and The Wildlife Society of Montana.

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The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. Sand County Foundation presents the award in California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont).


Sand County Foundation inspires and enables a growing number of private landowners to ethically manage natural resources in their care, so future generations have clean and abundant water, healthy soil to support agriculture and forestry, plentiful habitat for wildlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation.