News & Publications

Colorado Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees

Nominations are now being accepted for the Leopold Conservation Award® honoring agricultural landowners in Colorado who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources.

Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 21 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Colorado, the $10,000 award is presented with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the prestigious 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 can be found at www.sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA.

The application deadline date is February 1, 2021. Applications can be emailed to maggie@ccalt.org. If mailed, applications must be postmarked by February 1, and mailed to:

Leopold Conservation Award

c/o Colorado Cattlemen’s Association

8833 Ralston Road

Arvada, CO 80002-2239.

“The Leopold Conservation Award not only highlights the positive influences agriculture has on the environment, our communities, and our economy, but also showcases the heritage of natural resource stewardship on working landscapes to broad audiences,” said Janie VanWinkle, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association president.

“Recipients of this award are real life examples of conservation-minded agriculture,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer. “These hard-working families are essential to our environment, food system and rural economy.”

“As the national sponsor for Sand County Foundation’s Leopold Conservation Award, American Farmland Trust celebrates the hard work and dedication of farmers, ranchers and forestland owners,” said John Piotti, AFT president and CEO. “At AFT we believe that conservation in agriculture requires a focus on the land, the practices and the people and this award recognizes the integral role of all three.”

The Leopold Conservation Award Program in Colorado is made possible thanks to the generous partnership and support of American Farmland Trust, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Assoc., USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Sand County Foundation, The Gates Family Foundation, The Stanko Ranch, American AgCredit, McDonald’s, The Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, and The Nature Conservancy.

The first Colorado Leopold Conservation Award recipient, Capps Ranch of Walsenburg, was selected in 2003. Collins Ranch of Kit Carson received the award in 2020.

# # #

LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD PROGRAM

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, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont). www.leopoldconservationaward.org

SAND COUNTY FOUNDATION

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. www.sandcountyfoundation.org

AMERICAN FARMLAND TRUST

American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through its No Farms, No Food message. Since its founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and supported thousands of farm families. www.farmland.org

COLORADO CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION

As the only organization exclusively representing the state's more than 12,000 beef producers, CCA serves members by speaking out on behalf of Colorado's beef producers and landowners to state and national legislators, agencies, media and consumers. The association is primarily funded through voluntary membership dues contributed by its members. coloradocattle.org

COLORADO CATTLEMEN’S AGRICULTURAL LAND TRUST

Recognizing the need to help Colorado’s ranching and farming families protect their agricultural lands, in the face of growing development and economic pressures, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association in 1995 formed the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT). To date, CCALT has partnered with hundreds of ranching families in the protection of more than 565,000 acres. ccalt.org

TRI-STATE GENERATION & TRANSMISSION ASSOCIATION

Tri-State Generation & Transmission Assn. is a wholesale electric power supplier owned by the 43 electric cooperatives and public power districts it serves. Tri State Generation & Transmission Assoc. generates and transports electricity to its member systems across Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. tristategt.org

USDA NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE (NRCS)

NRCS is a federal agency committed to helping private landowners care and make healthy choices for the land and water, while using them productively. Through voluntary incentive-based programs, the NRCS works directly with farmers, ranchers, forest owners and other land stewards to provide technical expertise and financial assistance to make conservation work on private lands. www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/co/home/

expand_less