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New England Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees

Are you a New England farmer or forestland owner improving soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat on your working land? Apply for the 2023 New England Leopold Conservation Award®.

Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 25 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In New England the $10,000 award is presented with, New England Forestry Foundation and Wildlands Woodlands Farmlands & Communities.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes landowners who inspire others with their dedication to soil health, water quality and wildlife habitat 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 in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Landowners may also nominate themselves. The application can be found at www.sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA.

The application deadline date is July 18, 2023. Email applications to award@sandcountyfoundation.org. Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of agricultural and forestry conservation leaders.

“As a 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.”

“Recipients of this award are examples of how Aldo Leopold’s land ethic is alive and well today. Their dedication to conservation shows how individuals can improve the health of the land while producing food and fiber,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO.

“The Leopold Conservation Award process is always an exciting way to discover what remarkable and sustainable natural-resource management is taking place on New England’s working farms and forests,” said Bob Perschel, New England Forestry Foundation Executive Director. “This year I will be interested to see the progress our region’s stewards are making on climate mitigation and adaptation”

The New England Leopold Conservation Award is made possible through the generous support of American Farmland Trust, New England Forestry Foundation, Wildlands Woodlands Farmlands & Communities, Sand County Foundation, Farm Credit East, David and Ann Ingram, and Yale School of the Environment.

The first New England Leopold Conservation Award was presented in 2019. John and Carolyn Wheeler’s Wheel-View Farm of Shelburne, Vermont received the award last year.

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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, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, 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

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

NEW ENGLAND FORESTRY FOUNDATION

At the core of New England Forestry Foundation’s work stands the belief that both conserving forestland and practicing sustainable forestry are essential to preserving the beauty, prosperity, wildlife habitats, and unique character of our region for future generations. Our approach strives to serve and unite people and organizations across the region to support the long-term health of New England’s forests, and to guarantee their continued environmental, recreational, and economic benefits for all New Englanders. https://newenglandforestry.org/

SAND COUNTY FOUNDATION

Sand County Foundation inspires and empowers 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

WILDLANDS WOODLANDS FARMLANDS & COMMUNITIES

Wildlands Woodlands Farmlands & Communities is an ambitious vision for New England that is rooted in science and is focused on securing a healthier, more livable planet for all. The WWF&C vision calls on the region to conserve 70 percent of New England as forests and at least 7 percent as farmland. It is being advanced by a wide range of partners and committed individuals and organizations, including WWF&C co-leaders, Highstead and The Harvard Forest, Harvard University. www.wildlandsandwoodlands.org

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