Although the specifics within each category may vary slightly from state to state, these are the base criteria that are used by an independent panel of agricultural professionals in each state to evaluate each application for the Leopold Conservation Award.
The award seeks landowners who are knowledgeable of the natural resources that are in their care and manage them with long-term sustainability in mind. Their knowledge of current conditions influence management decisions.
The award seeks landowners who have a strong, personal self-interest in practicing good stewardship, either from a deep, ethical conviction or because they derive a majority of their income from the natural resources they manage.
The award seeks landowners who are highly involved in their communities.
The award seeks landowners whose land has benefited from current management, either due to active conservation improvements to the land or to current land use resulting in the conservation of existing resources.
The award seeks landowners who are willing to try new things, learn from their successes and failures, and adapt their management techniques as a consequence.
The award seeks landowners who use their land as a teaching tool to share good management strategies with others, such as management technique demonstration, hunter safety and education, media and/or community tours, conservation and restoration activity, and/or scientific endeavor.