Utah 2011 Red Pine Land & Livestock Park City Leopold Conservation Award Recipient

While managing their 178,000 acres of land near Park City, Steve Osguthorpe and his family carry on a tradition of conservation and sustainable agriculture that Steve inherited from his father, D.A. “Doc” Osguthorpe.

“One thing my father taught us is if you have land, you leave it in better condition than you found it, for the benefit of the next generation,” Steve said. “Protecting the soil and watersheds, that’s been the focus of our farming operations, because we know that if we’re going to be in business tomorrow, we’ve got to take care of the land today.”

Red Pine Land & Livestock

When the Osguthorpes began working their land, primary income sources were livestock, crops, and wool. Although the family continues to run sheep and grow alfalfa, corn, barley, and oats, they have incorporated other sources of income. A forest land management plan has allowed the family to add timber sales.

The Osguthorpes added recreation income by changing their their land management strategy to include leasing about 1,000 acres to a ski resort for horseback riding and snowmobiling. These changes allowed the family to a changing economy and surrounding land uses, while keeping the land in agricultural production and natural forest.

Watershed management is a key component of the family’s conservation efforts. Steve developed a seed mix for the land leased to the ski resort that reduced soil erosion and improved water quality in a nearby stream.

Surrounded by development, the family placed a conservation easement on 120 acres of crop and rangeland. This keeps it in agriculture and ensures that future generations can carry on the family’s conservation legacy.

“The Osguthorpes were conservationists before it was popular to bear that title,” said Bill Hopkin, Utah Grazing Improvement Program, in his letter of recommendation. “They have operated sustainable livestock operations for generations and the fact that they are still thriving in the business is a testimonial to their high quality management.”

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