Did you know that more than 3/4 of the land in the U.S. is in private ownership? And the things landowners do on that land affects us all, including our air, water, soils, wildlife and the food we eat. So every year, the Sand County Foundation celebrates landowners who have made life better for us all thanks to their outstanding, voluntary achievements in conservation on agricultural lands with the Leopold Conservation Award.
The recipients of the award, which includes $10,000 and a crystal plaque engraved with an illustration of Aldo Leopold on horseback, compare it to receiving a Nobel Prize. Brent Tanner, the 2010 Utah recipient says, “To think that someone outside the ranching community would look at what we’re doing and recognize that we have been stewards of the property, that the environmental practices we have put in place over generations are worthy of recognition, that really meant a lot to our family.”
The Sand County Foundation sees the award as an investment in private lands conservation. Rather than buying acreage, they prefer conservation rooted in private action inspired by a growing array of landowners who make measurable, lasting enhancements to the land, water, and wildlife in their care. We think that’s a great strategy, and one that you would be interested in learning more about. So from time to time in the coming months, we’ll be sharing videos of some of the winners and what they do. You’ll see someone like you, and hopefully find some inspiration. We also hope it reminds that you are appreciated for the good work you do.
Thanks for reading!
Rachel and Kathy