Finalists Named in Colorado Leopold Conservation Award Program

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Sand County Foundation, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., and Peabody Energy are proud to announce the finalists for the 2013 Leopold Conservation Award in Colorado. The award recognizes private landowner achievement in voluntary conservation.

Leopold Conservation Award logo
“Colorado's rich heritage of conservation through ranching is epitomized by these families’ dedication to the land, water and wildlife. ,” said Terry Fankhauser, Executive Vice President, Colorado Cattlemen's Association.

Sand County Foundation, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., and Peabody Energy are proud to announce the finalists for the 2013 Leopold Conservation Award in Colorado. The award recognizes private landowner achievement in voluntary conservation.

The finalists are Wagon Wheel Ranch of Yuma, LK Ranch of Meeker and Visintainer Sheep Co. of Craig

Wagon Wheel Ranch: The Wagon Wheel Ranch, located in Yuma County, is operated by Kenny and Jody Rogers and is a multigenerational farm with three generations still actively involved.

LK Ranch: The LK Ranch is a cattle ranch in Rio Blanco County. It is cooperatively owned and managed by Lowell and LoAnn Klinglesmith and their youngest son Lenny and his wife Jackie Klinglesmith.

Visintainer Sheep Co.: Visintainer Sheep Co. is a sheep and cattle ranch in Moffat County. Dean Visintainer and his son Gary jointly run the operation.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. It inspires other landowners through these examples and provides a visible forum where farmers, ranchers and other private landowners are recognized as conservation leaders. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage, which he called “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.”

Award applicants are judged based on their demonstration of improved resource conditions, innovation, long-term commitment to stewardship, sustained economic viability, community and civic leadership, and multiple use benefits.

"All three of our Colorado finalists are tremendously committed to stewardship of natural resources and to sharing what they've learned with the broader community," said Brent Haglund, president, Sand County Foundation.

The 2013 recipient, who will receive $10,000 and a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold, will be announced March 19. The award will be presented at the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association Annual Convention on June 17 in Breckenridge.

“Colorado's rich heritage of conservation through ranching is epitomized by these families’ dedication to the land, water and wildlife. Their stewardship is testament to Leopold’s values and to the untold number of agriculture producers who lead by example when it comes to the environment,” said Terry Fankhauser, Executive Vice President for the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association.

The Leopold Conservation Award is possible thanks to generous contributions from many organizations, including Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., Peabody Energy and The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

For application information, please visit http://www.leopoldconservationaward.org.

ABOUT THE LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD
The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. The award consists of a crystal award depicting Aldo Leopold and a check for $10,000. In 2013, Sand County Foundation will present Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

ABOUT SAND COUNTY FOUNDATION
Sand County Foundation (http://www.sandcounty.net) is a private, non-profit conservation group dedicated to working with private landowners to improve habitat on their land. Sand County’s mission is to advance the use of ethical and scientifically sound land management practices and partnerships for the benefit of people and their rural landscapes. Sand County Foundation works with private landowners because the majority of the nation’s fish, wildlife, and natural resources are found on private lands. The organization backs local champions, invests in civil society, and places incentives before regulation to create solutions that endure and grow. The organization encourages the exercise of private responsibility in the pursuit of improved land health as an essential alternative to many of the commonly used strategies in modern conservation.

ABOUT COLORADO CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION
Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is the state’s only nonprofit trade organization exclusively representing Colorado’s beef producers. Founded in 1867, CCA is the nation’s oldest state cattlemen’s association. http://www.coloradocattle.org

ABOUT 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 402,500 acres. http://www.ccalt.org

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