The Sand County Foundation, the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association and the South Dakota Grassland Coalition are accepting applications for the $10,000 Leopold Conservation Award, which honors South Dakota landowners who demonstrate responsible stewardship and management of natural resources.
"Last year's recipients, Rick and Marlis Doud, are outstanding land stewards, but they aren't the only family doing exceptional work for natural resources in South Dakota," says Brent Haglund, president of Sand County Foundation. "We look forward to honoring more innovative farmers and ranchers, like the Douds, who are committed to the enhancement of South Dakota's landscape."
Given in honor of Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation, inspires other landowners in their communities through these examples and provides a visible forum where leaders from the agricultural community are recognized as conservation leaders outside of the industry. In his influential book, "A Sand County Almanac" (1949), 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."
"The South Dakota Cattlemen's Association is pleased be part of this program that recognizes the valuable role of private landowners as stewards of the resources in our care. The success of future generations of farmers and ranchers depends on our diligent implementation of innovative conservation practices," says Bill Slovek, president of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association.
"It was gratifying the 2010 Leopold Conservation Award was so well received in South Dakota," says Jim Faulstich, Vice Chairman, South Dakota Grassland Coalition. "From the Douds as recipients, to the many quality nominees and contributors, the inaugural year reflected the importance of conservation in our state. I know the people of South Dakota will step forward to make the 2011 award even more successful."
The Leopold Conservation Award in South Dakota is sponsored by American State Bank, the Bradley Fund for the Environment, Daybreak Ranch, Ducks Unlimited, Millborn Seeds, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rasmussen Leopold Fund, South Dakota Department of Agriculture, South Dakota's Conservation Districts, South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks, South Dakota Grassland Coalition, and The Nature Conservancy.
For application information, please visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org. Nominations must be postmarked by April 27 and mailed to SDCA at 215 E. Prospect, Pierre, SD 57501. The 2011 Leopold Conservation Award recipient will be announced at the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association's Annual Convention in December.
Source: South Dakota Cattlemen's Association