PIERRE - 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.
Our 2012 South Dakota Leopold Conservation Award winners, the Koprivas, are outstanding land stewards, but they aren't the only family doing exceptional work for natural resources in South Dakota, said Brent Haglund, Ph.D., president of Sand County Foundation. We look forward to honoring more innovative farmers and ranchers, like the Koprivas, who are committed to the enhancement of South Dakota's landscape.
Given in honor of Aldo Leopold's land ethic, 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 proud to be part of the Leopold Conservation Award as one aspect of our work to enhance a profitable business climate for current and future beef producers, said Cory Eich, president, South Dakota Cattlemen's Association. The use of novel conservation practices is critical for our next generations of farmers and ranchers to meet the food needs of our growing world population.
The Leopold Conservation Award in South Dakota is possible thanks to generous contributions from many organizations, including: American State Bank, Belle Fourche River Watershed Partnership, Daybreak Ranch, Ducks Unlimited, Farm Credit, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Millborn Seeds, Mortenson Family, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Partners for Fish & Wildlife, Professional Alliance, South Dakota's Conservation Districts, South Dakota Department of Environment & Natural Resources, South Dakota Farm Bureau, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks, South Dakota Grassland Coalition, South Dakota State University Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund.
Nominations must be postmarked by March 8, 2013 and mailed to SDCA at 215 E. Prospect, Pierre, SD 57501. The 2012 Leopold Conservation Award will be presented at the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association's Annual Convention in December.
"Seeking out and honoring private land managers who deserve the South Dakota Leopold Conservation Award goes a long way to advancing proven land conservation practices that we all can benefit from, said Jim Faulstich, vice-chairman, South Dakota Grassland Coalition.