By Casey Langan @sandcountyfdn
Aldo Leopold was a person forward of his time. Not many of us had been enthusiastic about land restoration and soil well being again within the Nineteen Thirties.
Leopold was a landowner, forester and conservationist. He’s greatest recognized for “A Sand County Almanac,” a e-book he authored whereas restoring a worn-out piece of farmland alongside the Wisconsin River.
He additionally wrote gems like: “The landscape of any farm is the owner’s portrait of himself,” and “It is the individual farmer who must weave the greater part of the rug on which America stands.”
Sand County Foundation is a nationwide nonprofit group whose title is a nod to Leopold’s literary opus. By working on the intersection of agriculture and environmental enchancment, Sand County Foundation engages landowners in accountable stewardship. It created an award named for America’s foremost conservation thinker in 2003.
The Leopold Conservation Award builds bridges between agriculture and environmental organizations, authorities, business and academia to advance conservation on non-public lands.
What higher strategy to encourage different landowners to undertake conservation practices than to share the tales of the farmers, ranchers and forestland homeowners who do it greatest?
The Leopold Conservation Award acknowledges landowners in 24 states for his or her efforts to enhance soil well being, water high quality and wildlife habitat. Award recipients have run the gamut of American agriculture: massive and small, typical and natural, first- to seventh-generation farmers and ranchers, with practically each sort of livestock and crop.
Their fields, forests, wetlands and pastures are residence to large recreation, migrating birds, useful pollinators and human guests wanting to hook up with rural landscapes. Whether milking cows in Vermont, elevating hogs in Missouri or rising greens in California, every is a real-life instance of how conservation and manufacturing agriculture can go hand-in-hand. Their improvements show that conservation practices are environmentally and economically useful.
Several of the award recipients function mentors for traditionally underserved farmers and ranchers as a part of Sand County Foundation’s Land Ethic Mentorship program. This budding program is scaling up conservation practices throughout the nation.
The Leopold Conservation Award additionally builds bridges between agriculture and environmental organizations, authorities, business and academia to advance conservation on non-public lands. Plenty of state Farm Bureaus serve among the many influential companions and sponsors of the award in states together with California, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin. Their assist in shining a highlight on conservation on working land is what’s most essential.
The award recipients are demonstrating to their fellow landowners what is feasible. They additionally present most of the people the very important position landowners play in addressing our nation’s most urgent environmental points. Too usually agriculture is framed as the only downside reasonably than a key a part of the answer.
Farmers, ranchers and forestland homeowners handle the lion’s share of the land within the contiguous U.S. The Leopold Conservation Award acknowledges that we can’t make significant environmental progress with out their management.
That’s what Aldo Leopold recommended all these years in the past.
Nominate a farmer, rancher or forestland landowner at sandcountyfoundation.org/applyLCA. Interested in bringing the Leopold Conservation Award to your state? Send an e mail to Lirving@sandcountyfoundation.org.
Casey Langan is communications director on the Sand County Foundation. Watch and browse the tales of the farms and ranches who acquired the Leopold Conservation Award in 2021 at www.sandcountyfoundation.org/LCA21.