Wyo. Governor recognizes Leopold Conservation Award recipient | TheFencePost.com

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Wyo. Governor recognizes Leopold Conservation Award recipient

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — In celebration of Earth Day, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead will proclaim June 21, 2017 as Wyoming Environmental Stewardship Day. Mead signed the proclamation during a ceremony on April 21 in his office.

Each year, Wyoming Environmental Stewardship Day marks the date of the Environmental Stewardship Tour hosted by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. The annual event showcases the Wyoming Leopold Conservation Award recipient's environmental stewardship efforts. The 2017 recipient of the award is the Garrett Ranch, a sustainable and profitable cow/calf ranch south of Casper.

Owned and managed by the Garrett family, the Garrett Ranch is located 30 miles south of Casper. The entire Garrett family including Pete and Ethel Garrett, their children and grandchildren show their continued dedication to outstanding, voluntary conservation and set an example for landowners across Wyoming and the U.S. The original homestead is located on Bates Creek about 8 miles upstream from the current operation. Currently, the Garretts raise Hereford cows, the original breed bought in 1937 when the ranch started with 100 head of cattle, and raised 200 acres of alfalfa.

"We are honored to win this award," Pete Garrett said. "We know many other ranches who are just as deserving. We are very humbled."

"Ranchers know that we must take care of the land. My great-grandfather always said that where you find one blade of grass, leave two," Mead said. "The Environmental Stewardship Tour and Leopold Conservation Award celebrate those who have truly left more for future generations, all the while feeding the country and preserving our open spaces and ranching heritage."

"It's a privilege each year to recognize a deserving landowner for their continued dedication to the land," said Haley Lockwood, WSGA communications & programs director. "It's sometimes a strange concept for landowners to be recognized as the value they hold in the land and its natural resources is so high that without them the ranching lifestyle would be non-existent. Stewardship is nothing new to Wyoming ranchers."

The Leopold Conservation Award is presented by Sand County Foundation and WSGA.

It is given in honor of renowned conservationist and author Aldo Leopold, who called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage. 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.

"Pete and Ethel Garrett have devoted decades to patient effort on noxious weed control and thousands of hours of meetings as original members of their local sage-grouse working group," Sand County Foundation President Kevin McAleese said. "In these and a hundred other often thankless ways, they have improved wildlife habitat and kept their ranch profitable."

The $10,000 award, and a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold, will be presented to the family at WSGA's Cattle Industry Convention & Trade Show Awards Luncheon June 9 in Buffalo, Wyo., at the Bomber Mountain Civic Center.

The Leopold Conservation Award in Wyoming is made possible through the support of The Monaghan Foundation, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, World Wildlife Fund and Rocky Mountain Power.

For more information or to attend the Environmental Stewardship Tour of the Garrett Ranch on June 21, call the Wyoming Stock Growers Association at (307) 638-3942 or visit http://www.wysga.org. ❖