Colorado Cattlemen’s News
The Wisconsin-based conservation group Sand County Foundation, in conjunction with Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT), presented its Leopold Conservation Award Monday, June 19, to the Tanner Family, Bohart Ranch.
“We’re proud to present the Leopold Conservation Award in partnership with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust to honor the voluntary conservation work of private landowners, such as the Tanner family, in Colorado,” said Dr. Brent Haglund, president of Sand County Foundation. “Colorado has abundant natural resources, a strong agricultural sector, and a rich tradition of private lands conservation.”
Jay Frost of Frost Livestock Company, in a supporting letter of recommendation, praised the Tanners for their leadership in conservation.
“[Dick Tanner] is a very effective leader as he has gained the respect of cattlemen, environmentalists, scientists, business partnerships, family, neighbors and his community,” Frost wrote. “Dick Tanner cares deeply about the people and the land. There is no better man to steward these resources than Dick Tanner.”
The awards are presented to accomplish three objectives, and the Tanner Family, Bohart Ranch meets all of these. First, they recognize extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation on the land of exemplary private landowners. The Tanner family, using sound scientific and conservation practices, ranches 48,000 acres of State Land Board land in addition to acreage that has been in Sandra Tanner’s family for more than 50 years. The second objective for the awards is that they inspire countless other landowners in their own communities through these examples. As a role model and spokesperson for the profession, Dick Tanner sets the example for fellow ranchers, including his son, Nate, who has become a well-respected and expert rancher in his own right, on how ranching can survive economically while coexisting with scientific and conservation interests. Finally, the awards provide a visible forum where leaders from the agricultural community are recognized as conservation leaders to groups outside of agriculture. This is evident through Dick Tanner’s development of a partnership with the State Land Board and The Nature Conservancy when doing so was neither popular nor common.
Given in honor of famed conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. 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.”
“We look to recognize those who produce much more than quality grain, beef or wood products, the Leopold Conservation Award acknowledges those who also produce clean water and diverse habitat,” said David Allen, Sand County Foundation vice president. “The Tanner family is an excellent example of what this award is about.”
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