Montana Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Applicants

A prestigious award that celebrates voluntary conservation by farmers, ranchers and other landowners is coming to Montana.

Montana is the latest state where Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award®

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes landowners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private, working land. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.

In Montana, Governor Steve Bullock’s Office, Montana Department of Agriculture, and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s Rangeland Resources Committee will join the Sand County Foundation in presenting the $10,000 award to the first recipient from Montana later this year. 

Applications for the first Montana Leopold Conservation Award are now being accepted. The application may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may apply themselves. The application is found at:

Applications must be postmarked by July 1, 2019 and mailed to:

Leopold Conservation Award

c/o Stacey Barta, Montana DNRC

1539 11thAvenue

P.O. Box 201601

Helena, MT 59620

“Too often we take for granted the remarkable contributions our state’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners make to help sustain the landscapes and values we care deeply about as Montanans,” said Governor Bullock. “I am delighted to partner with the Sand County Foundation to bring the Leopold Conservation Award to Montana to recognize a few of our exceptional working lands leaders and I look forward to their stories inspiring neighbors and generations to come with an ethic of thoughtful management and environmental stewardship.”

“Leopold Conservation Award recipients are at the forefront of a movement by America’s farmers and ranchers to simultaneously achieve economic and environmental success,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer. “The award inspires other landowners by example and provides a platform for agricultural leaders to be recognized as conservation ambassadors by the general public.” 

The Montana Leopold Conservation Award is made possible through the generous support of Governor Steve Bullock’s Office, Montana Department of Agriculture, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s Rangeland Resources Committee, World Wildlife Fund, Bayer Crop Science, Montana Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, Montana Weed Control Association, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ranchers Stewardship Alliance, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Society for Range Management – Northern Great Plains Section, Western Landowners Alliance, and The Wildlife Society of Montana. 

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The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. Sand County Foundation presents the award in California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.


Sand County Foundation inspires and enables a growing number of private landowners to ethically manage natural resources in their care, so future generations have clean and abundant water, healthy soil to support agriculture and forestry, plentiful habitat for wildlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

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