Nominations Open for the 2024 CA Leopold Conservation Award

From left to right: Ulla, Scott, and Brian Park of Park Farming Organics, 2023 California Leopold Conservation Award recipients. Photo: Paolo Vescia.

Are you a California farmer, rancher, or forestland owner who improves soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat on your working land? Apply for the 2024 California Leopold Conservation Award®

The Award

Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 27 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In California the $10,000 award is presented with Sustainable Conservation and California Farm Bureau Federation.

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

“As we weather a second year of winter rains, community flooding, and property damage, we have to boost long-term climate resilience. A sustainable future starts with experienced conservation leaders, and California landowners are on the frontlines of managing for ecosystem health and economic stability. The Leopold Conservation Award honors these dedicated families each year, and we hope farmers, ranchers and foresters come forward this year to be recognized.” – Ashley Boren, Sustainable Conservation CEO

Apply Now!

You can submit your own nomination, or you can nominate someone you know in your community who’s modeling the kind of resource stewardship we all aspire to! Click here for Sand County Foundation’s application form.

Reading your conservation stories is one of the true highlights of our year, and we can’t wait to learn about more amazing land and resource stewards across California. The application deadline date is July 18, 2024. Email applications to [email protected]. Please contact us if you’d like to mail in your application: [email protected]

For more information on the award, visit If you have any questions about the process, including specific application questions, please feel free to reach out: [email protected]

The first California Leopold Conservation Award recipient was selected in 2006. Park Family Organics of Sutter County received the award in 2023.

The Leopold Conservation Award in California is made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Sustainable Conservation, California Farm Bureau Federation, Sand County Foundation, The Harvey L. & Maud C. Sorensen Foundation, Farm Credit, McDonald’s, and California Leopold Conservation Award recipient alumni.

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. 
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 40,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 5.5 million Farm Bureau members.
Sustainable Conservation logoSUSTAINABLE CONSERVATION
Sustainable Conservation helps California thrive by uniting people to solve the toughest challenges facing the state’s land, air and water. Since 1993, it has brought together business, landowners and government to steward the resources that all Californians depend on in ways that are just and make economic sense.
American Farmland Trust’s mission is to save the land that sustains us by protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land. Since 1980, AFT has pursued this mission at both the national and regional state levels.