Leopold Conservation Award

Celebrating California Farmers, Ranchers and Other Landowners for Sound Stewardship

There’s one vital group of Californians that perhaps gets praised the least for promoting a healthy environment across the state: landowners.

Because more than 50% of all land in California is privately owned, how these folks manage their properties has a dramatic and lasting effect on the environment — from climate change, to clean air and water, to wildlife. They are the front-line defenders in protecting the quality of our air and water, landscapes that protect people and wildlife alike, and ensuring a healthy climate for the state. Moreover, the fate of imperiled species, 90% of which make their homes on private land, largely rests in these individual’s hands.

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The Rominger family on their farm in Winters, California. Photo: Paolo Vescia

Leopold Conservation Award

That’s why in 2006 we teamed up with Sand County Foundation — a Wisconsin-based nonprofit that works with landowners to improve wildlife and habitat nationally — and the California Farm Bureau Federation to co-sponsor the first-ever Leopold Conservation Award in California. Advancing sustainable land stewardship is something we’ve been championing for nearly two decades.

Dedicated to the spirit of world-renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold (author of A Sand County Almanac), the Leopold Conservation Award celebrates the extraordinary efforts of California farmers and ranchers to protect and restore the natural resources they preside over. Having become a resounding success in seven states — and here in the Golden State — the award also aims to inspire other would-be conservationists and promote a better understanding among the public about the important role landowners play in sustaining a healthy planet.

Leopold Conservation Award Recipients