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Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees: California Landowners Who Exemplify Land Stewardship

Sacramento, Calif., February 23, 2011 - Sand County Foundation, in partnership with Sustainable Conservation and the California Farm Bureau Federation, seeks nominations for the 2011 California Leopold Conservation Award.

ôLast year's recipient, Al Montna, is an outstanding land steward, and he and his family aren't the only landowners in California doing exceptional work for natural resources," said Brent Haglund, president of Sand County Foundation. "We look forward to honoring more innovative farming and ranching families, like the Montnas, who are committed to the enhancement of California's landscape."

The $10,000 award recognizes California farmers and ranchers who demonstrate outstanding, sustainable management of natural resources. The Leopold Conservation Award is presented in honor of famed conservationist and author Aldo Leopold, who called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.

"The Leopold Conservation Award showcases farmers and ranchers who work every day to create a future that is both environmentally and economically sustainable," said Ashley Boren, Executive Director of Sustainable Conservation.

Nominations are considered in two categories: Nurseries & Crops or Livestock. The judges will select a finalist in each category, and the Leopold Conservation Award winner will be announced on December 5, 2011 at the California Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Sparks, NV.

The deadline for nominations is July 15.

"The Leopold Conservation Award highlights outstanding examples of the stewardship that family farmers and ranchers contribute every day," said Paul Wenger, president of the California Farm Bureau Federation. "Landowners play a crucial role in protecting the environment, providing habitat for wildlife, and maintaining a safe and affordable food supply for consumers."

The Leopold Conservation Award in California is sponsored by the Bradley Fund for the Environment, the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and Audubon California.

Aside from California, Sand County Foundation presents Leopold Conservation Awards in Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org, email suscon@suscon.org or call (415) 977-0380.

In 2010, Sand County Foundation is presenting Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The awards are presented to recognize extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation on the land of exemplary private landowners; inspire countless other landowners in their own communities through these examples; showcase conservation leaders in the agricultural community to people outside of agriculture; and build bridges among both the private and public sectors in support of private land conservation. For more information, please visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org.

ABOUT SAND COUNTY FOUNDATION

Sand County Foundation is a private, non-profit conservation organization dedicated to working with private landowners to improve habitat on their land. In the spirit of Aldo Leopold, author of A Sand County Almanac, the Foundation encourages the exercise of private responsibility in the pursuit of improved land health.
www.sandcounty.net

ABOUT SUSTAINABLE CONSERVATION

Sustainable Conservation believes protecting the environment can also be good for business. The organization's climate, air, water and biodiversity initiatives promote practical solutions that produce tangible, lasting benefits for California. Founded in 1993, Sustainable Conservation's effectiveness lies in building strong partnerships with business, agriculture and government - and establishing models for environmental and economic sustainability that can be replicated across California and beyond.
www.suscon.org

ABOUT CALIFORNIA FARM BUREAU

The California Farm Bureau Federation is California's largest farm organization. It works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of approximately 76,500 members throughout California, including farm families and those who support the farming way of life.
www.cfbf.com

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