Wineinger-Davis Ranch in Colorado to receive statewide honor

Russell Davis conducts a tour of his family's Wineinger-Davis Ranch

Sand County Foundation, in partnership with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. and Peabody Energy, is proud to name the Wineinger-Davis Ranch as the recipient of the 2012 Leopold Conservation Award in Colorado.

“The Davis family views conservation as a lifestyle, going the extra mile to educate those on and off of their ranch about the importance of sustainable agriculture,” said Dr. Brent Haglund, Sand County Foundation President. “Russell, Tricia and their family are true representatives of a land ethic and their commitment to sharing their story through a remarkable amount of agricultural education and outreach is exceptional and important.”

Russell and Tricia Davis’ Wineinger-Davis Ranch was established in 1938. It currently consists of over 12,000 acres and is located in Lincoln and Crowley Counties. The ranch successfully integrates not only the needs of a successful and productive beef operation, but also the habitat needs of a suite of shortgrass prairie wildlife species. Among other conservation achievements, in 2004, Russell and Tricia placed perpetual conservation easements on the ranch through the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s Colorado Species Conservation partnership program. This easement protects 12,245 acres of intact native shortgrass prairie and riparian ecosystems. This agreement focuses on proper livestock grazing to benefit all short grass prairie and plains riparian wildlife species.

Watch a video profile of the Davis family’s conservation practices

The $10,000 Leopold Conservation Award will be presented to the Davis family on June 12 at the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Convention in Loveland.

The Leopold Conservation Award in Colorado is sponsored by Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Peabody Energy, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Credit.

ABOUT THE LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD
The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. The award consists of an Aldo Leopold crystal and a check for $10,000. In 2012, Sand County Foundation will present Leopold Conservation Awards in Nebraska, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and California.

The awards are presented to accomplish three objectives: First, they recognize extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation on the land of exemplary private landowners. Second, they inspire countless other landowners in their own communities through these examples. Finally, they provide a visible forum where leaders from the agriculture community are recognized as conservation leaders to groups outside of agriculture. www.leopoldconservationaward.org

ABOUT SAND COUNTY FOUNDATION
Sand County Foundation is a private, non-profit conservation group dedicated to working with private landowners to improve habitat on their land. Sand County’s mission is to advance the use of ethical and scientifically sound land management practices and partnerships for the benefit of people and their rural landscapes. Sand County Foundation works with private landowners because the majority of the nation’s fish, wildlife, and natural resources are found on private lands. The organization backs local champions, invests in civil society and places incentives before regulation to create solutions that ensure and grow. The organization encourages the exercise of private responsibility in the pursuit of improved land health as an essential alternative to many of the commonly used strategies in modern conservation. www.sandcounty.net

ABOUT COLORADO CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION
The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is the state’s only nonprofit trade organization exclusively representing Colorado’s beef producers. Founded in 1867, CCA is the nation’s oldest state cattlemen’s association. CCA serves its members by speaking out on behalf of Colorado’s more than 12,000 beef producers. www.coloradocattle.org

ABOUT COLORADO CATTLEMEN’S AGRICULTURAL LAND TRUST
Recognizing the need to help Colorado ranchers and farmers protect their agricultural lands, in the face of growing development and economic pressures, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association in 1995 formed the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT). To date, CCALT has protected 264 ranches, covering more than 389,000 acres. www.ccalt.org/

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