If you, or someone you know, is a South Dakota landowner who is committed to land management practices that increase conservation, we invite your application for the Leopold Conservation Award.

The Leopold Conservation Awards recognize extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation, inspire other landowners through their example, and help the general public understand the vital role private landowners can and do play in conservation success.

Applications are due March 6, 2015.  Download the application form here (PDF).

In his influential book, A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage. The development of a land ethic was, he wrote, “an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.” A land ethic is alive and well today in the thousands of American farmers, ranchers, and foresters who do well by their land and do well for their land.

Sand County Foundation proudly presents its Leopold Conservation Award to a private landowner who exemplifies the spirit of this emerging land ethic — an individual or a family dedicated to leaving their land better than how they found it.

In South Dakota, Sand County Foundation presents the Leopold Conservation Award in partnership with the South Dakota Cattlemen ’s Association and the South Dakota Grassland Coalition. South Dakota Farm Bureau is proud to be one of the Leopold Conservation Award sponsors in South Dakota.  The award recipient receives an Aldo Leopold crystal and $10,000.

South Dakota winners:


2010 -- Rick & Marlis Doud
2011 -- Mortenson Family
2012 -- Kopriva Family
2013 -- Guptill Family
2014 -- Perman Family


For further information, please see the Leopold Conservation Award website.