Wyoming Governor Honors Wyoming Environmental Stewardship Day by Recognizing Leopold Conservation Award Recipient

cows on Lower MeadowCHEYENNE – In celebration of Earth Day, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead proclaimed July 10, 2014 as Wyoming Environmental Stewardship Day. Governor Mead signed a proclamation during a ceremony on Monday, April 21.

“Ranchers know that we must take care of the land. My great-grandfather always said that where you find one blade of grass, leave two,” Governor Mead said. “The Environmental Stewardship Tour and Leopold Conservation Award celebrate those who have truly left more for future generations, all the while feeding the country and preserving our open spaces and ranching heritage.”

Each year, Wyoming Environmental Stewardship Day marks the date of the Environmental Stewardship Tour hosted by the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. The annual event showcases that year’s Leopold Conservation Award recipient’s conservation efforts. The 2014 recipient of the award is the Ladder Ranch which operates a sustainable and profitable cattle and sheep operation on 1,561 acres in southern Wyoming.

“We have always believed that there is no inherent contradiction between production and conservation,” stated Pat O’Toole. “Our family is honored and humbled to be included with the great ranches and great ranch families who have received this recognition.”

The Ladder Ranch is owned by the O’Toole Family and has been operating since 1881. A.W. and Anna Louise Salisbury established the original ranch near the confluence of the Little Snake River and Battle Creek in 1881. The ranch has been home to the family for six generations.

“The stewardship of over 90% of Wyoming’s lands lies in the hands of our ranchers and farmers,” states Jim Magagna, Executive Vice President of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. “The Ladder Ranch exemplifies the commitment of these stewards. Wyoming Stock Growers appreciates Governor Mead’s proclamation of Environmental Stewardship Day and invites all Wyoming citizens to join in recognizing our good stewards.”

The $10,000 Leopold Conservation Award (www.leopoldconservationaward.org), named for renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, will be presented to the Ladder Ranch at WSGA’s Cattle Industry Convention & Trade Show on June 6 in Cody. The award in Wyoming is presented by Sand County Foundation, WSGA and Peabody Energy.

“Farmers and ranchers are integral to the health of Wyoming’s natural resources,” said Sand County Foundation President Brent Haglund. “We appreciate the Governor’s participation in this important celebration of voluntary conservation on private lands.”

The Leopold Conservation Award in Wyoming is made possible through the support of Peabody Energy, Farm Credit, First Interstate Bank, The Monaghan Foundation. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, World Wildlife Fund, Farm Credit, DuPont Pioneer, The Mosaic Company and The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation,

For more information or to attend the Environmental Stewardship Tour of the Ladder Ranch on July 10, please call the Wyoming Stock Growers Association at 307-638-3942.


Since 1872, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association has served the livestock business and families of Wyoming by protecting their economic, legislative, regulatory, judicial, environmental, custom and cultural interests. We promote the role of the cattle industry in resource stewardship, animal care and the production of high-quality, safe and nutritious beef. Learn more at www.wysga.org or call 307-638-3942.


The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. The award consists of a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold and a check for $10,000. Sand County Foundation presents Leopold Conservation Awards in California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.


Sand County Foundation (www.sandcounty.net) 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.


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