HMI was excited to learn that three of the finalists selected for the 2022 New Mexico Leopold Conservation Award® are Holistic Management practitioners. The Leopold Award is given in honor of Aldo Leopold and recognizes farmers, ranchers, forestland owners, and other landowners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water, and wildlife resources in their care.
Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 24 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In New Mexico, the award is presented with New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts, Quivira Coalition and New Mexico Coalition to Enhance Working Lands.
The New Mexico Leopold Conservation Award will be presented this fall. The award recipient will receive $10,000 and a crystal award.
The finalists are:
- Sid Goodloe of Capitan in Lincoln County: Six decades of ecosystem improvement at Sid Goodloe’s Carrizo Valley Ranch have benefitted the water resources, livestock pastures, and wildlife habitat. Sid initiated a short duration grazing method after witnessing a similar system in Africa in the 1960s. Riparian areas are fenced off from cattle, but are home to abundant herds of elk, deer and antelope.
- JX Ranch of Tucumcari in Quay County: Tom and Mimi Sidwell have adopted grazing practices that create a resilient landscape and mitigate drought. These efforts have increased ground cover, which means more forage for livestock and wildlife, and less sediment in the air and water. It also pulls carbon out of the atmosphere, and increases soil’s ability to infiltrate and store water.
- Philmont Scout Ranch of Cimarron in Colfax County: Since its inception in 1938 the Philmont Scout Ranch has hosted 20,000 youth and championed wise use of water, timber, wildlife and fisheries. The ranch works to eliminate noxious weeds in pastureland and riparian zones. Since 2018 more than 1,000 acres of forest land have been hand-thinned and cleared to allow regrowth of native forbs and grasses.
“These award finalists are examples of how Aldo Leopold’s land ethic is alive and well today. Their dedication to conservation shows how individuals can improve the health of the land while producing food and fiber,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO.
The first recipient of the New Mexico Leopold Conservation Award last year was another Holistic Management practitioner, Ute Creek Cattle Company of Bueyeros in Harding County.
The New Mexico Leopold Conservation Award is made possible through the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Sand County Foundation, New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts, Quivira Coalition, New Mexico Coalition to Enhance Working Lands, Dixon Water Foundation, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services of New Mexico, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, John Duncan and Anita Sarafa, Farm Credit of New Mexico, and Holistic Management International.
For more information, visit www.leopoldconservationaward.org.