Wyoming’s Padlock Ranch is the winner of the 2013 Leopold Conservation Award, with Gov. Matt Mead presenting the prize.
The presentation event during the Wyoming Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show and Cheyenne included a $10,000 check presented in honor of the late Aldo Leopold, a popular conservationist.
The award was presented by the Sand County Foundation, Wyoming Stock Growers Association and Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private sector coal company and a global leader in sustainable mining and clean coal solutions.
Padlock Ranch operates a sustainable and profitable cattle operation on 500,000 acres stretching from Wyoming into Montana. The ranch raises natural beef, and offers vacationers an opportunity to be guests at the facility to share in the Western lifestyle through a working ranch, offering hunting, fishing and photography getaways.
A tour of the ranch is set for July 9 on Wyoming Environmental Stewardship Day. The annual tour is hosted by the WSGA, Wyoming Department of Agriculture and will showcase the Leopold Conservation Award recipient. The operation is led today by Wayne Fahsholtz, with 11,000 head to handle under a sustainable management effort.
The ranch was founded in 1943 by Homer and Mildred Scott with 300 cows and 3,000 acres.
“We believe that if we can graze in a manner that protects habitat, and if the wildlife species that should be here are here, then we are doing the job we set out to do,” says Fahsholtz.
“With eyes on the future, Padlock Ranch owners and managers have grown the operation and a broad array of practices,” says Brent Haglund, Sand County Foundation president.
The foundation is a non-profit conservation operation working with private landowners to improve habitat.
“Not only are these practices (of the Leopold Ranch) associated with state of the art cattle grazing, they are innovations and commitments that enhance the landscape and historic Tongue River,” notesHaglund.