BLM Announces Winners of the 2023 Rangeland Stewardship and Innovation Awards

PENDLETON, ORE. (Sept. 7, 2023) – At the Public Lands Council (PLC) annual meeting this week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced winners of the 2023 Rangeland Stewardship and Rangeland Innovation awards to recognize exemplary management and outstanding accomplishments in restoring and maintaining the health of public rangelands.

PLC and BLM have partnered for 18 years to honor BLM livestock grazing permittees and lessees who demonstrate exceptional management, collaboration, and communication that restores, conserves, or enhances our public lands and recognize their accomplishments at a gathering of their peers.

“The health and resiliency of Western landscapes depend on federal lands ranchers more than anything else and these awards recognize the excellence of these ranchers, who continually produce more and conserve more with less,” said Public Lands Council President Mark Roeber. “PLC is proud to partner with the BLM to build up and promote the vital work these ranchers do to protect critical wildlife habitat, improve the health of native grass stands, and reduce catastrophic wildfires. I want to congratulate the award recipients for their tireless efforts in livestock production and conservation – this is not an easy job and these ranchers are always striving to get better at what they do.”

“The spirit of these awards honor generations of American ranchers who have promoted healthy public lands for the benefit of current and future generations,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. “The addition this year of the Rangeland Innovation Awards builds on this legacy by encouraging new grazing methods and technologies on public lands necessary for adapting to the challenges of a changing climate.”

BLM announced winners for the following projects:

The Rangeland Stewardship Awards recognize the demonstrated use of beneficial management practices to restore, protect, or enhance rangeland resources while working with the BLM and other partners.

  • The 2023 Rangeland Stewardship Award – Permittee Category winner is Sam and Jeremy Larson with Larson Angus Beef, LLC, nominated by the St. George Field Office, BLM Utah. Larson Angus Beef were recognized for their grazing management and investments in watershed function, wildlife habitat, forage diversity, and habitat resilience.
  • The 2023 Rangeland Stewardship Award – Collaborative Team Category winner is the Arizona Game Management Unit 18A Project led by Arizona Game and Fish Department–Region 3, nominated by the Kingman Field Office, BLM Arizona. The group was recognized for their successful mechanical treatments in mule deer habitat that are anticipated to improve habitat across 250,000 acres across the state.

The Rangeland Innovation Awards recognize outstanding examples of demonstrated creativity, willingness to embrace change, and/or a modified perspective or approach to persistent rangeland stewardship challenges in addition to the accomplishments meriting the Rangeland Stewardship Award.

The 2023 Rangeland Innovation Award – Permittee Category winner is Bill and Dana Milton with Milton Ranch, nominated by the Billings Field Office, BLM Montana/Dakotas. Milton Ranch was recognized for their adaptive management across challenging range and weather conditions.

The 2023 Rangeland Innovation Award – Collaborative Team Category winner is Range Monitoring Group (RMG), cofounded by BLM grazing allotment permittees Coulter Family Ranch, Joe C King & Sons Ranch, and Milton Ranch, nominated by the Billings, Lewistown and Miles City field offices, BLM Montana/Dakotas. The team was recognized for their innovative pilot in Montana that utilizes rangeland monitoring to improve land management.

Further details on the projects are available here.

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