May family receives Leopold Conservation Award

Colorado's May family, a longtime DU supporter and wetlands project collaborator, recently received the prestigious Leopold Conservation Award.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – May 6, 2021 – The May family of Colorado recently received the prestigious Leopold Conservation Award, given by the Sand County Foundation in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, that recognizes ranchers, farmers and forestland owners who inspire others with their voluntary conservation efforts on private, working lands.

Ducks Unlimited (DU) and the May family have had a partner relationship for many years, representative of DU’s commitment to working with the farming and ranching community to improve environmental conditions for waterfowl, agriculture and livestock.

The May family’s ranch is a multigenerational cattle operation that encompasses some of the last remaining short-grass prairie in southeast Colorado. Numerous playa wetlands and nearly eight miles of Sand Creek lie within ranch borders, and the area is a key migration corridor for mallards, pintails and numerous shore birds.

DU has worked with the May family on multiple projects, including the first-ever grassland carbon project verified by the Climate Action Reserve. The resulting carbon credits have been sold to local municipalities in Colorado, Fortune 500 corporations and even individuals attending festivals in Colorado wanting to offset their travel.

Other conservation work completed in collaboration with the May family includes the restoration of three large playa wetlands and portions of Sand Creek where historic hydrology was recreated to the benefit of waterfowl, other wildlife, and the May’s cattle operation.

“The May family’s conservation ethic is unapparelled,” said Billy Gascoigne, DU’s associate director of conservation strategy. “The management approach on their ranching operation is truly holistic. They have gone out of their way to consider the needs of wildlife, including migratory waterfowl. I couldn’t be happier for them to receive this recognition.”

For more information visit www.ducks.org and be sure to follow DU’s Twitter feed – @DUNews1937 – to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited. 

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.

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