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Landowner Recognition Program
Landowner Recognition Program


Since 1982, the Wildlife Landowner of the Year Award has recognized outstanding contributions made by private landowners in providing habitat and/or public access to Colorado’s wildlife on private lands. This annual award is part of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Landowner Recognition Program, which works to improve relationships between landowners, sportspeople and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The Wildlife Landowner of the Year Award:

  • Recognizes the important contributions that private landowners have made to improve habitat for wildlife in Colorado.

  • Promotes the creation and improvement of habitat on private and public land by acknowledging efforts of landowners.

  • Creates opportunities for landowners to share information about innovative land and wildlife stewardship techniques.

  • Promotes understanding and appreciation of the rural land ethic.

Private Land Habitat Improvement Project Near Hayden CO, Photo by CPWEach year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and supporting organizations will select a private landowner who has demonstrated exemplary stewardship of wildlife habitat by implementing conservation actions on their land. Public access for hunting and fishing will also be considered. 

Nominations will be reviewed by the Regional Managers of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife prior to forwarding to the judging team. The winner will be selected by a judging team composed of members representing Colorado Parks and Wildlife, a member of the state Habitat Protection Partnership council, a representative of a non-governmental organization closely associated with landowner outreach, and a representative from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife program.

The winner and spouse will be honored at an award ceremony at the National Western Stock Show in January. Meals and lodging will be furnished for the winner and spouse.

Past and Present Supporting and Endorsing Groups include:

  • Colorado Association of Soil Conservation Districts

  • Colorado Bowhunter's Association

  • Colorado Cattlemen’s Association

  • Colorado Chapter of Trout Unlimited

  • Colorado Department of Agriculture

  • Colorado Farm Bureau

  • Colorado State Forest Service

  • Colorado State Grange

  • Colorado State Land Board

  • Colorado Wildlife Commission

  • Colorado Wildlife Federation

  • Colorado Wool Growers’ Association

  • Izaak Walton League

  • National Western Stock Show

  • Natural Resource Conservation Service

  • Pheasants Forever

  • Quail Unlimited

  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

  • Rocky Mountain Farmers Union

  • U.S, Fish and Wildlife Service: Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program

For More Information

Contact Ken Morgan, Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Private Lands Program Manager at 303-291-7404 or

2012 Landowner of the Year

The Klinglesmith family of Meeker has been named the 2012 Wildlife Landowners of the Year by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Lowell and LoAnn Klinglesmith, together with their youngest son Lenny and his wife Jackie, run the LK Ranch south of Meeker, with 13,000 contiguous deeded acres in the middle of some of the most important big-game habitat in the state. Over the past 10 years, the family has greatly expanded the ranch, placed most of it under conservation easement and implemented an integrated wildlife habitat and livestock management program. They offer high-quality guided and public hunts on the ranch while managing their land to support big game, non-game and imperiled species like the greater sage-grouse.

"Colorado Parks and Wildlife is proud to honor this family who has consistently placed wildlife resources as a priority along with their livestock operation," said Ken Morgan, Private Lands Program Manager. "The Klinglesmiths know from experience that maintaining the health of the land is vital to the long-term sustainability of their ranch."  

The LK Ranch features a mosaic of vegetative communities, from irrigated hay and sage to mountain shrubs, aspen and conifers which roll up from an elevation of 6,400 feet to 8,200 feet at the border with the White River National Forest. A key aspect of the Klinglesmiths' ranching operation is the commitment to short-term, high-intensity rotational grazing designed to improve the quality of forage for wildlife and reduce impacts to riparian areas. The family has also actively manipulated sage, shrubs, aspen and conifer stands to promote nutritious new growth to support wildlife.

For more information on the 2012 Landowners of the Year, read the full press release.

2012 Landowner of the Year Ranch in fallThe winners of the Landowner of the Year, Lowell and LoAnn Klinglesmith, shown here on horseback.
2012 Landowner of the Year Ranch in summer2012 Landowner of the Year Ranch - working