The Ercanbrack family, who have operated a ranch up Chalk Creek Canyon for nearly 100 years, have been awarded the 2018 Utah Leopold Conservation Award.
The Summit Land Conservancy announced in a press release that Ercanbrack Livestock received the honor form the Sand County Foundation, a national organization based in Madison, Wisconsin. The award, named after conservationist Aldo Leopold is presented in 14 states, including Utah.
In 2010, said the press statement, the Ercanbracks approached the Land Conservancy to save their 2100-acre ranch. The land has been a cattle operation since the 1920’s and passed down through four generations of the family.
The Conservancy said the conservation deal was delayed due to changing federal priorities and other funding shortages.
Summit Land Conservancy Director Cheryl Fox said, “A lot of people would have walked away long before seven years ran out and sold their rangeland rather than wait it out, making new applications and filling out endless forms again and again. But the Ercanbracks are not like a lot of people. The family’s dedication to the stewardship of their land and their vision of the future is truly inspiring.”
The press release noted the same award went to the Osguthorpe family in 2011, shortly after the family placed a conservation easement on their property in Round Valley, now called “The land of Oz.”
The Conservancy is now in final fund0raising stages to put an easement on the Osguthorpe’s 158-acre parcel along Old Ranch Road.