ON-Lion Letter
Revitalization efforts on two ranches in two different ecological regions of Texas have earned a Houston couple the 2013 Leopold Conservation Award, the state's highest honor for private land conservation.

Recognized for their stewardship were Jack and Jan Cato, who in 2004 and 2006 received regional Lone Star Land Steward Awards for what they have done to restore their two properties –- the Buckhollow Ranch in Uvalde and Real counties on the Edwards Plateau and the Stockard-Sirianni Ranch in Frio County.  That ranch is located in the South Texas Plains ecoregion.

The Leopold Conservation Award, given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, is conferred each year by the Sand County Foundation (SCF), in partnership with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, as part of its Lone Star Land Steward Awards program.  In Texas, the Leopold Conservation Award is sponsored by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Silver Eagle Distributors, and the Lee and Ramona Bass Foundation.

"Aldo Leopold comprehended the necessity of the private landowner providing and improving habitat.  The Catos have done that in spades, and probably, with spades," according to SCF president Brent Haglund.  "We know many 'tools' have been used by the Catos to make their land a much more wildlife-rich part of Texas, and we are glad to be part of this partnership recognition."

The Catos accepted the Leopold crystal award and a check for $10,000 at the annual Lone Star Land Steward Awards dinner in Austin in May.  Former First Lady Laura Bush was there to honor them.
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