Alan Barnett was awarded our eighth annual Kurt Bucholz Conservation Award at its Annual Roundup, held on August 29 at Warren Livestock Co.’s Pole Creek Ranch outside of Cheyenne.
Many Wyoming producers know Alan through his work with Farm Credit Services but in addition to his career as an ag lender, Alan and his family bought a ranch on Gooseberry Creek on the western edge of the Big Horn Basin. A conservation easement on that ranch was completed in 2005 and led the way for three neighboring ranches to sell agricultural conservation easements on their lands. Thus began the process of protecting an entire watershed. Since then, much of the upper reaches of Gooseberry and its tributaries have been protected. Upon receiving the award, Alan told attendees, “I am humbled and honored to have been given this award and glad to work on projects that further Wyoming’s natural resource heritage.”
Alan and his neighbors have also worked with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the local Conservation Districts on removal of invasive Russian olive and salt cedar, and on stream bank restoration. Alan also worked with Wyoming Game and Fish on conserving Sage grouse habitat, well before it became the hot topic of today.
Alan Barnett spent the first 12 years of his life on the Padlock Ranch near Sheridan, where his father was the manager, and has been immersed in cows, horses, and the business of ranching ever since. A close associate of Buck Branneman’s, Alan has helped to organize training clinics around the west. Alan’s long experience with Farm Credit Services and agricultural banking have been a great addition to the Land Trust’s activities, and made him an invaluable member of its Board of Directors for which he served as Vice Chairman prior to stepping down last year.
The Kurt Bucholz Conservation Award is named for the late Dr. Kurt Bucholz DVM, one of the Stock Growers Land Trust’s early supporters who, along with his wife Laura, ranched in Carbon County. For many years Dr. Bucholz devoted countless hours to his county and state. He demonstrated a keen understanding of state and local water issues, and was adamant about protecting the upper North Platte Valley’s vital and historic water rights. A rare cancer claimed Kurt’s life in December 2006. The Stock Growers Land Trust and Laura Bucholz created the Kurt Bucholz Conservation Award in 2008 to be presented annually to an individual who exemplifies Kurt’s conservation values, particularly those that center on protecting and nourishing Wyoming’s working ranches.
The Bucholz award honoree receives a bronze statue sculpted by Wyoming artist Jerry Palen that depicts the Stock Growers Land Trust horse and rider logo. Past recipients are Bobbie Frank (2014), Mike Healy (2013), Bob Budd (2012), Jim Chant (2011), Joe Glode (2010), Dr. John Lunt (2009) and Dennis Sun (2008).