2023 Environmental Stewardship Awards: Five Recognized

The Board of Larimer County Commissioners recognized five groups for their dedication to environmental stewardship in Larimer County at the 2023 Environmental Stewardship Awards.

For 28 years, the commissioners have presented these awards to businesses, organizations, and residents to honor their work and stewardship in protecting our environment. This year’s awards bring the total to 105.

Larimer County’s Environmental and Science Advisory Board reviews nominations that have been submitted for the awards and makes recommendations to the commissioners to select the award winners. The groups recognized for the 2023 Environmental Stewardship Awards:

North Fork Cache la Poudre River Site Conservation Team – Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse recovery from local engagement/riparian habitat improvement The Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse is a threatened species found only on Colorado’s Front Range and Southern Wyoming. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service formed site conservation teams [SCT] comprised of local stakeholders that worked to improve the riparian habitats on their land.

Stewardship Awards – 2
Starting in 2019, the North Fork Poudre SCT has identified 102 stream miles of habitat that are suitable for the mouse but can also be improved. They’ve worked with landowners interested in improving the riparian habitats of their properties by connecting them with resources and funding. The team also serves as a model for several other SCTs working in other watersheds along the Front Range. By focusing on riparian habitats, their work helps recover Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse in Larimer County and supports the many other species that rely on healthy riparian habitats and streams.

Rocky Mountain Flycasters – Restoring Greenback Cutthroat Trout in Larimer County

The Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter of Trout Unlimited works in a variety of stewardship activities with the conservation of cold-water fisheries. The Poudre Headwaters Project is where RMF volunteers have worked to improve the habitat of Colorado Native Greenback Cutthroat Trout, and when the project is complete, it will be the largest in the state.

RMF volunteers also installed barriers to the upstream migration of non-native fish within the Poudre River Headwaters. Last July, RMF volunteers stocked about 10,000 Greenback Cutthroat Trout to Williams Gulch while they assisted CPW in stocking approximately 115,000 rainbow trout in the Poudre River after the Black Hollow Flood reduced fish populations in over 15 miles of river below the Black Hollow area.

The RMF also engages with many youth groups through their “Trout in the Classroom” projects that teach school-aged youth about biology and conversation, plus working with Girl and Boy Scouts, Girls and Boys Clubs, and Expedition Colorado.

Back 40 Land Management – Restoring ecosystems through weed management and establishing native grasslands Back 40 Land Management provides restoration and management services for privately owned open spaces, pasturelands, and rural sites. Their work includes control of noxious weeds, revegetation, and wetland management. They use a multi-year plan that uses all these services with the landowner’s interests to improve pastureland, enhance ecosystems to support wildlife, and create low-water requirement native spaces.

They work with homeowner’s associations to reduce water-thirsty turf and convert them to low-water native areas free of noxious weeds. Pasture management services promote desirable vegetative production and improve livestock forage. Conservation assistance includes improving soil stability and nutrient availability and conserving ecological communities to promote wildlife habitat.

Stewardship Awards – 3

David Cummings, Back 40 Land Management owner, created a land management business model promoting native landscapes and water conservation in Larimer County. This service also provides HOAs with alternatives to water-reliant landscapes. Broadcom – Kamran Azad Broadcom is a chip manufacturer for a broad range of semiconductor and software solutions. Broadcom is reducing its greenhouse gas emissions [GHG] through point-of-use abatement technology. Chip manufacturing is a significant source of GHG emissions, and Broadcom has systematically reduced its
emissions for over ten years before legal limits were enacted, recognizing the importance of using sustainable manufacturing practices while creating some of the world’s most advanced wireless technology.

Broadcom began installing GHG abatement units at its Larimer County facility in 2012 and has been adding more units every year since. Between 2012 and 2016, Broadcom experienced a sharp increase in production as demand for wireless technology grew. In response, and as abatement technology became more reliable, Broadcom aggressively installed abatement units on high-emitting tools between 2015 and 2022.

By January 2023, Broadcom had completed the installation of over 30 abatement units which remain in production today, reducing Broadcom’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 73%. As a major employer in Larimer County, Broadcom recognizes its important role in our local communities in Colorado and as a global company supporting sustainable business practices.

Roberts Ranch – Improving working rangeland through conservation grazing practices

Founded in 1876, the Roberts Ranch was and remains transitioned from a traditional to a leading adaptive and restorative grazing operation on its 13,000 acres.

The ranch’s project was started in 2020 when Leachman Cattle of Colorado was awarded a Roberts Ranch grazing lease from the Nature Conservancy, which holds the property’s conservation easement. Leachman Cattle has partnered with SnapLands, LLC, to measure the annual success of the targeted grazing program. The program measures increased economic and ecological viability, increases in land production and soil fertility, drought resiliency, wildfire resiliency, ecosystem services, soil health, education and community outreach, and animal well-being through low-stress stockmanship.

Improved rangeland health and livestock performance are both positive outcomes of the adaptive planned grazing strategy. These three diverse partners have come together to create a shared vision to restore the land and livestock vitality of the Roberts Ranch.

Support Northern Colorado Journalism

Show your support for North Forty News by helping us produce more content. It's a kind and simple gesture that will help us continue to bring more content to you.

BONUS - Donors get a link in their receipt to sign up for our once-per-week instant text messaging alert. Get your e-copy of North Forty News the moment it is released!

Click to Donate