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August 9, 2013
This award honors individuals and entities that have positively impacted the land and the way members of our communities understand and respect their relationship to the land.
Renée Rondeau,Colorado Natural Hertiage Program Ecologist, will be presented with the 2013 Southern Colorado Conservation Stewardship Award by The Palmer Land Trust on Oct. 9. This award honors individuals and entities that have positively impacted the land and the way members of our communities understand and respect their relationship to the land.
Colorado Natural Heritage Program is part of CSU's Warner College of Natural Resources. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to tracking and ranking Colorado's rare and imperiled species and habitats, and providing information and expertise on these topics to promote the conservation of Colorado's valuable biological resources.
Rondeau has helped lead the Southeast Colorado Biological Inventory since 2007, and is part of the team that has partnered with over 50 ranches to expand the awareness of biodiversity stewardship and conservation opportunities in the area. She has been instrumental in creating what has been described as a renaissance in conservation attitudes in the region.
"Renée played a key role in helping landowners turn the knowledge of their biological wealth into actions that will benefit the land and people for generations to come," said CNHP Director David Anderson. "She has become a trusted advisor, supporter, and friend to so many members of communities throughout the region, and we are grateful for Palmer Land Trust’s recognition of her conservation contributions!"
The Southeast Colorado Biological Inventory has been a collaborative effort among southeastern Colorado’s private landowners and biologists from CNHP, Denver Botanic Gardens, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, and the CSU Larval Fish Lab. The inventory has documented an impressive array of rare species and habitats - renforcing the ecological value of the land and providing landowners wtih information and tools to achieve sustainable stewardship and livelihoods.
According to Palmer Land Trust: "[Rondeau 's] work stands out as an example of environmental leadership that has catalyzed change in ways that no one expected or thought possible. Her work is a model for how conservation can be instigated in unlikely places through a paradigm shift, and how diverse partners can be successfully engaged and committed to lasting and meaningful change. This change was founded on trust that Renée developed with the community, which was made possible by her excellent communication skills, careful objectivity, and respect for the livelihoods of a ranching community."
Rondeau is now leading efforts to broaden partnerships to engage with landowners and develop innovative conservation practices including conservation easements, grass banks, research efforts, and other practices. She also continues to lead efforts in conserving the Lesser Prairie Chicken, one of Colorado’s imperiled birds, and has developed and implemented monitoring methods to assess their habitat which are being used by The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Forest Service.
For more information about CNHP, visit www.cnhp.colostate.edu/.
Contact: Bryony Wardell