The ninth annual Southern Colorado Conservation Awards

© Michael Menefee

The Southern Colorado Conservation Awards (SCCA) honors the significant achievements of individuals and organizations that, through their conservation efforts, advance the well-being of southern Colorado’s communities, people, ecologies, and economies. The event focuses on conservation achievements in the broadest sense—knowing that successful conservation involves more than just resource protection; it involves a wide variety of champions across political, educational, business, research, and land management spectrums.

To register over the phone please call (719) 632-3236. 

The Awards

The Stuart P. Dodge Award honors a lifetime in achievement in conservation. 



2018 Stuart P. Dodge Award Winner: Sydney Macy 

With more than 40 years dedicated to conservation, hundreds of thousands of acres protected through her work, and more than $1 billion provided toward conservation through statewide programs she helped initiation, Sydney Macy exemplifies a lifetime of conservation. 

Read more about Sydney here. 

The Environmental Stewardship Award recognizes an individual or organization(s) that has positively impacted the land and the way members of our communities understand and respect their relationship to it.


2018 Environmental Stewardship Award Winner: Loretta McEllhiney

As the first and only Fourteener Program Manager for the U.S. Forest Service, Loretta McEllhiney has single-handedly designed nearly every sustainable summit trail that exists on Colorado’s Fourteeners, the 58 mountain peaks that reach more than 14,000 feet in altitude at the summit.

Read more about Loretta here. 

The Innovation in Conservation Award honors an individual, group, project, or program that has advanced the cause of conservation by developing new conservation models, creating new conservation funding mechanisms, or implementing unique partnerships that protect our natural heritage.

The 2018 Innovation in Conservation Award Winners: The Sangre de Cristo Acequia Association and Colorado Open Lands

In 2012, the Sangre de Cristo Acequia Association and Colorado Open Lands hosted the first Colorado Congreso de Acequias to identify community needs and concerns about water rights in the Valley. They have since partnered to provide multiple community resources including hosting landowner awareness forums, creating a legal assistance program to strengthen acequia* water rights, and facilitating the placement of conservation easements on Valley properties to ensure that water rights remain in the community.

Read more about this partnership here.

The Inspired Future Award celebrates an individual, program, business, or organization that is undertaking an activity or effort that boldly frames the future of conservation, exhibits gumption and grit in the face of challenges, and encourages others with the resilience and optimism it will take to advance conservation. 


The 2018 Inspired Future Award Winners: Sarah Hamilton and Ellen Kerchner of New Roots Farm, LLC

Hamilton and Kerchner have embraced the farm life. Their sacrifice, hard work, and love for the land is leading them to produce good food for local people using growing practices that support a diverse and healthy farm.

Read more about New Roots Farm and the Inspired Future Award here. 

Community Sponsorships

SCCA is a land conservation community recognition event. Community sponsorships help us cover the costs of producing this event. By making this a not-for-profit endeavor, we more effectively honor our winners and the many organizations and supporters that stand behind them. This, in turn, builds strength in the conservation community as a whole and greater political will for protecting the resources in Colorado that are important to all of us. We serve more than just a select group of conservation insiders, and, as our increasing attendance demonstrates, bring a greater understanding of conservation’s importance to a diverse audience. If you are interested in supporting or sponsoring this event, please contact our offices at [email protected] or by calling (719) 632-3236.

Award winners are nominated by the community at large and selected by an independent Blue Ribbon Panel. The 2018 panel included: Pueblo County District Attorney, Jeff Chostner; Executive Director of the John and Margot Lane Foundation and the Dusty and Katherine Loo Foundation, Tony Rosendo; Third Sector Group Principal, Kimberley Sherwood; retired Rocky Mountain PBS Station Manager, Wynona Sullivan; El Pomar President and Chief Investment Officer, Thayer Tutt; and retired attorney and former Palmer Trustee, Bruce Warren.

Or, to register over the phone, call (719) 632-3236

Thank You to These Top-Tier 2018 Sponsors

Farm-to-Table Dinner Provided in Part By:

Thank You To Our Media Partner:

Corporate Sponsors Include:

Individual Sponsors Include:

Carla Hartsell 

David C. Conley - Attorney

Lyda Hill