Steamboat Springs The Upper Yampa Habitat Partnership Program awarded Ron Normann and Karin Utterback-Norman with the 2011 Landowner of the Year award Oct. 29 at the annual Agriculture Fall Gathering.
According to a news release from Colorado Department Parks and Wildlife Yampa District Wildlife Manager Libbie Miller, the couple, who own the Utterback Ranch outside Milner, was chosen for improvements to their ranch that have benefited wildlife.
They include wildlife-friendly fencing projects that have a high-visibility top wire and wildlife passage areas that lead to better movement while reducing injuries and water development projects that enhance resources available for livestock and wildlife.
Karin is president of the Routt County Conservation District board of directors, and Ron is a member of the Routt County Extension Advisory Committee, according to the release. It stated that both have been active supporters of Routt County 4-H programs.
The Habitat Partnership Program is funded through revenue from the sale of big-game licenses. The program is designed to develop partnerships among landowners, land managers, sportsmen, the public and the Department of Parks and Wildlife to reduce wildlife-related conflict in agriculture situations.
Past award recipients include Kurt Frentress, of Hayden (2010), and Carl Herold and family, of Yampa (2009).