U.S. Senator Michael Bennet Recognized as Conservation Policy Champion

Senator Michael Bennet (left) accepted the IWJV Conservation Policy Champion Award from Pat O’Toole, IWJV Management Board Member and Colorado/Wyoming rancher.

The Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV) recently presented its prestigious Conservation Policy Champion Award to U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (Colorado) for his efforts to conserve wildlife habitat through partnerships in ways that support local communities. This award recognizes an individual who exemplifies the spirit of the IWJV and efforts to conserve habitat through collaborative, landscape conservation. As an advocate in Congress, Senator Bennet has earned this award by demonstrating leadership on collaborative conservation that brings people together to support wildlife, agriculture, landscape resiliency, and rural communities.

Senator Bennet was nominated for this award by a coalition of organizations including National Young Farmers Coalition, Colorado Wildlife Federation, National Wildlife Federation, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Society for Range Management, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, and Western Landowners Alliance. These organizations applauded Senator Bennet for developing and supporting farmer-led private lands conservation policy in the last two Farm Bills and leading policymaking for the largest working lands conservation programs in the country. Senator Bennet played an influential role in the Senate Agriculture Committee’s development of the 2018 Farm Bill Conservation Title, serving as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources.

“Senator Bennet has been a resolute champion of working lands conservation in the Intermountain West. By working closely with his constituents and building bipartisan relationships, he has succeeded in developing practical and effective conservation policies that help sustain agricultural lands, wildlife and local economies,” said Pat O’Toole of Ladder Ranch on the Colorado-Wyoming border and a longstanding IWJV Management Board Member. 

As such, it is the IWJV’s distinct honor and pleasure to recognize Senator Bennet for his long-term commitment to the stewardship of our Nation’s natural resources and support of agricultural producers, sportsmen and women, and people who care deeply about the conservation of habitat for birds and other wildlife. Senator Bennet was presented the IWJV Conservation Policy Champion Award on May 14, 2019, in his Washington, DC, office by a team of IWJV Management Board members, private landowners, and industry partners, joined by Erin Foster West, Policy Specialist for National Young Farmers Coalition and Aviva Glaser, Director of Agriculture Policy for National Wildlife Federation.  


The mission of the IWJV is to conserve priority bird habitats through partnership-driven, science-based projects and programs. As the largest of the U.S. Habitat Joint Ventures, the IWJV was established in 1994 to catalyze bird habitat conservation through the collaborative power of diverse public-private partnerships. The IWJV operates across all or parts of 11 western states and is governed by an executive-level Management Board comprised of state fish and wildlife agency directors, well-connected farmers and ranchers, energy company executives, and leaders of federal agencies and non-governmental conservation organizations. Learn more at IWJV.org.